Bill Whittle: “How to steal power” or “Turning the Constitution upside-down”

October 31, 2011

Bill’s back with another episode of Afterburner, this time taking a look at how progressives (including Supreme Court justices) have regularly twisted (and even tortured) the plain meaning of the Constitution to get what they want, rather than what the document allows. Bill focuses on two much-abused clauses in Article I, section 8, “General Welfare” and “Commerce,” to show that, interpreted in the progressive manner, as part of a “Living Constitution,” (1) these clauses stop being limits on government’s power and instead become grants of unlimited power.

My own view is that of originalism, that the document has to be read as the Convention and the ratifying states intended. Where the language is plain, as in…

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

…then the argument ends. In more ambiguous sections (often due to 18th century grammar and style), we can use our reason (2) and examine primary sources of the time, such as the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, the records of the Constitutional Convention, and the contemporaneous state constitutions to figure out what was intended.

And where the powers delegated to the federal government under the Constitution are inadequate to meet a truly national or multi-state issue, there’s this little thing called Article V that provides a means to rewrite the rules in a manner best-suited to creating consensus — unlike diktats from imperialist judges divining the current meaning of the living constitution from its penumbras and emanations.

Any other way is just stealing power.

Footnote:
(1) Just to be fair to the other side, Strauss’ recent book, The Living Constitution, has been receiving good reviews. It never hurts to know the other guys’ arguments.
(2) Contra Ezra Klein, it’s not hard.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The #Occupy protesters are the new Vandals

October 30, 2011

The Vandals were a Germanic tribe that so terrorized the dying West Roman Empire, particularly during the sack of Rome in 455, that later authors used their name to coin a word describing the wanton destruction of anything beautiful or civilized — “vandalism.”

The Occupy movement would seem to be the latest heirs to the “Vandal tradition:” despising the civilization that’s given them so much, making incoherent demands, and engaging in barbaric and even criminal behavior. My blog-buddy ST has done a great job chronicling much of it.

Well, here’s another example for you:

Nearby, small merchants complained that the camp has hurt their businesses, and they fear that a “general strike” called by protesters for Wednesday could further discourage customers. Meanwhile, big companies said the street protests affected their daily operations, and some Oakland residents said they were worried that police, busy with protesters, are even less able to respond to crimes in their neighborhoods.

What business owners said they fear is that the camp will devolve into chaos again, something some said has already begun.

The owner of Sankofa African Arts and Jewelry said that on the two mornings since protesters returned, her front doorway has reeked of urine.

She said her business has declined by 80 percent since Occupy Oakland began.

“I really, really want them to leave,” said the owner, who gave only her first name, Ellen. She has owned her business for 17 years. “What they are doing is making business worse.”

A camp supporter overheard her lament and shouted: “You would have lost your business anyway with the way the economy is going.”

Ellen burst into tears.

Moji Ghafouri said business has gone down 25 percent at her Caffe Teatro. Protesters also smashed one of her windows.

“I’m a small business,” she said. “If you’re against corporations or big business, I’m not them.”

No, you’re not, Moji. Nor is Ellen. But, to the Occupiers, you might as well be. Whatever your politics, these people don’t represent you, regardless of their claims to speak for a mythical “99-percent.” You’re business owners, capitalists. You’re honest people trying to make a future for yourselves. And though you’re not among the wealthiest people in America, that doesn’t matter to the Occupiers. Your sin in their eyes is that you’re willing to work within the capitalist system to build a better life for you and yours, instead of screeching for a barren egalitarianism. That’s why the protester treated Ellen with such nihilistic contempt: to them, you’re all “Little Eichmanns.” To them, you’re just a tool of the hated old order, worthy only of contempt. What you have is theirs to loot and, if they don’t take it, to ruin. What you have built is theirs to tear down.

The Vandals would approve.

Afterthought: Let me here and now express my deep contempt for the mayors, such as Oakland’s Jean Quan, who’ve let these “movements” wreck the lives and businesses of residents unfortunate enough to be stuck in the area. Hiding behind a fig leaf of “respect’ for “tolerance” and “free speech,” these cowards are failing some of the most basic duties of civic governance: the protection of life, property, and public order. Are these business owners and taxpayers second-class citizens, inferior to the “Occupiers?” Do they have no rights?

Do your job, mayors: order the mob to disperse. If they refuse, send in the police and this time don’t call them off.

via Big Government

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Your tax dollars at work: FEMA prepares for alien invasion!

October 29, 2011

Fools! Don’t they know they’re already here? Isn’t Dennis Kucinich proof enough?

Still, it’s comforting to know that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has prepared instructions for firefighters on what to do in case space aliens attack (1):

Can’t wait to see what they have in mind for when the Mole People strike… 

Footnote:
(1) I for one welcome our new Extraterrestrial Overlords; they have to be an improvement over the current crop!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Popcorn!! AG Holder to testify on “Fast and Furious”

October 28, 2011

Under oath, baby, under oath:

CBS News has learned Attorney General Eric Holder has agreed to appear before the House Judiciary Committee regarding “Fast and Furious.” The hearing will take place Dec. 8th.

