No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

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Archive for July, 2009

July 31, 2009

The LA Police Acting “Stupidly”?

Or the natives are even more restlesser?

Police called on retirees at senator’s LA office

What can we Learn From CARS?

I learned a lot working on the cars of my youth.  Through experiences, some coached by my Dad, I became a pretty fair diagnoser and mechanic  parts replacer.  I worked on them through the 80’s model years as things started getting more complicated.  By model years of the mid 90’s there was hardly anything I could get at without highly specialized tools, arms that had no less than 4 joints or an MBA in autos.  I realized that the job had gotten more complicated than what I could focus on or had time for so I turned it over to the professionals.

This morning it’s being reported that CARS, Car Allowance Rebate System or the “Cash for clunkers program” has likely run out of money and will be shut down. 

Didn’t the CARS program just get launched?  Yes it did!

The program launched July 25th and was expected to last until November 1st.  It appears that the money has been used so fast that what was supposed to last 90+ days, won’t last 9 days!  In typical government response, rather than saying “oops, we screwed up” they say:

“assess the situation facing what is obviously an incredibly popular program. Auto dealers and consumers should have confidence that all valid CARS transactions that have taken place to date will be honored.”

In other words, “we screwed up and are looking for a way to put lipstick on this pig!”

So what can we learn from CARS?

First, the government has no ability to guage, estimate and appropriately fund, even a simple program like CARS.  They had $1 billion slated for this program to support the sale of 250,000 cars.  There are 23,000 auto dealers.  That means that each car dealership was alloted the average of 11 cars to be sold under this program.  With $4,500 going out for each vehicle does it even pass the smell test that it would take longer than 3 months for the average dealer to sell 11 vehicles under this program?  Actually, I’m surprised the program has lasted 6 days with all of the advertising and pre notice their was on this program.

Second, the government really doesn’t know if they are out of money or not.  They know that about 25,000 cars have been sold under this program, they are estimating the remainder.  The estimation is required because there are:

large backlogs in the processing of the deals in the government system.

This is incredible!  how difficult is it to track these sales?  Beyond name, address, vin of the vehicle you traded in and the one you bought and verification of the qualifying vehicles (another story to be told as the list changed daily), how much is required? 

Finally, the solution, as with all government programs is not to say “we screwed up.”  The solution being proposed is to throw even more money at the government screw up:

Lawmakers said they would try to find additional funding for the program, which under the legislation could grow to $4 billion for the funding of up to 1 million new car sales.

The government can’t successfully administer a program like CARS but continue to insist that they can run the entire medical industry. 

The government can’t manage a budget of $1 billion but claim to be able to manage a budget that is at least 16% of our entire economy.

Finally, the government can’t develop a demand curve for a few vehicles, missing it by a factor of multiple X, but assuredly tell us that they know that they will only spend $1.6 Trillion extra to take over all of health care…Yeah right!

I learned through my experiences, that there is a time for amatures to step aside and let the professionals handle the job.  During this recess we need to be telling our Congressional amatures to step aside and medical professionals handle their job!

Ouch!

When even the New York Slimes can ‘t jury rig a poll to get the results close to favorable you know your plan is in trouble….BIG trouble!

The New York Times/CBS poll shows:

  • Sixty-nine percent of respondents believe Obama’s plan will hurt the quality of their own healthcare. 
  • Seventy-three percent believe it would limit their access to tests and treatment. 
  • Sixty-two percent believe Democrats’ proposals would require them to change doctors. 
  • Seventy-six believe healthcare reform will lead to them paying higher taxes. 
  • A whopping 77 percent expect their healthcare costs to rise.

Not only is this not close, this is a landslide against The Won’s policy.  This explains why Barry has been a bit off his game and testier than normal as of late.

July 30, 2009

Good-bye FeedDemon, hello RSS Bandit

by @ 21:15. Filed under The Blog.

I started using FeedDemon as my RSS reader shortly after I signed up for NewsGator to help Sister Toldjah troubleshoot some problems she had with NewsGator Online. For a long time, it worked rather well. Lately, FeedDemon, actually its underlying NewsGator Online interface, had not been updating nearly as often as it should. I stuck with it because that was still the best RSS reader I knew.

Now, however, a pair of items has caused me to dump FeedDemon entirely. First, NewsGator Online is disappearing. That means that FeedDemon will instead be synchronizing with Google Reader, and if I ever bothered to fire up the NewsGator Go on the “smart”phone, that would be no more.

