Archives for: July 2014

Spin debunked.

Today’s big headline is that “Dow drops 200-plus points; stocks negative for July“, which coming on the heels of the almost surely to be found out as bunk revelation by the desperate Donkey mouthpiece of former fame and glory claiming for the umpteenth time that the economic recovery is here, should make you wonder.

Scuttlebutt I heard is that when you really break down that 4% growth the NYT claims happened you discover the bulk of it comes from government spending increases. Those can’t go on indefinitely, even if liberals think so, as Argentina proves yet again. And the fact remains that nobody is doing the math to figure out how this insane monetary policy impacts us. I see the dollar losing value day to day. I see inflation out there, clearly, while the LSM tells us constantly there is none of that. I see less economic growth overall, with every business, except for those doing business with the ever expanding public sector bureaucracy, in a holding pattern as they try to survive the economic calamity. You would think revelation after revelation that point out they are full of shit.

No worries. When the whole house of cards comes tumbling down, I have my investments in precious metals to keep me on top. Buy gold, silver, and lots of lead so you can make sure you keep the previous 2.

The Impeachment Canard

Over the course of Obama’s Presidency, there have been occasional rumblings to impeach him. These rumblings got a little attention a few weeks ago when Sarah Palin — who has no official position with the GOP — called for Obama to be impeached. But for the most part, the idea is being ignored. Conservatives are well aware that Democrats control enough of the Senate to block anything and that an impeachment fight would do little to benefit the country or them (even assuming appropriate “high crimes and misdemeanors” could be identified to fit the bill). You can peruse Hot Air, NRO, The Daily Caller, Town Hall … you’ll find little apart from shrugging. Conservative just aren’t that obsessed with the idea.

You know who is obsessed with the idea? Liberals:

Consider, for example, the Sunlight Foundation’s Capitol Words database, which tracks words spoken in the House and Senate. So far in July, there have been 10 mentions of the term “impeachment” in Congress and four others of the term “impeach.” Eleven of the 14 mentions have been made by Democratic rather than Republican members of Congress, however.

Impeachment chatter has also become common on cable news. On Fox News this month, Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, called for Obama’s impeachment, for instance. But for every mention of impeachment on Fox News in July, there have been five on liberal-leaning MSNBC.

In July, Fox News mentioned impeachment 95 times, or about three times a day. MSNBC mentioned it 448 times. And the trend was only going up at the end of the month.

Now why is this becoming such a big thing among liberals? Well, need you ask:

The Democrats’ congressional campaign arm pulled in $2.1 million in online donations over the weekend — the best four-day haul of the current election cycle — largely propelled by fundraising pitches tied to speculation that House Republicans could pursue the impeachment of President Obama.

Democrats have consistently used impeachment — a prospect that has been floated by several prominent conservatives but has not been embraced by most of the Republican establishment — to fill their campaign coffers, and their polling has shown that fear of an impeachment attempt as well as the House GOP’s efforts to sue Obama have the potential to drive midterm voter turnout on the left.

Ding! Or maybe I should say “Ka-ching!”

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, of course. For as long as I can remember, the Democrats have run on the platform that the evil Republicans are going to take away social security, gut Medicare, start World War III, send your job to Mexico, destroy the environment, impeach Obama and cancel Arrested Development. Fear is what they do; security is what they offer. And both are lies.

Now the Democrats and their defenders will point out that it was Republicans who first raised this idea. And that’s true. But the GOP leadership and most conservative pundits almost immediately dismissed it. The Democrats will also point out that the GOP made a potential impeachment of Bush an issue in 2006. That’s also true. But as Silver points out, the disparity in concern over the issue wasn’t nearly as dramatic (374 mentions for Fox against 206 for MSNBC over the first seven months of the year). Nor did it reach fever pitch this call has. Moreover, the Democrats actually introduced articles of impeachment against Bush in 2008, something I don’t see the Republicans doing any time soon.

It tells you how thin the veneer of confidence is among Democrats that the mere whisper of impeachment from a Fox News pundit can send them into this kind of tizzy. It’s going to be very ugly when they lose power.