Judiciary Committee member and head of the House Oversight Committee Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) had requested that Holder appear, in part to dig deeper into when-he-knew-what about ATF’s so-called “gunwalking” operation Fast and Furious.

In May, Holder testified that he only first heard about Fast and Furious a few weeks before. However, as CBS News reported, documents and memos indicate he had been sent multiple briefings mentioning Fast and Furious in 2010.

Holder later explained in a letter to Congress that he didn’t read those memos, and that in any event, nobody at the Justice Department who knew of Fast and Furious was aware of the specific “gunwalking” tactics used.

Could this be the moment Holder falls on his sword for Obama?

CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson (aka, She Who Was Screamed At) also reports that Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wants a public hearing with former ATF Director Ken Melson. Melson, you may recall, rejected the presence of DoJ “minders” and testified before the committee last July without telling his bosses, bringing his own lawyer and and directly tying top subordinates of Eric Holder to Operation Fast and Furious. My guess is that Cummings wants Democrats to be seen as pro-active on this in order to give his caucus some distance from a scandal that could (should) threaten Obama’s reelection.

Or he wants to play attack dog. Could be either.

Regardless, the real show will be before the House Judiciary Committee when Eric Holder raises his right hand and starts answering or dodging pointed questions about what he knew, when he knew it, who developed this felony stupid plan, and who approved it.

Can’t wait.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Lying or incompetent? The Janet Napolitano edition

October 28, 2011

So, which is it, Madame Secretary? Or is it both?

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet “The System Worked” Napolitano testified before the House Judiciary Committee and did her best Sergeant Schultz impression, claiming she knew nothing about Operation Fast and Furious (aka Gunwalker) until Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed late last year:

House Republicans on Wednesday turned their sharp questioning over “Operation Fast and Furious” toward Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who acknowledged her agents were twice told to “stand down” in deference to what she called a “very troublesome” operation.

Napolitano, at one point likening the questioning to a cross-examination, said repeatedly she only learned of “Fast and Furious” after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in December. She emphasized the operation, conceived and run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, “was an ATF operation,” under the auspices of the Justice Department, not her department.

Well played, Janet! Denying knowledge of Gunwalker while pointing a big finger at Justice! Guess your boss isn’t the only one who can throw people under the bus.

Call me “cynical,” but Secretary Napolitano’s testimony lacks a certain something… Let’s call it “credibility.”

Look at the facts: Janet Napolitano was Governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009, when Barack Obama appointed her DHS Secretary. Arizona has a huge problem with cartel-related smuggling and violence. She would have been intimately familiar with the problems on her southern border. It is inconceivable that, both as the immediate past governor of a key state, a cabinet official,  and head of the agency charged with security of the US border, she would not have been briefed on a major cross-border gun-smuggling operation, particularly when we were running it.

Consider also that Dennis Burke, her former chief of staff when she was Arizona’s governor and a senior adviser to her at DHS, was the US Attorney for Arizona during Operation Fast and Furious and participated in the inter-agency task force overseeing the operation fiasco.

This is Napolitano’s former chief of staff, someone she worked closely with for years, whom she probably helped get the US Attorney’s job, and who was her protege in Arizona politics. Does she seriously expect us to believe he never briefed her, never even mentioned it to his friend and mentor? Remember, Gunwalker started in mid-2009; Agent Terry was killed in November, 2010.  For over a year, Burke told his friend the Director of Homeland Security nothing? Nor was she briefed by anyone at the DoJ?

Seriously, Janet?

Lying, incompetent, or both, folks. You make the call.

RELATED: Earlier posts about Gunwalker.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Occupy the Department of Energy! Or, loans for Russian billionaires?

October 27, 2011

I must’ve missed the memo announcing the rebirth of the Friends of Angelo program under the aegis of the Department of Energy.  Under the leadership of Secretary Chu (Like his boss, a Nobel Prize winner. Be impressed.), the DoE has fast-tracked and awarded loans with preferential terms (1) to a failing “Green” energy company, Solyndra; a “Green” car company, Fisker, which plans to make its cars in Finland, when they get around to actually making the cars; and another “Green” automaker, Tesla, which builds Gaea-friendly cars for the elite one-percent. And on which Tesla loses money.

All these loans, totaling about $1.5 billion taxpayer dollars, were doled out to companies with connections to big donors to the Democrats and Obama. (See also.)

But this one has to be the cake-topper — $730 million to a Russian billionaire:

Another controversial U.S. Department of Energy “green” loan is coming under scrutiny.

Last July the Obama administration issued a $730 million low interest “green” loan to Russia’s second largest steel company, whose chief executive is a Russian tycoon personally worth $18 billion and who has close ties to Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

An influential House oversight chairman is now questioning why taxpayer funds from the Department of Energy are being used to assist the highly capitalized foreign-based steel company.

