Thursday, June 30, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Hypocrisy of Al Gore

If the heart of your message is that the peril of climate change is so imminent and so overwhelming that the entire political and social system of the world must change, now, you cannot fly on private jets. You cannot own multiple mansions. You cannot even become enormously rich investing in companies that will profit if the policies you advocate are put into place.

It is not enough to buy carbon offsets (aka "indulgences") with your vast wealth, not enough to power your luxurious mansions with exotic low impact energy sources the average person could not afford, not enough to argue that you only needed the jet so that you could promote your earth-saving film.

You are asking billions of people, the overwhelming majority of whom lack many of the basic life amenities you take for granted, people who can't afford Whole Foods environmentalism, to slash their meager living standards. You may well be right, and those changes may be necessary — the more shame on you that with your superior insight and knowledge you refuse to live a modest life. There's a gospel hymn some people in Tennessee still sing that makes the point: "You can't be a beacon if your light don't shine." . . . Consider how Gore looks to the skeptics. The peril is imminent, he says. It is desperate. The hands of the clock point to twelve. The seas rise, the coral dies, the fires burn and the great droughts have already begun. The hounds of Hell have slipped the huntsman's leash and even now they rush upon us, mouths agape and fangs afoam.

But grave as that danger is, Al Gore can consume more carbon than whole villages in the developing world. He can consume more electricity than most African schools, incur more carbon debt with one trip in a private plane than most of the earth's toiling billions will pile up in a lifetime — and he doesn't worry. A father of four, he can lecture the world on the perils of overpopulation. Surely, skeptics reason, if the peril were as great as he says and he cares about it as much as he claims, Gore's sense of civic duty would call him to set an example of conspicuous non-consumption. This general sleeps in a mansion, and lectures the soldiers because they want tents.

What this tells the skeptics is that Vice President Gore doesn't really believe the gospel he proclaims. That profits from his environmental advocacy enable his affluent lifestyle only deepens their skepticism of the messenger and therefore of the message

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The Democrat Partys War on Jobs:

The Democrat Partys War on Jobs:
You won't find this in the State Run Media but when the Democrats took over Congress in January 2007 the Unemployment Rate was 4.6%.  When they were elected to take over Congress in November 2006 the Unemployment Rate was 4.4%.  Amazingly the Left Wing "Mainstream" media convinced significant portions of the country that we were in recession.  The month by month Unemployment Rates:  Republican years are in Red, Democrat years are in blue.

20064.7 4.8 

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Speechworld vs. Realworld

Articles on National Review Online

The Democrats seem to have given up on budgets. Hey, who can blame them? They've got a ballpark figure: Let's raise $2 trillion in revenue every year, and then spend $4 trillion. That seems to work pretty well, so why get hung up on a lot of fine print? Harry Reid says the Senate has no plans to produce a budget, but in April the president did give a speech about "a new budget framework" that he said would save $4 trillion over the next twelve years.

That would be 2023, if you're minded to take him seriously. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, did. Last week he asked Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, if he'd "estimated the budget impact of this framework."

"No, Mr. Chairman," replied Director Elmendorf, deadpan. "We don't estimate speeches. We need much more specificity than was provided in that speech."

"We don't estimate speeches": There's an epitaph to chisel on the tombstone of the republic. Unfortunately for those of us on the receiving end, giving speeches is what Obama does. Indeed, having no other accomplishments to his name (as Hillary Clinton pointed out), giving speeches is what got the president his job. You remember — the stuff about "hope" and "change." Were the CBO in the business of "estimating speeches," they'd have run the numbers and concluded that under the Obama plan, vague abstract nouns would be generating 87 percent of GDP by 2016.

For whatever reason, it didn't work out quite like that. But that's no reason not to give another speech. So there he was the other night expounding on Afghanistan. Unlike Douglas Elmendorf, the Taliban do estimate speeches, and they correctly concluded from the president's 2009 speech that all they need to do is run out the clock and all or most of the country will be theirs once more. Last week's update confirmed their estimate. "Winning" is not in Obama's vocabulary. Oh, wait. That's not true. In an earlier unestimated speech, he declared he was committed to "winning the future," "winning the future" at some unspecified time in the future being a lot easier than winning the war. In fairness, it's been two-thirds of a century since America has unambiguously won a war, but throughout that period most presidents were at least notionally committed to the possibility of victory. Obama seems to regard the very concept as something boorish and vulgar that would cause him embarrassment if it came up at dinner parties. So place your bets on how long it will be before Mullah Omar's back in town. And then ask yourself if America will have anything to show for its decade in Afghanistan that it wouldn't have had if it had just quit two weeks after toppling the Taliban in the fall of 2001 and left the mullahs, warlords, poppy barons, and pederasts to have at each other without the distraction of extravagant NATO reconstruction projects littering their beautiful land of charmingly unspoilt rubble.