A 40 Cal. Restraint

Another gun post is coming, but just a quick comment about the “Fiddles while Rome burns” attitude of the WH. All the bad news around us, the real unemployment rate, a third of Americans under water on credit, a “red line” border down south, now you see it-now you don’t (And can you believe that moronic George Will on Sunday, let them all in, F@ck It), and what has got the WH staffers all abuzz? The non existent move to impeach their savior, an alternate universe over there.

The gun grabbers have a new ad, take a look;

It is only a 30 second spot, how many lies or inaccuracies can you count?

First off we have to dispense with reality and assume that bad dad was pounding on that door for 20 minutes, about the average time it takes to get a live person when calling 911.
Next off we see a viewer discretion warning, depicting domestic violence, yeah, I guess murdering someone could be considered domestic violence, but can’t we just call it murder? Smothering her with that couch pillow or one upside the head with a lamp, still murder?
He got what he came for, she obviously can’t stop him, why shoot her? Is it because bad guys do bad things, and the ultimate bad is to kill her?
Yes, we know that bad guys can get guns, no matter how strict the local gun laws are, by definition criminals do not follow the law, so existent gun laws (the whole purpose of the video, to strengthen them) are meaningless.
Why the “stop gun violence against women” insert at the end? What, gun violence against men is OK?
And the big question, why doesn’t she have one as well? Bad dad is obviously dangerous, a danger to her and her child. Staring down the barrel of a 40 cal. would get 99.9 percent of all bad dads to leave, and if not, she has the drop on him, better his blood on her new carpet then hers.

These are the folks that sponsored the ad. When reading their mission statement they always sound reasonable. Who could possibly be against background checks, educating gun owners on gun safety and proper storage, keeping guns out of the hands of bad guys, and yes, keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, however lofty and unworkable that is (yell at your wife, no guns for you, buddy).

Yes, I would like an end to gun violence (against the victims, of course), can I also get less traffic accident deaths, less poverty, less national debt, and maybe someone in the WH that is actually proud to be an American? Chip by little chip, the 2nd Amendment is under siege. Good people can be against bad people having guns, but the only way to be sure is to remove all guns from everyone, not an option.

Want Help? Ask Conservatives

Everyone know that only Democrats care about minorities. Everyone knows that only Democrats care about the poor. Everyone know that only Democrats care about women. Republicans just like to cruise around in their limos laughing at the plight of those less fortunate than them. Meanwhile, Democrats can’t sleep at night because they are so worried about the oppressed masses. Right? Right?

Let me introduce you to Shaneen Allen:

Last October, Shaneen Allen, 27, was pulled over in Atlantic County, N.J. The officer who pulled her over says she made an unsafe lane change. During the stop, Allen informed the officer that she was a resident of Pennsylvania and had a conceal carry permit in her home state. She also had a handgun in her car. Had she been in Pennsylvania, having the gun in the car would have been perfectly legal. But Allen was pulled over in New Jersey, home to some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States.

Allen is a black single mother. She has two kids. She has no prior criminal record. Before her arrest, she worked as a phlebobotomist. After she was robbed two times in the span of about a year, she purchased the gun to protect herself and her family. There is zero evidence that Allen intended to use the gun for any other purpose. Yet Allen was arrested. She spent 40 days in jail before she was released on bail. She’s now facing a felony charge that, if convicted, would bring a three-year mandatory minimum prison term.

There is a wide prosecutorial discretion here (more on that in a moment) but it looks like the prosecutor is going to throw the book at her. Allen is the kind of person the Left is supposed to be in a tizzy over — a single working mom doing her best who is about to be crushed by the system. But the liberal Ecosphere has said little, if anything, about her. You know who is taking up her cause? If you said conservatives and libertarians, move to the front of the class. Here is National Review, for example, trying to make her case a national issue. True, this is because conservatives believe in gun rights and the second amendment. But they also believe in justice. And there is a growing awareness of the massive disparities in how gun laws are enforced.