The DOE renewable energy loan was awarded this summer to Severstal North America to produce high strength steel at its Dearborn, Michigan facility. Steel is not in short supply in the United States and current U.S. steel plants are operating under capacity.

The DOE loan is part of a controversial $40 billion renewable energy loan program organized under its Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program  called ATVM.  The program is supposed to help financially starved companies in the green auto manufacturing field by providing taxpayer-supported low interest loans.

As PJM’s Richard Pollock points out, the billionaire, Alexei Mordashov, is the 29th richest man in the world. Mordashov’s company, Severstal, recently made $1.2 billion from the sale of several steel mills in Ohio and other states. He could finance Dearborn plant out of his own pocket and still have enough left over to buy his own miniature giraffe. (2)

And then there’s the question of why Severstal, a fully-capitalized company that’s neither in the auto or “Green industries,” qualifies for loans meant to help “green auto manufacturing.”

Why, if I were a cynic, I might suspect some sort of a payoff here.

Nah. I must just be a RAAAAACIST!! and a hater. Or something.

Footnote:
(1) Read: “They get the gold mine, the taxpayer gets the shaft.”
(2) I love that commercial.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


A strategic game-changer in the Near East? A recipe for war? Or both?

October 26, 2011

I wrote last June about major oil and natural gas finds in the Eastern Mediterranean that would be a boon to Israel if they played out.

Today at (the renamed) PJMedia, Jonathan Spyer interviews Israeli journalist Amiram Barkat regarding other major natural gas (and maybe oil) finds under the nearby Mediterranean seabed — an area claimed by Israel and its new friend Cyprus, on the one hand, and increasingly Islamic-fascist Turkey and Lebanon (1) on the other. While discussing the enormous economic and strategic implications for Israel, Barkat talks reviews the geopolitical dangers:

PJM: What are the latest developments regarding the dispute between Turkey and Cyprus over exploratory drilling for offshore gas deposits off the coast of Cyprus? Are Turkish Navy ships still in the area?

In late September this year, Noble Energy, a Houston-based company, started drilling the Aphrodite prospect within a maritime area known as Block 12. Noble, the company that has made all the significant gas discoveries in Israel, received the drilling license in Block 12 from the Cypriot government in 2008.

Turkey had threatened to use military force should drilling commence, but refrained from action. Turkey has two major claims regarding Cyprus exploration plans: first, as the protector of the rights of the Turkish minority in Cyprus, it aims to guarantee that the Turkish Cypriots gain a share in the future revenues from any discovery. Second, Turkey doesn’t recognize the Cypriot EEZ and claims that parts of it are actually in Turkish waters.

PJM: Is there a realistic possibility that this could lead to conflict between Israel and Turkey? Or has Turkey, as a NATO member, been warned against escalating the situation?

The strengthening ties between Israel and Cyprus underpinned by mutual interests in the export of natural gas could make the possibility of regional conflict involving Turkey a realistic one, though not in the near future. Israel is aware of this and an internal debate has been going on regarding Cyprus.

Looking from Nicosia, the choices seem simpler. Recent developments in the area have clearly weakened Cyprus’s geopolitical position vis-à-vis Turkey. Greece, Cyprus’ patron, is practically bankrupt. Egypt and Libya, traditional allies within the Arab world, are both undergoing a revolutionary process.

Against this backdrop Cypriot government officials openly invited the Israeli military to play an active role defending Cypriot interests. In private talks Cypriot officials are supportive of letting the Israeli Air Force use Cypriot bases.

As you can imagine, the simultaneous occurrence of new valuable resources and political upheaval in the region is as recipe for military conflict at some point — and, in the Middle East, that could come at any time. While one naturally hopes that the parties involved would come to an amicable arrangement, factors besides those mentioned above line up against it:

  • Turkey is under an increasingly Islamist government, and their prime minister may well be an antisemitic nut.
  • Hizbullah-dominated Lebanon cut a deal with the hated Jews? Barack Obama will sooner embrace Thomas Sowell.
  • The natural broker for such a dispute is the United States, due to our history of alliance with both Israel and Turkey, but, thanks to incompetent diplomacy Smart Power, we’ve increasingly alienated Israel and played the fool for Turkey, which is actively working to advance the Islamist cause. Now one doesn’t trust us and the other thinks (rightly) it can use us.

This is not a recipe for the lion to lie with the lamb any time soon.

Footnote:
(1) And letting Hizbullah (and, by extension, its Iranian patrons) get any share of the revenues from these new fields is a Bad Idea(tm).

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


See 20-20? Dial 9-9-9? Which plan is the right plan? — Updated

October 25, 2011

One of the big issues on the Right side of American politics is large-scale tax reform: not just tinkering with rates or eliminating this or that deduction, but massive changes that would amount to junking the current byzantine progressive tax code that punishes wealth creation and saving and hobbles our economy by replacing it with something much simpler and, in the mind of most Americans, much fairer. Generally a flat income tax or a “fair tax” — a national sales tax.

