Friday, January 29, 2010

It's a Win/Win

Or, more accurately a Win/Win/Lose. Guess which category you and I fit into?

"We have been discussing new approaches with Warner Bros. for some time now and believe we've come up with a creative solution that is a 'win-win' all around," said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who handles studio relations.

Warner Bros. first said it wanted to change its relationship with Netflix in August, at the same time that it imposed the 28-day window on Redbox and its smaller kiosk competitors.

Other studios have privately expressed similar concerns recently about Netflix, which has more than 11 million subscribers. It's likely that some or all will follow Warner Bros.' lead and strike similar agreements soon. 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures are the most likely candidates, as they have imposed windows on Redbox.

The new deal means that for the first four weeks after Warner Bros. movies are released on DVD, consumers will be able to only purchase them, download them them through Internet or cable video-on-demand services, or rent them at retail stores like Blockbuster. Video-on-demand and retail rentals are more profitable for studios than Netflix and Redbox, though it remains to be seen whether Warner will look to impose a window on Blockbuster Inc. and its competitors as well.

Put out a horrible product that the public isn't willing to waste it's money on? The solution is to limit our options.

Look, Warner Brothers, if I wasn't willing to buy your DVDs before, I'm even less wiling to do so now.

I welcome our new Public Servant Overlords

The communist movement in the US was, around the beginning of the last century, was rooted in the working class. Then, starting in the 50's, the "intellectuals" took the helm. While they are still the main driving force, the new contingent can be found in the public sector. That's why Obama's plan to forgive student loans for those who go into public service is all the more disturbing. From The Corner:

An Oregonian responds to my piece on the recent tax increases there:

As a lifetime resident of Oregon, small business owner and one of the earners this new tax increase will affect I read your article and thought something is missing.

What is missing is that Oregon is one of the states that is at the forefront of turning the Public sector against the Private sector. As the private sector has continued to shrink here, the public sector has continued to grow. What we are left with is a continual monopoly of liberal democrats in power at the state and local level and a populace that is dependent on the income of the few to pay for the expenses of the many. Every year or two a new tax is proposed, sometimes they pass, sometimes they don’t, but mostly they pass. It is so frustrating as a person that works 60-70 hours per week to see this. I see this latest vote as the final proof that the public sector now has control of this state.

That's the trend, and not just in Oregon. As our editorial on the SOTU noted, "The proposal to forgive student-loan debt on special terms for people who go into 'public service' typifies this administration’s attitude toward the economy: Producing wealth is less noble than rearranging it."

Public service sounds like such a noble calling, but when studies have shown that public service is more generous (in both pay and benefits) than that of the private sector, where is the sacrifice?

And, let's not be fooled to think that all public servants are putting their life on the line for the American people. Public service includes anyone who works for the government.

Like, for example, Nancy Pelosi is a public servant. (H/t Dan.

Judicial Watch said the newly obtained 2,000 pages of documentation show Pelosi's military travel cost the U.S. Air Force $2,100,744.59 over two years – including $101,429.14 which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol.

Remember, public service is a noble endeavor for which we owe them.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Uhm, about that O'Keefe "wiretapping" dealo

Oh, lookie here.

I am shocked - SHOCKED - that the loony left raced to judgement on this.


In comments - this is Civil Disobedience, man. FIGHT THE POWER.

Yes, I watched it. Did you?

I like this comment from The Corner's Jeff Anderson:

In a meandering speech in which he seemed somewhat smug but not really in command, he scolded the Supreme Court, Congress, and “Washington.” He struck a surprisingly confrontational tone — a somewhat unusual tone for a president at a showcase event — toward the Republican side of the chamber. In a passage clearly written to be said to the Democrats but delivered (with a hint of venom) while looking directly at the Republicans, he said, “And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that sixty votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it’s not leadership.”

But mostly he showcased his own understanding — or lack thereof — of the proper limits of government, while indicating that he has no intention of ceding ground to the electorate and its rejection of his agenda in the recent elections in New Jersey, Virginia, and, particularly, Massachusetts.

He implicitly compared Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts to the Union’s loss at Bull Run (at least it sure sounded like it): “But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run . . . victory was very much in doubt. . . . Again, we are tested. And again, we must answer history’s call.” One wonders: Are the Massachusetts voters who rose up against Obamacare supposed to be the Confederates in this scenario?

Regardless, the message was clear: Don’t listen to the voters, and don’t back down on Obamacare: “Change has not come fast enough”; “when I ran for president, I promised I wouldn’t just do what was popular”; “we still need health-insurance reform”; it may not be “good politics,” but “we are closer than ever”; “the people expect us to solve some problems, not run for the hills”; “I want everyone to take another look. . . . Let’s get it done.” Throughout much of this section, there was noticeable silence in the chamber.

To the extent that the president took responsibility for his health-care agenda’s troubles, it was “for not explaining it more clearly.” But this, he made clear, was no reason to turn back.

Besides this, I'm not really interesting in talking about it. To fucking depressing. I was hoping for a "You lie"moment, but all we got was a "not true."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Anything on TV tonight?/ Now updated with some tastey Krauthammer

"The press is against me." LOL. He's experiencing it (harsh press) for the very first time. Ba. Ha. Ha.

Did everyone else find yesterday's announcement that Obama would initiate a "spending freeze" as funny fucking pathetic as I did? The NYT finds something to spin it in a positive manner:

The freeze that Mr. Obama will propose for the fiscal years 2011 through 2013 actually means a cut in real terms, since the affected spending would not keep pace with inflation.

See? It's practically a spending CUT!

Remember when the libs kept going on and on about Bush's $1 trillion deficit?

Let's put the President's spending freeze into persepective:

Last year’s shortfall [deficit] was $1.4 trillion. This year’s is projected to be $1.35 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected that cumulative deficits over the next ten years will reach $9.3 trillion, and the amount of federal debt held by the public will reach 82 percent of GDP. Economist John Taylor has noted that without deep spending cuts, taxes would have to go up by 60 percent in order to bring the debt-to-GDP ratio back down to a “manageable” 41 percent, which is where things stood when Obama took office.


1.The Congressional Budget Office had already projected a decline in non-defense discretionary spending over the next few years (from $682 billion in FY 2010 gradually down to $640 billion in 2014)--which can be found on Table 3-1 of the CBO report. Which the group says actually makes the spending freeze "a hike in projected spending over the next several years."

2.The so-called "spending restraint" is only "a drop in the bucket." The White House claims the freeze will reduce total spending over the next decade by $250 billion. The CBO says that under current services, the federal government will be spending $42.9 trillion. Even with the freeze, Obama and the Democrats in Congress get to spend, ATR points out, 99.42 percent of what they were planning to.

3.Non-defense discretionary spending during Obama's first year in office grew by 17.4 percent. Freezing spending at that level over the next three years would still produce an average annual increase of 5.5 percent, which is faster than both the economy and wages are expected to grow.

Prepare for "But Bush ..." in 3 ...2 ... 1 ...

The Hammer on the Freeze:

It's not a hatchet. It's not a scalpel. It's a Q-tip. It's a fraud. This is a miniscule amount. It excludes Defense, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs. It excludes all the entitlements, which are 60 percent of the budget. It excludes stimuli past and future — the two thirds of the near trillion-dollar stimulus that has not been spent. All of that is excluded.

It excludes the $1 trillion that would end up being spent on health care if it were passed.

What it is, is a $15 billion reduction in a year, 2011, in which the CBO has just announced we are going to have a deficit of $1.35 trillion, which means it is — it's a rounding error, it's lunch money. . . .

