Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ACES Massive Failure: No Nukes

Betting Blind on ACES describes the sausage-making process of side-deals and payofss used to make the cap-and-trade-and-tax-regulate Waxman-Markey bill, also known as ACES. Among the many dangerous provisions of this assault on the middle class and working families was this:
Among other things, Waxman-Markey would impose a federal renewable-portfolio standard, requiring 15 percent of electricity from each utility to come from renewable energy sources, and an additional 5 percent to come from conservation and efficiency improvements.
Here's the problem: That's an expensive and wrongheaded way to address CO2 emissions. Only certain 'renewables'? The smart way would be to look at ANY ALTERNATIVE THAT REDUCES CO2 EMISSIONS and treat them according to the CO2 reduction. (That is, if your goal is CO2 reduction and not some other hair-shirt eco-extremist de-industrialization goal.) Accordingly, you wouldn't have a renewable mandate so much as alternative or GHG-free energy mandate. That would include 'clean coal', nuclear, hydro, as well as the much-subsidized wind and solar.

Now, Rep Bilbray had an interesting amendment that if enacted could have solved the US contributation to the hypothesized global warming problem. Rep Bilbray extended the definition of 'renewable' to include nuclear and then increased the renewable mandate percentage so the mandate would have a truly significant impact on reducing CO2 emissions from power plants. This one simple provision, which probably is only a few pages could replace this entire 1200 page monstrosity and yet do more to reduce CO2 emissions. You see, almost half of our CO2 emissions comes from power plants; the CO2 emissions are directly linked to the type of power plants built. Build coal plants, get lots of emissions; build gas-fired, get less; build nuclear, get zero CO2 emissions. Nuclear energy is responsible for more CO2 emissions reduction than any other form of non-fossil-fuel energy. I have stated previously on the blog that the solution to global warming was simply to build 400 nuclear power plants. Change 70% of our baseload electricity generation to nuclear, and we will have cut US CO2 emissions almost in half, a more than adequate goal for 2050.

I have described this bill as a "all pain, no gain" bill. It will create huge regulatory overheads, massive cost-shifting, incentivizes shipping industrial jobs overseas (refinery companies have said directly that this bill will make us import refined fuel instead of processing it here, in effect exporting the oil refinery business). And what's the 'gain'? To global CO2 emissions, almost nothing. ACES is a failure on many levels, but its failure to even do the job the bill is supposed to is perhaps the worst. Fixing the renewable mandate to include nuclear would be a major improvement that would go a long way

This Pelosi Congress is incapable of doing anything right, so the best hope is for this bill to hit a quagmire in the US Senate. Unfortunately, that is less likely now that the Senate Democrats have 60 Senators, a filibuster proof majority.

Obama's Two Clocks

On Iran, The Fierce Urgency of Let's Not Rush Anything, but on his expansions of Government power like the Waxman-Markey travesty, he couldn't even wait the promised five days for public review of the legislation. Indeed: "a physical copy of the final bill didn’t yet exist when it passed", yet CO2 impacts climate at such a slow pace that even the IPCC estimates of global warming are measures in tenths of a degree per decade.

Obama is engaged in the fierce urgency of doing something before the political pendulum swings back. And it is starting to swing, it's just a matter of how much liberalism Obama will rush to implement before it does.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Winning Against the Odds

A Malcolm Gladwell essay "How David beats Goliath" shares lessons on how underdogs win.

Rule #1 - Change the rules of the game: Gladwell talks of how a teenaged girl's basketball team of no particular ability achieved success by upending the usual protocols of the game - executing a full-court press with such vigor that his team would end up denying inbound passes from the other team, defeating them. He recounts T.E.Lawrence, "Lawrence of Arabia", and how in World War I he defeated the Turks using unconventional tactics, including his famous and unexpected attack on Aqaba.

Rule #2 - Relentless effort beats ability:

"Effort can trump ability—legs, in Saxe’s formulation, can overpower arms—because relentless effort is in fact something rarer than the ability to engage in some finely tuned act of motor co√∂rdination. ....
Rule #3 - Don't be afraid to defy conventions:
Insurgents work harder than Goliath. But their other advantage is that they will do what is “socially horrifying”—they will challenge the conventions about how battles are supposed to be fought. All the things that distinguish the ideal basketball player are acts of skill and co√∂rdination. When the game becomes about effort over ability, it becomes unrecognizable ...
Breaking the rules is so unexpected because it is also so hard. It is hard because it requires tremendous effort and it breaks socially acceptable conventions. Gladwell concludes that when David breaks the rules, he can beat Goliath more than we might expect. But would-be Davids often don't "think outside the box", often cannot or will not execute the difficult or challenging unconventional strategies that will enable them to win. But when they do, the 'impossible' becomes possible.

PS. Wellstone Action folks think these lessons are true in political campaigns. They are probably right.

PPS. A David-v-Goliath political story, or how Eric Odom and Allen Fuller used twitter to kick-start #dontgo last summer. But using social media to beat traditional media is not David v Goliath, it's more linke Agincourt's longbowmen beating the French Knights.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

OpToons: Escalating Skepticism Crisis Forces Quick Cap-and-Trade vote

OpToons latest satire on cap-and-trade:

“In Europe, Japan, and Australia, there is increasing doubt that drastic cuts in energy use are warranted, as the evidence of human-caused global warming proves lacking,” said Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. “If we don’t enact draconian policies now, this window of misinformation might be closed forever.”

July 4th Tea Party Patriot Rallies

Texas July 4th Tea Party Rallies planned, includes 2 events in Austin.

News From Fairfax VA

Fairfax County, not as blue as you think:

"Two years ago, 14 of 17 districts went to the Democrat … including 10 gimmes because no Republican ran. Contested races broke 4 to 2 in favor of the Democrats. ... This year: The GOP has 15 very good candidates for the 17 districts and partial districts in the County. "
More candidates mean more opportunities for seat wins:
I’ve set off one candidate in particular, he being Jay McConville in the 44th District. I pay special attention to Jay because events of the past few days put him in a very good position to take this seat from the Democrats. I will post a diary on Jay in the next day or two … but let it suffice to say that the 6-term Democrat incumbent, who was also a member of the Democrat House leadership, QUIT THE RACE!
Fairfax, VA is similar to Travis, TX in some ways: Government workers, tech jobs, and suburban growth. Both counties have trended to Democrats in the past 4 years. How Fairfax plays out in 2009 may indicate how Travis trends in 2010.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Doggett votes to destroy American jobs

So the House voted 219-212 for Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, with 8 quisling Republicans joining 213 Democrats. The roll call shows Rep Doggett and Rep Gene Green voted aye to destroy American jobs, while Rep Ciro Rodriguez and Rep Chet Edwards, feeling heat from his district no doubt, voted no.

LGF comment: "... don't underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."

That could explain how this dangerous, non-workable, corrupt bill got this far. The bill wasn't even written properly and deals were made on the floor of the House to buy votes for it.

Cap and Trade is bad for Texas:

Texas could lose 135,000 to 277,000 jobs in 2012, the first year of the proposed cap-and-trade regulation. The average Texas household could pay up to an extra $1,136 on household goods and services over a year with a total potential cost to Texas families of 6.9 billion.

The bill is a con:

The ACES bill allows polluters to purchase up to 2bn tonnes a year in carbon “offsets”, over and above the total allowance provided by the permits of the Cap & Trade scheme. This 2bn-tonne annual offset allowance exceeds all the CO2E emission reductions envisaged between now and 2040! ...

The political economy of the birth of this demented carbon credit/offset scheme was the perception in the rich industrial countries that the developing countries had to ‘get something’ out of the war on global warming. Perhaps they should. Carbon credits/offsets, however, are not the way to do it. An elaborate con, employing mainly consultants and specialised businesses from the advanced industrial countries, is not a solid foundation for economic development.

... The American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act of 2009 is worse than nothing: it is a con and a fraud. It pretends to be a vehicle for reductions in CO2E emissions. In fact it is designed to permit increases in CO2E emissions.

The Democrats and Pelosi Congress passed a bill that: attempts to solve a crisis that really isn't a crisis (global warming is not a crisis); fails to achieve what it claims to achieve, but is in fact a con that will not reduce emissions to targets; will add enormously to energy costs and in the process ship industrial production and industrial jobs overseas to competitors like China. And will leave American energy consumers poorer.

God help us all if the Senate takes up this "all pain, no gain" bill.