Today Governor Rick Perry issued his proposals for tax reform to spur economic growth — the 20-20 Plan:

The plan starts with giving Americans a choice between a new, flat tax rate of 20% or their current income tax rate. The new flat tax preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and it increases the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.

This simple 20% flat tax will allow Americans to file their taxes on a postcard, saving up to $483 billion in compliance costs. By eliminating the dozens of carve-outs that make the current code so incomprehensible, we will renew incentives for entrepreneurial risk-taking and investment that creates jobs, inspires Americans to work hard and forms the foundation of a strong economy. My plan also abolishes the death tax once and for all, providing needed certainty to American family farms and small businesses.

My plan restores American competitiveness in the global marketplace and provides strong incentives for U.S.-based employers to build new factories and create thousands of jobs here at home.

First, we will lower the corporate tax rate to 20%—dropping it from the second highest in the developed world to a rate on par with our global competitors. Second, we will encourage the swift repatriation of some of the $1.4 trillion estimated to be parked overseas by temporarily lowering the rate to 5.25%. And third, we will transition to a “territorial tax system”—as seen in Hong Kong and France, for example—that only taxes in-country income.

20-20 would also end the taxation of Social Security income, qualified dividends (It’s unclear what “qualified” means here), and long-term capital gains. A family of four would see their first $50,000 of income exempt from taxes, and the end of the death tax would mean that small family businesses wouldn’t have to be broken up to meet taxes.

One thing not often noted in reports I’ve seen is that 20-20 would cap spending would both cap spending at 18% of GDP, the modern historical average for tax revenues, and seek a balanced budget amendment. I consider these strong selling points, a simple fiscal restraint will take advantage of normal economic growth to balance the budget.

20-20 is in reply to Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, which would impose a 9% personal income tax, 9% corporate income tax, and 9% national sales tax.

Let’s stipulate three things at the beginning: either plan would be better than the current mess, both have their strong points, and both have criticizable aspects.

Cain’s plan has been accused of disguising a Value-Added Tax (VAT) as a corporate income tax, and for giving the government an added revenue stream by creating both an income and a national sales tax.  I also have constitutional questions about a national sales tax: where is the federal authority to tax any sales transactions, especially if they stay within the boundaries of a single state?

Supporters, on the other hand, correctly point out that Cain’s plan is a transitional phase to a single Fair Tax.

Perry’s plan, meanwhile, retains more deductions (home mortgage, charitable, &c.), which leaves room for special interests to game the system, as they do now. However, I don’t think it’s likely, politics being the art of the possible, that one will be able to eliminate the home mortgage exemption, for example, especially in bad economic times. In that regard, 20-20 may be more practical than 9-9-9.

So, which is better? I’m not sure (no one would ever accuse me of being a numbers-guy), but, like Dan Mitchell, I lean toward 20-20 because it aims for the same goals while avoiding the VAT and tricky constitutional questions. And I’ll note the Club For Growth has endorsed 20-20.

Like I said, though, in the end, either would be better than what we have.

Which do you prefer?

LINKS: Ed Morrissey on the Perry conference call about 20-20. Tom Maguire thinks it’s a gimmick. Perry supporter Bryan Preston provides more details.

PS: I looked through the Romney site and could find no mention of a tax reform plan. If I’ve missed it, please post a link in the comments and I’ll add an update.

UPDATE: Okay, I found Mitt’s tax plan. It’s on page 37 of his Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth. The first thing I see is that it retains the current marginal rates and sets a “flatter, fairer, simpler structure” as a long-term goal. Ummm…. No, thanks.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Meet Jim Moran (D-VA), anti-democratic Democrat

October 24, 2011

Let’s be blunt — Democratic pols are having a breakdown as they are forced to face three things: their treasured statist, social democratic policies are an abject failure (1); only a fifth of the nation identifies with the Democrats’ statist philosophy and policies (2); and their leader is a schmuck who is leading them to a massacre in 2012 that will make the Great Shellacking of 2010 look like a walk in the park.

So, having to face the fact that the general voting public doesn’t like them and their policies much and is working within the democratic system to stymie their plans and (eventually, we hope) undo the damage they’ve done, we shouldn’t be surprised when their inner progressive comes out and they decide to say “to heck with the democratic system and the Constitution itself (3), we’ll just rule by decree!

Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran told The Daily Caller on Thursday evening that President Obama should “refinance every home mortgage” without congressional approval in order to “reset the economy.”

“Absolutely, I think [Obama] should do that but there are not a lot of places where he can act unilaterally,” Moran told TheDC during Conservation International’s Oct. 20 dinner in Washington, D.C.

“If he chooses to act unilaterally,” Moran said, “the likelihood is that there will be language in the appropriations bills that will prohibit him from spending money for that purpose. That’s just the political reality. But notwithstanding that, I think he should do everything he can do on his own to stimulate jobs.”

