Archive for the 'Author Pages' Category

Animated Unemployment

A very cool animated Graphic showing the change in unemployment over the last two years.

Click Image for Animation

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The Warrior Song

I think this rocks, so here it is in honor of Veteran’s Day.  

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Taking a Closer Look at Unemployment

Employment as measured by the “establishment survey,” was down by 190,000; and Many feel it is an improvement that we are not falling as fast.

Well, let us take a moment to look under the hood of these numbers. First, while the establishment survey was down 190k,  the number of unemployed soared by 558,000, to 15.7 million, as measured by the household survey. The establishment survey is taken from large businesses while the household survey calls individual households. It is the household survey that sets the unemployment rate. The establishment survey of companies doesn’t count the self-employed and undercounts employees of small businesses. So the economic picture is probably worse than the headlines when it comes to jobs.


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“So how is that working out for you, Mr President?”

Good Friend Bruce McQuain picks up on a story I noticed yesterday. Rather than rehash it, I’ll let him lay it out:

Greg Mankiw reminds us of this bit of fantasy:

What we are not doing — what I have no interest in doing — is running GM. GM will be run by a private board of directors and management team with a track record in American manufacturing that reflects a commitment to innovation and quality. They — and not the government — will call the shots and make the decisions about how to turn this company around. – President Barack Obama

And this bit of reality:

Federal support for companies such as GM, Chrysler Group LLC and Bank of America Corp. has come with baggage: Companies in hock to Washington now have the equivalent of 535 new board members — 100 U.S. senators and 435 House members.

Since the financial crisis broke, Congress has been acting like the board of USA Inc., invoking the infusion of taxpayer money to get banks to modify loans to constituents and to give more help to those in danger of foreclosure. Members have berated CEOs for their business practices and pushed for caps on executive pay. They have also pushed GM and Chrysler to reverse core decisions designed to cut costs, such as closing facilities and shuttering dealerships.


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I know, let’s compare ourselves to Jimmy!!!

Let’s compare ourselves to other successful Democratic Presidents.

Brilliant I say! BRILLIANT.

Planting Trees

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If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

What do tea parties, Glenn Beck, Fox News, and the US Chamber of Commerce have in common? All are demonized opponents of the Obama administration, and more popular then ever.

“If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

This seems to be the case, not only for Jedi Knights, but also opponents of the Obama administration (or at least those on their enemies list.)

Cases in point:

Tea party and the 9/12 DC Protest:

Does anyone think these would have had such widespread, and non-partisan support as they have if the Obama administration (and their MSM sycophants) hadn’t demonized and belittled the people attending them.

Glenn Beck

Beck’s indignant critiques of the Obama administration and gloomy outlook on the nation’s financial health have found near-instant resonance. His eponymous 2 p.m. PST program averaged nearly 2.2 million viewers last month — double the number the time slot attracted the previous February and a remarkable amount for the afternoon. That made “Glenn Beck” the third most-watched program in all of cable news for the month, after Bill O’Reilly’s and Sean Hannity’s evening shows.

“I look at the ratings every day shocked,” Beck said on a recent afternoon, sitting shoeless in his Midtown office as snow pelted the Manhattan skyline behind him.

But he believes he knows why viewers are tuning in: “People know in their gut that something’s not right. They’re not getting the truth.”

Fox News as a whole:

The August ratings are out, and once again, the ratings for the Fox News Channel are phenomenal.

Rather than throwing a million pieces of data that every channel is spinning into madness, I ask you to consider just this one: On Sunday night, the third episode of AMC’s highly-publicized and much-discussed series, “Mad Men,” drew an audience of 1.6 million viewers at 10 p.m. when it debuted. Throughout the month of August, Fox News Channel averaged an audience of 2.29 million viewers during every single hour of prime time. And some nights, Bill O’Reilly drew an audience twice as large as that of “Mad Men.”

US Chamber of Commerce:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is on track to exceed last year’s fundraising by more than $10 million, thanks in part to the Obama administration’s decision to target the pro-business group, according to the organization’s president.

President Tom Donohue told that even though a few companies have left the chamber over its opposition to President Obama’s domestic policies, the organization is actually benefiting from its place in the White House crosshairs.

“There are some longstanding members that wanted to step up and help more,” he told The public friction with the White House comes in the midst of a $100 million fundraising campaign for the chamber.

