Archives for: September 2011

al-Awlaki Dead

Anwar al-Awlaki just became the latest in what is becoming a pretty impressive tally for this Administration:

A missile fired from an American drone aircraft in Yemen on Friday killed Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric who was a leading figure in Al Qaeda’s affiliate there, according to an official in Washington.

Many of the details of the strike were unclear, but the official said that the drone fired a Hellfire missile and killed Mr. Awlaki, whom the United States had been hunting in Yemen for more than two years.

Yemen’s Defense Ministry confirmed Mr. Awlaki’s death, and both Yemeni and American officials hailed the strike as a significant success in the campaign to weaken Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a group American officials believe to be the most dangerous Qaeda affiliate.

You can read the NYT for the details of al-Awlaki’s hideous career. And you can read the debate over whether the President had the authority to kill him in the usual quarters.

The Law of Intended Consequences

Who could possibly have foreseen this?

Bank of America will become the first major bank to charge customers across the country a monthly fee to shop with their debit cards, part of a wave of changes that are eroding the low-cost model of banking that consumers have long enjoyed.

The $5 fee will debut next year for the bank’s basic checking accounts. It will apply only to debit card purchases and not to ATM withdrawals, online bill pay or mobile phone transfers. A spokeswoman said the bank is “adjusting our pricing to reflect today’s economics.”

The move is just one of the ways banks are overhauling consumers’ accounts in the wake of the financial crisis, which resulted in a regulatory overhaul for the banking system and a fundamental shift in the industry business model. Rather than charge the riskiest consumers the heftiest fees, banks are now spreading their costs more evenly among their customers.

“Spreading their costs more evenly among their customers”. We knew Obama was going to “spread the wealth around” with government. But who knew he’d make the banks do it too?

What’s going on here is that the Dodd-Frank had a provision inserted by Dick Durbin (D-Best Buy) that cut debit swipe fees from 44 to 24 cents. This shifted several billion dollars from evil banks to wonderful retailers. So the banks are pushing the costs back on us.

Well, you never know what’s going to happen when … actually we fucking did know. I said it. So did everyone else who wasn’t completely in the pocket of retailer lobbyists. But the glorious Democratic Party, defender of the little guy, made sure that retailers got a break on swipe fees at the expense of bank customers.

America’s Dunkirk

At times I can be as cynical as the next guy. We have all witnessed examples of cowardice, laziness, selfishness, and evil intent wrt our fellow man. Maybe this is why when nobleness of character, integrity and heroism manifest itself in front of us, it’s contrast so easily commands our attention. But in times of need, when circumstances dictate an honorable response, I think most folks will do what’s right, so in this instance, there is the potential for heroism in all of us.

Despite the fact the it is narrated by that Hollywood lefty Tom Hanks, check out this little bit of Americana that I was not aware of of, I promise you, it will make your day and redden your eyes:

Hundreds of boats, going towards the danger, as sure as those cops and firemen entering the burning buildings, but what makes these guys extra special is that they were ordinary people not charged with any particular authority except that which their conscience dictated. The human spirit, at times, is a marvelous thing.

Montana Goes Canadian

Really, Montana?

Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Wednesday he will ask the U.S. government to let Montana set up its own universal health care program, taking his rhetorical fight over health care to another level.

Like Republicans who object to the federal health care law, the Democratic governor also argues it doesn’t do enough to control costs and says his state should have more flexibility than the law allows. But Schweitzer has completely different plans for the Medicare and Medicaid money the federal government gives the state to administer those programs.

The popular second-term Democrat would like to create a state-run system that borrows from the program used in Saskatchewan. He said the Canadian province controls cost by negotiating drug prices and limiting nonemergency procedures such as MRIs.

Schweitzer said the province’s demographics and economy are similar to Montana in several ways – yet its residents live longer while spending far less on health care.

It sounds to me like he wants a single-payer system: Medicare for all. Peter Suderman breaks down the lies that surrounded Medicare — that drug prices can be negotiated without harm, that physician fees can be cut without harm, that Medicare is more efficient than the private sector. I’ve tackled many of these myself. It’s telling that Schweitzer is already talking about rationing MRIs.

But you know what? Go ahead, Montana. My response to the healthcare bill has been that states should be given the freedom to try out different policies. If Romneycare works for Massachusetts, if socialized works for Vermont and Montana, great. But only a crazy person would think that the best healthcare reform for Vermont is also the best for Texas. You have to drink deep of the kool-aid to think that Massachusetts’ solution — assuming it is that — should be the same as Alabama’s.

So let Montana socialize medicine if they want to. So long as they’re not allowed to fund it through taxes from other states (i.e., federal subsidies), that’s fine. People can then vote with their feet and move to whatever state has the best healthcare system. I can tell from experience that I would much prefer getting healthcare in Texas than in Pennsylvania.