That’s all well and good because Google Reader updates far more reliably than NewsGator has lately, except the second change as part of FeedDemon caused me to dump it entirely. There is now a rather large and obtrusive rotating ad as part of the new software, with no real plans to take it out (supposedly the creator of FeedDemon is considering removing it from a paid version, but with these economic times, I’d rather not pay).

Fortunately, there is an answer that will allow me to keep things synched between at least between the desktop and the laptop – RSS Bandit. It’s not quite as convenient as FeedDemon was, but it gets the job done. Bonus item that I missed when I finally abandoned SharpReader – it shows link relationships.

Yes, the internal browser uses the IE engine rather than the Firefox one, but that’s the breaks.

Embargoed!

by @ 14:08. Filed under Obama worship, Politics - National.

One of the advantages of working with a blogging powerhouse like No Runny Eggs is the vast number of relationships that NRE has throughout all levels of the Federal and various State’s governments.  One of the benefit of these relationships is that on occasion, we receive advance copies of press releases, speeches and prepared statements.  Typically when we receive one of these advance copies they will be embargoed.  Embargoed simply means that we can’t share the information with the public until after a date and time that is specified on the document.

President Obama, Henry Gates and Officer Crowley will be meeting this evening.  They’ll be having a beer and discussing race relations.  The White House staff has already sent out a press release as a follow up to the meeting.  This piece has been embargoed until 7:30 PM Eastern but with the increased concern that President Obama has with race relations I think it’s important for you to get this information sooner rather than later:

Press Release

Office of the President of the United States

Embargoed until July 30, 2009  7:30 PM Eastern

Following his meeting with the distinguished professor Henry Gates and Sargent James Crowley, President Obama had the following comments:

“Today I met with the distinguished professor Henry Gates and Sargent James Crowley.  We each had a beer.

Professor Gates had a Red Stripe, Sargent Crowley had a Blue Moon and I had a Bud Lite.

We talked about the incident that Professor Gates and Sargent Crowley were involved in.  We talked about my comments on the incident.  Each of us agreed that the other two could have done a better job.

We all feel good about our discussions and I am particularly pleased with how my Presidency has been able to move the discussion of race relations to this point of closure.  In fact, I’m so pleased with our progress, that as it regards my goals of solving race relation problems during my Presidency, I am happy to declare:”

Mission Accomplished

Beer, Brilliant!

by @ 10:13. Filed under Obama worship, Politics - National.

Today’s the day that President Obama, Henry Gates and Officer Crowley will sit at a picnic table on the White House lawn and sip beers.

This may be the biggest risk of Obama’s young administration.

As I posted yesterday, Rasumussen Reports shows that a plurality of Americans believe that President Obama sees our society as something other than the fair, open society that most Americans believe it is.  President Obama reinforced that perception in his original response to the Gates situation.  As a result of this perception, President Obama will walk a very very fine line during his meeting.

If President Obama is perceived to have gone “over the thin blue line” as he addresses Officer Crowley he will further reinforce people’s perception that he ascribes to the vitriolic rhetoric of Jeremiah Wright and as we’ve now learned, statements made by Henry Gates himself.  If Obama is perceived to have not supported a “brotha in the struggle” he risks putting a chink in the solid support the African American community has provided him thus far. 

As an aside, the last group Obama can’t afford losing support from is the African American community.  As Rasmussen reports Obama now has his lowest favorability and highest negative ratings to date.  The only group who hasn’t started to defect from him are African Americans.  If they start to slide, hello 40% favorability rating, goodbye Obama agenda!

If Obama comes out of his beer bash with nothing but “we laughed, we cried, we drank beer,” he will be seen as having responded to his own stupid gaff with nothing more than another self focused media moment. 

Regardless of what does or doesn’t happen at this meeting, this was a dumb idea.  In the world of politics you need to look at the value of each engagement asking “What is the upside” and “What is the downside”.  In the case of this meeting, there is very little, if any upside and more than a modest opportunity to further harm his polling numbers.

Obama has proven time and again that he believes his personality and persona can save him from any real challenge or difficulty.  Responding, “Beer?  Brilliant!” when this meeting was suggested may be a response he’ll look back on and wish he hadn’t said.