As it turns out, Allen’s case isn’t unusual at all. Although white people occasionally do become the victims of overly broad gun laws (for example, see the outrageous prosecution of Brian Aitken, also in New Jersey), the typical person arrested for gun crimes is more likely to have the complexion of Shaneen Allen than, say, Sarah Palin. Last year, 47.3 percent of those convicted for federal gun crimes were black — a racial disparity larger than any other class of federal crimes, including drug crimes. In a 2011 report on mandatory minimum sentencing for gun crimes, the U.S. Sentencing Commission found that blacks were far more likely to be charged and convicted of federal gun crimes that carry mandatory minimum sentences. They were also more likely to be hit with “enhancement” penalties that added to their sentences. In fact, the racial discrepancy for mandatory minimums was even higher than the aforementioned disparity for federal gun crimes in general.

This isn’t just a matter of black people committing more crimes. In cases where the prosecution is discretionary — such as the enhancement penalties — this is far more likely to happen to black criminals than white ones. And conservatives like Rand Paul have been making this point more and more forcefully of late.

Oh, speaking of Rand Paul … Just last week, Jon Stewart discovered civil asset forfeiture, the process by which the government can seize your property or money by alleging it has committed a crime (that’s not a typo; they literally charge the property with a crime). It will surprise no one that while asset forfeiture casts a wide net, it also has a tendency to fall heaviest on minorities and on poor people who can’t fight back. Anyone want to guess the party affiliation of the man who has proposed to overhaul asset forfeiture law and give people greater civil service protections?

The FAIR Act would change federal law and protect the rights of property owners by requiring that the government prove its case with clear and convincing evidence before forfeiting seized property. State law enforcement agencies will have to abide by state law when forfeiting seized property. Finally, the legislation would remove the profit incentive for forfeiture by redirecting forfeitures assets from the Attorney General’s Asset Forfeiture Fund to the Treasury’s General Fund.

It’s not perfect. But it’s a huge improvement over the existing regime, where local law enforcement can bypass state regs by turning the seized money over to federal agents, who take a cut and give it directly back the law enforcement agencies.

But there’s still more. Let’s move away from crime and toward poverty itself. Last week, Paul Ryan suggested a new set of policies to try to reduce poverty. He would consolidate numerous programs into block grants to the states, expand the EITC, reduce regulations and push criminal sentencing reform. Even some liberals are admitting these are good ideas. They will reward work and expand opportunity — the two things the poor need a hell of a lot more than slightly larger piles of government cash.

There’s been some controversy over Ryan’s proposal to have chronically poor people meet with councilors who will help them improve their lives. But as Megan McArdle points out, while the chronically poor are a small part of the poor, they consume a huge chunk of the benefits. And it is chronic generational poverty that is the true suffering. Ryan’s plan sounds a bit too paternalistic to me. But it’s got to be better than the absent father method our current system upholds where we just throw money at poor people and hope it will magically make them unpoor.

So in just the last week, we’ve seen conservatives oppose arbitrary ruinous enforcement of gun laws, oppose asset forfeiture and propose a new version of welfare reform (after the last one lifted millions out of poverty). You add this to the ongoing push for school choice and you have a platform that would greatly enhance freedom and opportunity for millions of people, most of who are poorer and darker-skinned than your typical Republican.

And the Democratic Party? Well, their big issue right now is trying to save the corporate welfare that is the Ex-Im bank.

Look, I’m not going to pretend the Republican Party is perfect on these issues or any other issue. And there are plenty of Democrats who support the above policies. What I am going to suggest, however, is that the caricature of the GOP specifically and conservatives in general as uncaring racist sociopaths is absurd.

Update: This isn’t strictly related, but you know how Democrats have been whining about the cost of higher ed and the burden it is imposing on the middle class? Well evil conservative Republican Mitch Daniels is not whining, he’s doing something about it.

Depends On The Community

As if I needed another reason to not do Facebook;

A Facebook page calling for the death of Israeli Jews does not violate the social network’s “community standards,” according to multiple messages sent by Facebook in response to user complaints.

The page in question, is named, “Death to zionst baby killer israeli jews.” The page, which spells “Zionist” incorrectly, features an Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a vampire with blood dripping down his chin as he feasts on a child. It was started on July 25.

