I’ll take the four-year prescription, please

February 28, 2009

What’s the matter, bunky? Depressed over Porkulus? Worried about insane spending? Unable to achieve an Obasm? Fear not, and ask your doctor about Stimulusol XR:

Hee hee

(hat tip: The Jawa Report)

Technorati tags: , ,

Jimmy Obama

February 27, 2009

I was emailing back and forth with a friend the other day and wrote that, while Obama’s economic policies really don’t scare me (they’ll fail and we’ll recover from them), what does scare me is his international weakness and how he’ll react to a crisis. Michael Ledeen is reminded of President Jimmy Carter, and he’s worried, too.



My favorite city welcomes two horrible people

February 27, 2009

Former and unrepentant terrorists William Ayers and Bernadine "Dig It!" Dohrn visit San Francisco.

The loonies truly run the asylum there. Sad

RELATED: Ayers’ and Dohrn’s manifesto from their underground days. They’ve never renounced this, either.


Two items of note

February 26, 2009

First, more and more among the corrupt politicians of Illinois (redundant, I know) must be ruing the day they decided to back Blagojevich for anything. Now, like a horde of Frankenstein’s monsters, everything his corrupt fingers touched is coming back to haunt them. The son of Senator Roland Burris, the man Blago appointed to slap Harry Reid in the face fill Barack Obama’s seat, is about to lose his home to foreclosure. Oh, by the way, young Burris is counsel to the Illinois Housing Development Authority and makes $75,000 a year from the job. And the icing on the cake? He was hired by Blagojevich.

I wonder if he’ll get a mortgage bailout under his Dad’s predecessor’s plans? Raised Eyebrow

(h/t Michelle Malkin)

Next, thank goodness the downtrodden of the San Francisco Bay Area have Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-Limousine Liberal) in their corner. Without her, these upper-middle class buyers of overpriced properties might not be able to keep the homes they shouldn’t have been buying, anyway

But, they’re just victims … whom we have to bail out. Waiting

(h/t Malkin, once again)


Only crybabies need a Fairness Doctrine

February 25, 2009

Zo speaks!



Wednesday funnies

February 25, 2009

NewsBusted with Jodi Miller:



Technorati tags: , ,

What is a budget cut?

February 25, 2009

Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee (my hometown paper), provides an important clarification to the question of what is a budget cut and why the answer should be born in mind when talking about California’s (or any state’s) budget:

“This myth is behind the $42 billion deficit figure we see all the time,” Reed wrote recently. “That’s based on the bureaucratic assumption that spending just has to go from $103 billion this year to $111 billion next year. Why should this assumption be the bedrock of all newspaper stories about the budget?”

Reed’s criticism, often echoed by radio talkers and some politicians, would be legit if the state had a zero-based budgeting system. But in fact, provisions of law or, in some cases, the state constitution, dictate much of the spending, such as welfare grant levels, aid to schools or who is locked up in prison.

The governor and legislators cannot arbitrarily change those numbers; they must change the law to reduce them. So using $111 billion as the basis for closing the 2009-10 gap was not a “bureaucratic assumption.”

Walters is right: exigent circumstances, such as spending levels mandated by statute, the state constitution, or court order, can require increases in spending. And it’s true that the budget cuts the rate of increase. So, yes, it’s a real cut — of a sort.

But Walters’ analysis avoids the larger question of the overall growth of California’s budget. An increase from $103 to $111 billion is still an increase. It has to be paid for by either raising taxes and fees (a dumb thing to do in a serious recession), or by borrowing. Given California’s trashed credit rating, any borrowing is going to be more expensive because the interest lenders (bond buyers) will expect will be much higher. And money has to be raised for that interest, too, on top of the budget items funded by the borrowed money.

See the vicious cycle forming? Thinking

Whether through legislators creating infinite commitments based on finite revenues, voters thoughtlessly authorizing more borrowing to pay for useless feel-good initiatives (fetal stem-cell research and bullet trains come to mind), or court mandates, California simply spends irresponsibly and is heading for a French grave. If cuts are within the discretion of the legislature, they need to make serious cuts. If state law mandates unsupportable increases, the law must change. We don’t just need cosmetic decreases in the rate of increase, we need a genuine austerity budget that doesn’t punish the people for Sacramento’s profligacy.

Businesses and residents are already fleeing the high taxes here. If things keep on the way they have been in recent years, who will be left ? I dont know

(hat tip: Flap via Twitter)

There is justice

February 24, 2009

A scientist punks the Goracle. Laughing


Thump, thump, thump! Another one under the bus?

February 24, 2009

Word is that President Obama will appoint former Washington Governor Gary Locke to be Commerce Secretary, Obama’s third attempt to find someone for the job, after the failures of the Bill Richardson and Judd Gregg nominations.

Ooops. Doh

The indefatigable Michelle Malkin used to work as a reporter for the Seattle Times, and she investigated rumors of illegal foreign contributions to Locke’s gubernatorial campaigns.

