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.

Archive for April, 2009

April 30, 2009

Open Thread Thursday – last one of April

by @ 11:00. Filed under Open Thread Thursday.

It’s raining, but the Brewers are finally above .500. What’s on your mind?

Chrysler headed into Chapter 11

by @ 8:26. Tags:
Filed under Business.

Reuters is reporting that Chrysler, LLC. is headed to bankruptcy after several holders of secured debt refused the Treasury/TARP banks/Chrysler last offer of $2.25 billion in cash in exchange for retiring the $6.9 billion in secured debt. As I noted last night, it’s a risky proposition for both the hedge funds thinking they’ll do better than the 32.6 cents on the dollar they would have received in the cramdown (sources say that in a liquidation they’d get closer to 50 cents on the dollar) and the Obama administration/UAW/Fiat plan to turn Chrysler into UAW Motors presented by the United States Government as it goes to the whims of a judge.

April 29, 2009

Obama Air Force One commercial

by @ 10:22. Filed under Politics - National.

All we need is someone with voiceover skills to run with Fausta’s setting of the VC-25 (better known as Air Force One when the President is on board) buzzing of lower Manhattan to the MasterCard “Priceless” commercial.

Revisions/extensions (6:58 pm 4/29/2009) – Don’t ask me why I decided to try my hand at this, but I did…


Hot Read – John Hawkins, Why The Republican Party Is Psychologically Out Of Whack

While I work out how I want to have a Scramble Headlines section work, I’ll crib from Charlie Sykes and point you to, in this case, John Hawkins’ diagnosis of the split in the Republican Party.

That brings us to where we are today. The conservative base of the GOP feels like it has been used and abused by the Republican Party. Until that changes, we’re not going to cut the Party a lot of slack, we’re not going to be very interested in helping moderates, and we’re going to be deeply suspicious of the Party.

The way to change that perception is to admit that the party lost its way, reach out to the base to convince them that it has changed, and then to prove the party is getting back to its conservative roots by voting that way. When conservatives become convinced that the GOP is “on their side” again and making a good faith effort to do the right thing, we’ll be much more tolerant of moderates in blue states, we’ll cut the party more slack, and we’ll get fired up again. Having a far left-wing radical in the White House will help on that count, too.

But in the interim, conservatives should remember that if we want to win elections, we need to add people to the Republican Party, not get rid of them and moderates should remember that the beating heart of the GOP, like it or not, will remain conservative for the foreseeable future.

What expires faster than milk?

by @ 8:38. Filed under Politics - National.

Jim Geraghty shares the Not-So-Sweet 16 17 Obama campaign promises that have reached their expiration dates during the first 100 days of Obama’s Presidency. That is just one of the reasons why he is The Indispensible One.

Somewhat related, Jim has finally unprotected his Twitter updates. Do make sure you’re following him.

Pic of the day

by @ 8:20. Filed under Politics - National.

S. Weasel perfectly describes Arlen “Scottish Law” Specter (RINO D-PA) in Photoshop…

Oh, and go over to her place for comments. She deserves the credit.

Chrysler to become UAW Motors

by @ 7:55. Tags:
Filed under Business, Politics - National.

(H/T – DrewM., and I highly recommend reading the comments, at least if you are able to handle AoSHQ-standard NSFW language)

Bloomberg reports that the United Auto Workers are poised to accept a new contract that gives them a 55% stake in Chrysler, LLC. It also reports that Italy’s Fiat will initially get a 20% stake, which may increase to 35% if certain performance goals are hit, and that the Treasury Department will retain the other 10%.

The story, and others on the web, don’t mention where the 15% that may go to Fiat will be held initially, but I presume it will be the Treasury. Somehow, I doubt the Ram and Dakota pickups or most of the Jeep lineup surviving will be part of the conditions set by the Obama administration.

The UAW portion is a bit complicated. Chrysler is obligated to put $10.6 billion into VEBA, the union-run retiree health care plan. In exchange for $8.8 billion, Chrysler will give UAW said 55% stake, valued at $4.2 billion, and put in a $4.59 billion promissory note, to be paid off in installments until 2023 at a 9% annual interest rate.