Individuals complaining about the page were greeted with the following message (screen captured below):

We reviewed your report of Death to zionst baby killer israeli jews. Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the Page you reported for containing hate speech or symbols and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.

Is my delicate sensibilities threatened by such talk? Hardly, history tells us that this kind of hate has been around for a few thousand years. And in a free country idiots can spout off pretty much anything they want. White Supremacists Sites want blacks killed, Farrakhan and his ilk want the same for whites and the internet gives all haters the ability to disseminate that hate to a wide audience. But what is hilarious is that Facebook has “community standards” at all. Hate is only hate if the correct segment of society is hated, anyone else and it’s free speech. Jews, Christians, right wingers, by definition they deserve what they get, they ask for it for just being, well, them.

I always thought the founder of Facebook was Jewish, not any more, his parents must be so proud.

Much like embracing climate change, eating the rich, lamenting income inequality and wearing your atheism on your sleeve, supporting the Palestinians and condemning the Jews is de rigueur, it separates the hip, the enlightened , the evolved and the civilized from those that aren’t. The Jews are just so Old Testament.

Hoist By Their Own Petard

Let’s remember, for just a moment, how Obamacare was passed. It was cobbled together by a team of industry insiders to cater to all the special interests. It was then sent to Congress, where it would be honed and passed. But when Scott Brown won the election in Massachusetts, they suddenly did not have a filibuster-proof majority. So they rushed it through on a budget reconciliation. As a result, the bill contains a lot of bad language, poor wording and unclear statutes. Nancy Pelosi famously said we had to pass it find out what was in it. And now we’re finding out that what’s in it could destroy it.

Earlier this week, the DC Circuit Court ruled that the Obamacare subsidies could not be given to people whose states had not set up insurance exchanges because the law did not specify it. Liberals screamed blue murder about activist courts and people losing insurance and other arguments from the “Oh Come On!” school of jurisprudence. They said that Michael Cannon and Cato and other people arguing that the subsidies were meant to be withheld to force states to set up exchanges were “sociopaths” who would say anything to take insurance away from the poor. They’re livid that Obamacare might be overturned by what they’re calling “a typo”:

his week, Jonathan Gruber appeared on MSNBC to assert that the DC Circuit appellate court got the ObamaCare statute all wrong in its Halbig decision. Gruber, one of the key architects of the ACA and of the Massachusetts “RomneyCare” law that preceded it, insisted that the state exchange requirement for subsidy payment was purely accidental. “It is unambiguous this is a typo,” Gruber told Chris Matthews. “Literally every single person involved in the crafting of this law has said that it`s a typo, that they had no intention of excluding the federal states.”

Even if that were true, these kind of typos are what you get when you shove a law through without reconciliation. And while “everyone” might agree that Congress intended the mandates to be universal, it’s difficult to tell what Congress intended because Congress barely debated the fucking thing.

But is it true that Congress intended the subsidies to be universal? For that, we should ask one of the architects of Obamacare such as … um … Jonathan Gruber?

Two years ago, though, Gruber gave a much different explanation for this part of the ObamaCare statute. Speaking at a January 2012 symposium for a tech organization that this was no typo. It was, Gruber said, a deliberate policy to twist the arms of reluctant states to set up their own exchanges — and that a failure to do so would mean no subsidies for their citizens.

You can go to Hot Air and watch the video, including the full video that shows this was not taken out of context. Gruber has since said his words were a “speak-o” and he was mistaken. If so, this Obamacare architect — who was paid a cool $400,000 for his contribution — now appears to have made that “speak-o” multiple times.

As Ed Morrissey points out, this doesn’t really matter for the court case. The Court will be considering Congressional intent not consultant intent. And to be perfectly frank, Gruber is a hack who will say whatever the Obama Administration wants him to say. If he got a memo saying that Obamacare was actually French Toast, he’d be handing out eggs and butter at these meetings.

But it does make for some great entertainment to watch these guys flounder around trying to explain what the bill really means.

“Liking” The IDF

Reminding the foot soldier what he is fighting for, genius;

The IDF got a surprising new kind of moral support this week. Hundreds of pretty girls posting their appreciation to the soldiers on a new Facebook page called “Girls love IDF”. Since it was created three days ago, the page already has thousands of likes.