This isn't a real cut. It's an appearance of cuts. It's a maneuver as a response to what happened in Massachusetts because he lost the independents – Obama – 3-1, and he knows independents worry about debt and deficits and spending. . . .

So he announces a freeze which is meaningless. Remember, these departments enjoyed a 20 percent increase in budget as a result of what Obama and the Democrats had done in 2009. So you are freezing [discretionary spending] at an extraordinarily high and unusual [level].

The Hammer is why I tune in to Fox every night at 6:40 eastern.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I don't know whether to laugh or cry


a grassroots movement popular, of-the-people, bottom-up, nonhierarchical, rank-and-file.

We're hiring Directors to run 32 Canvass Offices across the United States.
Qualified candidates are:
Committed to and motivated by progressive politics and social change.
Leaders, with the ability to think strategically and motivate a team.
Goal-oriented, excellent communicators, team players.
Experience in hiring, training and supervising staff or volunteers is preferred. Previous field or canvassing experience is a plus.
Job Description:
Recruitment: Build a team of 15-50 canvassers by recruiting from within the local community and developing your strongest staff into leadership positions within the office and in the field.

Canvassing: Get on the Frontlines of some of the most crucial campaigns of our time! Work on the ground bringing progressive change to America!

Hours: 80-100 hours/week

One of these things is not like the other. But, of course, who is Ellie Light?

h/t RSM

Could we have found Ellie LIght? Could she be a member of Obama's "New Media Specialists"? Via Dan, via the Prowler:

The unit is housed in the Office of Public Affairs. Not only is the Department of Justice Blog Squad going to reach out to nontraditional media like TPM Muckraker or the Muffled Oar, but they are also tasked with fostering anonymous comments at conservative leaning blogs such as the Free Republic. They are also tasked with fostering anonymous comments, or comments under pseudonyms, at newspaper websites with stories critical of the Department of Justice, Holder and President Obama. One conservative editor recently told the Muffled Oar that they have noticed a significant increase in the number and aggressiveness of comments to stories critical of the Holder Justice Department. “There is clearly a designed effort to rebut stories that are exposing the Holder Justice Department as more political than the last. We’ve seen a change in the pattern of anonymous emails we receive and comments posted at our paper’s webpage.”

From Dan's link at the Prowler:

Meanwhile, according to a career employee in the Department of Justice, both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees sent formal letters of inquiry to the Department of Justice regarding its “blogging” policies, but DOJ officials have yet to even acknowledge the letters.

This was posted back in October, so I have no idea if the inquiry has been addressed by this time.

But, this isn't the bill of goods Obama was selling back in '08. Hope. Change. Transparency.

h/t Dan.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ba haa haa haa

Title of the day goes to RSM.

Ellie Light is a Nasty Slut.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain ...

Karl over in the Green Room points out the inconsistencies between what teh One says, and what he has done.

Barack Obama’s first major step on the campaign trail — in December 2006 — was to Wall Street, where he snagged the backing of convicted inside trader George Soros and investment banker Robert Wolf, who became CEO of UBS Americas. Before the Wall Street meltdown got into full swing, Swiss banking giant UBS had written off more debt from the subprime mortgage crisis than any other bank; a number of Obama’s top bundlers came from with firms mired in that mess. Such bundlers raised at least 22 percent of Obama’s money during the first half of 2007, and got perks from the Obama campaign. Indeed, Obama’s national campaign-finance chairwoman, Penny Pritzker, helped run Superior Bank — which was at the forefront of securitizing of subprime mortgages, until it collapsed in 2001.

When Wall Street went into meltdown mode, the establishment media ignored that Obama got big donations from associates of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and was one of the all-time recipents of political cash from Lehman Brothers. Before the election Obama voted for TARP. After the election, Obama twisted arms to get the second half of the TARP money, and packed the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place.

All that populist garbage he's spewing now? Doesn't jive with his history. How do you know that Obama is lying about reforming Wall Street? His lips are moving. Matt Tabbi in Rolling Stone:

What’s taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy. What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside.

Is it an about face? Or is it just garbage spewed by the teleprompter aimed at inciting class envy and anger?

Karl, again, over at Paterrico:

The notable point of this Lefty consensus is that you heard nothing like this from the Left or its establishment media outlets when the Wall Street meltdown struck during the peak of the 2008 campaign. They were not remotely interested in the financial ties between Wall Street and the Democrats, or the role of Clinton HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo in plunging Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the subprime markets, or the Fed’s role in dumbing down lending standards, to name just a few topics.

Moving forward, the Left — from Pres. Obama on down — should not be allowed to whine about having inherited a bad economy from the Bush administration. By their own admissions, Clinton-era Democrats were among the “very people who caused the crisis in the first place” — and they now hold high offices in the Obama administration.

Progressives talk a good game about reforming the fat cat crooks who who get rich off of backs of the workers, but in reality they all are busy behind the scenes insuring that they reward themselves, and their friends.

Case in point? The lack of tort reform in either of the health care bills.

Remember, "progressivism" is merely communism without the revolution. And every communist state is corrupt.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Times' FOIA request denied

What does one make of this? A refresher:

In the Philadelphia incident, two New Black Panther Party members wearing black berets, black combat boots, black dress shirts and black jackets with military-style markings were charged in a Jan. 7, 2009, civil complaint with intimidating voters, including brandishing a 2-foot-long nightstick and issuing racial threats and insults. The complaint said a third member "managed, directed and endorsed the behavior."

None of the New Black Panther Party members responded to the charges or made any appearance in court.

A Justice Department memo shows the career lawyers decided as early as Dec. 22, 2008, to seek a complaint against the party; its chairman, Malik Zulu Shabazz, a lawyer and D.C. resident; Minister King Samir Shabazz, a resident of Philadelphia and head of the party's Philadelphia chapter who was accused of wielding the nightstick; and Jerry Jackson, a resident of Philadelphia and a party member.

They said the deployment of uniformed members of "a well-known group with an extremely hostile racial agenda, combined with the brandishing of a weapon at the entrance to a polling place," constituted a violation of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits intimidation, threats and coercion.

The defendants refused to appear in court or file motions and U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell ordered Justice to file it's motions for default judgments. But that didn't happen. Charges were dropped. Why? The assumption is that it was a political favor, by political appointees at the DOJ. The official line:

Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler has steadfastly maintained that the department has an "ongoing obligation" to be sure the claims it makes are supported by the facts and the law.

She said that after a "thorough review" of the complaint, top career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division determined the "facts and the law did not support pursuing the claims against three of the defendants."

Ms. Schmaler also has said the department is "committed to vigorous enforcement of the laws protecting anyone exercising his or her right to vote." [cough cough cough]

Mr. Perrelli, nominated by Mr. Obama to the Justice Department post on Jan. 5, 2009, raised more than $500,000 for the Democratic candidate in the 2008 election.

Mr Perrelli is the fellow who approved the decision to dismiss the complaint. But, don't worry, because they made a "thorough review" and decided there was nothing "there" (despite the videos that clearly show voter intimidation) and, no, you're not going to be able to see any of the information that supports the governments assertion that these folks did NOTHING wrong because ...

In a letter, the department said that while 69 documents totaling 135 pages were responsive to the Freedom of Information Act request for information on how and why the decision to dismiss the complaint was made, they were being withheld because of "deliberative process" and "attorney work-product" privilege exemptions.