Open Thread Thursday – EAA edition

by @ 6:43. Filed under Open Thread Thursday.

I’m headed up to EAA AirVenture with a few good friends, Asian Badger, Chad Hohner and Nick Schweitzer. If everything doesn’t get completely soaked, I should have some pics up either at the end of the day or (more likely) tomorrow.

Good thing it’s Thursday; that means it’s Open Thread Thursday where I try to get you to call the shots and pick up on what Shoebox and I have missed.

July 29, 2009

Wednesday Hot Read – Michelle Malkin’s “Bully boys: A brief history of White House thuggery”

by @ 14:32. Filed under Politics - National.

Michelle Malkin has a lengthy overview of the ways the ObamiNation has tried to shut up its critics. The open regarding the Congressional Budget Office illustrates what the Chicago Way really is:

Six months into the Obama administration, it should now be clear to all Americans: Hope and Change came to the White House wrapped in brass knuckles.

Ask the Congressional Budget Office. Last week, President Obama spilled the beans on the Today Show that he had met with CBO director Douglas Elmendorf – just as the number-crunchers were casting ruinous doubt on White House cost-saving claims. Yes, question the timing. The CBO is supposed to be a neutral score-keeper – not a water boy for the White House. But when the meeting failed to stop the CBO from issuing more analysis undercutting the health care savings claims, Obama’s budget director Peter Orszag played the heavy.

Orszag warned the CBO in a public letter that it risked feeding the perception that it was “exaggerating costs and underestimating savings.” Message: Leave the number-fudging to the boss. Capiche?

With a tip of the cap to Dafydd ab Hugh, we can add one more item – the stripping of diplomatic visas from members of Honduras’ government (which Ed Morrissey notes was done at the urging of the dictator-wannabe Mel Zelaya), while at the same time considering diplomatic outreach to the Taliban. Dafydd also has the motto of the ObamiNation – “Keep your enemies close, and your mortal enemies actually in bed with you.”

I Guess This is the end of the Post Racial Presidency!

by @ 13:20. Filed under Obama worship, Politics - National.

A part of the Barack Obama campaign schtick was that by electing him, a black individual, the country would heal and move beyond racial divides.  It appears there are a couple of problems with that notion.

First, for the country to move beyond a racial divide by electing Obama, one would have to believe that there is a racial divide to be moved beyond.  Second, one would have to believe that Obama himself had moved beyond it and would be able to show others the way.  Based on recent polling by Rasmussen Reports, at least the second proposition appears to not be believed by the American public.

While Rasumussen Reports says that 69% of people polled believe that the American society is fair and consistent across races, a plurality of 49% believe that President Obama views America as unfair and discriminatory.  Of note is that this is the first time since Rasmussen has polled the question that more respondents noted Obama with this view.  Also of note, the most recent poll was taken on the heels of Obama’s comment saying the Cambridge police acted stupidly with regards to Henry Gates.

You can see the video of Rasmussen’s findings on this poll here:  Rasmussen Morning Update

The Language of Victim Mentality

by @ 5:39. Filed under Politics - National.

One of the definitions of victim at Dictionary.com is:

a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance.

Everyday bad things happen to people.  Most people take accountability for the involvement they had in causing said bad things, learn from it and move ahead with their life.  A few people however, are unable to believe that their own actions ever result in bad things happening.  They view all bad experiences as having been imposed on them by some other person without any accountability for their own actions.  Additionally, this latter group, through their own actions, escalate situations that should have never been more than an inconvenience, into situations where they attempt to position themselves as victims rather than the person or persons who actually were the victim.  This latter group of people are referred to as having a “victim mentality.” 

Sometimes it is tough to tell the difference between true victims and those with a victim mentality.  However, if you pay close attention you will find that those with a “victim mentality” have a consistent and predictable

The first recorded event of “victim mentality” was in the Bible, specifically Genesis 3.  This is the chapter where Eve, having ignored the rule that God gave her, listened to the serpent and ate from the Tree of Life.  When God questioned Eve about her eating from the tree she responded:

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?” 

 The woman said, “The serpent tricked me. That’s why I ate the fruit.”

The second recorded event of “victim mentality” is also in the Bible.  In the chapter following Eve’s victimhood, we read the story of Cain and Abel.  Cain killed his brother Abel because he was jealous of the favorable response God had given Abel’s offering.  The exchange between God and Cain about the murder is recorded as:

9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I supposed to look after my brother?”

