Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The "Disturbing" Bob Basso Videos

So this actor/motivational speaker made some videos that are quite popular and apparently are bothering the "One."
The man who created two phenomenally successful "We The People" YouTube videos urging Americans to stand up against Congress and reclaim their republic now – or perhaps lose it forever – reportedly has been summoned to the White House by President Obama to discuss the subject matter of the short Films.

Bob Basso, who posts videos under the name funbobbasso on YouTube, has created videos in which he portrays Thomas Paine, author of the "Common Sense" pamphlet that made the case for independence during the American Revolution.

Basso, whose website offers his services as a motivational speaker, uses the YouTube presentations to condemn "non-representing representatives" and warns, "Only when they feel the almighty wrath of 'We The People' marching in the streets from California to New York shouting 'We're mad as hell and we want our country back' will they get the message they work for you."

He was scheduled this week to appear on the "Jerry Doyle Show" when he told the radio host that Obama had personally invited him to meet in the White House "to discuss the disturbing nature of the videos."

According to a spokesman for Doyle's show, at the time when Basso was supposed to be calling in for the show, he was unavailable. Basso reached the show several hours later, explaining he had been flooded by media calls and literally was unable to call out.

The result, the spokesman said, was that Basso promised to provide Doyle with the first exclusive interview after he meets with Obama, provided the invitation still stands after the meeting was leaked to the press.

I'm not sure I would accept such a summons to the White House. Well, I don't like the Obamateur that much and meeting a guy with a title for four years doesn't make me too shivery, so I guess I'm not one to stand out. I'd like to find out if the summons is still in place.

Here are his videos. I definitely don't agree with some of his points, but he isn't too far off. (I don't agree with the return to "universal service" since this country never had universal service. Also the rail against the electoral college, something the founders established, is a bit odd.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Massachusetts Courts and 2nd Amendment Incorporation


Massachusetts Trial Court Holds Gun Storage Law Unconstitutional:

After a police officer's 12-year-old son got access to the officer's handgun, the officer was prosecuted for violating Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 140, § 131L:

It shall be unlawful to store or keep any firearm, rifle or shotgun ... in any place unless such weapon is secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device, properly engaged so as to render such weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user. For purposes of this section, such weapon shall not be deemed stored or kept if carried by or under the control of the owner or other lawfully authorized user.

Last month, the court held the statute was unconstitutional (Commonwealth v. Bolduc), and dismissed the prosecution. I only just now managed to get a copy of the opinion, and here's the relevant discussion:

Go read it on your own.

The UN Regulating Economies

Here's a test that we should all dread for the Obamateur. His first real deal with the UN.
A week before President Barack Obama joins the largest developing and industrialized countries’ finance ministers and heads of state in London, the U.N. has issued its economic recommendations.

The bottom line: A drastic overhaul will be necessary to pull the world out of the recession, according to the Commission of Experts on Reforms of International Finance and Economic Structures, chaired by Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Economics. But that's easier said than done.

At the upcoming summit, the Obama administration is expected to urge more fiscal stimulus programs; China and the U.N. are urging a move away from the dollar; and the European community wants more financial regulation. Even within the European Union, major differences abound.

Last week, the current EU President, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek called the Obama administration’s programs the “road to hell.” And, the U.N.-China proposal to replace the U.S. dollar as the international reserve currency may be sidelined at the summit, according to Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

At the U.N. this week, Stiglitz was clear that the U.N. panel believes that regulation must be comprehensive.
This should be pretty simple. We don't trust the US government with running or regulating anything efficiently, why would we trust a group that has a far worse record? Why should we even contemplate giving economic voice to countries that tamper with their economy more than we do. (Yes, we tamper far far too much with our economy now, or haven't you been watching?)

I wish there were more details about exactly what their plan is and how it would be implemented. I suppose I need to do some more reading.