That brings up the same question that I had yesterday with General Government Motors – what happens when it’s time to convert that 55% stake into cash? With most of the VEBA funding to be paid later, I expect that to happen sooner rather than later, sooner even than at GM. The Bloomberg story notes that, if the UAW manages to get more than $4.2 billion for its full 55% stake, the Treasury will get the difference. That begs the question of what happens in the likelier eventuality that the UAW doesn’t get $4.2 billion. Will the Treasury we the taxpayers pony up that difference?

Related to that, the Washington Post notes at the end of its story that one of the key players in the Obama auto task force that has come up with both the union-owned Chrysler and government-owned GM is Ron Bloom. Bloom was instrumental in creating the employee-owned United Airlines. The Post notes that didn’t exactly work.

One more item – The News Organization That Cannot Be Quoted™ (that would be the Associated Press for those just tuning in) reports that the biggest of Chrysler’s secured creditors, representing 70% of the secured debt, including JPMorgan, Citibank Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, have reached a deal with the Treasury to, if all 46 secured creditors sign on, take $2 billion in cash to retire the $6.9 billion in secured debt they hold. I note that those 4 banks are among the 19 undergoing the TARP “stress tests”, and I wonder if the hold the Obama administration has on them had anything to do with them swallowing the 71% haircut the Treasury is demanding. After all, as secured creditors, they get paid first in the event of Chrysler’s liquidation, and it is likely that they would do far better than $2 billion.

Revisions/extensions (8:13 pm 4/29/2009, involves a major ReWrite™ of the first R&E after reviewing the WaPo item) – The Washington Post reports (H/T – Dad29) that, in the now-likely event of a bankruptcy, the final US Treasury stake would be only 8%, with the Canadian government owning 2%. The hedge funds which own Chrysler secured debt are resisting the cramdown because a recent Standard&Poor’s analysis of it reveals that what the Treasury is offering is at the bottom end of what they could recover in a bankruptcy.

That is a risky proposition because a bankruptcy judge could force the cramdown down the funds’ throats. I’m sure that the Treasury knows precisely which judge will get the case, and how that judge will act.

April 28, 2009

Eggs on the road – end of April edition

by @ 15:35. Filed under Miscellaneous.

There’s some traveling to be done, both today and later this week:


The Milwaukee-area Scott Walker for Governor announcement – Wisconsin Lutheran College, 8800 W. Bluemound Rd., Wauwatosa, 5:45 pm
Blog ‘n Grog – Nice Ash, 327 W. Main St., Waukesha, 7 pm


Republican Party of Wisconsin convention – La Crosse Convention Center, 300 Harborview Plaza, La Crosse (yes, I will be live and in color, and I hope to have some good interviews)

And I’m sure I’ll squeeze in a Brewer game (most likely Thursday) because it’s the 5-county half-off deal.

The generic R beats the generic D*

by @ 14:46. Filed under Politics - National.

Rassmussen reports that, in the current generic Congressional horserace, the Republican would beat the Democrat 41%-38%. Even better, 31% of conservative Dems say they’re willing to bolt their pasture. That’s brilliant timing on the part of Arlen Specter (D-PA) to announce he’s returning home.

Of course, there’s a couple catches. First, this is just the second time in the 5-year history of the daily/weekly horserace that the Republicans have had a lead. Second, the 41% represents an R high while the 38% represents a D low.

DLTDHYOTWO, Scottish Law

by @ 11:22. Filed under Politics - National.

(H/T – Michelle Malkin)

The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza reports that Senator Arlen “Scottish Law” Specter (R RINO Rat-PA) is going to make that last designation official, hand Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) a filibuster-proof majority once Stuart Small…er, Al Franken gets his certificate, and run in 2010 as a ‘Rat. Two things:

– The NRSC, and its head John Cornyn (“R”-TX), now has major egg on its face for supporting Scottish Law in his expected primary against Pat Toomey

– For those of you thinking that 60 is a magical number, guess again – there has been no difference between 57 ‘Rats and 60 thus far.

I’d like to thank Scottish Law for making it official, and making Toomey’s election a little bit easier.