In both of these examples the guilty party was caught by a wise observer (God) and they knew it.  In both cases the guilty party was deceived by their own “emotions or ignorance” and their own resulting actions made them a victim.  Finally, in both cases, the “victims” attempted to deflect responsibility by trying to move the focus off of themselves.

Over the weekend, after President Obama stupidly made his stupidity comment about the Cambridge police department, the police reports became public and other evidence of corroboration of Officer Crowley’s version of events became evident, Henry Gates realized he had been caught by wise observers and that he had been deceived by his own emotions.  How do I know that Gates realized his mistake?  I know it because Gates used the language of victim mentality.

Go back and reread the response from Eve and Cain.  In both cases, when they were caught dead to rights they responded with the language of the victim mentality.  In both cases, as Eve and Cain attempted to deflect the responsibility from themselves to someone or something else, they responded with a version of “it’s not about me!”

When Henry Gates was caught in his moment of excessive self importance he ultimately attempted to deflect the situation with:

“in the end, this is not about me at all.”

Not about me?  As with Eve or Cain’s indiscretion, the situation with Gates wouldn’t even exist if it hadn’t been caused by his actions, of course this is about him!  For him to suggest that is about “all black men” or anything else other than his own actions is self delusional.

While I’m on the topic of those with victim mentalities, let’s go back a week to President Obama’s national presser.  As he began to see the lug nuts loosen on the delivery wagon of health care reform, Obama decided to attempt to persuade the nation that his view was the correct one.  As he again attempted to deride Republicans (whose votes shouldn’t matter if he’d get his own party in line), he slipped this in:

He referred to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who had said that if Obama could be stymied on healthcare, “it will break him.”

“This isn’t about me,” the president said.

Wow, there are the magic words again!

Yes, Obama is an egotist.  Yes, he’s an incredible narcissist.  But, think about how often you’ve heard Obama deflecting responsibility for his own actions onto someone else.  Does this ring a bell; “…I inherited from the previous administration.” 

Yes, Obama carries a deep seated victim mentality.  How do I know?  Just listen for him to use the language of victim mentality.

July 28, 2009

Expiration date – nuclear edition

by @ 16:36. Filed under Energy, Politics - National.

(H/T – RadicalRon)

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the Department of Energy rejected USEC’s $2 billion loan-guarantee application for The American Centrifuge project, a uranium gas-centrifuge enrichment facility, despite a campaign-era pledge from Barack Obama to support said guarantee. USEC CEO John K. Welch claims that the program met the original intent of the DOE loan-guarantee program; of course, that was before Obama actually became President.

I would have simply wrote it off to the Obama administration’s hatred of American nuclear power and the expiration of yet another campaign promise, but in the course of confirming that gas-centrifuge technology is how the Iranians are working at getting nuclear weapons, I discovered that not only is it considered the enrichment method of the future, with Russia, Japan, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands adopting it, there is a second gas-centrifuge project from Louisiana Energy Services, the National Enrichment Facility.

So, what are the differences between LES and USEC? I haven’t been able to determine whether LES also applied for loan guarantees, but there are two differences between the two companies. First, LES is a wholly-owned subsidiary of European URENCO, while USEC is a Maryland company. Second, there is a donation difference between the officers of LES and the officers of USEC. The USEC donation list is rather Republican-heavy, and features donations from Welch to John McCain. Meanwhile, the LES donation list is rather Democrat-heavy, and features a max-amount donation from PR head Brenda Brooks to Obama.

Revisions/extensions (11:10 pm 7/28/2009) - Fixed the link back to JammieWearingFool.

July 27, 2009

No Crisis? No Problem!

by @ 5:02. Filed under Health.

Reuters is providing an update from the Center for Disease Control on the spread of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus.  According to this article, the swine flu continues to be a significant issue for US health.

In the article the CDC refers to this as “Just the tip of the iceberg” with this explanation:

The CDC said 43,771 cases of H1N1 influenza had been officially confirmed, with 302 deaths.

“But … that’s really just the tip of the iceberg,” Schuchat said. “We believe there have been well over 1 million cases of the new H1N1 virus so far in the United States.”

And if that doesn’t yet concern you enough, the CDC is now telling us that getting the flu during the summer is a real problem:

“I think this is very unusual to have this much transmission of influenza during the (summer) and I think it’s a testament to how susceptible people are to this virus.”