Outrage - Kneecap-and-tax bill gets midnight rewrite

Another very bad bill that nobody has time to read is being shoved through the House. They rewrote 300 pages of giveaways to buy votes. This is corruption. This is the worst of politics. It is happening because Pelosi and Obama want a very bad bill passed, and will do very bad things to flex their political muscle. As of right now, we have NO IDEA what was put in those 300 pages. In all likelihood, they will pass it now, and only later will we find what waste, fraud, corruption and self-dealing was put in this 1200 page NannyState Monstrosity.

H/T Instapundit, an IBD Editorial Gem:
“The House of Representatives is preparing to vote on an anti-stimulus package that in the name of saving the earth will destroy the American economy. Smoot-Hawley will seem like a speed bump.”

Want to do something about this? Here are your marching orders.

PS. Sen Reid says nope to giving people time to read Nanny State Care bill - they keep making a liar out of President Obama - "Obama promised at least 5 days for the public to be able to read the legislation coming from Washington" ... except for the 3 most important and dangerous bills in our generation!

If you are not outraged, then you are not paying attention.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

In Praise of the Double Standard

Good article in defense of social conservatism at NextRight, in the context of the saga of Gov Sanford's infidelities.
Conservatism preaches that we are creatures of habits, we are not angels, and that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." We cannot and should not give in to Cults of Personality. Thus, nothing in the personal affairs of Gov Sanford diminishes those insights. However, it does obviously diminish the credibility of leaders when this happens.

It is well that hypocrisy is brought up. We hear in scandals like this about how this proves Republicans are hypocrites. Well. Let someone show me that brave speech by Bill Clinton and John Edwards where they forthrightly forsook the hypocritical route of pretending to be faithful while having affairs. Someone please point to John Edwards' admission that his love child is his and his announcement of his financial support for his own son. We got instead a bizarre Larry King interview by John Edwards' wife that made clear she aided and abetted him during the Presidential campaign in covering up this story - politics before everything. No hypocrisy among Democrats?

Often the hypocrisy comes most from the anti-moralizers. If what Gov Sanford was sinful in your eyes, then you can't go on prattling about social conservatives are moralizers. You are one too. And if what Gov Sanford did wasnt wrong in your eyes, then you cant go on prattling about hypocrisy, as YOU are the hypocrite for trying to impose a morality you dont really believe in.

Christians know that Jesus came to save, not the perfect, but sinners. Sin occurs but redemption is possible. In the end, Gov Sanford has given in temptation and now has to face consequences of personal decisions on his family. At the personal level, its his wife and children that he has to atone to, not us spectators. At the political level, he has lost personal credibility and as such has almost certainly ended his career. He needs to put family first and amend his home situation before he can amend the political damage. But that loss is his alone and not on the wider conservative movement.

One last thing: Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. I believe the double-standard is a tribute from Democrats to Republicans that says "Hey, your politicians actually have to have principles. Ours dont."

Patrick Ruffini thinks Gov Sanford shouldn't resign because "it is a strategic error to sanctify the idea that it's worse when Republicans cheat. The hypocrisy charge exacts a double penalty on Republicans where none exists for Democrats."

I disagree. I am sorely disappointed that a Governor I regarded highly for his forthright fiscal conservatism has let his family and his constituents down, but the double standard exists for a reason.

"But adultery is different -- a human failing that strikes Democrats and Republicans equally"
Yes, the human failing strikes equally, but the political impact is different. Bill Clinton lives on, popular as ever, while Republican adulterers become side-show acts. When you base your politics on principles, you need to live up to them. Failure to keep commitments on the personal level exhibits and impacts on the political level. If you base your politics on pandering, than philandering is just a side hobby.

The double-standard is the homage that unprincipled Democrats pay to the Republican voters for actually voting based on principle. We can always find new leaders to follow, but we can't always find new principles. So the double-standard stays, a marker that says a Republican will need to be more ethically clean, more honest, and do more to live his or her professed values to be considered a credible leader. So be it.

House Dems whip up Cap-and-trade-and-tax-and-regulate

Pelosi is cracking the Whip to get votes for cap-and-trade. This is one last chance to tell Congress how awful this bill is. Gene Green is for the bad bill that will surely cost jobs in his district. This very bad bill is an attack on American prosperity. Also, it contains Corrupt Contradictions designed to buy votes. Rep Gene Green, you deserve to be fired in 2010 along with every single Democrats (and the few Republicans) who vote for this horrible monstrosity. Those businesses and groups that have sold out to sell this dangerous and flawed bill also need to suffer the consequences of support a bill that will tax American energy use and export American industrial production to China and India.

Dems scramble for votes:

During the last votes of the day, Markey, Texas Rep. Gene Green — a very reluctant supporter — and Caucus Chairman John Larson leaned over Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar in a heated discussion until Cuellar finally shook Markey’s hand and the huddle broke up. That scene played out again and again throughout the day as Democrats felt the full weight of the White House and its leadership bear down on them.

Tilting at Green Windmills by George Will informs us that in Spain Green Jobs Means Lost Jobs:
Calzada says Spain's torrential spending -- no other nation has so aggressively supported production of electricity from renewable sources -- on wind farms and other forms of alternative energy has indeed created jobs. But Calzada's report concludes that they often are temporary and have received $752,000 to $800,000 each in subsidies -- wind industry jobs cost even more, $1.4 million each. And each new job entails the loss of 2.2 other jobs that are either lost or not created in other industries because of the political allocation -- sub-optimum in terms of economic efficiency -- of capital. (European media regularly report "eco-corruption" leaving a "footprint of sleaze" -- gaming the subsidy systems, profiteering from land sales for wind farms, etc.) Calzada says the creation of jobs in alternative energy has subtracted about 110,000 jobs from elsewhere in Spain's economy.
Countering Obama press secretary Gibb's discounting of this report, Will challenged:
Judge for yourself: Calzada's report can be read here. And here you can find similar conclusions in "Yellow Light on Green Jobs," a report by Republican Sen. Kit Bond, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy.
Elsewhere we find out:

Democratic leadership aides expect five to 10 Republicans to vote for the bill, including California Rep. Mary Bono Mack, who supported it in the Energy and Commerce Committee. Other Republicans that Democrats hoped would cross over include Mike Castle of Delaware, Vernon Ehlers of Michigan, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Dave Reichert of Washington.

Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and his team are working hard to hold as many moderates as possible in order to force more centrist Democrats to back the legislation. Those efforts focused on some of the same members being targeted by Democrats, like Castle and Kirk, but also other lawmakers from environmentally friendly corners of the country, such as Wisconsin Rep. Tom Petri.
Last chance to stop it is Friday - call the Congressional switchboard -

Tell your Congressman to vote against H.R. 2454., the Waxman-Markey legislation.
We don't have a moment to delay.

Congress is going to vote on Cap and Trade legislation, which even Democrat John Dingell (D-MI) says is "a tax and it's a great big one."

Democrat Charlie Melancon (D-LA) says, "I believe this bill would create an undue burden on families who are already paying too much in energy bills."

Democrat Mike Ross (D-AR) says of Cap and Trade, "'If you don't like $4-a-gallon gasoline, you're really not going to like your electric bill sometime between now and 2030."

Go here, put in your zip-code, and call now.

Mark Levin has this list.

Bartlett (MD)
Bono Mack (CA)
Castle (DE)
Dent (PA)
Ehlers (MI)
Frelinghuysen (NJ)
Gerlach (PA)
Inglis (SC)
Tim Johnson (IL)
Kirk (IL)
Lance (NJ)
LoBiondo (NJ)
Petri (WI)
Platts (PA)
Ros-Lehtinen (FL)
Altmire (PA)
Bright (AL)
Dahlkemper (PA)
Drieshaus (OH)
Ellsworth (IN)
Kissell (NC)
Kratovil (MD)
Kanjorski (PA)
Teague (NM)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Obama admin EPA stifles scientific dissent

EPA Stifles Dissent in order to push CO2 Regulations. Anti-real-science Obama administrators don't want the whole truth about climate science shared. If it was, the justification for regulations would get weaker. These hypocrites are doing exactly what they accused the Bush administration of doing. Amazing!

CEI is submitting a set of four EPA emails, dated March 12-17, 2009, which indicate that a significant internal critique of EPA’s position on Endangerment was essentially put under wraps and concealed. The study was barred from being circulated within EPA, it was never disclosed to the public, and it was not placed in the docket of this proceeding. The emails further show that the study was treated in this manner not because of any problem with its quality, but for political reasons.

Harvard Nazis to Decide the New World of Healthcare Decisions

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal carried a story that clearly indicates the type of world we'll be entering if President Obama and Democrats get their way with healthcare. It's terrifying.