Obama has already asked his Council on Jobs to identify areas of the American Jobs Act that can be implemented without congressional authorization.

Moran told TheDC that he would “like to see” the Obama administration “refinance every home mortgage at three-and-a-half to four percent” interest, which he said can be accomplished without approval from Congress.

“The banks aren’t doing it, but the federal government can borrow money at three-and-a-half percent today. They should use that money to refinance every home mortgage, and that would put $750 billion into homeowners pockets,” he said. “It would reset the economy, and I think it’s the one thing that would most quickly get this economy back on its feet.”

*sigh* 

Not only does Representative Moran want Obama to spend money without authorization, but he wants Obama to borrow nearly another trillion dollars. Let me remind Congressman Moran of Article I, section 8, clause 2 of the United States Constitution, which defines the powers of Congress:

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

Only Congress can borrow money on the credit of the United States; that power is granted to no one else.

And yet James Moran, a Democratic member of the House of Representatives from Virginia’s 8th district, wants the President of the United States to usurp powers granted only to Congress, because the meanie Republicans are doing what their constituents elected them to do and blocking any more idiotic ideas — such as Jim Moran’s.

May I suggest to Congressman Moran, since he finds the Constitution he swore to uphold and defend such a pain in the rear, that he do the honorable thing and resign?

First it was Governor Perdue (D-NC) advocating suspending congressional elections in 2012. Then it was Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., urging Obama to declare Congress in rebellion. And now Jim Moran wants Obama to borrow and spend money without any concern for the people’s elected representatives.

Professional Democrats have a real problem with democracy, don’t they?

via Ed Morrissey, who exposes the economic stupidity of Moran’s “plan.”

Footnotes:
(1) Cash for Clunkers. The Stimulus act. The CLASS program. The Durbin Amendment to Dodd-Frank. The earlier mortgage bailout.  Their loan programs to the “green companies” of tomorrow (See: Solyndra. Tesla and Fisker). And I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch more.
(2) It’s hard to claim to be the “party of the people” when only one-in-five will even admit to aligning with you.
(3) Well, who can blame them? The document is over 100 years old and it probably confuses the poor dears.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The kind of lies an immature, narcissistic president tells

October 23, 2011

"Tell me you love me!"

Oh, please. Don’t insult my intelligence:

Every night before he goes to sleep, the president of the United States reads 10 letters from the pile of 20,000 sent to him by Americans every day. Sometimes, he writes back. He’s even, on occasion, included a check.

“It’s not something I should advertise, but it has happened,” President Barack Obama told reporter Eli Saslow, author of the new book, “Ten Letters: The Stories Americans Tell Their President.”

I’m not sure what the bigger whopper is here: that Obama plays “secret Santa” to some of the poor, downtrodden folks in danger of losing their homes or with medical bills they can’t pay, or that a guy with an ego the size of the Grand Canyon is reluctant to talk about it.

Consider the first choice. Are you really going to tell me these people have received personal checks from the President of the United States and have stayed quiet about it? They didn’t tell their relatives? They and their relatives didn’t tell the local news? No one at the bank who cashed the check told anyone “Hey, I just cashed a check from Obama?” Word never got to the national news networks, who’d love to carry a feel-good story about their God-King?

Everyone stayed mum?

Sure. Uh-huh. I buy that. How much for the bridge, too? 

Or how about the next one, that he’s reluctant to talk about it? Barack Obama, humble? Reluctant to take credit? The man who shunned the Democratic convention hall so he could make his acceptance speech in an outdoor arena before Grecian columns, like some demigod? The man who couldn’t be bothered to appear in person at ceremonies commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall, but sent  a video message that focused on him? Who’s famously thin-skinned about criticism and makes almost every speech on himself? Who’s sure he’s made all the right choices? Who had to have a star-studded White House birthday party –including a conga line— while the economy is still in a tank??

This Barack Obama, who probably has narcissistic personality disorder?

Yeah, you bet. And unicorns are real, too.

Look, if this turns out to be true –that Obama sent checks, not just wrote back– I’ll admit my error and apologize.

But I just don’t believe it; I think the man is lying and that his childish need for ego-stroking made him do it.

via Clarice Feldman

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Rule 5 Friday: Jordan Carver loves America, and we love her

October 21, 2011

Jordan is a model (no, really?) born in Germany who now lives in Los Angeles. And, showing excellent taste, she thinks American men are the best:

BP: Since it is COMPLETELY OBVIOUS that American men are the best in the world – what are the top ways we beat our international competition?

JC: Lol Yes – FOR SURE American men are OBVIOUSLY the best 

In fact there is one thing that’s different – their attitude. Compared to other man I meet so far I like the “yes I can” mentality. I like if someone is taking action and is proud about doing it. Maybe this is because of their education, patriotism and independence. This is unique in the international competition.