Let the states figure it out. Let them enact 50 different systems and let people, doctors and insurers go to whichever system they prefer.

And also: would the last doctor to leave Montana please turn off the machine that goes “bing”.

The Cost Of Freedom

Jobs, prosperity, and optimism may be in short supply these days, but irony is in abundance. During the Bush years (it seems like such a long time ago) a prevailing theme among the left was ,”Dissent is patriotic”, remember? All the squawking about the wars, the homeland security measures, and {perceived} unilateral attitude in dealing with international affairs, all things critical of Bush were punctuated by Dissent Is Patriotic, like wrapping themselves in the red, white and blue somehow validated their criticisms. Funny thing about that dissent thing, I guess it only goes one way.

I saw this over at weazel zippers, some guy in New Orleans has already gotten into the spirit and has displayed some unflattering signs about our president on his property, much to the consternation of those patriotic dissenters:

Many things are in play here. We have the racial element. No where that I could see was anything on those signs racial in nature, yet, and we knew this was going to happen as surely as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, any criticisms of Obama can be marginalized by wrapping it with that “racist” blanket. Notice the guy that said it was disrespectful, maybe, but so is Bush/Hitler and Bush/chimp, such is the manner is which some criticize. Notice the woman who said ,”It’s insulting, we mean that he going to have to take it down”, really? Or what? You folks going to storm the premises, trespass on his property and vandalize the signs? To tell you the truth, I am surprised they have not been vandalized already.

You can view images of the signs here. I think the Soros one is a bit goofy and detracts from the others, which has quite a bit of truth attached, albeit from a right leaning perspective.

I thought for sure that ex Mayor Naggan would set him straight, much like Obama going to Stockholm to instruct those folks that the Olympics WILL be going to Chicago, oh, that didn’t work out?

So now the city council is worried that a riot will break out (freedom of speech can rub some people the wrong way, pity) so they call the cops on Tim Reily, those signs are just inflaming the sensibilities of some folks, we can’t have that.

I suspect those stalwarts of freedom city council folks will find some obscure city code regulating the size of signs on private property and have them re worked. And Rev. Sharpton is on the line, he wants Reily arrested for inciting a riot.

I give this guy props for exercising his freedoms, although, depending on the area where he lives, he may pay a price for it. Living in the Bay Area, one truism, verified daily, is that Obama supporters can regale their vehicles with support all day long with no worries of retribution. This can not be said for the other side, and bumper stickers criticizing “The One” or supporting someone in opposition is just asking for it, and with a $500 deductible, realty limits my outward support.

Gun Owners of America Not Happy With Romney

I’m a member of GOA. Decided that the NRA long-ago stopped representing my best interests in favor of serving their own political and corporate interests, so I took my money elsewhere. As a member of GOA, I get email alerts at least a couple of times a week about specific legislation or candidates that threaten 2nd Amendment rights, which always have a link to their “Political Action” page that automates writing your Representatives and Senators. I don’t remember ever getting an alert that didn’t have such a link…..before today.

The following is an email I just got from GOA. No action required or requested. It’s just informational. Take it with however many grains of salt you wish. I take it with a couple of shovels-full myself.

Mitt Romney and Gun Control

Thursday, 29 September 2011 13:12
Written by Tim Macy

In the recent Presidential debate, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann said America’s voters did not need to “settle” for the moderate candidate.  Amen to that.

And gun owners do NOT want candidates who talk out of both sides of their mouths.

As the Gun Owners of America’s Board of Directors looks at the Republican candidates running to unseat radical anti-gun President Obama, we see several who have strong pro-gun backgrounds.  Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachman all have solid pro-gun records and deserve a hard look from pro-gunners.

At least one frontrunner candidate stands in contrast with a decidedly mixed record on the gun issue.  While Mitt Romney likes to “talk the pro-gun talk,” he has not always walked the walk.

“The Second Amendment protects the individual right of lawful citizens to keep and bear arms. I strongly support this essential freedom,” Romney assures gun owners these days.

But this is the same Mitt Romney who, as governor, promised not to do anything to “chip away” at Massachusetts’ extremely restrictive gun laws.

“We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them,” he said during a gubernatorial debate.  “I won’t chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety.”

Even worse, Romney signed a law to permanently ban many semi-automatic firearms.  “These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense,” Romney said in 2004. “They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.”

Romney also spoke in favor of the Brady law’s five day waiting period on handguns.  The Boston Globe quotes Romney saying, “I don’t think (the waiting period) will have a massive effect on crime but I think it will have a positive effect.”

Mitt Romney doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

And that makes it all the more troubling that Romney refuses to answer GOA’s simple candidate questionnaire.  In our more than 36 years of experience, a candidate is usually hiding anti-gun views if he or she refuses to come clean in writing with specific commitments to the Second Amendment.