It’s illegal to funnel campaign contributions through straw donors. It’s illegal for tax-exempt churches to hold campaign fund-raisers. It’s illegal to accept money from foreign citizens who are not permanent residents of this country. It’s illegal to file false public disclosure forms (four years after the temple fundraisers, PDC records were not amended with the Buddhist monks’ correct addresses and occupations). It’s illegal to commit perjury to cover up a political money-laundering scheme.

In a trade-dependent state such as Washington state, the incentive to engage in quid pro quos is high. At Commerce, it’s even higher. Locke’s campaign finance scandal-tainted past raise serious issues about his judgment. His cozy relations with the Chinese government and favor-currying add even more doubt.

Locke’s possible corrupt donations are reminiscent of the illegal donations then Vice-President Al Gore received at a Buddhist-temple event during the 1996 campaign: the suspicion in both cases is that the money was laundered for those with connections that trace back to the Chinese government. The allegations are vigorously denied, but suspicious activity surrounds both incidents.

One has to wonder about the Obama Administration, however. It’s first nominee for Commerce, Bill Richardson, withdrew after it came out that he was under investigation for a pay-to-play scandal. Health and Human Services nominee Tom Daschle had to withdraw when it came out he failed to pay his taxes. While Treasury Secretary Geithner was confirmed, he, too, is a tax cheat. And now Gary Locke has his own dirty laundry about to be aired.

Is it that they’re incompetent at finding suitable nominees, do they just not care about ethics all, or is corruption a qualification for office in Obama administration?

UPDATE: More juicy stuff from Ed Morrissey, involving Locke’s brother-in-law.


I call that a target-rich environment

February 23, 2009

Waziristan Taliban alliance declares support for Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar

The three senior-most Taliban leaders in North and South Waziristan have joined forces to wage jihad against Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the US at the behest of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar. The new Taliban alliance said it openly supports Omar and bin Laden in its war against the US, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

North Waziristan Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadar and South Waziristan leaders Mullah Nazir and Baitullah Mehsud put aside differences last week and created the Council of United Mujahideen. Previously, Nazir and Bahadar had feuded with Baitullah due to tribal disputes as well as Baitullah’s rising power as the senior leader of the Pakistani Taliban.

I can hear the Predators warming up even now….


Hope, Change, and Court-Packing?

February 23, 2009

Rather than being sworn in on Lincoln’s Bible, perhaps Barack Obama should have asked for FDR’s cigarette holder. Tigerhawk looks at a growing group of liberal legal scholars calling for "reform" of the Supreme Court.

If we had it to do all over again, would we appoint Supreme Court justices for life? Allow the chief justice to keep the job forever? Let the court have the final word on which cases it hears and those it declines?

A group of prominent law professors and jurists thinks not, and the group says in a letter to congressional leaders that there is no reason Congress should consider the operation of the high court sacrosanct.

"We do not suggest, and would oppose, any interference with the substance of the court’s work," says the letter, which was organized by Duke University law professor Paul D. Carrington and signed by 33 others from different stations on the political spectrum.

But the group said Congress has every right to address how the court operates, "a subject it appears not to have seriously considered for at least seventy years."

Seventy years, of course, is just about when FDR tried to circumvent an inconvenient court.

It seems my current reading is quite appropriate. Sad

liberal fascism

Another case of astroturfing?


Newsweek as cheerleader

February 22, 2009

Jennifer Rubin is disgusted and isn’t surprised at Newsweek’s shrinking subscriptions.


Utterly naive

February 22, 2009

Yeah, I know. It's terribly presumptuous of me to write that about someone who's spent a career working with foreign policy and intelligence, but it's true: Bruce Riedel, the man appointed by President Obama to conduct a top-level review of US policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, thinks the ultimate solution to our war with jihadist Islam will be found in …wait for it… solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict!

President Obama named Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official and Brooking Institution scholar, to head up a review team for overhauling U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan. Via the Christian Science Monitor, a big part of Riedel's grand strategy for winning in Afghanistan is, um, securing a peace deal between the Palestinians and Israel:

  • Ultimately, the solution in Afghanistan may involve solving the age-old conflict between the Arab states and Israel, says administration adviser Riedel in a book published by the Brookings Institution, a foreign-policy think tank, last year. Al Qaeda, and the Taliban to some extent, continue to be motivated by the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, Riedel argues. If that conflict is resolved, Al Qaeda may go away.
  • "If Palestinians choose to make peace with Israel, the most fundamental point of Al Qaeda's narrative becomes irrelevant," Riedel writes. "In other words, making peace between Israelis and Arabs is not only wise policy in its own right, but also an extremely useful strategy for pulling the rug out from under Al Qaeda."

Read the rest of the piece for just a few reasons why Riedel's view is a fantasy straight out of the playbook for the Hundred Acre Wood school of diplomacy.