Revisions/extensions (11:52 am 4/28/2009) – Allahpundit brought the full scope of Specter’s betrayal out of the memory hole, recalling a March 17 interview with “The Hill” (emphasis in Allahpundit’s copy):

I am staying a Republican because I think I have an important role, a more important role, to play there. The United States very desperately needs a two-party system. That’s the basis of politics in America. I’m afraid we are becoming a one-party system, with Republicans becoming just a regional party with so little representation of the northeast or in the middle atlantic. I think as a governmental matter, it is very important to have a check and balance. That’s a very important principle in the operation of our government. In the constitution on Separation of powers.

One more thing – this quote from my piece last month (linked above) looking at just how ineffective the Senate Republicans have been (failed to stop the Dems 9 times out of 10 at that point) needs to be dusted off – “So, who were the big failures? Specter and Snowe lead the pack at 9, but I give the edge to Specter for his attempt to make the total failure rate 100%.”

R&E part 2 (12:14 pm 4/28/2009) – Jim Geraghty has a few more tidbits:

– That promise to stay in the Republican Party was made as late as April 9.

– Specter is already off the list of Senators at the NRSC home page

There is more over at Jim’s place.

New NRE poll – What will the official team of NASCAR (Hendrick Motorsports) be driving next year?

With the news that GM, the parent company of Chevrolet, is seeking a government takeover, the Car and Driver April Fool’s Day joke about the Obama Administration forcing them (and Chrysler) out of NASCAR is quite a bit closer to reality. With that in mind, it’s time for another NRE poll, focusing on the official team of NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports.

I’ll leave it to your discretion on whether to count a Chevy Impala with all the badges removed as a non-factory-sponsored Chevy or “something else”. The cars IROC ran in their last couple years of existence were Pontiac Trans Ams, but since GM stopped making them (and ultimately pulled Pontiac out of motorsports), they bore no GM badges.

What will the official team of NASCAR (Hendrick Motorsports) be driving next year?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • NASCAR will be out of business (26%, 10 Vote(s))
  • Toyotas (18%, 7 Vote(s))
  • Non-factory-sponsored Chevys (13%, 5 Vote(s))
  • Something else (13%, 5 Vote(s))
  • Factory-sponsored Chevys (11%, 4 Vote(s))
  • Fords (11%, 4 Vote(s))
  • Hendrick Motorsports will be out of business (5%, 2 Vote(s))
  • Dodges (either factory-sponsored or non-factory-sponsored) (3%, 1 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 38

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Government Motors to axe Pontiac, save the unions

by @ 7:32. Tags:
Filed under Business, Politics - National.

In case you missed all the news about General Government Motors yesterday, let’s recap (courtesy Investor’s Business Daily):

  • GM will drop Pontiac as a brand, 8,000 jobs, and 2,600 dealerships by next year. I suppose the good news is the performance division won’t be stuck trying to sell the Pelosi GTxi SS/Rt Sport Edition (© Iowahawk)
  • GM is asking bondholders who hold $27 billion in GM debt to swap their notes for stock to the tune of 225 shares per $1,000 owed, or $4.44 per share. That is just over twice what the stock is trading at now, which represents something less than 50 cents on the dollar for the bondholders, and if math I’ve seen elsewhere is right, would represent roughly 10% of the stock.
  • GM wants the United States Treasury to take a majority of common stock in exchange for forgiving $10 billion in debt. Also, they want the UAW to take 39% of the common stock in lieu of cash for $10 billion in retiree health care payments.

That leaves the current stockholders with 1% of the company. If you’re confused, join the club headed by Larry Kudlow.

Jimmie over at The Sundries Shack explains that it is all payback. He pulled a post from QandO from the memory vault that unspun a Los Angeles Times article attempting to pin the Congressional failure of the Big 3 UAW bailout on those eeeeeeeeeeevil Republicans. Not only have contributions from the UAW dwarfed those from the Big Three over the last 4 election cycles, and not only have those UAW contributions gone to the Democrats by a 99-1 ratio over each of those 4 cycles, but the Big Three donated mostly to Democrats last time around.

One more thing; the editorial gang at IBD noted that the UAW Jobs Bank, unlike the power of current GM stockholders and the value of the debt held by GM’s creditors, is going nowhere.