"For your information, the withheld material includes e-mails between officials in the Civil Rights Division and the Office of the Associate Attorney General regarding the litigation strategy, drafts of court filings and briefing materials related to the subject of your request," said Carmen L. Mallon, chief of staff in the department's office of information policy.

Some animals' civil rights are more equal than other's ...

h/t : Weaselzippers

BiW draws our attention to this excellent article. I tried to quote a bit, but I simply couldn't pick just one passage. You must read the whole thing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Obama's suburban problem.

Too many posts today, but this is too interesting to ignore:

For the first time in memory, the suburbs are under a conscious and sustained attack from Washington. Little that the adminstration has pushed—from the Wall Street bailouts to the proposed “cap and trade” policies—offers much to predominately middle-income-oriented suburbanites and instead appears to have worked to alienate them.

And then there are the policies that seem targeted against suburbs. In everything from land use and transportation to “green” energy policy, the Obama administration has been pushing an agenda that seeks to move Americans out of their preferred suburban locales and into the dense, transit-dependent locales they have eschewed for generations.

Read it all here .

Good read.

Mark Steyn, in the most recent National Review hardcopy, speaking about how the fall of Rome may apply today:

Hayek's greatest insight in "The Road to Serfdom" is psychological; "There is one aspect of the change in moral values brought about by the advance of collectivism which at the present time provides special food for thought," he wrote with an immigrant's eye on the Britain of 1944. "It is that the virtues which are held less and less in esteem and which consequently become rarer are precisely those on which the British people justly prided themselves and in which they were generally agreed to excel. The virtues possessed by Anglo-Saxons in a higher degree than most other people, excepting only a few of the smaller nations, like the Swiss and the Dutch, were independence and self-reliance on voluntary activity, noninterference with one's neighbor and tolerance of the different and queer, respect for custom and tradition, and a healthy suspicion of power and authority." Two-thirds of a century on, almost every item on the list has been abandoned, from "independence and self-reliance" (40 percent of the people receive state handouts) to "a healthy suspicion of power and authority: - the reflex response now to almost any passing inconvenience is to demand the government "do something," the cost to individual liberty be damned.

Well, that's Great Britain, it cannot happen here, right? Well, it certainly won't occur in such a cushy manner ...

Why did decline prove so pleasant in Europe? Because it was cushioned by American power. The United States is such a perversely non-imperial power that it garrisons not ramshackle colonies but its wealthiest "allies," from Germany to Japan For most of it's members, "the Free World" has been a free ride. And that, too, is unprecedented. Even the few NATO members that can still project meaningful force around the world have been able to arrange their affairs on the assumption of the American security umbrella; In the United Kingdom, between 1951 and 1997 the proportion of government expenditure on defense fell from 24 percent to 7, while the proportion on health and welfare rose from 22 percent to 53.

So, when we decline, who will have our back? When our national expenditures on health and welfare rise to 53% and 40% of our population receive state handouts), who is going to send aid down to Haiti?

"Leaked" memo

Insight into how the Democrats go from here, so be prepared to hear the following talking points from here on out.


· We welcome Scott Brown to the Senate.

· While Senator-elect Brown's victory changes the political math in the Senate, it does not change the challenges are country faces or the need to address them.

· We remain committed to strengthening our economy, creating good paying jobs and ensuring all Americans can access affordable health care.

· Senate Republicans have an obligation to the American people to join us in governing our nation through these difficult times and to help clean up the mess they left behind.

· It is mathematically impossible for Democrats to pass legislation on our own. Senate Republicans to come to the table with ideas for improving our nation and not obstructionist tactics.

· Saying "no" might be a good political strategy but it does nothing to create jobs or help improve the lives of struggling America

I wondered, all day, what tact the Democrats would take. It took 'em all day to come up with THAT?

Expect to hear the "Party of No" charge ad nauseam. Expect the Senate Democrats to fail to invite Senate Republicans to the table, and then charge that they "offer nothing." Expect to see faile bills, which are voted down because they haven't been created by bipartisan agreement, blamed on Republicans.

If Republicans are not offered any real ability to affect legislation, they only thing they CAN do is vote no. And I will stand by them for that.

I hope Obama trots out that mop analogy again. That one kicks ass.

New Rules Poat

Throw any suggestions in comments.

Now this is the first thing she's ever written that made sense

Amanda, from Pandagon:

Here’s my prediction of what will happen: Democrats will drop health care reform like a lead balloon, starting this week. They weren’t able to move the ball down the field very quickly to begin with, and now they’ll feel like it’s impossible. Some of them, like the abortion boys Bart Stupak and Ben Nelson, have clearly wanted this all along, and will feel more empowered. Democrats will try to shore up their 2010 campaigns by running on obstructionism. The public will remember that Bush was able to run wild with a much smaller majority in the Senate and will decide the Democrats are liars and assholes for saying this. 2010 will be a bloodbath. Republicans will win possibly both houses of Congress, effectively bringing anything Obama might want to do to a halt, not that he was that bold to be begin with. Since the mortgage crisis is far from over, our economic turnaround will be short-lived indeed---most people will never know the news said it happened---and things will get worse. Obama won’t be able to do much besides hand the people who ruined our economy more money to flush down the toilet, because Republicans will block anything that actually puts money in the pockets of people who need it the most. Jane Hamsher will be blamed, and the media will demand that Democrats move to the right.
In 2012, if we’re lucky, Obama’s charisma and a lack of decent Republican candidates will put Obama over the finish line. If not, then the next disaster train of a Republican administration finishes the job Bush set out to do of destroying this country starting in 2012. Or they start off that job in 2016.

Or the Democrats wake up. *pulls self off the floor after hysterical sobbing laughter*

Of course, I'm curious as to what she means about Republicans blocking anything that "actually puts money in the pockets of people who need it the most."

But, on a day (after) like today, why quibble?

Of course, nothing is set in stone. Obama could pull a Clinton. Personally, I don't see that he has that in him.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Is there NOTHING we cannot do?

Why did Obama do this? I thought he was going to make the world love us.

Well, with him reducing Haiti to rubble with his super-secret earthquake machine ... WHY DOES OBAMA HATE BLACK PEOPLE?

New Rules

OT comments will be deleted.

Or sucky comments that bore me.

So, STAY SHARP. I'll accept nothing below a B+ effort.


Mark Steyn:

On Sunday, the line from Obama, Kerry, and everyone else to the voters of Massachusetts was:

"We understand why you're angry. But don't let your anger with George W. Bush allow you to get tricked into voting for a Republican who'll obstruct the reform agenda you're crying out for."

Presumably even Patrick Kennedy isn't stupid enough to believe this. Even as elite condescension to the boob masses, it barely passes muster.

So, to steal a line from another blog, now is the time when we dance

Now is also the time where we stop name-calling in old threads.

Let us focus our attention on Scott Brown. Today is a day for pudding, and the Teabagger victory dance. Which is kinda like this, except with pudding.

More - what's next? The Coming Democrat Counteroffensive.

The 2010 midterm elections will be nationalized, and money spent by the Democrats and their allies will be staggering, as will the level of vitriol and mudslinging. Anything and everything must be expected.

The current Democratic leaders will rely on two assumptions: 1) that the electorate, after decades of peace, prosperity, and lack of civic education, is generally ignorant and apathetic towards the machinations in Washington, D.C.; 2) that gerrymandering, skewed election laws, and political financing regulations -- and most importantly, the fragmented nature of the opposition -- will greatly benefit the Democrats. The Left will be confident in the reelection of their own congressmen in sufficient number to maintain control of the levers of power in Washington.