Be sure to read her full interview at Big Peace; she’s not only a fan of America and American men, but she went out of her way to boost the morale of our British allies in the field and she’s a champion Call of Duty: Black Ops gamer.

My fellow Americans, this is why we fight! 

RELATED: Jordan Carver’s own blog. Stacy McCain explains Rule 5.

PS: Yeah, it’s shameless of me. But, amidst all the politics and scandals and a lousy economy, isn’t it nice to gaze upon beauty for a moment? 


At least the Solyndra loan was wasted *in* America — Updated

October 20, 2011

Over $500 million taxpayer dollars to subsidize a “Green” car  — made in Finland:

With the approval of the Obama administration, an electric car company that received a $529 million federal government loan guarantee is assembling its first line of cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work.

Vice President Joseph Biden heralded the Energy Department’s $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company called Fisker as a bright new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs. But two years after the loan was announced, the job of assembling the flashy electric Fisker Karma sports car has been outsourced to Finland.

“There was no contract manufacturer in the U.S. that could actually produce our vehicle,” the car company’s founder and namesake told ABC News. “They don’t exist here.”

Henrik Fisker said the U.S. money so far has been spent on engineering and design work that stayed in the U.S., not on the 500 manufacturing jobs that went to a rural Finnish firm, Valmet Automotive.

Money is fungible. You can bet the taxpayer-funded loan dollars spent here freed up resources to be spent in Finland.

And, gee, want to guess how this company had such an easy time getting the taxpayer-funded loan?

Connections help:

One of Fisker’s biggest financial supporters, records show, is the California venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The firm financially supports numerous green-tech firms, records show.

Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr, a California billionaire who made a fortune investing in Google, hosted President Obama at a February dinner for high-tech executives at his secluded estate south of San Francisco. Doerr and Kleiner Perkins executives have contributed more than $1 million to federal political causes and campaigns over the last two decades, primarily supporting Democrats. Doerr serves on Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Doerr has not replied to interview requests since March.

Former Vice President Al Gore is another Kleiner Perkins senior partner. Gore could not be reached for comment.

“Their major venture investor is Kleiner Perkins, who has Al Gore as a partner and is certainly politically connected in general,” said industry observer Sexton. “Whether that played a role or not is up to the DOE to explain.”

So, in return for some donations, Fisker receives several hundred times that in taxpayer-funded loan for a car that no one has even seen yet. Sweet deal, that. I’m sure the project was approved solely on the merits.

And I’m the King of Spain.

Read the whole thing. There’s another “green” car firm involved. Add in their loan, and were talking nearly a billion. Maybe theirs is at least “made in America.” And I wonder what all of Obama’s union buddies think of this?

“Chicago on the Potomac” doesn’t cover half of it.

via Sarah Palin

UPDATED: Sweet! Fisker’s gas-electric hybrid gets a whopping 20 miles per gallon in gasoline mode — less than the Chevy Volt! And for this we forked out more the $500 million. Way to go, President “We Got Every Decision Right!


Barack Carter

October 20, 2011

Gee, where have I heard those words before?

It’s more than a passing resemblance.

via Steven Hayward.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Perry on Romney: this is how you do an attack ad

October 20, 2011

Yesterday, the Romney campaign issued an attack ad obviously questioning Rick Perry’s intelligence — and then quickly pulled it back when they realized it made their guy look like a jerk.

Today the Perry campaign issued their own ad attacking Romney, and it’s a good one:

Ouch! That’ll leave a mark.

Team Romney, take notes.

Now, if only Team Perry could get their guy to actually show up at debates…

RELATED: Rick Perry 2012.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Libya: Daffy Qaddafi dead? And the country’s future?

October 20, 2011

Let’s hope so; I can think of few people more deserving of a trip to Hell. What’s certain, though, is that his “hometown” and last major focus of resistance, Sirte, has fallen:

There are unconfirmed reports deposed Libyan leader Moamar Gaddafi has died of wounds sustained when fighters captured his home town of Sirte.

If true, his death, which came swiftly after his capture is the most dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen.

“He (Gaddafi) was hit in his head,” National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta said.

“There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.”

Mr Mlegta said earlier Gaddafi was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked.

There was no independent confirmation of his remarks and NATO said it was still checking on the reports, which could take some time to confirm.

“We are checking and assessing the situation,” a NATO official said.

“Clearly these are very significant developments, which will take time to confirm. If it is true, then this is truly a historic day for the people of Libya.”

I’ll say it would be, if true. That sharp-dressing psychopath made the lives of most Libyans a nightmare for over 40 years and was responsible for the murder of Americans and other nationals in acts of terror. In the 70s he was a backer of the Irish Republican Army, as well as the Italian Red Brigades, the Basque ETA, and Peru’s Sendero Luminoso. While it became easy to laugh at his public buffoonery (and here’s the sad truth about his female bodyguards), let’s keep in mind that Muammar Qaddafi was a seriously evil, vile human being. If he has indeed met the fate of Saddam Hussein, Nicolae Ceaucescu, and Benito Mussolini, let no tears be shed for him.