Revisions/extensions (7:51 am 4/28/2009) – Let’s do some math, using the assumption that the $10 billion-for-39%-of-the-common-stock the UAW is getting is a pure 1-1 deal. Of course, it is a very dangerous assumption because the market capitalization of GM is only $1.25 billion. That would put the new “market capitalization” at a tick below $25.65 billion. Assuming things don’t crater at the “new” GM (do remember, however, that assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups), we can use that to determine how badly the bondholders and stockholders get the shaft here:

– Ignoring the effect of the remainder of the loans, the $10 billion the government will spend to run General Government Motors would be worth $12.82 billion. Of course, there’s the “slight” matter of paying back the other $17 billion that GM is borowing/wants to borrow.
– The $27 billion the bondholders would pay to get 10% of GM would turn into a $2.56 billion “investment”. That’s a haircut of over 90%.
– The $1.25 billion the market has invested in GM suddenly turns into $256 million, or a haircut of just under 80%.

If I were one of the bondholders, I’d hold out for bankruptcy. That notes-for-stock plan won’t happen unless almost all of the bondholders agree.

R&E part 2 (10:12 am 4/28/2009) – Ed Morrissey has more on this effect.

There’s also a couple questions I don’t really want to consider because they are just too ugly:

– Who is going to buy the UAW 39% to convert those shares into cash? Do remember that the 39% is taking the place of $10 billion that was supposed to go into the retiree health fund, and I doubt that the dividends will make up for that lost cash.
– What happens when (not if) the market decides that Government Motors isn’t worth $25.65 billion?

R&E part 3 (10:38 am 4/28/2009) – The Washington Post has a few more details:

– The Obama administration is claiming they won’t use their majority position to run the company. Of course, when they had but 35% of the debt, they demanded the firing of former CEO Rick Wagoner and a reconstituting of the board of directors. As Jim Geraghty says, “All of Barack Obama’s statements come with an expiration date. All of them.”

– Related to that control, it was the Treasury that formally limited the bondholders to 10% in the new company.

– While GM bonds are currently trading in the $0.08-$0.13 on the dollar range, financial experts are expecting a return of 0%-5% for bondholders who take shares of common stock. That goes to the questions I had earlier, because that would represent a halving of the nominal “market cap” based on the UAW obligation-for-stock deal.

April 27, 2009

The Crap Water People™ do it again

by @ 7:24. Filed under MMSD - The Crap People.

As expected, the rain over the weekend triggered dumping of both partially-treated sewage and raw sewage from the combined sewers in Milwaukee and Shorewood. I decided to run through all 20 of MMSD’s working rain gauges to see how much rain fell between the 7-am hour Saturday (the first gauge, at Green Tree and River in River Hills, showed 0.03 inches of rain at 8 am) and the start of the dumpings (the partially-treated dump began at 11:30 am Sunday, the combined-raw-sewage dump began at 2:45 pm).

The average rainfall in the 28 hours between the start of the rain and the start of the partially-treated sewage dump – 1.93 inches, with a high of 2.64 inches on Granville just north of Bradley (Milwaukee’s far northwest side)

The average rainfall in the 31 hours between the start of the rain and the start of the combined-raw dump – 2.45 inches, with a high of 3.36 inches on Granville just north of Bradley, 2.11 inches at 3rd and Lincoln (the southern part of the combined sewer area), 2.46 inches at 25th and Canal (the middle of the combined sewer area), 1.92 inches at Bartlett and Belleview (Upper East Side, also in the combined sewer area), and 2.31 inches at 36th and Fond du Lac (the northwest part of the combined sewer area)

The average rainfall in the 46 hours between the start of the rain and 5 am this morning – 2.95 inches, with a high of 3.90 inches on Granville just north of Bradley

As of 7:20 am, the main Deep Tunnel was holding 369 million of its 405 million-gallon capacity, and it is slowly being pumped out, while the Northwest Side annex was holding 88 million of its 89 million-gallon capacity. Both sewage plants are running at over 100% capacity.