Onto "teabagging" and the left's affection for it:

Everyone is aghast that the Democrats and the liberal media have employed a base and vile vulgarism not only to describe the activities of those who are sincerely concerned for the country's future, but also to denigrate the individuals, their motives, appearance, and social status. This tactic is used because it works.

It works because it distracts from the real issues by fomenting discussions about what is said and forcing a response to an absurd accusation or portrayal. The pundits, politicians, and leaders on the right feel obligated to respond and deny the allegations, thus giving them more credibility and allowing the Left to find ways to make even more outrageous charges, thus perpetuating the cycle.

Exactly. It works because it distracts. Like here. Like in comments. I suppose that is why Ace and friends have embraced the teabagger label, and thus started dipping their balls in the pudding.

Many have proffered the theory that the Left resorts to name-calling and hyperbole because they cannot defend their socialist and secular philosophy. While it is true that they must resort to emotion to sell their theories to the masses, the political strategy to achieve power is fragmenting the opposition by questioning their motives, accusing them of hypocrisy or criminal and unethical behavior, and by using election laws to skew close elections against them. As long as this strategy works, the Left does not have to defend its philosophical positions.

The only way to defeat the Left is to stop playing by their rules.

The modus operandi of the left is, often, to make the conversation personal. Calling us teabaggers, for example. It's a distraction and takes us away from the issues. What's going on in comments isn't helping Michelle buy fruits and veggies, and it's not advancing liberty.

So, time to cut it out. Don't make me have to figure out how to delete comments. And I don't want to hear about how anyone was slandered on a blog.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So, what will it be today?

Will it be the miracle in Massachusetts? And why have we gotten to this point just one year after Hope and Change came to Washington?

Democrats and their media allies attribute it to GOP obstructionism, though Republicans lack the votes to stop anything by themselves. Or they blame their own Blue Dogs, who haven't stopped or even significantly modified any legislation of consequence.

Or they blame an economic agenda that wasn't populist or liberal enough because it didn't nationalize banks and spend even more on "stimulus." It takes a special kind of delusion to believe, amid a popular revolt against too much government spending and debt, that another $1 trillion would have made all the difference. But that's the latest left-wing theme.

The Democrats need to look inward, and assess their political over-reach. It definitely isn't a new era in Washington. It's the same old Washington on power steroids.

So, what's gonna happen today?

Monday, January 18, 2010

No Comment

Obama's Haiti

Cogent argument:

Angry mobs, starving people wandering aimlessly, corpses piling up in the streets, international criticism, people shouting wild conspiracy theories about how the President doesn't really care about the victims? Cripes, is anybody ever going to get all of those poor people out of the Superdome?

Presidentin', as it turns out, is hard work, and the institutional failures in Haiti are killing people in real time. The very best efforts of a lot of good people, as it turns out, aren't nearly enough to overcome the obstacles in front of them. However, you can expect little media comment on the topic beyond this post on a Newsweek blog, because those obstacles are not really Obama's fault, anymore than they were Bush's. Disaster management is hard, especially when you're trying to do it in a place where the infrastructure and local institutions have utterly crumbled, or, in Haiti's case, where they barely existed in the first place.

Actually, some people would say that about Louisiana, too, but I digress.

George Bush hates black people. I still hear that Katrina bullshit.

When you look at it that way, it would only be fair if Obama were scapegoated just the same, wouldn't it? After all, Democrats claimed that it was unreasonable to blame local officials during Katrina because the disaster was just "too big" for them to handle, and the federal government should've been expected to take total responsibility. Putting aside that we now know Blanco explicitly blocked Bush's efforts to do just that, Democrats can hardly duck out of this one by simply claiming that Haiti's disaster is "too big" for the world's leading superpower. Even under Bush, we were supposed to be able to save everyone in New Orleans, so there's no good reason that Obama shouldn't be able to save everyone in Port-Au-Prince, is there? Can't he fly around the Earth in reverse and unwind the earthquake, like in Superman?

The truth of the matter, is that the difference between Obama's Haiti and Bush's Katrina will be the carefully massaged messages that come out of the White House and the MSM who are still willing to carry O's water.

Waiting for Tuesday

Honestly, I'm so anxious to see what happens tomorrow, I have little to say today. Zo is in Mass.

Jake Tapper is doing some good analysis on the Brown/Coakley race.

Puppy Blender directs to this Baron piece:

Barack Obama got 62 percent of the vote in Massachusetts in 2008. His percentage was lower in 42 other states. With the Massachusetts seat in jeopardy, no Senate seat in those 42 states can be considered utterly safe for Democrats in today's climate of opinion.
That climate might have been different if Democrats had never gotten that 60th seat. In that case, they would've had to bargain with Republicans to pass a health-care bill and might even have proceeded on the genuine bipartisan approach that Obama promised in his campaign.
We might have been spared the spectacle of the Louisiana purchase ($300 million for Mary Landrieu's vote) and the Cornhusker hustle (Ben Nelson got Nebraska exempted from Medicaid increases). Or at least the onus of such spectacles would fall on Republicans as well as Democrats.
But with 60 seats, the Democratic leadership took the partisan path and the Obama White House supinely went along. They ignored the abundant evidence that most voters increasingly opposed their government-directed health-care bills.
The 60th seat was a temptation, and like Oscar Wilde, the Democrats were able to resist anything except temptation.

Good stuff.

Michael C. Moynihan writing in Reason Magazine on Coakley's incompetence:

A decade ago, Coakley told The Boston Globe that if her political career were to flame out she would likely "retire to Martha's Vineyard and write murder mysteries." On Friday, liberal journalist Steve Kornacki reported that Coakley's own internal polling shows Brown with a three-point lead. I eagerly await Coakley's literary debut.

O/T conclusion:
Does anyone watch the Golden Globes? That was apparently on last night , and - well - who cares, right? I couldn't honestly even tell you what the "Golden Globes" celebrate? Celebrity? You've got me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Global warming, packs with the devil cause Earthquakes

Danny Glover is just stupid. Why is anyone interviewing this guy about Haiti? His entire comment is stupid, not just his blaming of the earthquake on global warming.

h/t Drudge

And, Yes, Robertson's comment was equally stupid. Valarie Jarett responded to Pat. Will she make a statement regarding Danny Glover's equally asinine pronouncement?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Brown OUT

It's all over for Brown.

Of course, some folks advise bloggers to not steal stories from guys like Ace, since everyone reads him already.

But the problem is I'M BANNED FROM ACE'S site. Did I write something bad? Did I upset Ace's delicate sensibilities? No. My IP merely continually gets banned for no reason. I've bored of writing Ace and asking if it could be cleared up, because that only lasts a few weeks until it gets banned again. So, I can't go and play in all the fun. So, there you have it.

Anyway. Here's the details:

The Coakley campaign just sent out a press release pushing this HuffPo hit piece on Scott Brown. They’ve dug up some real dirt on this supposedly “regular guy” candidate. Did you know he “owns five properties”?

Brown owns three rental units in the college neighborhood of Brighton, and the Coakley campaign is trumpeting the fact that “Brown's 2008 SFI reports . . . a net income derived from [one of these units] of $1,001 to $5,000.” Obviously, Brown doesn’t need some crummy senate job with an income like that!

Then there’s this stunner: Scott Brown, who pretends to be a modest, typical Massachusetts resident, owns a time share in Aruba. That’s right: A time share. The Coakley e-mail reports the value of this Aruban paradise as “valued at $10,001 to $20,000.”

Well, after such a revelations ... I await Brown's press conference announcing his withdrawal.