Seems that a bunch of MSM "journalists" have a google group called JournoList. Kaus gives a snip of an email thread from these venerable leaders of the fourth estate. I'm going to take Kaus' word for this, because this doesn't seem too strange to be parody.
Michael Calderone's article on the large, secretive liberal media email group JournoList sparked a lot of debate--some of it in this space--on whether this group is a healthy development for coverage of politics. The debate was necessarily speculative because actual JournoList discussions remained secret. But with more than 300 members of this club, virtually all of them with easy access to the media, did you really think a JournoList thread wouldn't leak? People are rightly interested in learning what goes on behind the scenes at powerful institutions--or wannabe powerful institutions--whose power derives precisely from their decision to exclude the public.

Kausfiles has obtained a copy of one JournoList discussion, focusing on New Republic editor-in-chief Martin Peretz (for whom I once worked.) This is not a parody! It's the real thing. I don't know whether or not it is representative. I've edited it only to remove potentially defamatory passages--those cuts are marked--and left out various boilerplate links and commands embedded in the thread, such as "Print" and "Report this message." ... I won't add my own commentary, at least for now. Find your own lede! ... Reminder to JournoList organizer E. Klein, who likes to take it private: All communications are on the record. ...
And here is the Michael Calderone article at Politico.
But some of the journalists who participate in the online discussion say — off the record, of course — that it has been a great help in their work. On the record, The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin acknowledged that a Talk of the Town piece — he won’t say which one — got its start in part via a conversation on JournoList. And JLister Eric Alterman, The Nation writer and CUNY professor, said he’s seen discussions that start on the list seep into the world beyond.

“I’m very lazy about writing when I’m not getting paid,” Alterman said. “So if I take the trouble to write something in any detail on the list, I tend to cannibalize it. It doesn’t surprise me when I see things on the list on people’s blogs.”
Nice to know that they can get together and discuss their feelings. Just look at the thread that Kaus put out. Sadly, this is one of those lists I would be deleting without reading. You know, like those employment networking group email lists that you once joined and still feel to guilty to unsubscribe from.

I don't for the most part see much of an issue with this. But, this should be bigger news than it has been. This is a fairly strong indication of group thought that shouldn't be a part of journalism. Of course we know that journalism no longer actually reports the news in an unbiased manner, but has to be someone's pulpit. Few articles pass without opinion being laced into them directly or indirectly.

The there is:
In an e-mail, Klein said he understands that the JList’s off-the-record rule “makes it seems secretive.” But he insisted that JList discussions have to be off the record in order to “ensure that folks feel safe giving off-the-cuff analysis and instant reactions.”

One byproduct of that secrecy: For all its high-profile membership — which includes Nobel Prize-winning columnist Paul Krugman; staffers from Newsweek, POLITICO, Huffington Post, The New Republic, The Nation and The New Yorker; policy wonks, academics and bloggers such as Klein and Matthew Yglesias — JList itself has received almost no attention from the media.
I'd love to know who is on the list. At least then you could make an honest assessment of their true colors. Then again, from that list, it isn't to difficult to make that determination either.

No doubt this group will be cherished by the Obamateur.

I wonder where the right-winger's list is hidden. Probably won't come out since they are all protected by the evil Bush/Cheney cabal.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