Exit question – Is that a “hundred-year” rain that MMSD and their echo chamber at The Milwaukee Journal (I don’t remember whether the Sentinel also bought in) said would be required to defeat the somewhat-almost-not-quite-deep-enough Deep Tunnel?

April 24, 2009

Scott Walker is now in the ring – UPDATE – Mark Neumann to likely follow

by @ 18:09. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

The word from his Twitter account – “I just filed my paperwork to run for governor of Wisconsin.”

Revisions/extensions (9:41 pm 4/24/2009) – WISN-TV reports (H/T – WisPolitics) that they confirmed that the Tuesday/Wednesday announcement tour by Walker will be his formal announcement of candidacy.

WISN and others also report that Neumann intends to jump in “some time between now and October.”

One more item, also via WisPolitics – the Superior Telegram is reporting that Superior mayor Dave Ross is exploring the possibility of running for lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket, and expects to decide in the fall.

Welcome to Twitter, WisDems

by @ 7:53. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

(H/T – Kevin Binversie)

I likely won’t be following the Democratic Party of Wisconsin on Twitter, but Tweets like this one may make me change my mind because there’s just so much good comedy material inside of 140 characters:

Kevin already pointed out the fact that they misspelled Mark Neumann’s last name. Come on, DPW. If you’re going to endorse an opponent in the opposition party’s primary, at least get the name right. One more thing on that; don’t try the “Twitter = text message” excuse – that Tweet didn’t come from a cell phone.

Speaking of endorsing, I assume there is a reason why, at this early stage, the DPW is trying to select Jim Doyle’s opponent now. They’re not exactly afraid of someone who has been out of politics the last 10 1/2 years, while they’re deathly afraid of a certain county executive.

April 23, 2009

Taliban on the march in Pakistan

by @ 17:39. Filed under War on Terror.

(H/T – Allahpundit, who is officially freaking out)

The Daily Mail reports that, after being given control of Pakistan’s Swat district, the Taliban took over the neighboring Bruner district, putting them a mere 60 miles from the capital of Islamabad.

If that isn’t disturbing enough, Bill Roggio has even worse news – they’re also moving on the Haripur district, which neighbors not only Islamabad, but the military garrison city of Rawalpindi (headquarters of the Pakistani Army) and several nuclear facilities, including the facility where Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are reportedly stored. If memory serves, Pakistan has close to 100 nuclear weapons, already sized for ballistic-missile or tactical fighter delivery, and while they don’t possess any purely-military nuclear-capable assets that can hit American soil, they do have nuclear-capable assets that can easily hit Afghanistan.

For those hoping that an Anbar-style “awakening” would stem the tide against the Taliban, Roggio has some very bad news – the Taliban is steamrolling through whatever resistance the local tribal lashkars have put up. That piece also reinforces the lesson that the Taliban cannot be negotiated with – on April 9, they agreed to pull out of Bruner; on the 10th, they started consolidating control over Bruner.

It’s not often that I agree with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but her reaction to this news (from the Mail) rings true – “I think the Pakistani government is basically abdicating to the Taliban and the extremists.” Considering that the Taliban is an ISI creation, and that up until yesterday, the government of Pakistan wasn’t exactly willing to fight for Bruner, one could say that the Taliban is coming home to roost.

However, that would be a “minor” understatement. There is the “minor” matter of the nuclear weapons program.

Open Thread Thursday – 4/23/2009

by @ 9:06. Filed under Open Thread Thursday.

There’s so many topics out there, but I have so little energy. Consider this the open thread.

They Still Don’t Get It

by @ 5:32. Filed under Economy, Politics - National, Taxes.

I participated in a Tele-Townhall provided by Minnesota 6th CD Representative, Michelle Bachmann.  Yes, THAT Michelle Bachmann.  Can you turn on any Fox program and not see Michelle on it?

Representative Bachmann took questions from call participants during the townhall.  One of the questioners asked what the mood in D.C. was regarding the tea parties.  Representative Bachmann noted that there were over 2,000 tea parties across the U.S.  She said that folk in Washington had clearly noticed but she wasn’t sure whether the events were going to change the spending behavior of Congress.  As proof of her concern, she offered the following two bills.
This bill provides $25 million over 5 years to foreign countries:

H.R. 388: Crane Conservation Act of 2009

To assist in the conservation of cranes by supporting and providing, through projects of persons and organizations with expertise in crane conservation, financial resources for the conservation programs of countries the activities of which directly or indirectly affect cranes and the ecosystems of cranes.