The White House, while claiming that it hasn’t tried to encourage any business to part ways with the chamber, has been cutting the business group out of the loop by dealing directly with member executives. Obama and his aides have criticized the group publicly for its opposition to legislation dealing with climate change, health care and financial regulation.

Another interesting point revealed in the above quote. Unions and community organizing are great, unless they oppose you, in which case it’s fine to just bypass them.


Don Surber notes that CNN’s numbers dropped 68% in prime time during the same period. President Obama’s polling numbers are showing a similar drop. Couldn’t be related, could it. (H/T instapundit)

Thanks for the instalanche… and welcome Instapundit readers.

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Not evil, just wrong.

This woman is remarkable.

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Brain-dead Conservatism?

Ann Althouse linked this commentary from the Washington Post yesterday.

“During the glory days of the conservative movement, from its ascent in the 1960s and ’70s to its success in Ronald Reagan’s era, there was a balance between the intellectuals, such as Buckley and Milton Friedman, and the activists, such as Phyllis Schlafly and Paul Weyrich, the leader of the New Right. The conservative political movement, for all its infighting, has always drawn deeply from the conservative intellectual movement, and this mix of populism and elitism troubled neither side.”

Reading it I thought that the likely reason for an apparent lack of intellectual leadership in the conservative movement was because everyone was too busy trying to shut up the populists and remake the Republican Party or redefine conservative as something smarter by insisting that it shed the unwashed masses.

Which is what I was reminded of when I saw this about McCain. (And “compared to what?” was a laugh out loud moment, Bruce.)


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Uncommon insight

The Saddest Lede on the Internet Today.
Says Ric Locke on his new blog.   And what was the lede?     “Americans believe that the normal state of things is not-violence.”

Do you suppose that’s true? That that’s why we have such absurdities as people climbing in zoo cages to cuddle the animals? It would explain a lot of things.

The blog article he links goes on to make some sort of argument that the normal state of capitalism is violence and that people should think about why we put up with it…. or something like that.

It’s shocking to me, even though I’m used to the notion, that people do not realize that violence and war are the normal state of things and that civilization is what we impose upon the natural state. (And yes, there are people who seem not to realize that the cuddly animals really will not act all loving and peaceful because they have an uncorrupted ability to tell that you don’t mean harm.)

I think that sometimes libertarians are too convinced that they aren’t talking about imposing order and miss the truth of it, (or at least those opposed to libertarian ideas are convinced that libertarians oppose the imposing of order.)     That’s not the difference between libertarian ideas and those ideologies that consider themselves more caring.    The difference with libertarian ideas and with capitalism is that those things work as much as possible with the reality of human nature while recognizing what human nature is.    Which is violent… just like the rest of nature is violent and unforgiving.

Viewing capitalism as the source of unfairness, vice and violence ignores the truth.    Failing to understand the truth of nature and human nature, to face it squarely, means that the proposed cure for social ills will invariably make them far worse.     As Ric says:

It would explain, for instance, why the writer of that article is able to regurgitate a century and a half of Socialist propaganda and get commenters calling it “insightful”. Two centuries of modern capitalism have resulted in such ease, such comfort, such near-total safety and security, that Americans (at least, some Americans) don’t just take it for granted but consider it the normal state of affairs, so much so that they are ready and willing to smash the structures that created it, in the confident “knowledge” that the safety and prosperity will remain because they are “normal”.

He’s a smart guy. Check out his blog.

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Where do I donate to the “citizen journalist” legal fund???

ACORN wants to play hardball. Smack it back at them… But that takes resources.

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Creep Factor 10

So, what do you do when adults stop singing your praises

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The Democrats really do want to screw the little people

I guess they think if you own a home, you must be rich.

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Bogus Civility

Finally someone said what I’ve been thinking about this constant call to civility:

Have we transformed into so brittle a citizenry that we are unable to handle a raucous debate over the future of the country? If things were quiet, subdued and “civil” in America today, as Pelosi surely wishes, it would only be proof that democracy wasn’t working. (Please read the whole article.)

Sure, Pelosi wishes that everyone would behave already, but it is also often conservatives and others arguing over the proper way of dissenting rather than just dissenting already. There seems to be a practical meltdown in areas of the conservative blogosphere over comportment… the theory seeming to be that passion is off-putting to the all-important center. In order to win, therefore, we need to be bland.

Frankly, I think that other than those in power who would rather not be bothered by opposition, it’s only people without ideas who are arguing over civility.