Amidst continuing references to a swine flu pandemic and urges for immunization of the total US population, the Center for Disease Control inserts this little comment:

the CDC would no longer report cases and was working on better ways to estimate how many people had been infected.

I’m confused.  With all the concern and intimation that this is a crisis in the making, why would the CDC quit counting cases to replace them with estimates?  The answer may lie here:

Influenza chart

Huh, the current year doesn’t look a whole lot different than the previous years.  In fact, doesn’t the graph for this year look like we have a lower percentage of deaths due to the flu, than we did at any comparable time last year?

I’m not normally a big conspiracy guy but this one has me scratching my head.  The only reason I could see to rely on estimates rather than the hard numbers is if the hard numbers don’t support the crisis that you need to remain relevant. 

While Rahm Emanuel believes that no crisis should go wasted, it appears that the CDC believes that if there isn’t crisis, don’t worry, we’ll report one anyway!

July 26, 2009

Pragmatist or True Ideologue?

We’ll find out this week whether President Obama has a pragmatic side or whether he is the true ideologue that all actions to date, suggest he is.

Today’s Rasmussen Reports poll shows Obama with his most negative rating yet, -11. Because Rasmussen uses a 3 day rolling average, today is the first day that the poll is made up entirely of polls made post Obama’s attempt to explain that he wasn’t planning to do what he is planning to do. This would also suggest that tomorrow’s poll, based on a 3 day average, will be even lower than today’s unless today’s polling results are dramatically improved.

The question now is whether the sudden drop in the poll is a recognition that Obama is either lying or clueless as to what is in the health care bill or whether Obama’s remarkable prime time embracing of Reverend Wright’s “The Man is keeping us down” philosophy is the cause for the sudden and dramatic decline.  I suspect it’s a bit of both.  However, with Obama’s polls sliding even before the presser, it’s likely the health care issue that is leading the charge.

If Obama is the pragmatist that those who bought into his campaign schtick believe, we should see a recognition this week that the health care reform bill needs not tweaking, but a reform of its own.  If however, Obama is the egotist and idealogue that most of us believe he is we should see a week where Nancy Pelosi and Denny Hoyer may even go so far as to bypass House committees to force a floor vote.  Either way, this should be a fun week to watch Washington!

Time to start popping some popcorn!

July 25, 2009

Move Over Adam Smith

In his weekly radio address, President Obama shocked the American public with the results of a study that will dramatically change not only the health care discussion but in fact, will likely change the foundation of all economic theory more than anything since Adam Smith identified “The invisible hand”:

Obama released a study today by the White House Council of Economic Advisers that concluded that many of the nation’s 27 million small businesses don’t have the bargaining power of corporations and as a result pay as much as 18 percent more for employee health insurance plans.

Oh my goodness!  Say it ain’t so!

Someone, or a company that buys a few of something is paying more for each of those items than someone who buys many of those same items? 

With this new information I have to wonder whether the local burger joint we frequent might be paying more for their hamburger than McDonalds? 

Is it possible that I pay more for raw chicken wings than the folks at Buffalo Wild Wings?  Is it true even if I buy my wings at Sam’s Club?  If so, I’m clearly being gouged!

Warning, extreme sarcasm alert.

I have to say that I am a bit skeptical of the report that President Obama references.  After all, the White House Council of Economic Advisers is led by Christina Romer who we all know from my previous posts, has research that says that tax cuts are more effective than government spending in stimulating the economy and that stimulus programs always fail for a host of reasons.  Clearly, with President Obama declaring “Mission accomplished” on the economy just this week, Ms. Romer’s research is highly suspect!

We now return you to our normal level of sarcasm.

I’d like to say that I’m somehow shocked or just surprised at the lack of economic understanding that Obama has.  I’d like to say that, but clearly when Obama oversees a  government that thinks paying twice the going rate of the local grocery store for ham purchases is OK, I’m not.

July 24, 2009

Bring It On!

by @ 13:51. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - National.

Feeling his oats from the passage of Cap and Tax, Henry Waxman is now threatening to bypass the Blue Dogs on his committee and go straight to a house floor vote for “The Final Solution”:

However, Waxman has threatened to force a floor vote to break the impasse within Democratic ranks on President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

With all of the negatives on “The Final Solution” and now on Obama’s handling of nearly every issue, I say “Bring it on baby!”