Titled "Knee Replacements Are Determined to Be Cost-Effective," the story details how knee replacements add to quality of life and extend life:

In the study, based on a computer model using Medicare claims and other data, total knee replacement provided about one year of better quality of life compared to that experienced by patients who didn't have the procedure, researchers said. The average age of patients whose data were included in the model was 74.

The analysis, which appears in the current Archives of Internal Medicine, found that the year of benefit cost about $18,300. Researchers said the amount fell well within the threshold of $50,000 per year of better-quality life generally considered as cost-effective.

The findings reflect growing interest in determining the value of big-ticket medical treatments amid efforts by the Obama administration and Congress to contain costs and overhaul the health-care system.

At first glance, it's easy to get caught up in the seductive rationale of the study and its use by the Obama administration. Surely we don't want to be wasting money on procedures that don't do any good, right? And if it's public money we're talking about, we want good ROI, right?

At least that's the case made by the whiz-kid Nazi-wannabe at Harvard who authored the study:

"Unfortunately, we as a society have limited resources and need to figure out whether we are spending our money wisely," said Elena Losina, an author of the study and a professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. "And as it often happens, the return on investment is less in the elderly population."

So if that's your reasoning, Ms. Losena, let's just round up the elderly and euthanize them. Is that what you want? After all, the old people = bad ROI. Right? Isn't that your cold-blooded calculus?

Of course, as a good Harvard-bred Statist, Ms. Losena doesn't value the rights of individuals and people, especially elderly, are only as good as her calculus of their value to some nebulus ROI. That's Nazi-ism at its core.

Scary Scary Scary.

I am not a Statist. I'm a conservative and the way I figure it, Medicare owes me that surgery no matter what age or expected ROI some Nazi bean counter calculates.

After all, I like everyone have been paying for Medicare throughout my entire working life. I haven't been allowed to use those monies, even to purchase my own long-term care and elderly healthcare insurance on the premise that when I do need that healthcare service it will be available through the government's Medicare.

But no this isn't the case, not according to Losena. It's not my money. It's not my decision. It's not my knee. It's not my life. I'm their slave, I'm their sheeple, waiting in line for their decision about quality of life and ROI.

Shame on you Ms. Losena for being such a cold-blooded human. You scare me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Obama, the 'more cowbell' of American Liberalism

Obama, the no-accomplishment Senator turned Presidential revolutionary, combines the foreign policy fecklessness of Carter, the old-style LBJ tax-and-spenderism of Mondale, the cultural liberalism of Dukakis, the dishonest pandering of Clinton, and the elitist goofiness of Kerry.

Oh, and if you close your ears and squint and drop some acid you can almost see/hear MLK Jr.

He's the "more cowbell" of American Liberalism. This is why he sets so many liberal legs tingling.

One thing that Obama has which makes him more dangerous than the other Democrats mentioned: HUBRIS. Combined with the above is deadly combination.

Google Employees livin' the ... nightmare

Google dreams turn to nightmare... "The average Google employee makes between $30,000 – $45,000 according to a Google recruiter. He said most people at the company still are on hourly wage." Reality doesn't match the dream. Ouch.

Engineers are getting more productive than ever, yet not getting rewarded for it: "Although engineers contribute more to an organization than ever before, their pay – relative to other functions in a company – hasn’t followed suit. I’ve polled a few dozen companies and have found that over the last ten years, an engineer’s pay has held the same relative salary to marketing and sales."

Light-Rail, Economy Hit CapMetro Hard

Light-Rail BK's CapMetro - "Transit officials mull service cuts, accelerated fare hike". They want to make the transit worker's pay up for the light-rail boondoggle that is looking worse in the faltering economy, and the union is saying. "Wait a sec, let's look at your books." Way to go, union, shine some light on CapMetro.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sen Durbin's Insider Trading Scandal

Senator Durbin's insider trading was worse than what Martha Stewart did.

Canyon Creek Mud case: SCOTUS punts on VRA

Campaign Legal center says the court "punted" on the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act:

The Supreme Court ... declined to rule on NAMUDNO's challenge to the constitutionality of the law. The Court instead ruled on narrower statutory grounds: its decision granted all political subdivisions the right to apply for bailout from the requirements of Section 5. ... The Court ... punted to another day on the broader constitutional issues present in the case.

A response from "Project 21" on the Supreme Court ruling:

"As with affirmative action, the Court recognizes the unconstitutionality at issue but refuses to go the distance to make things right," said Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie. "The only certainty of this ruling is that the problem will continue to fester. The question to be pondered now is how many aggrieved voting districts will knuckle under to overbearing and unnecessary federal standards because the justices chose to kick the can down the road rather than actually do something about the problem."

In its ruling in the case of Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder, all of the justices agreed that the "preclearance" provisions of Section 5 the Voting Rights Act - which still requires nine states and many other counties and localities to clear all electoral changes with the U.S. Department of Justice - are outdated. The decision, however, simply sends the case back to the district court with the instructions that representatives of this particular voting district can apply to seek relief.

Even though Chief Justice John Roberts noted that "we are a very different nation" than when the Voting Rights Act was first passed in 1965, he still wrote in his majority opinion: "Whether conditions continue to justify such legislation is a difficult constitutional question we do not answer today."

Justice Clarence Thomas, the Court's only black justice and the sole dissenter in the case, was critical of his colleagues for not addressing Section 5's constitutionality, writing: "The violence, intimidation and subterfuge that led Congress to pass Section 5 and this Court to uphold it no longer remains."

"It's deeply disappointing that the Court chose to avoid its responsibility and rule Section 5 unconstitutional," added Project 21's Massie. "By allowing potential relief on a case-by-case basis, the Court is denying equal justice to all. The only reason is likely a lack of intestinal fortitude in dealing with the predicted outcry of the professional racemongers - who already cajoled Congress into renewing the Act without due diligence three years ago. So much for checks and balances."

Project 21 participated in the case by joining an amici curiae ("friend of the Court") brief on the case with the Pacific Legal Foundation and the Center for Equal Opportunity. The brief sought to overturn Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, pointing out that the conditions existing at the time the Act was written no longer exist and thus render the regional preclearance regulation of Section 5 obsolete. A copy of the brief can be obtained at http://tw5.us/UJ.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Socialism by any other name still stinks

"Is socialism really a threat? Not a chance", thus says Joseph Lazzaro, in a column full of trite statements that manage to defy the odds and be more wrong than even random statements. I had to retort:

This column is a pack of lies from an ignoramus trying to lull sheep into sleep. Obama is an anti-pragmatist, he is peddling proven-to-have-failed answers and ignoring better solutions. Obama has zero experience in private sector real-world business and what little he does know he shared in his own bio some antipathy to capitalist free enterprise. The results are telling - 4 million jobs lost since he was elected and no sign, no clue, no hint, no plan of getting them back.

This ignorant columnist thinks Americans are as ignorant as he. Wrong. I lived in England in the 1970s - coal strikes, electricity shortages, inflation and a climbing misery index. Socialism is a prescription for poverty and what Obama is doing is the closest thing to the Euro-socialist failures of the 1970s as the US has ever see. Obama is busting our budget into US bankruptcy, akin to 3rd world countries like Mexico 1980s; . Lets talk numbers: $850 billion pork barrell 'stimulus' bill; $3,800 per family per year in added energy costs from cap-and-trade; $1 trillion price tag on the ObamaCare government-run socialized healthcare plan.

Obama wants to expand programs that dont work, to solve problems that are the creations of govt meddling in the first place. The result will be the destruction of our choices, our freedoms, our prosperity, and economic supremacy in the world. Call it 'socialism' or something else, all this taxing-spending-regulating-meddling NannyStatism would still stink just as much.

If Americans like freedom they need to LOUDLY demand that the Democrats in Congres SLOW DOWN in their attempts to socialize the country.

Wonk Room Pulls the Race Card

Oh, the irony. Sonai Sotomayor is in a woman's only elite group called the Belizean Grove. But instead of concerning with a future member of the Supreme Court doing and saying things along racial and gender identity lines that would be verboten for a white male. There is complete media silence on this, akin to the media's aversion to discussion of Obama's racist pastor friend/mentor Jeremiah Wright. Liberals groups rally around Sonia for SCOTUS, while both reveling in the latina identity politics and ignoring the inherent reverse-bias aspects of her statements and behaviors.