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About those violent town hall protests

Never mind…

Water Under the Bridge

So Joe Wilson apologized for the outbreak during President Obama’s latest cheer leading session for health care/insurance reform.

While his behavior was inappropriate, he did have a point that Obama was not quite truthful with the facts. Otherwise there wouldn’t have been a flurry of activity to bar illegal immigrants from getting coverage under any current plans.

Wilson apologized again Thursday morning, though he also says a massive loophole could wind up in the health care bill: no requirement to prove citizenship for health care coverage.

Among three House committees to pass bills for health reform, only one expressly bans federal funding for proving health coverage to illegal immigrants.

“The Congressional Research Service has indicated that indeed the bills that are before Congress would include illegal aliens,” Wilson said. “And I think this is wrong.”

Indeed, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service study found that the House health care bill does not restrict illegal immigrants from receiving health care coverage.

House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner amplified the complaint that without proof of citizenship, illegal immigrants could be insured.

“There were two opportunities for House Democrats to make clear that illegal immigrants wouldn’t be covered by putting in requirements to show citizenships,” he said. “Both of those amendments were, in fact, rejected.”

In the Senate, Democrats in the so called “Gang of Six,” a group of bipartisan senators on the Senate Finance Committee which is the last panel yet to release its bill, began moving quickly to close the loophole that Wilson helped bring greater attention to.

“We absolutely assure that those who are here illegally would not get the benefit of any of these initiatives,” Sen. Kent Conrad said.

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Time for a Rum Revolt…

This just has me speechless… (or wordless…)

Under the agreement, London-based Diageo PLC will receive tax credits and other benefits worth $2.7 billion over 30 years, including the entire $165-million cost of building a state-of-the-art distillery on the island of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, a U.S. territory.

“The U.S. taxpayer is basically being asked to line the pockets of the world’s largest liquor producer,” says Steve Ellis, the president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog organization.

Some of the points Ed Morrissy is pointing out, which is the reason for my not thinking straight…

  • Puerto Rico will lose 300 jobs in this move
  • Puerto Rico uses 90% of its tax revenues from rum on public welfare. The loss of revenue will cut those funds just in time to have even more people unemployed.
  • Diageo produces about $103 million in tax receipts
  • I think if this is what passes for “smart leadership” in Washington, I’ll take the status-quo for $1000, Alex.

    Go read the whole thing for updates.

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Canadian scientist aims to turn chickens into dinosaurs

nothing could go wrong with that idea… 2 questions: will a 12 guage slug take them down, and will they taste like chicken??

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Do the poor have a “right” to free health care?

The “right” to free health care  is the right to own the labor of other people without their consent.

Any time you’ve got a right TO something like that you take the rights of other people to their own selves and their own freedom away.

The libertarian idea, as I understand it,  is that your rights end where they intersect another person. I have a right to “pursue happiness” to make my way in the world, to worship my own God, to feed myself, to supply my physical and other needs, rights to my own body and self-determination, rights to my own property, rights to employ violence to defend my rights (which is pretty much a good way to define what is a right and what is *not*)… just up *until* I intersect another human being. I may not take someone else’s food nor compel their labor nor sacrifice them to my God nor otherwise violate *their* rights in the pursuit of my own.


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Sarah and Todd sizzle

From The Other McCain at Hot Air:

“Now, here’s my idea: I told my source to give my phone number to . . . uh, two sources in Wasilla, Alaska, if you get my drift. Because I’ve made my living as a professional journalist since 1986, I’m not really so good at this newfangled making-stuff-up business, but I’d be willing to give it a try:”

What follows is definitely worth the time, the effort and the link.

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Big Banks Got Played

A Daring Trade Has Wall Street Seething from the Wall Street Journal. Amherst, a small Austin firm found a small loophole in the system. To use a crude metaphor, they sold the big banks hurrican insurance and then made sure the hurrican never came.

The burned banks include J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and Bank of America Corp. Some banks have reached out to two industry trade groups about Amherst’s actions, and the groups are reviewing the transaction, according to people familiar with their thinking. “It’s all-out warfare” between the banks and Amherst, said a senior banker at one firm that lost money.

Really though, I imagine the big banks are mad that they didn’t think of it first.

Economics of Contempt has much more (and better) analysis here.

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Spending Cuts: Better Ideas Needed from the GOP

At the Next Right, Tad DeHaven looks at why The GOP Is Clearly Not Serious about Cutting Down Spending.