Today, Romney may be a favorite “Republican Establishment” candidate of the national press corps.  But that is exactly what gun owners DON’T need in a new President. We need someone who will stand by true constitutional principles and protect the Second Amendment.

I could not agree any more strongly. Romney is the Second Coming of McCain, and if Republicans choose this RINO after McCain being the main reason we have Obama now, then all pretense of a distinction between the left and right wing of the establishment bird will be completely blown out of the water.

I, personally, am not thrilled with any of the choices currently presented on the Republican slate, but none carry so much non-conservative baggage as Romney in my estimation. Doesn’t matter what letter follows the name of any candidate or elected official, the establishment arm of both parties has nothing less than the destruction of the American fabric that has made this country great for over two centuries. Don’t be a part of it. Keep Romney, or any candidate that you perceive as a RINO or less than committed to preserving what is left, and restoring what’s already been stolen, from our constitutional, federalist, republican birthright, on the roles of the unemployed next November.


What Taxes Go For

All right, his has got to stop, liberals. You just sound so stupid every time you say it.

Here is the latest “amusement” from the Left about those dumb “teabaggers”, via Unreal Americans. It juxtaposes anti-tax signs with things supposedly funded by taxes that the protesters are enjoying.

Heh heh. Those dumb tea baggers! They’re protesting against streets and electricity!

This is the poor man’s version of Elizabeth Warren’s dumb rant. And I’ll just repeat what I said in the comments to that post:

The other thing I failed to note is that she talks about education, roads, police. Very few people have problems paying for that. But that only accounts for a fraction of government spending.

Here’s what she should have gone on to say:

“All that money that was flushed down the toilet with Solyndra and other green boondoggles? You paid for that! Our huge welfare state? You paid for that! Our bloated education system that spends the most in the world while educating the least? You paid for that! $150 million a year paid to dead federal employees? You paid for that! Corn ethanol that fouls the Earth while not providing energy? You paid for that! Farm subsidies, fuel subsidies, unnecessary second engines for fighters? You paid for all of it!”

The last graph on this page shows a breakdown of federal spending. You’ll notice that none of things labelled in that clever picture even show up. Electricity and power lines are paid for by consumers. To the extent government contributes, it’s with subsidies that Tea Partiers (and liberals) generally oppose. Traffic lights, local roads, street signs and sidewalks are mostly funded locally and to the extent they are federally funded, shouldn’t be. Even for local and state government, infrastructure is a small fraction of what they spend.

Now if you want to ding these guys for supporting defense spending, Social Security and Medicare — which accounts for the majority of government spending, feel free. But you have to acknowledge that the bulk of government is not on roads and schools or even science or green energy, but transfer payments and government programs that have big ambitions and small results.

You know what we should post in response? A picture of liberals calling for tax increases with lots of business in the background that would get hammered by them. Or a picture of the Wall Street protesters on their iphones and droids, the products of evil American business.

What Are They Talking About?

It’s more than just a disconnect, lately it’s almost like they are speaking a different language. Are they just going through the motions and playing us for fools? Here, you be the judge. It seems like every time Rick Perry opens his yap, all I hear is nonsense, is it just me?

Ice cream, pretzels, gas jets? Are they even trying?

And this isn’t party specific, even our president is making less and less sense, what makes this even more sinister is the coupling of a down beat, like some Vulcan mind meld.

Whatever happened to ,”Don’t ask what you country can do for you, yada, yada, yada”? We deserve better.

Liberal logic on display

You simply can not beat these idiots and what they spout. Check out Janeane Garofalo’s latest “republicans are all racists” rant. That video is priceless, but here is the gist of it:

Janeane Garofalo: “Herman Cain is probably well liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican party. Conservative movement and tea party movement, one in the same.

“People like Karl Rove liked to keep the racism very covert. And so Herman Cain provides this great opportunity say you can say ‘Look, this is not a racist, anti-immigrant, anti-female, anti-gay movement. Look we have a black man.'”

Herman Cain is doing well now, and is certainly not seeing an uptick in approval, based on what he has stated he believes in and has said – and what he has said makes it very obvious Cain doesn’t buy into any of the destructive “social justice” nonsense the left preaches and Garofalo so loves – but because closet racists want to pretend they are not really racist! TADA! I can begin to point out the fact that it has been my experience that it always seems to be the left that is projecting motive on the other side based on their own actions, insecurities, and beliefs, but it would do no good. Leftists simply lack the sophistication to grasp how obvious that has now become, precisely because of what people like Garofalo have been doing and saying, but all we have to do is point at the current occupant of the WH to validate that the problem is with them.