Instead, Wonk Room worries about a journalist who reported on the bad effects of sanctuary city policies. Using the tired old guilt-by-association ploy, they lambaste a journalist for daring to accept an award from the CIS, or Center for Immigration Studies, which they call an 'anti-immigration hate group.'

CIS is definitely NOT an ‘anti-immigration hate group’: They are against illegal immigration and for legal immigration so long as it is reasonably controlled, as position many if not most Americans hold. Here is a welcoming speech Mark Krikorian gave to newly minted naturalized citizens - immigrants. It was a welcome and a tribute from a Grandson of immigrants in the 'melting pot' tradition of Teddy Roosevelt.

Wonk Room sours politics and does it a disservice by phony ad hominems against this group. Nowhere in their article is their any substance to their name-calling.

The Revolution will (Not) be Tweeted, Blogged and Emailed

In the USSR, the dissenters used the "samizdat press". In China 1989, the revolutionary communication channel was the fax. This time #Iranelection has made this a tweeted revolution, in addition to blogs, emails, and videos posted online. The repressive regime knows it and is stamping out the lines of dissident communication. Recent Tweet:

RT @christmasfairie: Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail is now completely out of service in Iran - #Iranelection (via @persiankiwi) RT #GR88

State-side, the tweet-updates continue:
@BermanPost Good summary - 'Day Eight', now Iranian revolution http://bit.ly/13AejK #fb

Newsbusting NYT's Pollaganda for Obamacare

Newsbusters: "Although the then junior senator from Illinois received 53 percent of the votes last November, NYT/CBS surveyed almost twice as many Obama voters as McCain voters."

This biased survey unsurprisingly finds Obama voters overwhelmingly support government-run health insurance socialized-Obamacare-style, but then asserts that 'most Americans' support it. Um, no, that's Pollaganda: Skewing a poll sample to skew a story.

In a more trustworthing poll btw, Obama approval turns negatives.

Quid Numis globe-trots, finds TSA clueless and annoying

Blogger Quid Nimis globe-trots to Hong Kong, regales with many insights, and finds our home-grown TSA the most clueless and annoying security force in her travels:

If I may extrapolate: no one else in the world thinks that shoe x-rays are a significant security precaution. In Austin, there are little handwritten signs at the security checkpoint that say, "Don't put shoes in the bins!" but since this is clearly not regulation, everyone ignores the signs and puts their shoes in the bins, only to have a TSA minder bark, "Put your shoes directly on the belt!" adding to the absurdity of the whole situation.

Is now a good time to mention that my aunt, who is 67 and uses a wheelchair, was told by an TSA person that she had to throw out her liquids (all 3 oz. or less) because they weren't in a QUART BAG? They were in a gallon zip lock bag. This was in Tulsa, where there is a significant risk of terrorism on the part of militant senior citizens in wheelchairs. To the credit of the other TSA employees there, they were embarassed and one intervened on my aunt's behalf, to the aggrieved grumblings of the jackass ("Right, I'm the bad guy for following the rules...")

I feel for her on this, having our own disabled grandma relative accosted by TSA in a very rude way. the is the dumb legacy of "let's not profile anyone", so we believe the lie that an incapacitated grandma is as likely to be a terrorist as a young guy named Ahmed.

Some TSA folks go beyond annoying into goon-like abuses of power: I know of someone personally who was harrased and then was put under arrest by TSA at Austin airport.

He's a father, family man, and business owner, on his way home to his family from a visit in Austin. He had some packaged food that he made the mistake of making a carry-on, and in the security line, he couldnt properly explain what the food package was to TSA; so they took him aside and harrassed him repeatedly over it, and kept asking if the food was a bomb, and when in exasperation after repeating goadings from one TSA employee, he said "yeah, it's a bomb" as a joke. Immediately, he was arrested, charged with Federal felony charge of false threat as well as a State charge, and sent to Travis county jail. Over a few words of exasperation relating to some food. It wasn't a false threat, it was the response of someone getting harrassed by TSA who got frustrated and gave a goon employee an excuse to do a power-trip on him. The key evidence video of the interchange mysteriously disappeared in the hands of police custody, probably because it would have shown the TSA was in the wrong here. Thousands in legal bills later, his case was dismissed.

Thankfully some people in the system realized the 'hoax' was the charge itself. Yes, I can recommend a good lawyer out of it, but I can also recommend this: Just be careful with those TSA goons.

UPDATE: The Police State comes for the pilots.

Wanna be in movies?

Short Film Texas has the casting calls for local indie film productions.

Latest post - Casting Call For Austin, Texas Indie Short Film “Taco!Taco!Taco!” Sounds like a cross between the Pearl Harbor movie "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and "Three Amigos."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Perry Vetoes SB1440

Via Texas Legislative Update blog:

Gov. Perry vetoed SB 1440, which would have given CPS new, expansive authority to enter a home and take children in non-emergency situations; without notice, without parental consent, without "good cause" as currently required by law. A huge disaster was averted by Gov. Perry's veto of SB 1440, as this "seize now, ask questions later" bill would have landed Texas in court and subjected state officials to personal liability for following this unconstitutional law.
We mentioned previously how Representative Patrick Rose pulled a fast one with Senator Watson's help and underhandedly gave CPS powers that are unjustified and trample on parent's rights. Governor Perry saved us from a bad bill.

NEA Lies about School Choice

Wall Street Journal Op Ed - The NEA's Latest Trick:

"The DC voucher pilot program, which is set to expire this year, has been a failure," the NEA's letter fibs. "Over its five year span, the pilot program has yielded no evidence of positive impact on student achievement."

That must be news to the voucher students who are reading almost a half-grade level ahead of their peers. Or to the study's earliest participants, who are 19 months ahead after three years. Parents were also more satisfied with their children's schools and more confident about their safety. Those were among the findings of the Department of Education's own Institute of Education Sciences, which used rigorous standards to measure statistically significant improvement.

If you call that "failure," no wonder the program has been swimming in several times as many applications as it can accept. They come from parents desperate to give their kids a chance to get the kind of education D.C.'s notorious public schools do not provide. ...

The NEA's letter was a pre-emptive strike against the possibility that 750,000 students in military families would benefit from vouchers. That idea was raised in a Senate hearing this month, when military families explained that frequent moves and inconsistent schooling was harmful to their children. "The creation of a school voucher program should be considered," Air Force wife Patricia Davis dared to say.

With distortions like the above, denying real proof that school choice works, the National Educrats Association (NEA) is harmful to honest debate on how best to educate our children.

The Texas Triangle

The Texas Triangle. Hold that thought: The central Texas corridor, the San Antonio - Dallas - Houston nexus ... just happens to be the most economically vibrant part of the coutnry right now. And Austin is smack dab in the middle of it. Ok, that explains my previous comment about traffic. Ain't we ... lucky?!?

Texas GOP House Committee launched

Via MattMackowiak on Twitter TEXAS REPUBLICAN HOUSE COMMITTEE is launched, state version of NRCC -- http://www.texasgophouse.org.

This is to win more Republicans at the statehouse level, where the GOP has a razor thin 76 to 74 advantage. Meanwhile, on the Democrat side, Democrats in Texas adapt to 21st century networks with the help of Texas Progressive bloggers.

And with that, we are launching use of the '2010 election' keyword.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Traffic in Austin

Is it just me or is traffic getting worse? I was on 360 for an hour today. I sure am glad I don't have that in my regular commute.

GOP can stop ObamaCare

Rove in WSJ: GOP Can Stop ObamaCare

Twittering Away ...

Sign of apocalypse - Protein Wisdom is on twitter. I'm insired. My latest twitter:

A small-govt idea: Require all laws to be written in twitter form, 140 chars or less. #tcot elites, think simple & small!
Sound Crazy? I am sure one could write the Ten Commandments in Twitter Form. I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

Now that I've blogged my tweet, do I tweet my blog and create a infinite recursive loop? Yikes!

American People Reject Obama's Agenda

Via NRO, NBC Poll news, NRO's Jim Geraghty quoting the Wall Street Journal:

A solid majority — 58% — said that the president and Congress should focus
on keeping the budget deficit down, even if takes longer for the economy to recover . . .

Mr. Obama's overall job approval and personal ratings have slipped, particularly among independent voters. His job approval rating now stands at 56%, down from 61% in April. Among independents, it dropped from nearly two-to-one approval to closely divided.

When asked what the most important economic issue facing the country is, 24% cited the deficit, vs. just 11% who named health care.