The spending cuts the country needs must be substantial, serious, and
put forward in the spirit of recognizing that the federal government’s
role in our lives must be downsized.  Half-measures are not enough, and
from the Republican House leadership, wholly insufficient for winning
back the support of limited-government voters who have come to
associate the GOP with runaway spending and debt.

I have to agree, we need a more thorogh overhaul of the federal budget. Defense spending should not be off limits. You can go over it with a slightly more lax standard but it’s ripe for wasteful spending cuts. Is there any specific reason why every part of the federal budget needs to grow by so much every year? Matthew Yglesias also makes a good point about needing more targeting in the cuts.

If we’re just going to reduce outlays in an arbitrary, across-the-board
way, why should defense and Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid
be left off the table? Well, presumably they don’t want to cut the
defense budget because they think it’s important. But isn’t the FBI
important? Prisons? If Medicare’s important, isn’t the CDC important?
What would be helped by slashing Pell Grants?

This is right, we do need to look at each program and decide what to cut (there’s plenty), but I also think the debt is a sufficient worry that we do need an across the board stop on the spending increases. And yes, even to the bike path funds Matt is so committed to while the nation watches its bond rating drop. There’s plenty of projects that aren’t needed, and plenty that aren’t performing well enough to justify their funds. And that’s just being conservative. If we want to get aggressive here, there’s entire departments that can be eliminated (housing? education?).

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Taxing Email is Useless

Derek Thompson at the Atlantic blog writes about a NY Times piece on taxing email. He’s not advocating it, or arguing against it but looking at the supposed benefits and negatives, and how it would likely increase instant messaging.

What would be the effects of an email tax? I’m not sure it would make such a big difference. To save my daily pennies, I know I would lean more on Gchat or other instant message programs, and I’m sure everybody else would too.

Would that be taxed next? If email can be taxed, why not aim? However one of the key benefits touted by both the Times article and Thompson is that it would curtail the deluge of spam that we all recieve. You know, hey spammers send a lot of email, let’s just tax email, then we not only get less spam, but make money too! Anyone see any holes? I do. How do you keep track of emails and then send the tax bill?

Such a tax is feasible, he says, since e-mail addresses are easily identifiable by Internet service providers and they could pass on the levy in their monthly bills to users.

The problem with this? This isn’t how spam works. Spam is sent from “zombie pc’s“, meaning unknowing grandparents and non-netsavvy people are going to get a huge bill come due for the spam sent. Furthermore, the government will always be behind in technology, there’s just no way spammers and people wouldn’t be able to get around the tax through forged email headers, botnets, tor networks, ect. This will end up costing the unfortunately honest people and not the dishonest ones it’s targeted to.

Let’s also not overlook the liberal arrogance of the Times piece:

You might gulp at the $3-a-day cost for 100 e-mails, but don’t forget you pay more to gulp your daily large caramel macchiato.

For one thing, $3 a day is a lot of money in a year ($1095), for another, I have no idea what a caramel macchiato is.

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GPS System Could Break Down Next Year

On the bright side, I’ll be able to save battery life on my iphone by turning off the gps. The downside of course being that the gps is increadibly useful.

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Pulling Strings in Foreign Relations

Seems to be an awful lot of “testing” going on.

Mutiny in Georgia!!!

Iran attacks Kurdish guerillas in Iraq with helicopters

Pakistan is melting down!!!

Chinese Ships Come Dangerously Close to American Vessel

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Some Lenders Object, Why Not Others?

20 Chrysler lenders or about 30% of the debt Chrysler owes lending institutions are objecting to getting fleeced in the governments planned “surgical bankruptcy” plan. In a normal bankruptcy the senior secured creditors (the lenders) are first in line, while unsecured lenders (UAW) and equity holders are last. This is the basis for the lenders’ complaint:

Creditors object to the way the restructuring benefits the United Auto Workers union, which is an unsecured creditor, for the $10.6bn Chrysler owes to its retiree healthcare fund.

“What’s happening is the senior secured creditors are going to get 29 cents on the dollar and the unsecured creditors are going to get $10bn,” said Mr Lauria.

Now I think the obvious unasked question is, if the lenders are getting such a raw deal, why are only these institution objecting? what about the other lenders making up 70% of the loans? Your indirect answer is present toward the last half of the article.

Chrysler’s four main banks – JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup – had received about $90bn in government bail-out [TARP] cash.