The other bill is:

 H.R. 411: Great Cats and Rare Canids Act of 2009

This bill spends $25 million over 5 years in foreign countries:

To assist in the conservation of rare felids and rare canids by supporting and providing financial resources for the conservation programs of nations within the range of rare felid and rare canid populations and projects of persons with demonstrated expertise in the conservation of rare felid and rare canid populations.

No, you didn’t misread this.  The House has voted to spend $10 million each year to take care of other country’s cranes, cats and dogs.  How nice!

Earlier this week, President Obama made a big to do out of calling for his cabinet to find $100 million of budget cuts.  When challenged about the laughable size of the cuts, the ever funny White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said:

“He knows and the American people know that continuing to run up deficits … and to continue to have those expand year after year after year is unsustainable. Despite much derision, that’s why the president is seeking cuts both large and small. That’s why the president has undertaken greater transparency as it relates to spending and the stimulus and I think the president overall wants to give the American people assurance that the government can use the money from them wisely.” (emphasis mine)

Wisely!  To be fair, these bills have not been passed by the Senate nor signed by the President.  I’ll be following them to see what does happen to them.  Regardless, if paying for other country’s dogs and cats is using the American people’s money wisely, at least according to the House supported by over 50 Republicans, than it’s apparent that the message of the tea parties has not yet crossed inside of the Washington beltway!

April 21, 2009

The Loneliest Number

During his most recent “U.S. apology tour of the world,” President Obama made this statement to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s diatribe on the U.S.:

“To move forward, we cannot let ourselves be prisoners of past disagreements. I’m grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old. Too often, an opportunity to build a fresh partnership of the Americas has been undermined by stale debates. We’ve all heard these arguments before.”

Again, the person who the Left claims is the smartest President ever seems to have some challenges working with math.

First, according to the alleged certificate of live birth that he has posted, Obama was born in August of 1961.  My history books show the the Bay of Pigs occurred in April of 1961.  It would seem like his living presence missed the event he referenced by nearly 4 months.  Before you claim that Obama was “In Utero” and therefore, assuming a 9 month gestation, he would be somewhat right, remember that Obama has shown through his legislation and votes that a baby is not alive, or even a life of any kind until after it is born and than survives attempts by the delivering physician to kill it during the first few moments after being separated from its mother.

Another problem with Obama’s math is this:  Obama seems to believe that because he wasn’t born he holds no responsibility for the specific event.  He somehow separates himself personally from the fact that he is THE representative of the United States and what it stands for.  If Obama can do this, shouldn’t the same hold true for other Americans?

In 1961, with a few exceptions, you need to be 21 to vote for elected office.  I would proffer that using Obama’s logic, anyone who was not yet 21 in April of 1961 had no responsibility for the Bay of Pigs.  After all, they weren’t able vote in the administration that launched the attack.  Obviously, anyone born after April of 1961 also would not be responsible for the Bay of Pigs.  Roll the calendar forward and the extension of Obama’s logic suggests that only people who today, are 69 or older could even possibly be responsible for the Bay of Pigs.

Bear with me as I walk through this next part.  The 1960 election determined the administration of the Bay of Pigs.  In 1960 there were 170 million people in the US, approximately 65% were of voting age.  Of that, approximately 64 million voted.  Of those that voted, approximately 50% voted for the Kennedy administration.  Today, approximately 12% of the population are 69 or older.  If you do the math, it turns out that just 3.5% of the US population, alive today, could be responsible for the Bay of Pigs.  With a current population of approximately 303 million people, only 10.6 million Americans alive today could be responsible for the Bay of Pigs.

60 million people voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin in the last election.  60 million people voted against having Barack Obama as President.  While we can argue as to what degree, 60 million people voted for a smaller government with less interference than what we have with President Obama.  If President Obama can routinely ignore 60 million voters whom he has sworn to represent, why is he worried about what some third world dictator and thug thinks about decisions made nearly 50 years ago that may, in the best case, have been enabled by a mere 10.6 million voters?