Pooh foreign policy

Liberal-internationalist Democrats (and many Realist Republicans) are obsessed with the idea that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the source of our troubles in the Middle East and with the Islamic world in general.

They're wrong. The problem is rooted in Islam itself.

Leave aside for the moment that the Arab states truly don't give a damn about the Palestinians other than as a tool they can exploit against the hated Jews and to distract their own abused people from their abusive rulers. If they had truly wanted a solution, those refugee camps could have been emptied decades ago and the populations assimilated into Jordan, which was once part of Palestine and is ethnically indistinguishable from the Palestinians who left what is now Israel. Ignore all that.

No, the problem lies in the jihad imperative in the Qur'an, the hadith, the schools of sharia law, and the biographies of Muhammad that call for war against non-Muslims. This urge to jihad is a sacred duty in Islam and has periodically lead Muslims to war with those on their borders. If Israel did not exist, if the fondest dreams of Hamas were fulfilled and the Jews driven into the sea, that wouldn't stop the jihad. They would merely carry it to other parts of the world as they are doing right now, regardless of the status of Jerusalem.

Mr. Riedel is seeing the problem through the wrong lens, and that will lead, at best, to further meaningless negotiations and pressure on Israel to make even more concessions to an enemy who takes any concession as as sign of weakness. At worst, this insistence on a paradigm that makes sense only in UN conference rooms and State Department cocktail parties will fuel the jihad and lead to more attacks against the West and, yes, Afghanistan and Pakistan — the jihadis of which couldn't care less about Israel or their Islamic "brothers," anyway.

Mr. Riedel clearly needs to do some study. May I recommend a few good books?

Hmmm… Since he's the president's appointee, maybe his boss should do some reading, too.

Sunday funnies

February 22, 2009

The latest NewsBusted with the easy-on-the-eyes Jodi Miller:

Hee hee


California as France

February 22, 2009

Matthew Kaminski makes the comparison, and it’s not a good one for my beloved Golden State:

Now there’s much to recommend the Old World. California brings to mind my last home, France — God’s country blessed with fertile soil for wines, sun-blanched beaches, and a well-educated populace. Amusingly, both states are led by bling-bling immigrants married to glamorous women and elected to shake up the status quo. In both departments, the governator got a head start on Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris.

The parallels are also disquieting. The French have long experienced the unintended consequences of a large public sector. Ask them about it. As the number of people who get money from government grows, so does the power of constituencies dedicated to keep this honey dripping. Even when voters recognize the model carries drawbacks, such as subpar growth, high taxes, an uncompetitive business climate and above-average unemployment, their elected leaders find it near impossible to tweak the system. This has been the story of France for decades, and lately of California.

Six years ago, Mr. Schwarzenegger arrived in Sacramento to "cut up the credit card" and give the girlie men at the State Capitol a testosterone shot. California languished then in a fiscal crisis whose causes were pretty much the same as today. The hapless Gray Davis had been recalled, and the Austrian-born actor made a promising start to break the pattern.

In 2005, banking on his popularity, the governor pushed an ambitious ballot initiative to impose a hard state spending cap, limit the unions’ political buying power, tighten requirements for teacher tenure, and overhaul a gerrymandered state political map. Arnold lost.

Rather than regrouping and coming back to try again to fix California’s structural problems, Arnold instead switched to those issues which would make him popular. In the process, not only did Arnie lose, so did Californians. Our problems –irrational spending policies, union dominance, constitutionally mandated spending, and bloated state labor rolls– are well-entrenched and would take a Herculean effort to fix.

Unfortunately, Hercules wimped out.


War porn

February 21, 2009

Jihadis go boom. Enjoy.

I know it doesn’t fit with the new age of arugula and unicorns Hope and Change, but I do so enjoy watching these creeps get pasted. Dancing

(hat tip: The Jawa Report)


Technorati tags: ,

Jon Stewart will not get his Stimulus Pony

February 20, 2009

But at least he remembers that presidents are fair game for comedians:


.cc_box a:hover .cc_home{background:url(‘http://www.comedycentral.com/comedycentral/video/assets/syndicated-logo-over.png’) !important;}.cc_links a{color:#b9b9b9;text-decoration:none;}.cc_show a{color:#707070;text-decoration:none;}.cc_title a{color:#868686;text-decoration:none;}.cc_links a:hover{color:#67bee2;text-decoration:underline;}

Rolling on the floor


Technorati tags: , ,

Hell freezes over, one in a series

February 20, 2009

In this episode, I’m taken aback when I find myself in complete agreement with Rush Limbaugh.

(hat tip: That little widget-thingie on the left)


This was a joke, right?

February 20, 2009

New York City wants to spend $45,000,000 for job re-training for laid-off Wall Street traders and bankers.

(via The Cato Institute)


An endorsement he’d rather not have?

February 20, 2009

Our worst ex-president, Jimmy Carter, approves of Obama’s stimulus package.

Talk about a "contrary indicator!"  Loser


Technorati tags: ,