But what of Libya’s future? This morning I caught a few minutes of Fox and Friends and watched Gretchen Carlson interview a reporter from the New York Times (sorry, can’t find a video link) and almost laughed at the man’s naivete: the Libyans were fighting for “democracy” and the “rule of law,” and that they “want the same things we do.” It was the starry-eyed “they’re just like us” argument that’s almost inevitably lead to cries of “what went wrong” a few years later.

“Just like us?” Did this reporter know of the Libyan Jew who went home to rebuild a synagogue in his old neighborhood, only to be told to flee for his life? Or how the rebels would scrawl the Star of David over pictures of Qaddafi, implying he was a Jew and thus an enemy to the Muslims?

“Just like us,” only without the religious tolerance part.

Did the reporter recall that eastern Libya, the Benghazi area, where the rebels originated, was also a hotbed for Al Qaeda recruiting? Or that at least some influential rebel commanders and their soldiers have fought for Al Qaeda? I think the “rule of law” they’re fighting for may mean something a bit different to them then it does in a Western liberal democracy. (hint: Sharia)

“Just like us,” only without that equality under the law part.

I’m not saying all the Libyan rebels are Islamists nor that there are no liberals among them; they’re not and there are. Libya may yet become a recognizable constitutional democracy instead of another Islamic hellhole. Let’s hope so, for the world would be a better place. But no one can predict a revolution’s future, and I’m not nearly so sanguine and indeed positively chirpy about Libya’s as a “sophisticated” reporter from the nation’s fish-wrap of record.

They’re not “just like us.”

RELATED: Some great photos at The Atlantic on the fall of Sirte. (via Stephen F. Hayes)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Want to make a lot of money? Get a job in D.C.!

October 19, 2011

It’s the top-income city in the nation!

Federal employees whose compensation averages more than $126,000 and the nation’s greatest concentration of lawyers helped Washington edge out San Jose as the wealthiest U.S. metropolitan area, government data show.

The U.S. capital has swapped top spots with Silicon Valley, according to recent Census Bureau figures, with the typical household in the Washington metro area earning $84,523 last year. The national median income for 2010 was $50,046.

The figures demonstrate how the nation’s political and financial classes are prospering as the economy struggles with unemployment above 9 percent and thousands of Americans protest in the streets against income disparity, said Kevin Zeese, director of Prosperity Agenda, a Baltimore-based advocacy group trying to narrow the divide between rich and poor.

There’s a gap that’s isolating Washington from the reality of the rest of the country,” Zeese said. “They just get more and more out of touch.”

But, according to Harry Reid’s version reality, it’s the public sector that’s suffering the most in this lousy economy.

Silicon Valley at least makes valuable things to justify those high salaries. DC creates $787 billion failed “stimulus” packages, bloated payrolls, and regulations that make it harder for the private sector to hire anyone.

What’s wrong with this picture?

via Iowahawk


Good God. Is Harry Reid really this stupid? UPDATE: Yes. He. Is.

October 19, 2011

I’m afraid the answer is “yes.” According to the Leader of the Majority Party in the US Senate (1), private-sector jobs are “doing fine.” It’s the public sector that is truly suffering in this economy. He’s either stupid, or a shameless and cynical hack pol who doesn’t give a damn about the truth.

I vote for (C), all of the above:

And in case you don’t believe your ears:

“The massive layoffs we’ve had in America today—of course they’re rooted in the last administration—and it’s very clear that private sector jobs are doing just fine. It’s the public sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation’s all about. And it’s unfortunate my friend the Republican Leader is complaining about that.”

How’s that again, Harry?

"Private sector jobs are doing just fine." --Harry Reid

“Orwellian” comes to mind. If anything, the Stimulus Porkulus plan was intended to save the jobs of some of the Democrats’ biggest boosters, public sector employees and their union bosses.

More from Michelle Malkin.

UPDATE: Here’s another chart to upset Dingy Harry’s version of reality, via PJM:

See? The private sector is okay! Hey, who are you going to believe? Harry Reid or your lying eyes?

Footnote:
(1) That hasn’t offered a budget in over 900 days, in violation of federal law. Now that’s leadership.


Antisemitic “Occupy LA” teacher fired

October 19, 2011

Sometimes bureaucracies can do the right thing:

Superintendent Deasy Issues Statement on Employee’s Controversial Remarks

Los Angeles – As Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), I want to emphasize that we condemn the remarks made recently by Patricia McAllister.

Her comments, made during non-work time at a recent protest rally, were her private opinions and were not made in the context of District services.  At LAUSD, we recognize that the law is very protective of the freedom of speech rights of public employees when they are speaking as private citizens during non-working time.

I further emphasize to our students, who watch us and look to us for guidance, to be role models and to represent the ideals by which LAUSD lives, that we will never stand for behavior that is disrespectful, intolerant or discriminatory.