The answer of course, is all to apparent.  While President Obama isn’t able to do simple math of any kind, he is able to do the simplest of math.  In President Obama’s mind, 10.6 million people aren’t the issue, 60 million people don’t matter.  For Obama, all history, US and otherwise, begins and ends with him.  If an event happened before he could be accountable for it, it didn’t happen.  If an event happened when he could be held accountable for it and he can find a way to avoid accountability, than George Bush did it.  In the mind of Obama, the only number that matters is the loneliest number, 1.  Obama’s comment had nothing to do with the impact on the US, the country he is supposed to represent.  His comment was all about a potential reflection on him, personally.

The only math that President Obama has successfully mastered is the function of 1.

No Crying Over Spilt Tea

by @ 5:17. Filed under Economy, Taxes.

Depending upon the counts you believe, last weeks tea parties were somewhere between a series of interesting local events and the beginning of a significant grass roots movement.  Of course, the MSM has been trying to tell us that the tea parties don’t even measure to warrant local, let alone national coverage.  However, they haven’t been able to block blog posts and pictures that show them to again be performing selective journalism.

It is now blase to discuss the MSM’s inability to cover news events.  It’s also blase to talk about Democrat reactions to the tea parties even though there were many Democrats participating in these events.  What is not blase, and in fact borders on alarming, is this poll by Rasmussen Reports:

51% View Tea Parties Favorably, Political Class Strongly Disagrees

According to Rasmussen, while 51% of the American populace vies the tea parties favorably and only 33% unfavorable, if you look only within the political class, those who believe political leaders know more than the general public, dramatically disagree:

While half the nation has a favorable opinion of last Wednesday’s events, the nation’s Political Class has a much dimmer view—just 13% of the political elite offered even a somewhat favorable assessment while 81% said the opposite.

Worse, if that’s possible is this:

Among the Political Class, not a single survey respondent said they had a Very Favorable opinion of the events while 60% shared a Very Unfavorable assessment.

Could it be that the Political Class is a bit too closely aligned with this perspective:

David Axelrod, a top adviser to President Obama, on Sunday characterized the protests in dozens of cities on the day federal income taxes are due as potentially “unhealthy.”

Hmmmm, sounds like they’ve read Napolitano’s report on the characteristics of home grown terrorists!

Finally, there is this little tidbit:

One-in-four adults (25%) say they personally know someone who attended a tea party protest. That figure includes just one percent (1%) of those in the Political Class.

So while 1/4 of us know someone who attended and over 51% believe the tea parties were positive, only 1% of those living off the government dole in some fashion or another, are able to look outside of their fishbowls.

I guess this all makes sense.  After all, if you’re living off the government, the last thing you’d want to have happen is have someone threaten its life blood!

April 20, 2009

There’s no way out of TARP, parts 3-5

by @ 11:33. Tags:
Filed under Business, Politics - National.

Those of us who at a minimum had severe reservations about TARP and at a maximum opposed it are being proven right about our concerns. Where, oh where to begin.

I’ll start with the news that I first heard Saturday and posted through the Emergency Blogging System now that I found a link – Bloomberg reports that the Treasury will be hanging onto their stock warrants after the TARP loans are repaid and the prefered stock the Treasury received as part of the package is bought back, only releasing the warrants after a further negotiated settlement.

Item #2 – Fox Business reports that Treasury officials are considering converting the the aforementioned prefered stock into common stock, complete with voting rights. In several instances, that would make the government the largest voting shareholder.

Item #3 (H/T – Legal Insurrection) – The Financial Times reports that repayment would be accepted only if it were in the “national economic interest”. That’s right; banks that have the money to pay back the loans and pass the “stress test” may not be allowed to pay back the government.

I’m just waiting for the booming voice that is in the Grand Finale of Rush’s “2112” to announce, “Attention all banks of the United States of America. We have assumed control. We have assumed control. We have assumed control.”

April 19, 2009

EBS auto-pilot

by @ 8:02. Filed under Miscellaneous.