FDR Remix

Ok, this part refers to HR 1388 I believe. [Since obviously no one in the press can bother to tell us knuckle draggers where the bill actually is.]
With almost no public attention, both chambers of Congress in the past week advanced an alarming expansion of the Americorps national service plan, with the number of federally funded community service job increasing from 75,000 to 250,000 at a cost of $5.7 billion. Lurking behind the feel-good rhetoric spouted by the measure’s advocates is a bill that on closer inspection reveals multiple provisions that together create a strong odor of creepy authoritarianism. The House passed the measure overwhelmingly, while only 14 senators had the sense and courage to vote against it on a key procedural motion. Every legislator who either voted for this bill or didn’t vote at all has some serious explaining to do.
Last summer, then-candidate Barack Obama threw civil liberties to the wind when he proposed “a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the regular military. The expanded Americorps is not quite so disturbing, but a number of provisions in the bill raise serious concerns.
To begin with, the legislation threatens the voluntary nature of Americorps by calling for consideration of “a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people.” It anticipates the possibility of requiring “all individuals in the United States” to perform such service – including elementary school students. The bill also summons up unsettling memories of World War II-era paramilitary groups by saying the new program should “combine the best practices of civilian service with the best aspects of military service,” while establishing “campuses” that serve as “operational headquarters,” complete with “superintendents” and “uniforms” for all participants. It allows for the elimination of all age restrictions in order to involve Americans at all stages of life. And it calls for creation of “a permanent cadre” in a “National Community Civilian Corps.”
But that’s not all. The bill also calls for “youth engagement zones” in which “service learning” is “a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.” This updated form of voluntary community service is also to be “integrated into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula” at all levels of schooling. Sounds like a government curriculum for government approved “service learning,” which is nothing less than indoctrination. Now, ask yourself if congressmen who voted for this monstrosity had a clue what they were voting for. If not, they’re guilty of dereliction of duty. If yes, the implications are truly frightening.
Between being first officially "reported" to the House and being voted on by the full House, bill managers stripped one whole section of the measure that created a Congressional Commission on Civil Service, thus removing the section that contained the language cited above concerning "a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people" and a possible requirement for "all individuals in the United States" to perform such service. The section could be restored during the Senate-House conference committee meeting. A new, separate bill containing that language has since been introduced in the House.
OK so they are trying to build the CCC or WPA or PWA or whatever alphabet soup that was the FDR version of this. Recall that FDR did create all those agencies to put people to work. Mostly on make work projects. The only difference is what has been taken out (at the moment). The mandatory section smells so close to a creation from a fascist government that it is almost sureal.

Then there is the weirdness around Geitner and the global currency BS the Chinese seem excited to force on us.
Geithner, at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the U.S. is "open" to a headline-grabbing proposal by the governor of the China's central bank, which was widely reported as being a call for a new global currency to replace the dollar, but which Geithner described as more modest and "evolutionary."

"I haven’t read the governor’s proposal. He’s a very thoughtful, very careful distinguished central banker. I generally find him sensible on every issue," Geithner said, saying that however his interpretation of the proposal was to increase the use of International Monetary Fund's special drawing rights -- shares in the body held by its members -- not creating a new currency in the literal sense.

"We’re actually quite open to that suggestion – you should see it as rather evolutionary rather building on the current architecture rather than moving us to global monetary union," he said.

I really wish he'd STFU if he hasn't read the thing. The whole proposal sounds like FDR's tampering with currency and the gold standard during the Great Depression. I won't even discuss the extended powers they are seeking. (Again, just like FDR.)

Then there is the renaming of the GWOT. Now it's OCO. No doubt it will make everyone love us because it isn't Bush's term.
The Obama administration appears to be backing away from the phrase "global war on terror," a signature rhetorical legacy of its predecessor.

In a memo e-mailed this week to Pentagon staff members, the Defense Department's office of security review noted that "this administration prefers to avoid using the term 'Long War' or 'Global War on Terror' [GWOT.] Please use 'Overseas Contingency Operation.' "

The memo said the direction came from the Office of Management and Budget, the executive-branch agency that reviews the public testimony of administration officials before it is delivered.

Not so, said Kenneth Baer, an OMB spokesman.

"There was no memo, no guidance," Baer said yesterday. "This is the opinion of a career civil servant."

Well, I'm sure it will make it's way to officialdom irrespective of denial from another bureaucrat.