Bailout GM - favor 35%, oppose 53%. opposed by 3 to 2 ratio. Let's be clear: Obama is bailing out the UAW not GM, putting the companies (unnecessarily) under govt control, cost taxpayers billions while saving no jobs longterm,& screwing the bondholders in GM and Chrysler both, while also throwing profitable rural dealerships under the bus. Unless you are a union leader or one of the politically connected dealerships there is nothing to like here.

White House fires a watchdog

White House fires a watchdog. Then they lie about his mental state. Abuse of power, the worst since Nixon, and we hear ... Nothing.

Too busy putting presidential infomercials on the air to make a critical report.

Texas Tort Victories, A Close Call

WSJ touts Texas Tort Victories but it sounds like we caught a lucky break:

Among the more notable failed proposals were a bill that would have shifted the burden of medical proof away from plaintiffs and on to defendants in asbestos and mesothelioma cases; an attempt to rip up Texas's successful system of trying multidistrict litigation in a single court; and legislation to allow plaintiffs to sue for "phantom" medical expenses.

Part of this success was due to the legislature's gridlock over a controversial voter ID bill. Yet Republicans who run the Senate and House also did yeoman's work to keep many bills from ever reaching the floor. Republicans also got a helping hand from a number of brave, antilawsuit Democrats, many of them from South Texas, where litigation has exacted more of an economic toll.

Speaking of the economy, it's notable that Texas created more new jobs last year than the other 49 states combined.
If bringing up Voter ID does this much good in one session, let's bring it up in every session. Make no mistake, lawsuit reform and reducing the cost of litigation improves the quality of life in Texas. A comment that shares an example:

Not only jobs and businesses have benefited from tort reform in Texas: how Texas cured its doctor shortage and became a model for healthcare reform: http://www.healthmadeeasy.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1244&Itemid=453

CALA (Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse) also made a comment in the WJS indicating that we definitely dodged a bullet:
Texas succeeded in holding the line against efforts to roll back civil justice reforms, but the aggressive push by some personal injury lawyers this past legislative session should serve as a wake up call to those who support a legal system based on common sense and fairness.

Consider that a measure that would have allowed "no-proof-needed" asbestos lawsuits in Texas gained disturbing support in the Texas Senate - including from some pro-business conservatives. While the measure ultimately died in a House Committee, opponents were hanging on to that victory by the skin of their teeth with just a one-vote margin keeping the bill off the floor of the House. These were not lop-sided victories for reform supporters, they were hard-won, day-by-day battles.

Many of our state leaders have done a great job of drawing a line in the sand when it comes to abusive lawsuits in Texas. And, as your editorial notes, it is a reason we've seen more jobs come to Texas. But make no mistake, Texas' successes here are under attack. Local voters should make crystal clear to their Senators and Representatives that the battles this session were too close for comfort.

Roger Borgelt – Vice Chairman
Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse of Central Texas

Obama's Orchestrated Chaos

Obama's running the Alinsky create-a-crisis playbook . We knew that: "3. The overarching aim is always to impose new stresses on target systems, with the ultimate goal of forcing their collapse."

Don't give up. The best defense is a good offense. Realize that the chaos is being created by this administration and it's own actions.

Conservatives up, Republicans Down

Via Redstate, a Gallup poll shows increasing numbers of voters are self-identified conservatives:

Thus far in 2009, 40% of Americans interviewed in national Gallup Poll surveys describe their political views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal. This represents a slight increase for conservatism in the U.S. since 2008, returning it to a level last seen in 2004.

So, rumors of conservatism's death have been greatly exaggerated: "Ed Morrissey argues that this trend may indicate a further polarization of America along ideological lines."

That may well be true, looking at data like this:

Republicans are veering right on social issues. Meanwhile, Blacks are as conservative as Republicans on social issues, and Americans continue to oppose gay marriage.

And yet, we find Republican voters themselves have a poor view of the Republican Party. "Lost their way" is a popular negative image of the Republican Party. Republican base voters are mostly white, religious and conservative. So we see more evidence that, whereas Democrats manage to encompass more voters than their liberal ideology would indicate, the Republicans can grab only a subset of the natural conservative and right-leaning moderate base. We have conservative independents unhappy with the GOP, minority conservative Democrats who agree on some issues, and moderates with a poor image of the Republican party.

If only we had the state-run media on our side. Sigh.


Comeback will require the right attitude:

... what the leadership lacks is that “Braveheart” spirit - they are like those Scottish nobles trying to cut deals with the English King for their own hides, while the TEA-Partying rabble want someone who will FIGHT!

It’s not unhelpful to know where you stand, but it is pointless to bemoan it rather than change it. It’s not the snarling that we need, but the “Dont give up” DETERMINATION TO MAKE OUR VOICES MATTER. ... instead of waiting for the ‘next Reagan’ while clutching the martinis and muttering how all is lost, realize that we have among us 10,000 Reagans ready to take on the Obama-borg. We are the solution, the 40% of American that self-admits to being ‘conservative’.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cluetrain + 10 in politics, #9 = Trust

Cluetrain plus 10 was an effort to review how "The Cluetrain Manifesto" stood up ten years later, and blog and reflect on changes. Some thoughts:

It occurs to me that the "Cluetrain" thinking can be applied to politics as much as business marketing. Consider this:
Fundamental to 'The Cluetrain Manifesto' was the premise that the Internet provided a new and unique forum for communication that would ultimately shift the nature of business communication and marketing. Essentially, the change that is central to this text is one of breaking down corporate barriers and forming a conversation between those within and those outside a corporation -- online marketing would be more about holding conversations with people rather than broadcasting half-truths about products and services.
The authors of the manifesto suggested that such a shift would occur through substantial and pervasive changes in current company-to-consumer interaction. Communication would shift from mission statements and marketing media aimed at consumer segments to open dialogues or conversations between businesses and consumers.
Let's translate to the political realm:
Internet provided a new and unique forum for communication that would shift the nature of political communication and marketing. Essentially, the change that is central is one of breaking down political barriers and forming a conversation between candidates, office holders and voters -- online marketing would be more about holding conversations with people rather than broadcasting half-truths about campaigns and candidates.
The authors of the manifesto suggested that such a shift would occur through substantial and pervasive changes in current politician-to-voter interaction. Communication would shift from mission statements and marketing media aimed at voting groups to open dialogues or conversations between politicians and citizens.
But ... it hasn't happened!
Since publication, however, some state that the use of mass-media marketing has not fundamentally shifted from its use within organizations as the key means of communicating with consumers. Advertising on the Internet has grown over the intervening years, it remains, in some cases, an online version of the same style of mass-media marketing.
Obama's campaign used texting/mobile apps and Web 2.0 technology for a massive amount of ONE-WAY campaigning of the traditional sort. It remains, in some cases, an online version of the same style of mass-media marketing.
Meanwhile, the trust is still not there.
The elites and the grassroots have no gotten themselves around the New Reality. Until they do, there will be no trust.

Jellying Out in Austin

Many people who work for themselves end up working from home, and they sometimes get a bit socially isolated. A work-together is where the home-working self-employed people get together to put some social interaction in their work life. Jelly in Austin is a meetup for self-employed creatives here in Austin. Conjunctured is a co-working space that grew out of Austin Jelly.

Got it? Sounds great, but don't reinstall the cubicle 2000, or you are back to Dilbert Hell. After all, there are reasons people like working for themselves ...

Sen Cornyn Asking Sotomayor Questions, Helping Toomey

Cornyn put out a PR about Sotomayor, indicating he won't roll over for her: Cornyn's daily question for Judge Sotomayor is: "What is the power of a federal court to interpret the law absent a "Case" or "Controversy"?" Answer - none, unless you're Judge Sotomayor pontificating on a moot case. Good catch, Senator.

Cornyn gives $5,000 to Toomey, the guy he wanted to shove out of the way to re-elect (ex)RINO and now Democrat Specter. How's that plate of crow, Senator Cornyn?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Austin's Charette charade

Change Austin on Austin's voter input on budget:

"Meanwhile, the rest of us peons in Austin are related to like well… peons, being asked questions like, ‘Would you prefer to cut libraries or charging people to get in to the Trail of Lights’! "
Oh, and the news we hear is that Austin is going to do both.

The short story on the City of Austin’s 2009-2010 Budget is this: the budget items selected for public scrutiny were limited to items m, n, o, and z. Unfortunately for us, the rest of the alphabet soup covering the full width and breadth of the budget were off limits.

Is this process a charette or a charade? Maybe it is both!