That's not how the president put it, of course. But then the delightful appeal of an Obama speech is the ever wider gulf between Speechworld and Reality. So in this instance he framed our retreat from the Hindu Kush as an excellent opportunity to stop wasting money overseas and start wasting even more in Washington. Or in his words:

"America, it is time to focus on nation-building here at home."

Gee, thanks. If America were a Kandahar wedding, that would be the cue to fire your rifle in the air and grab the cutest nine-year-old boy. Naturally, not everyone sees eye to eye. Like Afghanistan, ours is a fractious land. But as Obama said:

"Our nation draws strength from our differences, and when our union is strong, no hill is too steep, no horizon is beyond our reach."

Climb ev'ry mountain. Ford ev'ry stream.

Are you sure we can afford ev'ry stream? Yes, it's far less rugged than it sounds. In compliance with EPA regulations, no real hills and dales were harmed in the making of this glib rhetorical imagery.

"At his best," wrote the New York Times of Obama's speech, "the president can be hugely persuasive."

Er, if you say so. He's mostly persuasive in persuading you there's no urgency about anything: All that stuff about Americans sweating and straining for the most distant horizon is his way of saying you can go back to sleep for another couple of decades.

If we hadn't been assured by the New York Times that this man is the Greatest Orator of All Time, there would be something offensive in the leader of the Brokest Nation in History bragging that we're not the guys to shirk a challenge, however grueling and demanding it may be, no sirree. The salient feature of America in the Age of Obama is a failed government class institutionally committed to living beyond its means, and a citizenry too many of whom are content to string along. Remember Peggy Joseph of Sarasota, Fla.? "I never thought this day would ever happen," she gushed after an Obama rally in 2008. "I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car. I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage." Is Peggy really the gal you'd want to hike a steep hill with?

In Speechworld, nation-building can be done through flatulent rhetoric. In Realworld, nations are built by people, and in America the productive class is battered and reeling. Obama wasted a trillion dollars on a phony stimulus that stimulated nothing but government, and wants to try it one mo' time. That's what yokes "nation-building" near and far. According to the World Bank, the Western military/aid presence now accounts for 97 percent of Afghanistan's GDP. The bit that's left doesn't function, not least because it doesn't need to. How can, say, Helmand develop an economic base when everybody with a whit of sense is making massively inflated salaries as a translator for the Yanks or a security guard for some EU outreach project? When the 97 percent revenue tide recedes with the American withdrawal, what's left will be the same old 3 percent ugly tribal dump Afghanistan was a decade ago. It will leave as little trace as the Obama stimulus.

The sheer waste is appalling, immoral, and deeply destructive. In Kandahar as in California, all that matters is excess: It's not working? Then you need to spend more. More more more. What does it matter? You're not spending anything real. America would have to find $15 trillion just to get back to having nothing in its pocket. But who cares? As long as we're united in our commitment to excess, no CBO debt-to-GDP ratio graph is too steep for us to take to the next level, and no horizon — 2060, 2080, 2104 — is too distant to serve as a plausible estimate for significant deficit reduction.

In Realworld, political speeches would be about closing down unnecessary federal bureaucracies, dramatically downsizing or merging others, and ending makework projects and mission creep. The culture of excess that distinguishes the hyperpower at twilight would be reviled at every turn. But instead the "hugely persuasive" orator declares that there's nothing to worry about that even more government can't cure. In Speechworld, "no hill is too steep, no horizon is beyond our reach." In Realworld, that's mainly because we're going downhill. And the horizon is a cliff edge.

Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is author of America Alone. © 2011 Mark Steyn.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

@RichLowry, 6/22/11 5:48 PM

Rich Lowry (@RichLowry)
6/22/11 5:48 PM
paul ryan on CBO #s

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Article: Guy with four kids endorses “fertility management” to save the planet

Guy with four kids endorses "fertility management" to save the planet

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Obama vs. ATMs: Why Technology Doesn't Destroy Jobs - The Wall Street Journal.

I thought you would be interested in the following story from The Wall Street Journal.