If “The Final Solution”, in it’s current form goes to the House floor one of two things will happen.  Either the Blue Dogs will revolt and Pelosi along with The Won will be dealt a serious jot of mortality or the Democrats will pass this bill without any Republican support.  In either event if this bill gets a vote before the recess, anyone who votes for it will want to avoid any of those troublesome town hall type of meetings.  Congressional folks who vote for this bill will wish they had gotten as nice a reception as some of those I documented earlier this week.

Come on Nancy, what are you waiting for?  Make our day!

Franking censorship

by @ 13:24. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - National.

(H/T – Jazz Shaw)

Propagandists the world over have learned that controlling the language of the debate is essential to controlling the outcome of the debate. Traditionally, members of Congress have been allowed to use whatever verbiage they choose in official communications with their consitutents. However, a pair of decisions from the Franking Commission, which oversees said communications, has sent a chilling effect into the debate:

  • First, they prevented Republican members from including the following chart produced by the Republicans on the Joint Economic Committee that shows the 31 new federal programs, agencies, commissions and mandates that are part of the House health care “reform” plan:


    (Click for the full-sized version)

  • Now, they told Rep. John Carter (R-TX) that the phrases “government-run health care” and “House Democrats” can no longer be used in official mailings or recordings for telephone town-halls, with the only allowable description of the plan being “public option health care plan” and the only allowable description of the House Democrats “House majority”.

Jazz points out that, while Republicans ran the House, he received official mailings from his Congressman that used the phrase, “The Invasion and Occupation of Iraq,” with no attempt by the Republicans to stop the use of that. I can imagine the outrage had the Republicans decided that the only allowable verbiage was the official “Operation Iraqi Freedom”.

What’s next? The Franking Commission, or another entity, telling candidates what they can and cannot say?

Red-on-red health care opposition

by @ 12:58. Filed under Health Care Reform, Politics - National.

My friends at the American Issues Project are spotlighting the House Democrats who have come out against ObamaCare. So far, they’ve got:

  • Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA), who realizes that tax increases on small businesses won’t help those small businesses to offer health care they can’t afford to offer now.
  • Rep. Mike Arcuri (D-NY), who wants more time to get his constituents involved.
  • Rep. John Boccieri (D-OH) who recognizes that his constituents don’t like a government-run plan, especially one that includes a tax increase.

They’ll continue to feature Democrats who see that light of ObamaCare as an onrushing train rather than the end of the tunnel.

Eau de Cadillac

by @ 11:30. Tags:
Filed under Business, Politics - National.

The editorial writers at Investor’s Business Daily slice and dice the first significant post-bankruptcy move by Government Motors – “Cadillac, the new fragrance for men”. That’s right – if you can’t afford a new car, at least you can smell like one (or more likely, just plain smell).

Seriously, there are two GMs – the one that saw a 22% drop in sales for the first 6 months in the US, and the one that saw serious growth nearly everywhere else on the globe. GM sales in China grew by 38%, and sales in several Latin American countries set records. I do discount the market-share growth in Europe, as GM has shed or is about to shed its two major European brands, Opel and Saab.

The money quote from IBD – “We hope GM can survive in the U.S. But we rather doubt it can with a management that thinks that perfume will cover up the stink of political meddling and the lingering bad odor of its ruinous retirement and health care costs.”

Those who loathe victory and country…

by @ 11:09. Filed under Politics - National.

Warner Todd Huston has a tour de force on Barack Obama’s assertation that “victory” isn’t his goal in Afghanistan:

It is telling that when Barack Obama pictures “victory” he doesn’t see in his head that famous photo of the U.S. Sailor kissing the pretty girl in Times Square on Victory Day. Instead, what is immediately conjured up in Obama’s mind is the bedraggled figure of a beaten Japanese Emperor groveling at the feet of U.S. military might.

Obama’s sympathy is with the Emperor that governed a nation that tried to viciously take over the entire Pacific Rim and enslave many millions of Asian peoples. Obama’s first thought when the word “victory” is broached is of our enemy, his sympathies with them, not us. In fact, he seemed to even find disdain for our own military hero that took that surrender.