Book Report

I just got my copy of Jean-Francois Revel's book Last Exit to Utopia, which was just translated. I've only just begun, but I thought I'd share what I'm reading as I go along.

From the preface, by Anthony Daniels:

M. Revel's book is, as ever, rich in ideas. He points out that liberal democracy is not an ideology in the sense that Marxism or any other form of utopian political thought is an ideology; liberal democracy does not hold out the hope of a denouement of history in which all human contradictions are resolved, no conflicts can arise and everyone is ceaselessly-andone might almost add remorselessly-happy. It assumes that conflicts, difficulties, problems and dissatisfactions are inescapable characteristics of the human condition, and that the best that can be hoped for is compromise without slaughter, brining with it some faint hope, though not the certainty, of progress. There is no blueprint. (xxi)

On to the first chapter!

Labor Unions exempt from Cadillac plans

As if you knew this wasn't going to happen ...

The nation’s labor unions have reportedly cut a deal with House Democrats: Labor will drop its opposition to the so-called Cadillac tax — an excise tax on high-cost employer-provided health-care plans — if Congress will carve out an exemption for plans provided under collective-bargaining agreements. Even after all the unsavory bargains and rotten deals that have characterized the rush to get this thing passed (the “Louisiana Purchase,” the “Cornhusker Kickback,” etc.) the “Labor Loophole” surely takes the prize.

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

How Alyinsky has failed Chicago

Heather Mac Donald in City Journal on Chicago's youth violence and how "community organizing" has failed to do anything. It's a great, although long, article.

The Alinsky model views poverty as a lack of political power. Well, from a racial standpoint in cities such as Chicago and Detroit this just doesn't jive with reality.

But by the time Obama arrived in Chicago in 1984, an Alinskyite diagnosis of South Side poverty was doubly irrelevant. Blacks had more political power in Chicago than ever before, yet that power had no impact on the tidal wave of dysfunction that was sweeping through the largest black community in the United States. Chicago had just elected Harold Washington, the city’s first black mayor; the heads of Chicago’s school system and public housing were black, as were most of their employees; black power broker Emil Jones, Jr. represented the South Side in the Illinois State Senate; Jesse Jackson would launch his 1984 presidential campaign from Chicago. The notion that blacks were disenfranchised struck even some of Obama’s potential organizees as ludicrous. “Why we need to be protesting and carrying on at our own people?” a prominent South Side minister asked Obama soon after he arrived in Chicago. “Anybody sitting around this table got a direct line to City Hall.”

So, where does an Alinsyite go from here?

[O]n the eve of Obama’s first political campaign, the aspiring state senator gave an interview to the Chicago Reader that epitomized the uselessness of Alinskyism in addressing black urban pathology—and that inaugurated the trope of community organizer as visionary politician. Obama attacks the Christian Right and the Republican Congress for “hijack[ing] the higher moral ground with this language of family values and moral responsibility.” Yeah, sure, family values are fine, he says, but what about “collective action . . . collective institutions and organizations”? Let’s take “these same values that are encouraged within our families,” he urges, “and apply them to a larger society.”

Even if this jump from “family values” to “collective action” were a promising strategy, Obama overlooks a crucial fact: there are almost no traditional families in inner-city neighborhoods. Fathers aren’t “encouraging” values “within our families”; fathers are nowhere in sight. Moving to “collective action” is futile without a core of personal responsibility on which to build. Nevertheless, Obama leapfrogs over concrete individual failure to alleged collective failure: “Right now we have a society that talks about the irresponsibility of teens getting pregnant,” he told the Reader, “not the irresponsibility of a society that fails to educate them to aspire for more.”

It's society's job to educated kids to inspire them for more. Ok, let's go with the thought that just perhaps society can't do that? It needs to start a bit closer to home. Yea, maybe not. This from last summer after the murder of Derrion Albert, from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan:

“I came here at the direction of the president, not to place blame on anyone, but to join with Chicago, with communities across America in taking responsibility for this death and the deaths of so many other young people over the years,” announced Duncan. Of course, the government has been “taking responsibility” for children for several decades now, at a cost of billions of dollars, without noticeable effect on inner-city dysfunction. The feds have funded countless programs in child and youth development, in antiviolence training, in poverty reduction. If “collective action,” as Obama put it in 1995, could compensate for the absence of fathers, the black violence problem would have ended years ago.

Can we now, please, put this canard to bed? Of course not.

Some members of Chicago’s Left will argue against holding fathers or mothers responsible for their children. “To blame it on the family is totally unfair,” says Gwen Rice, a board member of the Developing Communities Project. “I’m tired of blaming the parents. The services for the poor are paltry; it boggles the mind. Historically, you can’t expect a parent who can’t get a job to do something that someone with resources can do. These problems have histories; there are policies that have mitigated against black progress. What needs to happen is a change in corporate greed and insensitivity.” Rice corrects my use of the term “illegitimacy”: “There are no illegitimate births,” she says.

Chicago, Detroit, it's all the same. It's a great article. Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The crooks are in control.

Ha ha haa haa

First there was the Hope and Change that Obama promised. Now there is Pandora.

How do you cope when that fantasy land you were hoping for doesn't materialize? When you figure out it was all just a lie movie?

James Cameron's completely immersive spectacle "Avatar" may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.
On the fan forum site "Avatar Forums," a topic thread entitled "Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible," has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope.

See, now it's not wonder 52% of us fell for that Hope and Change bullshit.

Ever since I went to see 'Avatar' I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na'vi made me want to be one of them. I can't stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it," Mike posted. "I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in 'Avatar.' "

Yea. Ok. Anyone want to make a wager on who Mike voted for in '08?

Within the fan community, suggestions for battling feelings of depression after seeing the movie include things like playing "Avatar" video games or downloading the movie soundtrack, in addition to encouraging members to relate to other people outside the virtual realm and to seek out positive and constructive activities.

Oh. My. Lord.

This just in ...

Amish get "religious exemption" from participating in this new national nightmare coming our way.

The Amish, as well as some other religious sects, are covered by a "religious conscience" exemption, which allows people with religious objections to insurance to opt out of the mandate. It is in both the House and Senate versions of the bill, making its appearance in the final version routine unless there are last-minute objections.
Although the Amish consist of several branches, some more conservative than others, they generally rely upon a community ethic that disdains government assistance. Families rely upon one another, and communities pitch in to help neighbors pay health care expenses.

OMG! I'm Amish! Woot! Well, now that I know I won't have to participate ... that's for you suckas.

In other news, Global warming has now lead to the death of a Miami man.

A 77-year-old man died of hypothermia Tuesday in what could be considered the first death in Miami that could be attributed to the record cold weather that has lingered in the city.
Wilfredo Arreyes died at Jackson Memorial Hospital and his roommate Miguel Alemon, 93, is still in critical condition after the two spent days in the frigid cold weather with no heat or covers in their apartment on Northwest 10th Avenue and Northwest 2nd Street in Little Havana.


Victor David Hanson du jour from the Corner:

People took the candidate at his word of bipartisanship, fiscal seriousness, and centrism, and from day one got instead shady Cabinet nominations of tax cheats and lobbyists, indifference to congressional corruption as symbolized by Rangel and Dodd, a whiny monotony of "Bush did it" for a year, a 1000-page health-care monstrosity, fiscal insanity, serial appeasement of enemies with conscious neglect of old allies, and on and on. No hope, less change.

Back in '08, some folks told me that the reason they were voting for Obama was that Bush (who wasn't running) had run up such a deficit. That's why it just makes me scratch my head (to the point of bleeding) when Obama is running up the deficit like you cannot imagine for shit that isn't helping the economy.