Now we see why these banks are going along with losing all this money. They are scared of the government’s wraith. After Congress almost retroactively changed their contracts with AIG, and Attorney Generals outright threatened AIG executives physical well being, these TARP banks realize that the government is NOT bound by following the rules of law and can punish them for not acting in the government’s best political interest, namely, making sure the UAW is placated.

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Twitter as a Story Telling Medium

Twitter is the social media website that allows users to share updates on their life with others who choose to follow their updates. It’s proved useful for friends to quickly keep in touch, politicians to keep constituents updated on their activities, bands to interact with fans,  place for famous people to be regular Joes and much more.

Well one interesting use that I had not thought of before appears to be play out out right now, partially started by the recent Swine/H1N1/Mexico Flu outbreak. I jokingly that I was going to start calling it “Captain Trips” and that got me added by one . From there I (and others) discovered the stories of Stephen King (namely The Stand and The Dark Tower) unfolding across our very twitter pages. As a fan, this excites me, as an observer it fascinates me.

This presents a very new and unique way for players (actors?) to perform before an audience of millions. Free form, adjustable, personal and interactive, it’s really fun to watch unfold. Each character with an account, interacting with their tweets to create a story. Could we see this move from an homage now, to something more purposeful in the future? A production of actors using twitter accounts as characters to tell their own story or to give, in essence, a twitter-play? Only Ka will tell. Long days and pleasant nights to you.

edit: Also, in talking about story telling on twitter, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention and his on going tale.

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New GOP 2012 Challenger: Gary Johnson?

2012 could be an interesting year for GOP presidential candidates if it features both Mark Sanford and Gary Johnson. This, along with the tea party movements, seems to be an outgrowth of the Ron Paul candidacy, perhaps similar to what happened to the Democrats after the Dean candidacy.

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Journalist Arrest for Journalism in Front of USC Journalist School?

That’s the glib way to put it, but John Ziegler explains what he says happened at event and responds to a Journalism school Dean Wilson’s email accusing the Dean of “blatantly lying”. Go check it out and watch the video for yourself.

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Your New Drink

Burbon and Ginger beer. Thank me later reader(s).

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Tea Party Turnout Totals

Texas leads the way with 18 protests and 64,000 attendees.

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US Treasury Refusing Bank Repayments?

That’s what’s claimed in this article in the IBD. This becomes pretty thuggish when you add to the fact that these banks were (allegedly) outright threatened to take the TARP funds in the first place. The reason for all of this is to make the process as opaque as possible. The political establishment’s efforts at transparency thus far have been just a show to get elected and/or score political points. It’s obvious neither Obama nor Bush believed in it, so why should we expect it with the TARP funds?

The idea as I understand it is to make sure no one knows which banks needed the money so as to not cause a run on that bank. But that means the market doesn’t know which banks are good either and so rather than reward good banks it just waits the whole thing out. Now of course the gov’t can’t accept repayments because that would make it obvious that those banks that can’t pay back the money aren’t doing as well as those that can. This is a pretty clear refusal to let the market work ostensibly because it’s “broken”.

Now all this wouldn’t be as bad if it wasn’t the gov’t involved. Why? Because the gov’t interests are politics. You have people involved and now running things that aren’t looking out for the best of the company, nor the market, but for their best interests which are being popular. Combine that with the ignorance of the system or market and you get stuff like Maxine Walters’ crazy and conspiratorial questions. Combine that with grift and you get Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. So now with the gov’t involved we start seeing wild political demands on these banks with the full force of a hypocritically righteous rage. Limits on wage rates, specially targeted, punitive 90% taxes that go back on contracts, outright extralegal public threats to intimidate.

This is why it’s dangerous to deal with the government because the government has captured that industry and won’t give it back while it can still play with it (i.e. ruin it).

(edit to fix some atrocious spelling)

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Sugarland Tea Party

Live at the Sugarland tea party now. Yes I’m working harder than Washington already. Good number of people here. Hundreds maybe over 1000 if you count people that left earlier. Young republican head talking now after the railroad commish I think (edit: yes, it is Elizabeth Ames Jones). Now it’s Ted Cruz speaking. Set up is pretty open in front of city hall, compared to the closed in park in downtown Houston.

Last speaker is a fair tax advocate. Overall pretty good speakers but I think that may be because this tea party is associated a little closer with the local politicians. That’s a little less likely in big cities like Houston.