Jack McDonald & Gettin' in Andy Brown's Facebook

Andy Brown, head of the Travis County Democratic Party, has a public facebook page. It's funny that Democrat Brown's favorite quote is from Republican counterpart, RPT exec director Eric Opiela: "I am sure Jack McDonald will be a formidable opponent." Jack McDonald is a potential Democrat opponent to Congressman McCaul (TX-10) who was getting some hype from DC over his big money-raising, and the quote was from that article. Well ... here's the rest of the quote:

""I'm not worrying every day about how Michael McCaul is going to do," he said. "I am sure Jack McDonald will be a formidable opponent. However, Michael McCaul had just as recently as this past year gone up against a formidable opponent and still won. I expect the same will happen in 2010."
I share Opiela's assessment. I don't buy the hype and don't think the money McDonald will raise. McCaul was mauled by the Obama effect here in Travis in 2008, had a 'formidable opponent' who spent a lot, but McCaul still won with 54% of the vote. 2010 will be better for him. McCaul will win by double digits. This is more a story about how topped-out the Democrats are that they can't

PS. While I commend Brown's open facebook page, I just had to leave a snarky comment on a thread:
"It's a great time to be a Democrat in Texas!" Sure is. It was great how the Democrats in the Texas House chubbed hundreds of bills to death just to stop Voter ID. The best Dem legislator is a do-nothing one! Special session here we come, time to run off to Ardmore again.

UPDATE: My comment was mysteriously removed on Andy Brown's facebook page. C'mon Andy, be a sport! I suspect "friend" requests will go unrequited.

Patriot Academy

Something of interest for those with teenaged children - Patriot Academy, a summer school in governance:

"Patriot Academy is a five-day political training program where students age sixteen to twenty-five learn about America's system of government from a Biblical worldview. Each summer, young people from around the nation come to the Texas State Capitol to form a fully functioning mock legislative body, drafting legislation, debating bills and passing laws. Students participate in fast-paced, interactive workshops on media relations, public speaking, campaigning techniques and the founding father’s philosophy of government."

Rep Lon Burnam hates schools

Rep Lon Burnam (D - Dallas) hates schools that are teaching tens of thousands of schoolkids in Texas: “I hate charter schools. I’m going to kill this bill.” He hates Charter Schools so much he killed the Charter School expansion bill, thereby denying a better education to thousands more:

I’m wondering what the 17,000 kids on waiting lists to enter charter schools think about Rep. Burnam and his hatred of charter schools. Does Burnam hate these kids? ...
Two charter schools in Texas made the U.S. News and World Report’s list of “America’s Best 100 Public High Schools” – IDEA Public Schools in the Rio Grande Valley (#19) and YES Prep Public Schools in Houston (#52). I guess Burnam hates them also because they make his ISD schools look bad.

This is absolute and utter insanity. Educrat PACs are bankrolling this insanity.

Top 40 conservative blogs

John Hawkins made the list, via Legal Insurrection, #18. Travis Monitor has dibs on #43 slot. ;-)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Next Generation is more Pro-life

A Poll in 2003 found "[t]he young people are significantly more pro-life than adults." 72% said that abortion is morally wrong. Only 19% believe abortion should be legal in all circumstances. 2009 polling confirms the trend.

There are good reasons for the trend. Life beings at conception - that's a biological fact that the next generation is more aware of than ever before. Thus, you have to be completely ignorant or living under a rock not to realize that abortion kills a living human being.

Women a generation ago were told lies that they were just aborting 'tissue' or that it couldnt feel anything. Maybe they are told those lies in abortion clinics even today, but fewer women will fall for it. Well science moved on - we know now that a fetal heartbeat occurs by week 7, 150 beats a minute, brain function by week 8, REM sleep, ie dreams, in 2nd trimester. Would-be parents can see it first hand now - sonograms of perfectly formed little pre-born babies show fingers, toes, bones, brains, the whole human being inside the womb.

The pill begat the sexual revolution, and the sonogram begat a recognition that the unintended product of sex is indeed a living human being.

The relevent polling questions signalling the trend would be:
1. Do you believe that a fetus in the womb is a living human being?
2. Do you believe that the living human being in the womb should have any rights?
As more people realize that "yes" is the correct answer to #1, more will say "yes" to #2 as well.

Green shoots of right's recovery

2010 starting to look like 1994. History can only repeat if The GOP side actually gets their act together. It's hard to detect looking at DC, but there are 'green shoots' of right-leaning activism building up from the grassroots, thanks to folks like American Majority, following up on the Tea Party rallies.

Revealed ... VP Biden still an idiot

Reveals (no longer) secret bunker location in public speech. Forget secret bunker, this man needs a "Cone of Silence."

UPDATE: Another Biden gaffe - on stimulus bill unemployment projections - "Everyone Guessed Wrong."

Dinosaur News fails to report

Via Instapundit: "Most major newspapers haven’t covered the Letterman/Palin imbroglio, and it does make me wonder whether there’s a different standard for Palin."

Leaving us with that philosophical dilemma: If an unread news media fails to report reality, did it never happen?

Another Obama "regrettable mistake"

Via Anna Z, a FoxNews reports the Uighur Gitmo detainees, released from Gitmo to Bermuda, have "said they think life in China, where they face persecution, is worse than life at Guantanamo." Now they get to wear Bermuda shorts, play golf, snorkel, and be guest workers so when you are a tourist there, you can get to meet them ... life is good:

Not every is happy with the new Bermuda residents. The Brits call Obama's fait accompli of freeing Gitmo terrorists to Bermuda "A regrettable mistake". Meanwhile, the remaining Uighurs are going to Palau, but that South Sea Island destination also seems less than enthused about bringing the Uighurs.

A murderer of a U.S. citizen is being freed from Gitmo to Saudi Arabia: "The detainee, Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair, was accused in the 1995 shooting death of William Jefferson of Camden, N.J., who was working for the United Nations at the time in Bosnia. "

This is such a happy ending for some, it's as if the War on Terror itself is on vacation. Al Qaeda could even make a terrorist recruiting ad campaign out of it: "Travel to distant places, blow things up, kill people, get transported to a tropical remote and secluded resort, experience exotic watersports with trained specialists, enjoy religiously appropriate cuisine, partake and relocate to other tropical locales."

Iranian Despots Cheat to Victory

Opponents of voter ID in Texas take note: Fraud charged in Iran's election, could it be ACORN in Iran?: "There are many allegations of election fraud mostly as a result of the failure to require photo IDs and other voter identification, which permitted multiple voting."

The Obamedia was promising us that Obama's great Cairo speech would move mountains. You even had NPR claim that Obama's speech might cause the downfall of the Iranian PM. Now it looks ... naive. All those big fat pandering lies for nothing.

UPDATE: Turmoil in Iran - Video of Tehran protests. "If the Iranian people have the courage of the electorates in Ukraine, Lebanon and Philippines, this could be the week that the three decades of Islamist terror export begins to unravel." - Hugh Hewitt.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Government health insurance relabelled "public option"

The Liberal Democrats call it "public option", typical redefining of words to make headway on the issue. It's still a bad idea ...

"government/public option" will destroy private sector insurance very soon after it passes and will push tens of millions of employed and covered Americans from the insurance plans they currently own (and generally like) into the sprawling, top-down, rationing-on-the-sly plan that is just Medicare on steroids, a "public option" that will be just as broke and just as oppressive ...
Obama's still using vague campaign rhetoric to describe the socialization of healthcare that will still will cost $600 billion in new taxes and deny people choice in healthcare down the road.

It's a deception. They want to in the end destroy private insurance.

There is still a better answer. There is a Free Market Choice Alternative.

In Defense of the Star Spangled Banner

Kinsley on a slow news day: "Let's trash our National Anthem". Great, right before Flag Day, he forgets the history of the Star Spangled Banner and wants to overturn a hymn to our national symbol and our Nation itself, for ... a Springsteen song?!? Yes, the tune is a bit difficult, but the rigor makes it a bit unique, and the words of Francis Scott Key are pure poetry. I agree with this comment:

I can't read all the comments that went before, but if someone hasn't made the point already: the anthem as sung is beautiful and captures the spirit of America perfectly. Virtually every other country in the world has an anthem that says that God loves them best, or begs God to protect them or more importantly that God protect the Dear Leaders. But not America. Our anthem simply asks a question. Can you see us, the American people, standing and bravely fighting for truths that are self-evident? Can you see that there is a better way, that freedom is possible, that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall exist as long as that flag flys? There is purpose, nobility and beauty in that message that no other song could hope to replace. No I can't hit the notes either, but we should always strive to do so.