Obama vs. ATMs: Why Technology Doesn't Destroy Jobs

The Wall Street Journal for iPad provides a new way to experience the Journal's award winning coverage, blending the best of print and online. Special features include:

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Click or tap the link below to download The Wall Street Journal from the Apple iTunes App Store.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

@amandacarpenter, 6/15/11 7:58 AM

Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter)
6/15/11 7:58 AM
Obama's fiscal commission co-chair shouts at White House Econ Director to "Read the damn report!"

Sunday, June 12, 2011

@JosephAGallant, 6/12/11 6:10 PM

Joseph A. Gallant (@JosephAGallant)
6/12/11 6:10 PM
#Socialism #ObamaCare "The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation." Vladimir Lenin

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@amthinker, 6/12/11 10:05 AM

American Thinker (@amthinker)
6/12/11 10:05 AM
Huge increase in electric bills seen in the next few years: Has there ever been a great nation that committed... bl

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Power Line - Unexpectedly! (Obamacare edition)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wal-Mart and The Federal Government

Monty Pelerin's World
An email from a friend: Wal-Mart vs. The Morons 1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day. 2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute! 3. Wal-Mart will sell more from [...]
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Friday, June 10, 2011

@thebighoot, 6/10/11 8:39 AM

John Modisett (@thebighoot)
6/10/11 8:39 AM
Because of overstaffing, the U.S. Postal Service selects 1,125 employees per day to sit in empty rooms. costs $50 million annually. #tcot

Thursday, June 9, 2011

@WSJopinion, 6/9/11 6:33 PM

Opinion Journal (@WSJopinion)
6/9/11 6:33 PM
The Lone Star Jobs Surge: The Texas model added 37% of all net U.S. jobs since the recovery began.

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@VotingAmerican, 6/9/11 12:38 PM

Samiam60 (@VotingAmerican)
6/9/11 12:38 PM
Be Outraged America!!! Special Olympic's Ceremony Crashed by Union Zombi Thugs in Wisconsin:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

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QE 2 Was A Disaster: Here Is Why US Fiscal "Stimulus" Was A Complete Failure As Well

zero hedge - on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero

Two and a half years ago, Christina Romer, then still employed by the Obama administration in the position of Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers penned "The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" - a report predicting the impact of a fiscal "stimulus" that took out $787 billion from the pocket of American Taxpayers (subsequently discovered to cost even more) and put that money...somewhere. We are not sure where, because according to a chart now made legendary for its complete failure to predict the future, it sure did not go into creating jobs. Below we present the original chart that made the January 10, 2009 presentation, and superimpose upon it the reality of the past two and a half years. It is simply stunning. And while we are here, and discussing the abysmal failure of QE2 (the impending arrival of QE3 notwithstanding), it is amusing to hear the whimpering of the likes of one Richard Koo, who is now claiming that all along the money from the Fed's monetary stimulus should have been invested in the form of a fiscal one. Well, Dick, below is the impact of your fiscal stimulus....AND it also includes the impact of $2 trillion in incremental monetary stimulus. Combined, both fiscal and monetary stimulus has now missed the worst case projection for US unemployment for 30 months running. Here is the simple truth: both monetary and fiscal stimuli are abysmal failures, when the economy is mean reverting to a state where it was hijacked from courtesy of 30 years of "great moderation" - and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. Correction: there is one thing - the Fed can destroy the dollar in its attempt to disprove simple physics. And, ultimately, it will.

From the original ARRA proposal:

And the outcome:

Nuff said.

h/t Mike

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

‘The Welfare State Has Done to Black Americans What Slavery Could Not Have Done’

Say Anything

The headline statement was made by economist Walter Williams during a most excellent episode of John Stossel's Fox Business show which you can watch in its entirety below.

It's hard to argue with Mr. Williams as we observe the recent spectacle of the NAACP siding with teachers unions over the minority students of failing schools.

Social programs are the government's form of altruism, and the proponents of such program accuse their critics of being cruel or unkind. Of, essentially, not wanting to help people. That premise is the framework of much of our national debate.

Opponents of affirmative action programs are racist and want minorities to fail. Opponents of Medicare and Social Security hate the poor and the elderly. Critics of run-away education spending, and public school monopolies, are anti-education. And on and on.

But the premise of that debate is wrong. It presumes that government social programs are truly helping those they intend to help, and that assumes facts not in evidence. In fact, it's become blinding obvious to anyone with the courage to look that much of this country's social policies are actually hurting those they intend to help.

We can go a step further and suggest that some of the most ardent supporters of those policies not only know that said policies are exacerbating the problem, but want it that way. The NAACP, for instance, works hard to keep black children in failing schools because well-educated blacks are likely to find a level of prosperity. And prosperous, independent blacks have little need for the victim pimps at the NAACP.