Despite the truly historic events listed above, U.S. deficits from President Washington through the election of President Obama averaged only 1 percent of GDP. Since President Obama’s election, they have averaged 10 percent of GDP — and they are on the rise.

President Obama and the Democratic Congress racked up $390 billion in new debt from October 1 to New Year’s Eve. In current dollars, that would rank as the fourth-highest deficit tally in U.S. history for an entire year. Only once before 2008 did we run up an annual budget deficit as high as the one we’ve just amassed in a single quarter.

This puts us on course for more than $5,000 in new debt spending for every man, woman, and child in America during fiscal year 2010. That’s $5,000 per person that you, your children, or your grandchildren will have to pay back — through either paying higher taxes or accepting reduced government spending.

Is anyone on the left upset by this? Anyone? And yet still they want to ram through, by whatever means necessary, this health care monstrosity.

Oh, one more tidbit that really belongs in the post below this one, but ... whateve - guess who is backing Coakley?

As first reported by Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner, the host committee for the fundraiser at Pennsylvania Avenue's Sonoma Restaurant includes lobbyists for Pfizer, Merck, Eli Lilly, Novartis and sundry other drug companies that have been among the biggest of ObamaCare's corporate sponsors. Other hosts—who have raised at least $10,000 for Ms. Coakley—include representatives from UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana and other insurers. As far as we can tell, the insurance industry claims to oppose ObamaCare's current incarnation.

So, why are they backing Coakley? I'm thinking because it's only US* who are going to be screwed by health care reform. All those other folks have figured out and paid for their "out".

*And by "us" I mean you non-Amish folks.

Ted Kennedy's Seat

The Democrats have a back-up plan.

If all else fails and Coakley loses, Democrats are prepared to delay credentialing Brown until after a final vote on a merged House-Senate health-care bill. The Senate majority has signaled it would not seat a victor in the special election without formal certification from Massachusetts’s top election official, Democrat William Galvin, a process that would give Senate Democrats at least ten days after the start of their 2010 legislative session to pass a bill with interim Senator Paul Kirk (D., Mass.) in place as a 60th vote.

Waiving rules is very unusual and very rare. Except when it's not:

But a by-the-book certification and seating would stand in contrast to Massachusetts’ last special election, in which Rep. Niki Tsongas (D., Mass.) was rushed to the House of Representatives on Oct. 18, 2007, just two days after she defeated Republican opponent Jim Ogonowski, before the state had certified her election. At that time, Democrats needed Tsongas to stand with them in overturning President Bush’s veto of the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP.)

Senator Paul Kirk, you may remember was appointed, not elected. Let's not forgot how THAT all went down- from Wiki.

In 2004, the Massachusetts General Court had withdrawn the authority of the governor to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy by appointment, to prevent the then-Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, from appointing a Republican to fill the remainder of Democrat John Kerry's Senate term, if Kerry were to win the 2004 presidential election. The legislation was enacted over Romney's veto.[13][14][15][16][17] At that time, Senator Ted Kennedy successfully made personal appeals to Massachusetts Democratic legislative leaders to pass the bill, which had been stalled prior to his request.[18] The new law called for a special election months later to fill the vacancy. However, Kennedy's death denied Democrats in the U.S. Senate the 60-vote supermajority required to end filibusters. Given the urgency of and narrow partisan support for some legislation before Congress, most notably health care reform, Democratic lawmakers and liberal pundits called for an interim senator to be appointed so that Massachusetts would have full Senate representation until the special election. In September, the General Court passed legislation restoring the governor's power to make interim appointments to serve until the special election stipulated in the earlier legislation is held, over multiple bipartisan concerns of hypocrisy

I weep.

Monday, January 11, 2010

This just in ...

December 2009 14th coldest in 114 years. And, 3.2 degrees colder than the average.

You reap ...

Steyn nails it, as usual:

One understands the realities of power. You can talk about how light-skinned and clean the Negro is and that's perfectly okay as long as you support the President's policies or (as Mr Obama put it in his acceptance of Reid's apology) "social justice". But, if you go along to a town hall meeting and say you oppose the health care bill because you're very concerned at what you hear about waiting times for MRIs in Canada, you're obviously a knuckledragging racist who's itching to string that uppity Negro from the nearest tree.

Teabaggers are racist "straight up", but Harry Reid ...

Remember when Obama said this:

I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus," Obama told ABC News, "but I would also say that there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude."

h/t: Pillage Idiot who has a handy-dandy flow chart for figuring when offense has been made.

I've read that what Reid said wan't really that offensive, because he was complimenting Teh One. For being "light-skinned" and not speaking in "negro dialect."

Come again?

Dan Riehl's got a bit to say about that.

Obama accepts apology, praises Reid on “social justice”

Social justice? Fair enough. Now, as applied to education policy, what is it exactly that Democrats have been telling generations of blacks in mostly urban schools? See, they've been telling them, hey, it doesn't matter, you needn't embrace strict standards of English, or speech. That's simply an oppressive old white man's thing. You should just go on and express yourselves as you please, man. Drops those consonants, misuse, or misplace those verbs, it all good! But then what happens once they graduate?

But all this is irrelevant, and Reid is going no where, the "D" next to his name insures that. Because everyone, Obama, Sharpton, and the Congressional Black Caucus have all forgiven Harry.

The bigger pictures is that the RACISM charge is used as a cudgel to beat Republicans/non-leftists whether it is deserved or not. Any whiff, and the charge is trotted out. Against Rush, Bill Bennett, Trent Lott, Don Imus (I'm not defending him), George Allen, Tea"baggers", me ... it is the left's FAVORITE tool. Truth and intent doesn't matter.

The next time you asswipes attempt to use it? I'm going to fucking laugh and laugh.

Update: K-Lo posts this caution:

Republicans need to be somewhat careful in their glee to pillory Reid over this — both from a "lowering the bar" perspective (It will be a Republican who next gets "caught" so why build a bigger case in advance) and also from a voter backlash in Nevada perspective

Republicans will be "caught" no matter what, and a bigger case will AWAYS be made. Pillorying Reid is a win/win.

But, I could care less if Dems boot 'em. He's your tool.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Must watch du jour

The Cafferty File:

This is CNN.

"President Obama hasn't even made a TOKEN effort to keep his campaign promises of more openness and transparency in government. It was all just another lie that was told in order to get elected."

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Depressing link du jour

To this graph (H/t dicentra from over at Protein Wisdom.

Government CAN'T simply keep growing. It.Can't. But it does.

We're doomed.

Black tuesday?

There were a few sorta big announcements yesterday. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) is not seeking reelection. Then, even bigger, Chris Dodd (D- CT) announces that he wants to spend more time with his family, or something.

But, I didn't see much coverage of Michigan's Lt Gov John Cherry's announcement that he will not seek election when Superstar Jenny Granholm term limits out this year.

Cherry didn't have a chance; he's not dynamic in anyway, has basically done nothing while in office, and Granholm's unpopularity is so high they won't report it.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

This and that ...

Working AGAIN today ...

Remember when Joe Wilson yelled "YOU LIE" at President Obama? Well, turns out he was right. but indirectly:

Lawmakers who want to extend health coverage to illegal immigrants will not block the passage of the final health care reform bill so long as the White House offers a substantive promise to start pushing comprehensive immigration legislation this year.

Democrats who want a comprehensive bill that reforms immigration law but also offers a pathway to citizenship have threatened to vote against health care if illegals aren't included in the new system, making immigration one of the sticking points as Democratic leaders negotiate the final details.