Update: Now that I’m home, some more thoughts and pictures below. The thing to know about Sugarland is that it’s a suburb of Houston, but its own city. It’s very affluent with lots of upper income and well educated people. The area is pretty strict Republican helping to elect Pete Olsen to Tom Delay’s old seat.

The crowd was a little more uniform and older, and there were few if any Ron Paul types there.

Pictures below the fold.


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Houston Tea Party

I’m at the Houston tea party downtown right now. Over 1000 people easy (update: closer to 10,000). Definitely an experience. I can’t even get close enough to see the stage. Previous speaker was pretty good at firing up the crowd tossing out lots of slogans and popular pro-American sentiments. Speaker now it a bit more academic. Out of the Ron Paul mold, referring to mises and Austrian economics. Giving a historical tax lecture. Protest babes when I get home. Update: More pictures below the fold (more…)

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List of All Tea Party Protests

A pretty comprehensive list for Texas here. I roughly estimate around 64 protests planned for just Texas. You’ll note that other states are listed on the right. I’m closer to the Sugarland one and may check it out. I’m curious to see just how big it will be, especially considering there’s about 4 other Tea Party protests planned for the Greater Houston area.

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Jenny McCarthy Body Count?

though probably not the kind you were hoping for. I think the “Anti-Vaccine Body Count” version is the better one to use, but the Jenny McCarthy one will be used because it’s more sensational and attention grabbing, the same reasons anti-vaxers use Jenny McCarthy as their spokeswoman.

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Happy Tax Freedom Day

Today is the day that we have earned enough to pay its tax burden for the year. This year’s day comes earlier than last year, though this is due to recent stimulus effects. Before you start to celebrate though, Doug Bandow warns us that the future does not look good on the tax burden front.

Runaway spending ensures that this year’s TFD will be dwarfed by future TFDs. Some day someone will have to pay off the debts being run up today. The Obama administration’s budget figures are bad enough, but they almost certainly rest upon unrealistic economic expectations. The CBO again offers a sobering analysis: “CBO’s estimates of deficits under the President’s budget exceed those anticipated by the administration by $2.3 trillion over the 2010-2019 period.”

What do do about it? Many are taking to Tea Party protests. While Jon Henke defends the protests from Paul Krugman’s libel.

Yet, in today’s New York Times column (in which he makes some reasonable points about the sad state of the Republican Party), Paul Krugman grossly misuses a term to libel a variety of people.

Last but not least: it turns out that the tea parties don’t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They’re AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events, manufactured by the usual suspects. In particular, a key role is being played by FreedomWorks, an organization run by Richard Armey, the former House majority leader, and supported by the usual group of right-wing billionaires. And the parties are, of course, being promoted heavily by Fox News.

What Freedomworks and various other organizations are doing is not “astroturf” any more than the anti-war protests of some years back were astroturf because ANSWER and helped organize people around those events.  Astroturfing is paid activism by an organization; it is not genuine grassroots activism that funded groups are simply helping to organize.

Update: More piling on from my home town Tea Party site.

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To Big To Fail

Over at Instapundit, Glenn has been keeping an eye on both the Tax Day Tea Party and the New Way Forward demonstrations.

Reading about what the left is doing, I have to think, that if the left thinks banks that are “to big to fail” should be broken up, then what about government programs like social security, medicare, and medicaid?

Surely, these are just as big, and they are to important to fail. Shouldn’t these also be broken up??

And once they’re done with the banks, and the auto industry, what are they going to find “to big to fail” then???

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Hey Now

Who are all these people posting on my blog?

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Send in the SEALS

Well, here’s a true foreign crisis to test the President with.

My response is noted in the title. And we should kill the pirates. In fact, after rescued the hostages, and killed the pirates, we should get all Jeffersonian with the rest of them.

Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk confirmed that the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama had been attacked by pirates about 500 km (300 miles) off Somalia and had probably been hijacked. The company said it had 20 American crew on board.

A spokesman for the U.N.’s World Food Program (WFP) in Nairobi told Reuters that among the vessel’s cargo were 232 containers of WFP relief food destined for Somalia and Uganda.

At least the administration has already , although a weak one, so far.

A presidential spokesman says the White House is assessing a course of action to resolve the hijacking of a U.S.-flagged ship off the coast of Somalia.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that the White House was monitoring the incident closely. Said Gibbs: “Our top priority is the personal safety of the crew members on board.”

Keep checking back for updates when they’re available.