As a day-to-day substitute teacher, Ms. McAllister was an at-will employee.  As of today, she is no longer an employee of the LAUSD.

Emphasis added.

McAllister was featured in this video from Reason.TV, blaming the ongoing financial crisis on “Zionists” (read: JOOOZZ!!!) who should “get out of the country.”

Some might argue that her right to free speech was violated and that she was speaking on her own, as Superintendent Deasy argued above, but I reject those arguments for two reasons:

  1. McAllister self-identified as a LAUSD employee during the interview. Thus, she had become a public face for the district and her views would reflect on it and its employees. Parents would have every right to question the wisdom of entrusting their children to a district that would hire loons like McAllister and they would be right to question the wisdom of retaining school board members who thought it okay to retain her services.
  2. McAllister’s right to free political speech has not been trampled; she can continue spouting her “wisdom” all day at the Occupy LA site or at any other public venue, if she wants. But the district is under no obligation to hire or retain her, either, given the first point, above, and the lack of any contractual protection. While it would be wrong to fire someone for, say, arguing that Barack Obama is a bad president or that Sarah Palin is unfit for office, McAllister’s antisemitic screed is truly beyond the pale and she should in no way be entrusted with educating children.

Good for the LAUSD.

BY THE WAY: Some argue that the Occupy movement is not antisemitic. While I would not tar every member of that movement with that awful brush, the signs that it suffuses the ideological background of the movement are undeniable:

Again, Democrats — is this what you want to associate with?

via Big Government


Go ahead, Democrats, embrace the Occupy movement

October 18, 2011

You know you want to; it’s so edgy, so sexy, so… progressive. It makes you feel young again, doesn’t it? Takes you back to the 60s or the 80s, when you were going to change the world; when, with enough will and fervor (and Acapulco gold), you could defy reality and turn the world into one large anarcho-socialist nirvana. Free health care, free love, free stuff… You were gonna have it all.

Oh, it didn’t work out so well before, but that was then. Now’s different! Now is your time! Give in to your inner Statist, unleash the Socialist within! The rest of the nation is with you!

Or, maybe not:

Yet the Occupy Wall Street movement reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people—and particularly with swing voters who are largely independent and have been trending away from the president since the debate over health-care reform.

(…)

Our research shows clearly that the movement doesn’t represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda.

The vast majority of demonstrators are actually employed, and the proportion of protesters unemployed (15%) is within single digits of the national unemployment rate (9.1%).

(…)

What binds a large majority of the protesters together—regardless of age, socioeconomic status or education—is a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth, intense regulation of the private sector, and protectionist policies to keep American jobs from going overseas.

Sixty-five percent say that government has a moral responsibility to guarantee all citizens access to affordable health care, a college education, and a secure retirement—no matter the cost. By a large margin (77%-22%), they support raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, but 58% oppose raising taxes for everybody, with only 36% in favor. And by a close margin, protesters are divided on whether the bank bailouts were necessary (49%) or unnecessary (51%).

Thus Occupy Wall Street is a group of engaged progressives who are disillusioned with the capitalist system and have a distinct activist orientation. Among the general public, by contrast, 41% of Americans self-identify as conservative, 36% as moderate, and only 21% as liberal. That’s why the Obama-Pelosi embrace of the movement could prove catastrophic for their party.

The author, Doug Schoen, is a Democrat pollster who worked for Bill Clinton. Read the whole thing; it sounds like someone on his knees begging a loved one not to do something monumentally stupid.

I, on the other hand, being of the firm belief that Nemesis always follows Hubris, encourage Obama, the Democratic Party, and their Big Labor and MSM allies to hold the Occupy movement close and never let it go. Give in. Live in the now. Do what feels good.

Because this time just has to be different.

via JustOneMinute

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Chevy Volt is a technological marvel!

October 17, 2011

For 1896, that is:

Meet the Roberts electric car. Built in 1896, it gets a solid 40 miles to the charge — exactly the mileage Chevrolet advertises for the Volt, the highly touted $31,645 electric car General Motors CEO Dan Akerson called “not a step forward, but a leap forward.”

The executives at Chevrolet can rest easy for now. Since the Roberts was constructed in an age before Henry Ford’s mass production, the 115-year-old electric car is one of a kind.

…and…

As the New York Times reported September 5, “For General Motors and the Obama administration, the new Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid represents the automotive future, the culmination of decades of high-tech research financed partly with federal dollars.”

So, in return for trampling the rights of bondholders and investing $50 billion taxpayer dollars (1) in order to protect the UAW, President Obama (2)  has shown us the “automotive future” — a car that would have impressed… President Grover Cleveland.

Oh, why the heck not? His economic policies are right out of the 1930s; why not go back another 40 years?

Forward… into the past!

via JustOneMinute and QandO

Footnotes:
(1) Of which you can assume a significant portion was borrowed from China.
(2) Oh, and you’ll be happy to know the administration ordered the purchase of 110 of the marvels of Green tech.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)