See, it's not going to be IN the health care bill. It's going to be in immigration reform. Big difference. It still means you and I will be paying for the health care of illegals, as long as they're on a pathway to citizenship.

The problem with the handling of Panty Bomber as criminal with all the rights of a US citizen:

So, here are the perverse incentives for terrorists who come to this country to kill us — assuming you don't succeed in blowing yourself up and are captured, you will have a right to a lawyer, a right to remain silent, a right to trial by a jury of your "peers," and the possibility of early release if you cooperate with authorities. We are a generous nation indeed.

And, the enemy KNOWS THIS.

In Courting Disaster, I recount the story of one senior al-Qaeda terrorist who was captured in 2007 and brought into the CIA program. The program had been dramatically curtailed at that point, and waterboarding was no longer being used. But he was terrified nonetheless. And when he was informed that he was in the hands of the CIA, he told his interrogators: “I’ve heard of you. I’ll tell you anything you want to know.” And he did. No enhanced techniques. He just spilled his guts. Just the existence of the program — and the uncertainty of what would happen to him — was enough to break this high-ranking terrorist.

Today, that would no longer work. Thanks to Obama, the terrorists know they have nothing to fear — and thus have no incentive to talk. And even if they did face some enhanced techniques, the techniques would no longer work — because the terrorist would know from the memos that there are limits to what they would face. The effect of the techniques is psychological, not physical. They trick the terrorists into thinking what they are enduring is worse than it really is.

Good job Brownie!

Now, here's a tune from the greatest album of the year:

"Elephants" was an early favorite from the album, but now I'm leaning toward "Reptiles." How would you like to be picked as the extra guitar player to tour with the band? heh.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Gotta work today ...

So, some music

Perhaps if they'd released a live album I would have liked it, because I couldn't stand much of the CD.

Here is my favorite Zep tune:

Heh - linked at Ace's, this piece about things you learn from watching Avatar. See here for a review.

That means that this film is the first I’m aware of in which, except for a few human heroes who are the exceptions, we’re meant to root and cheer for the destruction of humans in general. And destruction there is, aplenty. This fits in so nicely with the current notions of many of the AGW and PETA folks—that humans (especially of the first-world variety) are the scourge of an otherwise wonderful earth—that it makes me think the idea of humankind as a cancer on the planet has gone mainstream.

Yes, yes, I’m taking a frivolous movie too seriously. It’s just a fun romp with a lot of fine visuals, right? I suppose it is that. But movies have messages that reach many millions of people, and this one’s only just begun what promises to be a long and lucrative voyage around the globe.

I started this blog, years ago, basically due to the argument neo-neocon brings up right here. People thought I took things too seriously. Things like the messages in movies and tv shows. Why can't you just ENJOY it and turn your brain off.

That thought just frightened me, and I'm afraid it pervades our culture. Who cares? It doesn't have meaning. It doesn't affect our national conscious.

I'm actually probably more content with folks who see the movie and agree with the premise than those who watch and have no idea what messages it is conveying. Who are being propagandized passively. They are paying to be propagandized.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Music of the decade? Or (alternate title) not all music sucks

End of the decade gets me thinking about music. Heck, it doesn't take much for me to be thinking about music, but few things have set me off.

First, I'll start with this list by Rolling Stone, which lists the 100 best albums of the decade. Eliminating artists from genres that don't interest me, I've got the following:

1 | Radiohead: Kid A
2 | The Strokes: Is This It
3 | Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
5 | The White Stripes: Elephant
6 | Arcade Fire: Funeral
7 | Eminem: The Marshal Mathers LP
9 | M.I.A.: Kala
12 | LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver
13 | U2: All That You Can't Leave Behind
15 | Bruce Springsteen: The Rising
17 | Beck: Sea Change
18 | MGMT: Oracular Spectacular
20 | The White Stripes: White Blood Cells
21 | Coldplay: A Rush of Blood to the Head
22 | Green Day: American Idiot
24 | Bruce Springsteen: Magic
25 | Radiohead: Amnesiac
26 | Cat Power: The Greatest
27 | The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
28 | Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Fever to Tell
29 | Sigur Rós: Ágaetis Byrjun
30 | Radiohead: In Rainbows
31 | My Morning Jacket: Z
33 | Daft Punk: Discovery
35 | PJ Harvey: Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea
36 | U2: No Line on the Horizon
38 | Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker
39 | Kings of Leon: Aha Shake Heartbreak
41 | Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
42 | Elliott Smith: Figure 8
43 | The Killers: Hot Fuss
44 | System of a Down: Toxicity
47 | Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes
48 | TV on the Radio: Dear Science
49 | Fiona Apple: Extraordionary Machine
50 | Bright Eyes: I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
51 | Spoon: Kill the Moonlight
52 | M.I.A.: Arular
53 | Kings of Leon: Only By the Night
55 | Robert Plant and Alison Krauss: Raising Sand
56 | Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend
57 | Death Cab for Cutie: Transatlanticism
58 | Danger Mouse: The Grey Album
59 | Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights
60 | Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
61 | The Shins: Oh, Inverted World
66 | Antony & the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now
67 | Björk: Vespertine
68 | U2: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
70 | Sleater-Kinney: The Woods
71 | Bright Eyes: Lifted or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Eart to the Ground
72 | Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand
73 | Coldplay: Parachutes
74 | Red Hot Chili Peppers: Stadium Arcadium
75 | Arcade Fire: Neon Bible
76 | Sigur Rós: ()
77 | Yo La Tengo: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
78 | Sufjan Stevens: Illinois
79 | The New Pornographers: Electric Version
80 | Kings of Leon: Youth and Young Manhood
82 | Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R
83 | The Black Keys: Attack & Release
85 | Coldplay: Viva La Vida
86 | The Postal Service: Give Up
87 | Gnarls Barkley: St. Elsewhere
89 | Radiohead: Hail to the Thief
91 | The Hives: Veni Vidi Vicious
92 | Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago
94 | The Libertines: Up the Brackett
98 | TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain
99 | The Hold Steady: Almost Killed Me

Next, we haveBob's charge that ... let's let him say it:

And, my most interesting charge, and the only one I'm actually in the least interested in your opinion on, is about the Zero Decade being one in which rock music was a giant FAIL with nothing remotely meaningful happening. You know, it's been almost 18 years since "Nevermind" broke the back of Michael Jackson and all the butt rockers. Sigh.

Let's be a tad more accurate. By the time Nevermind came out in 1991, we'd already experienced U2, the Smiths, the Cure, REM and all sorts of other music that didn't, in the least, resemble Michael Jackson. What we didn't have, perhaps, was these folks on the pop charts.

Until Nirvana. THAT was what they did. They weren't so revolutionary. Music has always existed that rocked. Nirvana merely became popular.

So, now back to that list up there.

Coldplay? Really? COLDPLAY? cripes. And, there were TWO Bob Dylan albums in the top 20 (eliminated by me because I couldn't even stand to see 'me there.) There are a few on the list that are so horrible I just am speechless. The U2 album "No Line on the Horizon" was so unremarkable, I think it's just best we pretend it never happened. The Allyson Krauss/ Robert Plant album sounded like a good idea, until I heard it. Oh my lord, just make them STOP.

So, here's a list of albums from the last decade that rocked my world, in no particular order.

Mark Knopfler & Allison Krause "All the Roadrunning": If those Rolling Stone's clowns knew what they were talking about, instead of the Plant/Krause album, they would have included this awesome album. Considered Country, but enjoyable to the rock fan.