But that isn’t even the worst of it. Once again we see another example of Obama’s ignorance of history, even American history. In fact, Emperor Hirohito didn’t even sign the document that finalized the surrender of Japan to General MacArthur. That duty was performed by Japan’s Foreign Minister, Shigemitsu, and one of its generals, Umezu.

In fact, we didn’t destroy Japan’s Emperor and allowed him to continue on in a ceremonial role to allow the Japanese to feel as if they hadn’t been entirely crushed and that some of their traditions might live on.

This is doubly-disturbing, because Michael Yon reports that the Japanese, who have been one of America’s closest allies since the end of World War II, have been doing some of the heaviest reconstructive lifting in Afghanistan.

If those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, what is in store for those who loathe it and country?

Oh Noooooooo!

siren_animatedThe clay-mation President has some problems.  Drudge is reporting that today’s Rasmussen approval rating will show President Obama under 50% approval.  Notably, this is the first poll taken since Obama had his prime time presser trying to sell his health plan.

I think we have a problem Houston!

Revisions/extensions (8:39 am 7/24/2009 – steveegg) - And the news is all negative for The Won. 51% of those in the three-day rolling-average Presidential Tracking Poll disapprove of Obama’s job performance, with 49% approving. The Presidential Approval Index (those strongly approving less those strongly disapproving) is at -8. Independents only give Obama a 37% approval.

Rasmussen further notes that 2/3rds of the results are from before the Epic FAIL of a press conference on Wednesday. I can’t wait until Sunday, when we get a fully-post-presser view.

No more Bees

by @ 7:09. Filed under Sports.

DeWalt will not be back on the #17 Roush Fenway Ford driven by Matt Kenseth next year. That ends a 10-year relationship with Roush/Roush Fenway, and an 11-year relationship with Kenseth.

Roush Fenway needs to lose a team after this season to get down to the Hendrick-standard 4 teams. Kenseth does have a multi-year deal with Roush Fenway, along with Greg Biffle (whose sponsor, 3M, is not signed beyond 2009) and Carl Edwards (whose sponsor, Aflac, is signed through 2011). David Ragan and Jamie McMurray are currently signed only through 2009, though Ragan’s sponsor, UPS, does have a multi-year deal with Roush Fenway. Let the speculation begin.

Post-partisan starting to lose bipartisan support

by @ 6:00. Filed under Politics - National.

(H/T – Sammy)

Fox News released their latest Opinion Dynamics poll, and there’s some rather interesting numbers buried within it:

  • Despite independents still giving President Obama a positive job approval rating (54% approve/36% disapprove, with the overall at 54% approve/38% disapprove) and a positive personal favorable rating (64% favorable/28% unfavorable), they don’t like the way he’s gone about health care reform (38% approve/41% disapprove) or the economy (46% approve/46% disapprove).
  • The Democrat-led Congress barely has a plurality of Democrats approving of their job performance (47% approve/42% disapprove), with 66% of independents and 76% of Republicans disapproving.
  • Independents don’t have a favorable view of either party, with the Democratic Party earning a 44% unfavorable (for a plurality) and the Republican Party earning a 55% unfavorable.
  • No group thinks Congress has a clear plan for fixing the economy, with 58% of Democrats, 80% of independents, and 86% of Republicans saying no.
  • Over 90% of each of the three groups believes that Congress should read the bills they consider, even if they’re thousands of pages long.
  • Vast majorities of each of the three groups (76% of Democrats, 83% of independents, and 87% of Republicans) want Congress and the President to be in the same government-run health-insurance plan that may be passed as everybody else.

That tracks with a Rasmussen poll Shoebox found that found 69% of Republicans and 58% of independents believe Obama is governing in a partisan rather than a bipartisan manner. The odd thing is that 36% of Democrats agree.

Revisions/extensions (8:59 am 7/24/2009) - I should know better than to write late at night; had to correct a rather embarrassing typographical error in the last paragraph.

First Star on the Right, Straight on ’til Morning!

by @ 5:23. Filed under Health Care Reform.

Yesterday, President Obama, the boy who wouldn’t grow up, told reporters that the “stars are aligned” for passing health care reform.  Of course, that was before the President had yet another presser where he blamed everyone but himself for a growing list of failures.

Obama’s confidence seemed to into reality today as Harry Reid said that the Senate would have no vote before the August recess.  Additionally, Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that she has the votes seems to have some real question.  Pelosi had what was described as “the most contentious whip meeting” yet as she tried to find a way to get a bill to the floor for a vote.