Courtesy of the The Donovan, we also got this -

YCT against the UT Diversity-borg

Blogosphere comes out swinging (minus broken table leg) over UT speech suppression ...

As members of Young Conservatives of Texas at UT, Dustin Matocha, Tyler Norris, Josh Perry and I wished to exercise our First Amendment right to make incoming Freshmen aware that we believe a certain mandatory program within their four day orientation experience is a session of unabashed indoctrination of liberal ideas.

... and UT's orientation program would have NONE of it, so thought police action and free speech suppression ensued by UT orientation folks. Sigh, file it under 'political correctness' and remember: Diversity is ANYTHING BUT.

Dueling Best and Worsts of the Texas Lege Session

Texas Insider’s Best & Worst Legislators for 2009 - included kudos for folks like Senator Steve Ogden (R - Bryan), Senator Royce West (D - Dallas), Representative Carl Isett (R - Lubbock). This list is a bit different from the
Texas Monthly list, with for example Sen Carona on the worst list instead of the best list.

Empower Texans put out their Fiscal Responsibility Index on the legislators, and for them Rep. Christian is the Taxpayer Hero In 81st Session. Michael Sullivan noted that the "top Republicans" in the Texas Monthly's ratings list were rated WORST on the TFR scale ... "The average rating on the Fiscal Responsibility Index of the Texas Monthly "Ten Best" Republicans is a 56.25%. Big-time failing." He summarized by saying "The Texas Monthly Best & Worst lists are little more than a front for a left-wing ideological agendas". That's a similar conclusion to our previous Travis Monitor article: "It's the 10 best and worst from a bunch of liberals' point of view. They may hits some of the targets right, but it still is very biased."

Texas Monthly's Burka responded to Sullivan's taunts, but his doing so ended up making Michael Quinn Sullivan's point. Burka pointed out that he put Senator Carona in the top ten because he was in favor of the local option gas tax, because it was to them the right and courageous position. Time and again they give 'profile in courage' awards to those who are working to increase taxes and spending.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Principles of Good Governance vs Obama's BailoutNation

Principle #1: Fix what already exists before you invent something new.

Principle #2: Don't feed failure, leverage success. What's the common theme of the bailouts and our Bailout State Economy? We are feeding failures! Look at the GM bailouts then takeover: Good money thrown after bad, Government takeover and meddling in ways which hurts investors and costs billions for taxpayers. The taxpayers would have to see a huge GM turnaround to be made whole - it won't happen. Nationalizing GM may even violate GATT.

How do we pay for it? By starving (ie taxing) success! This is the "Vampire Economy", where healthy companies are made sick by the added burden of Government-sponsored unhealthy companies. Show me a business textbook and they will tell you that feeding failure and starving success is a good way to run a business into the ground. Cynicism is warranted.

The way out of the mess is to stop feeding and supporting non-viable businesses - let them fail and rebuild using private-sector money. And lower the Government burden with lower tax rates and fewer obstacles to economic activity. The point on taxes of course is that when you lower tax rates you feed the success of the economy and via that success, you lift up asset values, incomes, increase jobs and add to prosperity.

"Taking Chance" HBO Special Shows the Honors Given to Our Fallen Servicemen and Women

The movie "Taking Chance" starring Kevin Bacon, which premiered in February on HBO (HBO Films did a great job) and is now out on DVD is based on the experiences of Lieutenant Colonel Michael Strobl, USMC as he escorted the remains of Lance Corporal Chance Phelps to his family in Dubois, Wyoming in 2004 for burial.  

This is not an action war movie but rather about what happens when a fallen war hero is returned home in modern day America. The remains of any American service member has a uniformed military escort assigned to ensure they are safely delivered to the next of kin and are treated with dignity and respect along the way.  

It is a practice that is rich in tradition and rituals that honor the fallen service member and their family. During this time between Memorial Day, when the country remembers its fallen warriors, and Independence Day, when we remember what they fought to preserve, this is a good time to watch this sobering movie. 

It reveals the real America out there, the one that respects those who serve the country and honors them when they make the ultimate sacrifice. This movie will stir your own pride in your country and tug on your heart as it reveals the details of one man’s experience as a military escort. -- By Olga Rivera Lasher

Sunday, June 7, 2009

DGA sparks irony alert with demand for job-creating governance

Dem Governors Association are mocking Gov Perry and Gov Sanford for having a phone town hall on fiscal responsibility. This is run-of-the-mill double-standard partisan hypocrisy (if Dem Governors aren't doing these phone town hall doo-hickey events that Presidential candidate Howard Dean pioneered, they would be fools), but the claism to 'create jobs' and 'good governance' are so laughable I had to respond.

We shall see if the DGA web moderators are honest and brave enough to not censor my response:

"Here’s a thought: instead of catering to the extreme right-wing and trying to win a party primary, how about you, I don’t know, create jobs?"

Wow, what a keen sense of irony you've got. Maybe Governor Granholm could give Gov Perry tips on how to double Texas' low unemployment rate and turn it into massive double-digit unemployment like she accomplished. Or maybe gov Patterson could instruct Gov Sanford on how to bankrupt a state treasury. Yeah, maybe they could even have a town hall event - "How to screw up a state Government"... and to be fair, we'll even let Governator Arnold be your special guest speaker on 'how a Democrat lege can refuse to cut spending and help make a fiscal crisis into a shipwreck'.

"Governing well’s harder than appearing on talk shows and posturing for a presidential bid, but it’s what America wants and it’s what America deserves."
Let's see, Obama did the former for the past four years, but that was good then, right? Not bad?
And 'governing well' does that include losing 4 MILLION PRIVATE-SECTOR JOBS in the first 6 months of your administration, and then proposing absolutely ZERO in terms of policies that actually WORK to create private sector jobs? (And no, propping up big Government sector with $2 trillion deficit doesnt count; govt jobs are stable but its private sector jobs that have gotten whacked).

Last I heard , jobs losses are being concentrated on Republican-owned Chrysler dealerships. That would be one way to pass the buck. But it aint no way to govern.

And y'all can visit my blog to see the stunt the Texas Democrats pulled. Killed a legislative session over their opposition to ballot security via reliable IDs for voting. Coming from the land where LBJ stole an elections, thats ... FASCINATING.

The comment got posted.

Quote of the Day: Senator Jeff Sessions

"Although we sometimes take our heritage of neutral and independent judiciary for granted, the ruth is, this great tradition is under attack. And the American people are rightly concerned. ... "I fear that this 'empathy standard' is another step down the path to a cynical, relativistic, results-oriented world where words and laws have no fixed meaning; where unelected judges set policy; and where Constitutional limits on government power are ignored when they are inconvenient to the powerful." - Senator Jeff Sessions

ObamaCare Undermines 4th Amendment

The Obamacare program will be overturning HIPAA rules and invading your privacy.

Confessions of an (ex-RINO) Opportunist

Senator Specter confesses his RINO past: "I’m no longer a Republican in name only. I’m again a Democrat." Shapeshifting Specter joined the GOP as a career move in 1965:

...he was a JFK Democrat. He said he stayed in the party until after he won his first elective office — Philadelphia district attorney — on the Republican ticket in 1965 and he enrolled in the GOP after the general election.
Specter's vote for the trillion-dollar Porkulus (aka Stimulus) Bill became a bridge too far for the GOP primary voters in Pennsylvania; they got so sick of his RINO actions they were ready to toss him for conservative and genuine Republican Pat Toomey. To help his career again, he abandoned the GOP. Neither Republican not Democrat, he's an Opportunist.

His speech to the union leaders and Democrats was a post hoc admission that he'd been a RINO all along:
In a speech punctuated frequently by applause, he ticked off a list of issues — increases in the minimum wage, abortion rights, environmental protection, stem-cell research — on which he has voted with the Democrats even though he was a Republican.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Texas Monthly's Biased Best and Worst Legislator List

Texas Monthly put out their top 10 Best and Worst legislators. Someone claimed here that the Texas Monthly couldn't possibly have a liberal bias because they had Republicans on their best and worst list:

"Don't blame it on the "liberal media" either, as the "liberal media" Texas Monthly picked a Republican as the best!" ... Ha ha, very funny.

The Texas Monthly picked the most liberal Republicans - the ones who dumped Craddick and pushed the gas tax - as their 'best' and the most liberal Democrats as their 'best'. Like Senator Carona, over whom they they panted: "Despite vociferous opposition from antitax ideologues, Carona sponsored ..." See, ALL IT TAKES TO BE LOVED BY TEXAS MONTHLY IS TO PROPOSE A TAX HIKE!