I’m not the only one following this: may have already retaken their ship. Should be an interesting story once we hear the whole truth. (hattip to tigerhawk) And there’s what I get for going out to lunch.

And it looks like Dam Riehl had the same idea as me… This mission would have been exactly why we have SEAL team 6, (now called the Naval Special Warfare Development Group,) isn’t it.


Well, I would have to say President Obama, and the Navy SEALs get passing marks for the resolution to this crisis. The bits-n-pieces to the story that I’ve heard are the stuff that will make great bar fodder when these SEALs cozy up for a brew. Two teams, parachuting at night in the seas near the Navy ship, to be picked up. 3 simultaneous shots from the deck of 1 ship into a towed lifeboat, taking at all three targets.

I’m sure if asked, all the SEALs involved would say it was “all in a days work.” Surely they deserve a moment of praise and adoration, even if they personally will be kept in the shadows as part of their mission.

And to all the second guessing about President Obama’s actions out in punditstan, we wouldn’t have done this to President Bush, so why disrespect the office now.

The scene got “tenuous” according to one official, shortly after the three pirates agreed to let the Bainbridge tow their boat. The sea conditions were worsening and the lifeboat was “floundering” before pirates acknowledged that by establishing a tow, it would be a smoother ride.

But sometime soon after the boats were hooked together, shots were fired from the lifeboat and the pirates were seen holding a gun to Captain Phillips back. Acting on a standing order from President Obama to move in when Phillips was in “imminent danger” snipers were ordered to fire.

They established clear head shots on all three pirates. One of the pirates was visible through the front window, and the other two were revealing their heads through the top hatch, presumably to get fresh air. It would be their last breath.

As to what this might portend for the future, one data point does not make a trend.

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Iraq – We’re Winning!!!

A funny thing happened on the way to Iraq, President Obama declared that we’re winning.

Anyone who’s been keeping up to date knows we’ve been making great progress, and I say, winning in Iraq. President Obama acknowledges the courage and sacrifice of our troops, while ignoring the sacrifice of the Iraqis, and the choices President Bush made to enable progress to be made.

Under enormous strain and under enormous sacrifice, through controversy and difficulty and politics, you’ve kept your eyes focused on just doing your job. And because of that, every mission that’s been assigned — from getting rid of Saddam, to reducing violence, to stabilizing the country, to facilitating elections — you have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country. That is an extraordinary achievement, and for that you have the thanks of the American people. (Applause.) That’s point number one.

Point number two is, this is going to be a critical period, these next 18 months. I was just discussing this with your commander, but I think it’s something that all of you know. It is time for us to transition to the Iraqis. (Applause.) They need to take responsibility for their country and for their sovereignty. (Applause.)

And in order for them to do that, they have got to make political accommodations. They’re going to have to decide that they want to resolve their differences through constitutional means and legal means. They are going to have to focus on providing government services that encourage confidence among their citizens.

All those things they have to do. We can’t do it for them. But what we can do is make sure that we are a stalwart partner, that we are working alongside them, that we are committed to their success, that in terms of training their security forces, training their civilian forces in order to achieve a more effective government, they know that they have a steady partner with us.

Something’s missing from this. Oh yeah, an acknowledgment that Iraqis have made a huge commitment, and have sacrificed much more then we have towards achieving these goals.

Nor did he, or the press mention that Iraqis already have control of a large number of the provinces, and has been making tremendous progress in the last 2 years.

As of November 2008, 13 of Iraq’s 18 provinces have successfully transitioned to Provincial Iraqi Control (PIC). In fact, the current report, shows that the same provinces that hadn’t transitioned, are still the areas of concern for further transitioning.

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Using a Police Search as a Free Speech Threat

That’s what is claimed by Jeff Pataky after his home was searched by Arizona police and his computers, records, wireless router, and even his cable modem (presumably to cut off his internet access so as to quit blogging) were confiscated. Pataky runs the quite amazing Bad Phoenix Cops blog that is critical of the Phoenix police force to put it mildly. Some of that blog and its accusations really have to be seen to be believed, quite amazing stuff. They now have a press release up that provides some shocking (if true, remember this is all one sided)

In a retaliatory measure and while the Notice of Claim was still pending, the Phoenix Police raided the Plaintiffs home with a search warrant, unlawfully imprisoned a guest and refused them access to counsel. During the search, officers seized all documents pertaining to the District Court lawsuit, including privileged communications with counsel and all recordings and evidence relating to the District Court case. Seizure of these documents and communications are in violation of plaintiff’s constitutional rights.