The paradox at the heart of most social programs is that those employed by the programs have little economic interest in actually being successful. True success for a welfare program means fewer people on welfare. But then, that also means fewer case workers and administrators. Not to mention fewer victims for the politicians and advocacy groups to pander to.

And this sort of victim exploitation goes far beyond race politics. Look at farmers who consistently pull the ballot box lever in favor of the politicians promising the biggest and best farm programs, as one example. Corporate executives pulling the lever for politicians offering the biggest and best bailouts is another.

Government help is often less help than a road to serfdom.

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@EdWGillespie, 6/5/11 9:34 AM

Ed Gillespie (@EdWGillespie)
6/5/11 9:34 AM
Just did CNN SOTU. Said Obama policies are a toxic mix of excessive regulation, onerous mandates, massive debt and higher taxes.

@armcomm, 6/5/11 8:50 AM

Scott Armstrong (@armcomm)
6/5/11 8:50 AM
Rep. Weiner car - no inspection sticker & 2007 registration; "CONGRESS" sign on dash. Arrogant to the core.

TSA Is Threatened By Me

Flopping Aces

I've had my encounters with the TSA on a number of occasions. I would be considered a TSA Troll if such a definition existed. I follow their Twitter and have had some back and forth constitutional arguments with them about their ignorance, stupidity, and illegal actions. I'm convinced that since I use my real name and practically DARE them to discriminate against me for my outspokenness that I'm on their pat-down list.

Not long ago, the TSA rightfully recognized that their willful disregard for American civil liberties has given them a black eye that probably won't go away any time soon and started a blog to spin their excuses.

By now, you've probably all seen the latest video of a woman in Phoenix distraught after being molested by the TSA for no reason. If not, here it is:

The video gained quite a bit of play and publicity. As per their standard operating procedures, the TSA rolled out spin its typically innocent response yesterday:

After reviewing this passenger's time at the checkpoint, we found that our security officers acted properly and neither the CCTV footage nor this YouTube video support any of the allegations levied.

So, the TSA is lying that it DIDN'T fondle an innocent American's breast in the name of "national security" with their typical pat-down. If this is true, no one should have a problem with me going around and just randomly feeling my hands over women's breasts in the name of "national security." After all, anyone walking down the street could have an explosive breast implant hidden under that C cup!

Well, I went to the blog as I usually do to express my displeasure and left this comment:

While your most-likely-oppressive policy is "under review" TSA agents will continue exceeding your authority and making up crimes for which you will threaten illegal detention of innocent citizens.

I know I left that comment because I copied it and put it as a comment under my link of this post on Facebook as well! Interestingly, the comment never posted. When I left the comment, it would have been the first one. There are now 53+ comments under this post. I even left a comment directly calling out "Concerned Observer" as a TSA plant that was never published.

The TSA is afraid of me because they can't argue with the constitutional argument. Reality and truth make them look bad. They have no problems posting comments by people that are just flying off the handle (which is good), but since most of my comments quote the constitution and various high court decisions that oppose their policies, I guess they've decided it's no longer in their best interests to approve my comments.

Understand that I never use profanity. I don't call them names. I don't use strawman arguments in my responses. I used thoughtful, constitutional, and logical arguments and I don't post anonymously! I've even commented on their blog railing against people who DO post anonymously because they are afraid the TSA will target them. I hate to break it to these people, but the TSA can see EVERYONE'S IP address that comments on their blog! No one is anonymous.

They spew false facts like the low number of complaints they receive about these pat-downs, ignoring the fact that most people either don't have the time to complain or don't think it will do any good to complain! They mention that only 3% of travelers are targeted for the enhanced search techniques while ignoring that they're admitting to violating the 4th amendment rights of that same 3%!! "Hey, we only illegally searched 3% of travelers without a warrant or probably cause, so leave us alone! You don't want another 9/11 do you?!"

And how many terrorists have these searches caught? Zero. The ones you hear about made it successfully through the searches and then failed either at the gate or on the plane. Or they were turned in by concerned passengers! The TSA is just another bloated, inefficient welfare program to employ a certain segment of the population that enjoys fondling Americans genitals and breasts!

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Getting_Gate_Raped_By_The_TSA.jpg 500×400 pixels

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‘The Welfare State Has Done to Black Americans What Slavery Could Not’

Flopping Aces

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

@jaketapper, 6/3/11 10:45 AM

Jake Tapper (@jaketapper)
6/3/11 10:45 AM
How about when Edwards sent out feelers to Obama that he wanted to be Atty Genl? #memories