Then they picked the most conservative Republicans and the most conservative Democrats as their 'worst'. One they got right was Rep Jim Dunham, for leading the 'chubbing' stunt that with fellow Democrats pretty much annihilated hundreds of bills in their desperate bid to stop a *vote* on Voter ID. But that is partly because the annihilation included a lot of liberal priorities and bills.

Here's why they hated Rep Christian, a conservative: "He unsuccessfully tried to cut all funding for the prosecutorial unit that oversees state ethics laws and shift the responsibility to the attorney general." ... wait a sec. That's the Travis DA they are talking about, you know that liberal Democrat DA Ronnie Earle (now Rosemary Lemberg) that indicted Delay years ago and has yet to give him the 'speedy trial' that any person is entitled to. You know why the Delay case won't see the light of day? Because it was a political indictment from the get-go by a partisan DA. If the shoe were on other foot, partisan Republicans indicting Democrats like that, Texas Monthly *themselves* would be clamoring for a more balanced and professional Public Integrity Unit run at the state level. It's long past time to put state-level matters in state-level hands; a county DA is not a reliable nor sufficient unbiased (since elected) special prosecutor. Get an appointed person with integrity.

Here's what they said about another worst legislator. Senator Tommy Williams: "“Be gentle,” he said, as he sat in his Capitol office a few days before sine die, telegraphing his tacit understanding that he would be on the Worst list for his contribution to the deadly voter ID debacle." ... In other words, Senator Tommy Williams wouldnt be in their gunsights were he not pushing for the dreaded Voter ID bill. Texas Monthly, BIZARRELY, puts the blame on a Republican Senator for the filibuster done by Democrats, in the House.

And so it goes. Take the Texas Monthly list with an extra large and kosher handful of salt. It's the 10 best and worst from a bunch of liberals' point of view. They may hits some of the targets right, but it still is very biased.

Obamedia Obasm - Obama deified!

Evan Thomas announces the messiah: "I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God. He’s-" (**)

(**) And let's be clear why the media is declaring him so - because the American President has decided that actually representing and standing up for the United States of America, our great sovereign nation, is too 'provincial'. Our post-modern foreign policy dispenses with the old-hat notions of American power and national security, we are now into singing the Internationale and Kumbaya with despots and countries that votes against us at the UN General Assemby. See ... "Obama is ‘we are above that now.’ We’re not just parochial, we’re not just chauvinistic, we’re not just provincial." US Apology Tours means Obama = God.

Yup, Newsweek has officially gone ... MAD ...

Unemployment hits 9.4%

The unemployment rate continued to rise, increasing from 8.9 to 9.4 percent. Steep job losses continued in manufacturing, while declines moderated in construction and several service providing industries.

The Obamedia is calling 345,000 jobs lost in a month Good news! The news is only bad, not really, really awful. That Great Depression 2.0 that they were pretending was a threat will not happen.

But here's the real story:

Look at the last row. All of the job loss in the past 6 months has been in private sector employment. 4 million jobs, a contraction of private sector jobs by a massive 4%. Obama's stimulus is doing nothing for the private sector.

Friday, June 5, 2009

PCAOB - An unnecessary evil

Steve Forbes found an evil agency in the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), a creature of the onerous regulations of Sarbanes-Oxley. They are busy-bodies that are not only non-elected, but are selected by non-elected appointees of the SEC, who are in turn vaguely accountable to sorta-nobody. Oh, and they missed the Refco blowup. Yet they indulge in unnecessary regulations of trivia like computer password security.

He said evil? I think they must have this guy running the agency ...

Intimidation and dissent-suppression of Christians

Discrimination and oppression of Christians ...in Britain?!? Yup, against people who dare to express certain moral beliefs about marriage. It's just a reminder for those who think gay marriage will be the end-game of the gay activist cause. Oh no, it won't. Dissent-suppression is next.

Will it come to the US? ... No need to ask. The Eagle Has Landed ... in CT:

The Connecticut Office of State Ethics (OSE) is poised to investigate and penalize the Diocese of Bridgeport for having the temerity to exercise at least four of the five sections of the First Amendment (religion, speech, assembly, petition).

The story begins earlier this year when Connecticut State Senator Andrew McDonald proposed legislation (S. 1098) that would have forced the Catholic Church, contrary to the church’s doctrine, to relinquish control of parish finances ... Naturally the church opposed this incursion into its governance and doctrine, with the Bishop urging Catholics to contact their legislators and the Church supporting a mass rally in the state capital. ...

The subtext to all this is that the underlying legislation itself appears to be retaliation for the Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage (Sen. McDonald and lead Connecticut House sponsor Rep. Michael Lawler are both gay).

Way to go, cultural Marxists!

GoodSites: StateSurge, Tech Liberation Front

A site worth following: Tech Liberation Front

Follow the progress of legislation on State Surge ... including gems like State Senator Zaffirini putting a bill in to wish her 8-year-old nephew a Happy Birthday: "SR 436 - Texas: Recognizing Brennan Kale Mohrer on the occasion of his eighth birthday."

Thoughts on Obama's Muslim Speech

My main take was that it was the speech we might expect of a UN Secretary-General, not a US President. It was a 'missed opportunity' in that it failed to stand up for US positions and our allies.

More in my Comment to Rick Moran's review:

“I was insufficiently harsh and brutal on the president, on Muslims, and on the media.” No - Just the President. He is way-UNDER-criticized by the fawning lamestreamers in the media, that it doesnt hurt to ask - “To what end? What is his goal here? What did it/ will it accomplish?” He needs a kick in the pants and needs to stop being graded on his intentions (as if ANY President doesnt have good intentions) and START grading him on RESULTS.

For example this comment: “President Obama decided to tempt the fates, grab history by the tail, and take on a task from which Hercules himself would have shied away: changing the perception of how the United States is viewed in the Muslim world.”

Um, sorry, but … rubbish. GHWBush tried to change perceptions - Oslo accords. Clinton tried as well - He had Arafat over for a visit. GWBush after 9/11 directly addressed Arab people, gave a famous speech on democracy …
Yes, Obama has uniquely decided to talk directly to foreign audiences, in a way not much seen since Reagan in ‘tear down that wall’ mode. That innovation is different and would be useful, if it was put to good use with a message that gave an American message in a palatable way to Muslim audiences. But it wasnt (see below). In other words, lets stop giving this nonsensical “oh, he’s trying so that means it must be some good.” So was Bush and I never heard his great efforts to move the ball on democracy in Arab countries win plaudits ‘for effort’. Results count. WE didnt grade previous presidents on effort, lets not do it here.

There was too much in Obama’s speech that was flat-out false and fatuous that it rendered it useless to the job of winning Muslims audiences to OUR side. Rather, it simple ingratiated Obama with them by pandering to their preconceived notions, except in a few places, where the push was soft the point of not-being-there.

Obama comes off as sounding more like a candidate for UN secretary-general than a US President, not *challenging* these foreign audiences to respect serious truths about terrorism and freedom and democracy, but pandering to them by flattering them with white lies (eg his hyperbole about Islamic science is nonsense that comes straight out from pro-muslim propaganda PR) that elided the essential problems and challenges they face. In short, pandering aint leadership nor statesmanship. Its just pandering, and unless he’s running for mayor of Cairo one has to ask “To what end?”

The hammer-hits-nail part of Moran’s analysis was this: “while forcing them to listen to a few (too few, as it turned out) truths about Islam and the threat of extremists”

TOO FEW. Indeed. Not a ‘great speech’ or even good speech. But a missed opportunity

To put an analogy on it: Obama could flatter a black American audience with a message akin to Al Sharpton’s, or he could challenge them with the tough love of a Bill Cosby message. One might get more applause, but which one would do most good?

I saw the comment ’stupid and dangerous’ as one reaction. It fits. The stupid part is how Obama in effect distanced himself from America - “Hey those bad Americans did that, its not me” - in an attempt to curry favor. So the muslim world will like HIM, but it will not necessarily cause the NEEDED self-examination nor look differently or more positively at what USA is doing. The dangerous part was the false moral equivalences that will - if taken seriously - put America in a rhetorical and policy box when facing real threats. Is he serious that Iran has the same rights to nuclear technology as the USA? Will his false moral equivalences move us closer? Not really because it panders to the most resistant and stubborn in the Arab world.

“All in all, it really was a quite forgettable speech domestically except for the objectionable parts. ” - I agree. In catering to the muslim audiences, Obama has said many things (again!) that raise hairs on spine back home.