Terry Heaton looks at the First Amendment outrages in the City’s defense of the incident.

But here’s what really bothers me. In justifying the raid, Phoenix Assistant Chief Andy Anderson called Pataky’s site “an unaccredited grassroots Web site.” Um, Chief Anderson, who “accredits” web sites? This is the most chilling part of the whole thing to me, because the police and the courts in Phoenix have taken it upon themselves to determine who qualifies as “the press.” And here’s the thing: anybody with an ounce of ink in their blood knows that Pataky deserves First Amendment protection, but they’re unlikely to say it publicly, because “the (professional) press” thinks of itself as a special class of people and have railed for years against the likes of Pataky.

Pretty outrageous stuff, but all I can think is that if Pataky’s blog delt with an election candidate/campagn then he might see his right to free speech go out the window thanks to Campaign Finance Reform laws.

(HT: Insta)

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Obama Fires Izzo

awards Michigan State 18 points.

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The 90% Myth – Only 17% of Guns in Mexico Come from US

You’ve probably heard all over the media and from the politicos about the out of control crime in Mexico. And of course 90% of the guns used come from the US so therefore we need to take away your guns. Leaving aside the dubious logic of citizens having to give up their rights because the Government cannot secure our border there’s one thing about that statistic everyone needs to know, it’s not true.

The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.

What’s true, an ATF spokeswoman told, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agency’s assistant director, “is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S.”

But a large percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico do not get sent back to the U.S. for tracing, because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S.

“Not every weapon seized in Mexico has a serial number on it that would make it traceable, and the U.S. effort to trace weapons really only extends to weapons that have been in the U.S. market,” Matt Allen, special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told FOX News.

So basically what it’s saying is that 90% of US weapons come from the US. Our very own gun control and government regulation is creating this misperception because the government requires guns to be traceable.

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IPhone Blogging

Blogging from the iPhone. This will probably be everyday useful once they get copy/paste but could be great for covering events live and with pictures.

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I’ve recently joined the ranks of the twitterati. If you’re so inclined, you can follow my twitter feed . Content is a bit lighter than on here of course.

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Why the AIG Mess is Ignorant Populism of the Worst Kind

Via Greg Mankiw comes this letter by a Mr. Desantis published in the NYTimes. The government is spinelessly trying to punish the very people who’s help it most needs. It’s almost tragic really.

I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.

After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

And I think I find Andrew Cuomo’s actions the most deplorable. The head of the law and order of the state of New York, residing in an office dedicated to due process and innocent until proven guilty, used his powers and office to threaten and intimidate these people’s privacy and it’s not really a stretch to imagine, their very lives. Cuomo should resign in shame immediately for such a gross misuse of his office, but instead he will be thrust on people’s shoulders as a hero. A sign of the times, to be sure.

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Political Slogan Bad Timing

After working very hard and soliciting thousands of ideas for a slogan to attack and bring more attention to Rush Limbaugh, the DNC has settled on, “Americans didn’t vote for a Rush to failure”.

This slogan seems like especially bad timing with the currently Obama talking point being headlined today, “Obama Claim: Done More in 30 Days Than Other Presidents

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What passes for moral clarity

Creating a human embryo for the purpose of experimentation and destruction = Good.

Creating a  human embryo for the purpose of creating a born human person = Bad.

How does it work that way?

Also, some argue that Obama’s statements opposing human cloning are misleading. Derrick Jones, spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee, said the administration has left the door open to create, and then destroy, embryos through cloning for the sole purpose of harvesting stem cells.

And he’s right. If a person believes that we ought to worry about it or not, this is what happens. An embryo, quite often a clone, is created and then destroyed. The difference is that we don’t value that bit of cells, not that we don’t agree with cloning.    Nothing at all wrong with cloning if the clone is destroyed.

So what is it that makes anyone who approves of the clone and destroy method, disapprove of the clone and birth method?    Obama seems to think that the difference is crystal.

“We cannot ever tolerate misuse or abuse. And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction,” Obama said. “It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society.”

Wow. No place in any society. Bad, bad, bad.

Why? What does he think a “clone” is? Why is it so clearly wrong to create an embryo and let it live?

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The New F***ing Citibank

The New F***ing Citibank – watch more funny videos
NSFW due to strong language.
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Houston Tea Party

I didn’t get to make it out, as I work almost 30 miles away, but here’s the video:

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