He certainly didn’t win the WH based on his body of work. The guy combines inexperience – community organizer, a brief stint in the deepest bowels of leftist academia, and a short stint in political office with nothing to show for might seem like much to leftoids, but to me is screams of disaster waiting to happen – with a heavy dose of narcissism. He won because the leftard dominated media covered for him, and because of the successful 8 year long campaign to demonize Bush resulted enough people wrongly hoping for a change. We now have that change he promised, and unlike the people that are surprised things are worse for us now than they where in 2008, I am not. We got exactly that evil shit that always comes if you put into practice what the pseudo-Marxist academic intellectuals, “class warfare” warriors, “social justice” pimps, and big government aristocrats believe in. Fuck, they gave this moron a Nobel Peace Prize for just not being Bush! His picture needs to be put in the dictionary next to the definition of “empty suit”. And it is not a coincidence that the left has defended the yoke they have straddled us with by accusing anyone that dared point any of this out of doing so because they are a racist!

But there is no denying that many on the left voted for Obama, despite the obvious lack of experience or the crazy beliefs, over a far better qualified candidate, even if she held many of his same stupid beliefs, because then they would be able to claim the where not racists. Now along comes a black conservative and conservatives like him, so these leftists project their bullshit right on them. No, republicans don’t like Cain because of his views and what he promises to do. No way! They like him because they are closet racists trying to pretend they are not by saying they like him. Heh! Project much?

Nothing has done more to finally break the power this accusation used to have to silence people with decent and good arguments for fear of stigma, deserved or not, like the left overplaying the race card. And the more the do it, especially when projecting their own faults like this, the less power it has. Keep it up sister! Project away…

Alabama’s Strict Immigration Law Upheld In Large Part

Judge upholds key parts of Alabama immigration enforcement law

Ah, I can feel the construction jobs coming back to Alabama as I type, reserved for Americans and/or legal residents.

One of the provisions upheld by Judge Blackburn is the section requiring that the immigration status of students be checked. While I personally don’t regard this as the most important provision, I put it at the top of this post specifically to draw a distinction between the kinds of Republicans who wrote, passed and signed this law into effect, and the kind, like Rick Perry, who think illegal aliens ought to not only be allowed to enroll in state colleges, but should enjoy the same discounts as Texas residents do by paying in-state tuition rather than the higher out-of-state prices that non-Texan American citizens and legal residents must pay. Our new law, for as long as it survives the appeals, will prevent, or at least vastly reduce, illegals from enrolling in state colleges at all.

Just for a little background for those who don’t know, this law is the direct result of Alabamians putting the legislative and executive branches of state government in the hands of Republicans for the first time in 136 years in last year’s election. Generally-speaking, the Republicans elected here are reasonably described as true conservatives, and not RINOs. I think this law is the first of many more to come that reflects that bit of smart scrutiny applied by our citizenry last November.

From the Michelle Malkin piece linked to above:

Also upheld: The provisions authorizing local police to inquire about detainees’ immigration status.

Alabama didn’t wait for the feds to do the job they should be doing. Before the ruling, they implemented “AL-Verify:”

Monday Governor Robert Bentley unveiled a new development in the illegal immigration debate. It’s a state-developed computer system that can verify citizenship as quickly as you can show your driver’s license.

It’s called AL-Verify. Some say this isn’t needed until a judge rules on Alabama’s new immigration law.

John McMillan, with the Alabama Commission of Agriculture and Industries says he will definitely be watching.

“Some of our farmers have been in talks with legislators. I have been involved in some of those meetings, and my role is going to be keeping legislators informed of what I see out there on the ground,” said McMillan.

McMillan, and many others are waiting to see what an up or down vote for Alabama’s immigration law means, or if there will be any provisions.

While many people wait, the governor and his cabinet members are moving forward, and they’re doing it through the AL-Verify program.

“We provided an automated way to be compliant so the process for getting a title or a tag hasn’t really changed but because of the immigration bill we had a compliance issue. Now with this technology we’ve solved the compliance issue,” said Julie Magee, the Commissioner for the Department of Revenue.

Magee said she didn’t know how much the technology cost, but the program is live, and here’s the way it works: You put your driver’s license info in and AL-Verify tells you whether it’s valid.

Cries of “heartless!” in 3, 2, 1…

First time since we moved here 20 years ago that we’ve had a friend in the Department of Revenue!

Meantime, Mr. Irascible — our thin-skinned commander-in-chief — gets peeved over an illegal alien student’s carping about lack of DREAM Act passage…and then doubles down by telling Latino leaders to quit complaining.

Heal thyself, whiner.

Here’s the only place I disagree with Michelle in this piece. No, Michelle, we do not need to count on Obama or his ilk to heal thyself, we need to heal the country ourselves by ousting every last one of them. Even if we did that in one fell swoop, true healing is still a long-shot. Still, Alabama has shown the way towards restoring the ideal of America being  for Americans. It’s a good sign. I just hope other states and the .fedgov follow suit in 2012 the way us Alabamians did in 2010.