Tool's "Lateralus." 2001. Fucking rocks. "10,000 days" is also pretty darn good.

Queens of the Stone Age "Songs for the Deaf". If I had to give up all my other QOTSA albums and have just one, it would be this one. My first love. *

Them Crooked Vultures - Awesome. Album of the decade.

Radiohead - "Hail to the Theif" Yes, this is on Rolling Stones list, but notice how I'm not including every fucking thing done by Radiohead in this decade. And "In Rainbows" was enough to make me decide I'm rather sick of them just at this moment.

Metallica "Death Magnetic." I don't care what anyone says, I liked this album. I'm gonna list what I like.

And going back a bit, U2 had a nice piece of work with both "All that You Can't Leave Behind" and "How to dismantle an Atomic Bomb."

Ok, that's what I have for now. I reserve the right to add to this list whenever I feel like it.

*I could do no such thing with my Tool albums- pick just one. You'd just have to kill me.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

This and that ...

I can't wait until our health care is as super-awesome as Japan's. I wonder I know anyone in hospital administration ...

I'm gonna start working on that music rant in a bit ... gotta wait until my internet is up to speed.

So ... anyone got any New Year's Resolutions?

Friday, January 01, 2010

I don't know why I'm doing this

From Bob's:

Friggin' wingnuts. Teabaggers. Right wing hate puke machine. Terry Shiavo. Hurricane Katrina. Heckuva job Brownie! Bad mortgages. GOP RIP.

I know you don't do links Bob, but before you go blaming the GOP for the bad mortgages, I suggest you get yourself some education.

Fannie and Freddie:

Fannie and Freddie's congressional sponsors—some of whom are now leading the administration's effort to "reform" the financial system—have a lot to answer for. Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, sponsored legislation adopted in 2008 that established a new regulatory structure for the GSEs. But by then it was far too late. The GSEs had begun buying risky loans in 1993 to meet the "affordable housing" requirements established under congressional direction by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Most of the damage was done from 2005 through 2007, when Fannie and Freddie were binging on risky mortgages. Back then, Mr. Frank was the bartender, denying that there was any cause for concern, and claiming that he wanted to "roll the dice" on subsidized housing support.

In 2005, the Senate Banking Committee, then controlled by Republicans, adopted tough regulatory legislation that would have established more auditing and oversight of the two agencies. But it was passed out of committee on a partisan vote, and with no Democratic support it never came to a vote.

See, it's fun and easy to blame the GOP for the subprime mess. It's simply wrong.

Then there's this:

Hamsher and Norquist want to know now whether the bailout was in part the result of corrupt practices by Emanuel while he was a board member at Freddie in 2000-2001.

They cited a Chicago Tribune story that described a plan by the executives and the board to use accounting tricks to show shareholders they were reaping massive profits even as they continued down a path of risky investments. The profits were then used to justify the executives' big bonuses. When Emanuel left the board to enter Congress in 2002, he was qualified for $380,000 in stock and options and $20,000 cash.

The two wrote they would like the Justice Department to "begin an investigation into the cause of Fannie and Freddie's conservatorship, into Rahm Emanuel's activities on the board of Freddie Mac (including any violations of his fiduciary duties to shareholders), into the decision-making behind the continued vacancy of Fannie and Freddie's inspector general post, and into potential public corruption by Rahm Emanuel in connection with his time in Congress, in the White House, and on the board of Freddie Mac."

Rahm Emanuel. He's not a member of the GOP, now is he? And Hamsher certainly isn't. Think Eric Holder's gonna start an investigation? Take your bets.

In their letter to Holder, Hamsher and Norquist wrote that the White House has stonewalled any inquiries into Emanuel's role on the board, noting that the acting inspector general was "stripped of his authority earlier this year by the Justice Department, relying on a loophole in a bill Mr. Emanuel cosponsored and pushed through Congress shortly before he left for the White House."

The White House has not appointed a new inspector general to determine whether crimes were committed by the board to defraud investors, the two noted, and the statute of limitations for empaneling a grand jury is about to run out.

"Under the influence of Rahm Emanuel, the White House is moving a trillion-dollar slush fund into corruption-riddled companies with no oversight in place. This will allow Fannie and Freddie to continue to purchase more toxic assets from banks, acting as a back-door increase of the TARP without congressional approval," Hamsher and Norquist wrote.

Asked about the letter on Thursday, White House spokesman Bill Burton did not address the allegations, saying, "I have the feeling that Rahm's job is very safe.

Yea, I bet it is.

I'll (maybe) deal with Bob's other charges later. Terry Shiavo and Katrina. @@. Or, if you're wont, join in comments.


This from the American Spectator in their wrap-up of the last decade:

And now we are suffering the ironic trick of history repeating itself; we have come full circle from the onset of the 21st century, where we once again have a Commander-in-Chief who treats acts of war as criminal offenses, despite having witnessed the consequences of such conduct. A man who, like Bill Clinton, directly benefited from the bold actions of his predecessor when it came to confronting evil head on, while failing to learn from those hard-won lessons.

And, once again, the media shows its incredible bias by not excoriating a president who called the events on Flight 253 the work of an "isolated extremist," despite all the evidence to the contrary. The same media who emitted interminable howls of indignation when George W. Bush told FEMA chief Michael Brown that he did "a heck of a job" in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but virtually yawns when our Homeland Security chief proclaimed that "the system worked" after the Christmas Day bomb plot.

Here's a fun little experiment. Google "the system worked" v "Mision accomplished"

"The System worked": Top five hits:

1) Napolitano talks terror attack- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the botched airline attack is not likely part of a wider terror plot. 2009/12/27/sotu.napolitano.talks.terror.cnn.html - Related videos -

2) Work the System — WTS Methodology

3) My Way News - Analysis: Many question 'system worked' comment
Dec 29, 2009 ... WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration claim that "the system worked" after a failed aircraft bombing wasn't quite as jolting as ...

4) Registry Cleaners - Disk Defragmenter - Computer Startup Programs ...
Helps prevent system errors—Undoes erroneous registry tasks and commands to help ... Sep 09, 2009 -"Our computer had not worked correctly since we bought it ... › Norton › Products & Services - Cached - Similar -
News results for the system worked

5) Mass High Tech Crane To Resume Work On Boeing 787 Brake System, Get $18.9M‎ - 1 day ago
(BA), resolving its claims relating to the brake-control system for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Under the agreements, Crane will resume work on a ...

"Mission Accomplished" top five hits:

1)Mission Accomplished - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Mission Accomplished," refers to a banner titled "Mission Accomplished" that was displayed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln during a televised ... - Cached - Similar -

2) - White House pressed on 'mission accomplished' sign - Oct ...
What was once viewed as a premier presidential photo op continues to dog President Bush six months after he landed on an aircraft carrier to declare one ... - Cached - Similar -

3) - Commander in Chief lands on USS Lincoln - May. 2, 2003
Above him, the tower was adorned with a big sign that read, "Mission Accomplished." Bush said he did take a turn at piloting the craft. "Yes, I flew it. ... - Cached - Similar -

4) Image results for Mission accomplished - Report images

5) "Mission Accomplished," 5 Years Later - CBS News
May 1, 2008 ... Since Bush Declared End To Major Combat Operations In Iraq, Nearly 4000 US Troops Have Died. - Cached - Similar -


Burt Prelutsky from Big Hollywood regarding why his New Year's Resolution of giving liberals more slack always fails:

For one thing, liberals are hypocritical. They have agendas when they’d be better off having principles.

As for me, I don't have any resolutions.