This is the Emergency Blogging System. It has been activated because Steve is out of it, and Shoebox is on vacation, and 4 days with nothing is just too long.

First things first, Steve went to yet another Tea Party yesterday, this time a Tea’d Off one in Racine with Fred and close to 300 of his closest friends. They did something a bit different with this one; they made some customized golf balls available (hence the “Tea’d Off”). Somewhere on his “smartphone of dead battery” are a few pictures and video of Fred’s speech.

Next; the Brewers. The EBS is activated for their missing luck, missing pitching, and now missing hitting.

Finally, the “There’s No Way Out of TARP” theme continues. Neil Cavuto stated on yesterday’s show that the Feds aren’t giving up their stock warrants on companies that repaid the TARP. The appropriate exit song…


This has been the Emergency Blogging System.

April 15, 2009

Very-quick Appleton Tea Party thoughts (and the rest of the state)

I took a look at the map and the clock and decided not to go to Fort Atkinson’s tea party, opting instead to make Appleton’s. I’m too tired to offload the pics off my camera and make sure they’re halfway-decent, but I’ll crib off my Tweets:

– There ended up being somewhere around 3,000 people, as the Fox Banquets parking lot ended up being jammed up.
– No current politicians were up at the microphone, but we did get a brief appearance from former state treasurer Jack Voight.
– After the opening invocation, we got a history lesson – Since the Brits spent themselves out of money, they looked at the American colonies as a piggy bank. The colonists responded with the original tea party and ultimately the Revolution.
– Speaking of history, one of the speakers (didn’t have a working recorder, so I don’t remember his name) pointed out that at one time, each party had a low-tax champion, and that both parties are currently ignoring their legacies.

I do have numbers from a couple of other Wisconsin Tea Parties:

Superior – 100
Eau Claire – 300
Wausau – “hundreds”

I was hardly alone covering the Madison Tea Party:
Lance Burri with the pic dump.
Randy Hollenbeck (do not miss the two-page photo gallery)
Denise of Finding a Balance
Fred Dooley (first is his personal blog, Real Debate Wisconsin, second is the MacIver Institute)
Christian Schneider

Revisions/extensions (11:13 pm 4/15/2009) – Paul Socha has a good write-up and a heap of pics. Somehow I missed him.

Very-quick Madison Tea Party thoughts

I’ve got a couple minutes between Madison’s Tea Party and Fort Atkinson’s, so I’ll put a couple thoughts up on what 5,000-6,000 of my closest friends and I saw and heard.

– The theme of the day is that elections matter. It isn’t enough to be involved today; we need to be involved tomorrow, next week, next month, and next election.

– I should’ve brought the Big Black Camera. It was far too bright to get good pics off the Blackjack.

– It was refreshing to hear both Reince Priebus (RPW chair) and Rep. Paul Ryan note that both parties are at fault for this. Ryan did, however, forget that his votes of last year, and his vote for the 90% TARP tax, are also parts of this.

– Superior mayor Dave Ross wondered where the higher-taxes rally was. I submit it was inside that building we were in front of.

– Speaking of that building, and the party that controls it, they pulled a rather dirty trick by scheduling a whole host of committee hearings for during that rally. Leah Vukmir didn’t get out of her committee hearing until at the end.

– Personal lesson of the day; check the batteries in the voice recorder before bringing it. DVR #1 died about 30 minutes in, and DVR #2 died just as Vicki McKenna came out.

On to a quick look-in at Fort Atkinson, then a mad dash to Appleton.

Revisions/extensions (10:52 pm 4/15/2009) – Roland Melnick of Badger Blogger got a pic of THE SIGN OF THE DAY (that’s right; all credit goes to him, not me)

Click for the full-sized pic, and don’t forget to credit Roland

Tea Party primer over at Malkin’s place

Michelle Malkin has the “short” history of the Tea Parties over at her place. It’s just short enough to read before heading out to your local Tax Day Tea Party.

I was fortunate enough to be in DC for the February 27 series of Tea Parties. I’ll be making the rounds around eastern Wisconsin today, so if you can’t make it to one of any number of Tax Day Tea Parties, stay tuned to your local blog.

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