On the public front Obama is also losing steam.  First, Obama’s fourth prime time presser had the lowest public participation yet. Last night’s presser didn’t manage to gain even 1/2 of the folks who watched the Obama’s first presser. Second, Rasmussen Reports now says that 53% of Americans are against health care reform.  More importantly, as more information is coming out on the various proposals, that number is rising quickly as it rose 8% in less than a month.  Also, the number of people strongly opposed to the plans out numbers those who strongly favor the plan by more than 50%! If that isn’t bad enough, the veneer is now off Obama as 53% of Americans now believe that he is governing as a partisan!

All of these things leave me asking; if this is Obama’s view of the “stars aligning”, will he end up looking like Nostradamus or the Prince of Neverland?

Obama pan

Revisions/extensions (5:23 am 7/24/2009, or at least that’s the time stamp I’m giving it – steveegg) - Sammy found some rather interesting numbers in the current Fox News Opinion Dynamics poll that show the same thing:

  • A plurality of independents (41%) and majority of Republicans (60%) think Congress is moving too quickly on health care.
  • An effective majority of independents (50%) and a supermajority of Republicans (78%) would rather see Congress do nothing on health care than pass major reforms this year.
  • A plurality of independents (43%; skewed by the fact that 24% didn’t know what they thought) and a supermajority of Republicans (80%) oppose the plans before Congress.
  • The reason why I say that the mere plurality of opposition to the plan under consideration is skewed by ignorance is 51% of independents oppose creation of a government-run insurance option that competes with private insurance, an effective majority of 50% of independents say that it is not the role of federal government to provide universal health care, and 59% of independents would rather be in the current privately-run health care system rather than a government-run one.

I guess the only star that The Won is looking at is the clock, and it’s looking like that’s running out.

July 23, 2009

Standing up – okay for roller coasters, not good for airplanes

by @ 16:30. Filed under Business.

(H/T – Fausta)

The WSJ’s Real Time Economics blog has a real stinker of an idea from Ireland’s Ryanair – “vertical seating” on its fleet. Presumably, since there would be requirements for passenger restraint, the “seats” would look a lot like stand-up roller coaster “seats”, with a seat-like appendage at the bottom designed more to prevent submarining below the over-the-shoulder restraint system than actual sitting.

I can see a whole host of problems with this one:

  • Since the goal would be to increase capacity by 50-60 on Boeing 737-sized aircraft, the additional weight of both the “seats” and the passengers would be very detrimental to both the range and the luggage-carrying capacity of the aircraft.
  • Again given the increased capacity, there would not be room to store carry-on luggage under the seat. Combined with the necessity to get rid of overhead bins for height clearance, there would not be such a thing as carry-on luggage.
  • Speaking of height, the very-short (mostly children), the very-tall, the very-heavy and the very-buxom would likely be excluded from air travel.
  • The seat-like appendage will get a wee bit uncomfortable for the male population rather quickly, for obvious reasons.
  • A somewhat-similar problem would exist for the skirt-wearing population, especially if there needs to be a strap connecting the seat-like appendage to the over-the-shoulder restraint.

Their fellow countrymen (or at least some “brilliant” Madison Avenue ad agency) already conceptualized this in between hangovers…
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybz0265w6R4[/youtube]

Hot Read Thursday – Emperor Misha I’s “Taking the Fisk to King Hussein”

by @ 7:22. Filed under Politics - National.

Emperor Misha I had way too much fun fisking Obama’s press conf…er, pre-packaged propaganda piece. Let’s see if I can offer up a tasty, yet safe-for-work treat for you (editor’s note; since this theme doesn’t do double-blockquotes all that well, I put the second blockquote in regular quotes):

“where we’ve watched our graduation rates lag behind too much of the world,”

So you’re going to endorse school vouchers, disband the public school system and shut down the teachers’ unions? Great!

“and where we spend much more on health care than any other nation, but aren’t any healthier for it.”

…which explains why everybody is coming to America to get care when their socialist utopias can’t provide them with it. The sick foreigners want to get sicker, that’s it.

If you manage to get here before you go to work, if you get here after you get home from work, or if your boss doesn’t care about the artful use of the F-bomb on company computers, go read the entire thing. I guarantee you, it’s That. Fucking. Good.

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