The creators of the page are two young women, Lital Shemesh and Olga Lavie who wanted to show their support in an original way that will really get to soldiers in the battle field. “I’ve been volunteering in the last three weeks in anyway I can to help our guys,” Lavie told JPost.com. “I talked to the soldiers, hugged them and understood that they need more than just food and clothes. They need our love and support.”

“We are getting pictures from all over the world,” said Lavie. “Some soldiers even send us messages telling us they love us back.”

Their Facebook page, along with other racier iterations, should make for some happy soldiers.

But don’t miss the irony (no doubt planned) of this movement. Not only is it boosting the moral for the good guys (I couldn’t help myself) but it is reminding Hamas and all their pig cousins that they are still 8 centuries behind the civilized world. Those Muslims that happen to stumble on to one of these sites will be forced to stab out their eyeballs with forks, punishment for gazing at an uncovered woman.

Of course they could follow suit;

“We Love Suicide Bombers”
ISLAM_-_Islam-women

Bring on the “likes”.

As if you needed more proof….

Leftists always love to posture. They feel good letting everybody know how awesome they are. They care for the poor, the needy, the oppressed, the downtrodden, the unlucky, the little guy. They know what’s best and they want to help, and they will let anyone that gets in their way have it. And when you are dealing with leftists run counties, the hubris and narcissism takes new meaning. That is, until it hits them in their personal pocket book. As long as someone else pays the price, the left is all for that shit. And nobody embodies this philosophy like the French. Case in point the anger on the left about Putin’s moves on the Ukraine that all the leftists are spouting. That is, until it hits them in the pocketbook. I believe it was Mao that said a capitalist will sell you the rope you want to hang him with, but I think today, that philosophy applies mostly to the progressive movement, which is for noble causes, especially when it affords an opportunity to enriched themselves doing it, and more importantly, as long as they don’t have to pay for it in any way (except when government forces everyone to suffer, which then somehow brings out the hubris and narcissism all over again).

Personally I could care less about France selling the Russians amphibs. I actually hope the Russians use them someday to invade some French colony or France itself. They will be greeted by the white flag waving cheese eating surrender monkeys as heros I bet. Oceania could use a good war.

Not So Friendly Skies

Here is another one of those stories where both parties need a good ass kicking, or maybe they deserve each other;

It appears that passengers now tweet at their own peril on airlines. We have previously seen how tweets have gotten passengers pulled from planes, including tweets that simply joked or criticized an airline. Now in Minneapolis, Duff Watson says that he was pulled from a Southwest Airlines flight because he tweeted his dissatisfaction with a gate agent. He says that the agent told him that his tweet calling her rude left her feeling threatened and that he could only fly with his children if he deleted the tweet. It appears a new twist on the company’s slogan, If it matters to you, it matters to us.

Watson says that the conflict arose when the agent refused to let him board early with his two children. He is on the priority boarding list but the agent said that his 6-year-old and 9-year-old kids were not. He objected to the notion of leaving his kids to board separately. He then said “Real nice way to treat an A-list. I’ll be sure to tweet about it.” And he did. When he boarded the flight, he tweeted “Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA.”

Why do most people that tweet always have a “kick me” sign on their back? I can just hear this pretentious bozo berating the agent for following the rules, you want your kids to get priority boarding? Sign them up for it like you did for yourself. No, he is special, couldn’t wait with his kids to board, along with the rest of the riff raff, nope, he has a frequent flyer card by God and he wants everyone to know it.

Sure, in a perfect world employees would be allowed to show some common sense, not make a mountain out of a mole hill and just let that family board priority. But as we have seen over and over again, those showing initiative, even when it would benefit the company, gets stepped on. Deviate from the rules, even when it makes sense and would make for a happy customer, and your job is at risk.

For the humiliation I would expect something more substantial than a $50 voucher, he needs a better lawyer.

The whole flying experience has reached critical mass. With new TSA fees, gropping TSA agents, longer lines, worse service (are international flights the only ones where you actually get an inedible meal?), and now delicate flower terminal agents who can’t take a little criticism even when they do suck at their job.