How about Obama's new fireside chat equivalent.
Q&A | 12:08 p.m. At the outset, at least, the forum had a canned feel – in part, perhaps, because ordinary Americans tend to be more polite in their questions than news reporters and they lacked the chance to ask follow up questions. Mr. Obama opened up with a 5-minute opening statement, recounting his policies; then Jared Bernstein read questions to the president. The first question on education prompted Mr. Obama to promise higher pay and more support for teachers, without offering specifics. The second, on what benefits his stimulus plan offered to struggling homeowners, prompted a recitation of the president’s recently announced housing plan. The third was a video question, from “Harriet in Georgia” who asked the president what he was doing to bring back jobs that had been outsourced.
Read it all. This was so vetted the report even had to admit it. Softball after softball. This no doubt wowed his fans and Chris Matthews no doubt wet himself. I'll give him credit for trying a new means of reaching the public, and maximizing his control over content. At least with meat journalists in the room he has to actually think and respond.

I'm not overly thrilled with all this, and frankly I'm a bit concerned that the results will be as crappy as FDR's without anything to pull us out.

Especially Astute Point

Got this in an email from the GeekWyphe. Its from NRO.
Jonah; I have never seen this point made: all of Europe, which has nationalized health care already, is also experiencing the current economic crisis. Why does Obama believe that bringing national health care here will in any way save us a similar economic crisis in the future? He keeps repeating that only if we get health care costs under control will we have “real” prosperity, but the countries that have already “tackled” this problem in the past were not spared their own economic meltdowns.
I've argued with co-workers that the health-care issue is a non-sequitur in the debate over the economy. Energy is as well. This pretty much points out just how irrelevant health-care is to the present debate. It should remain a topic of debate on its own and needs some action, but to argue that it will be part of the repairs to the economic system of this country is beyond reason.

Let's not forget that health-care is an economy onto itself. It has huge numbers of jobs, companies and impact on the rest of the economy. If you tamper with it now, when the economy is weak, and you screw it up, you put another nail in coffin of recovery. I'm also not arguing that it isn't an issue for businesses to be paying for this expensive healthcare, but like most problems you don't try and repair multiple parts when you don't know which is the actual problem. In this case, healthc-care isn't the issue, it's the banking/finiancial system that is torpedoing.

Unfortunately, Obamateur and his "brain trust" (to use FDR's phrase for the academics who he pulled into fix the Great Depression, and failed) are in fact pulling the same tactics that FDR and his cronies did during the Great Depression. First play with the money and not solve anything, then tax the evil rich, then start to acquire constitutionally questionable powers, and while doing all that ram through legislation on all sorts of "reform" to the progressive standards. FDR failed to get us out of a depression, and the Obamateur is heading in the same direction.

Every time I hear the Obamateur soliloquize about fiscal responsibility I wince. He just doesn't appear to understand what that means.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mexican Guns

Just reminding myself to read this seen on Instapundit:
THE MEXICAN GUN CANARD REAPPEARS. This despite pretty clear evidence that guns in Mexico are coming from elsewhere. Or from the 150,000 to desert the Mexican Army in the last 6 years.
No doubt we are all missing something because we haven't declared ourselves as the guilty party. Why is Obama and his minions such masochists?

Stupid Questons

Frankly, this "journalist" got what he deserved. Don't like the tone, tough. The answer was more than correct. Too bad he doesn't actually do more thinking before ramming legislation down our throats.
The buzziest moment came about 35 minutes into the press conference when Ed Henry of CNN asked the President why he didn't spew outrage as soon as he learned about the AIG bonuses. Why, Mr. Henry asked, did the president wait several days before speaking out? The president, with an icy stare, responded that he "likes to know what he's talking about" before he speaks. It was a pretty testy exchange that brought about nervous laughter from the other reporters and snarky responses from Twitterers. Boom! Next question.
This question was better, and Obamateur's response was lame:
Chip Reid asked a tough question about Obama's controversial budget. Reid asked if the budget, which will increase the debt to "$7 trillion over the next 10 years," is a case of passing problems onto the next generation. Obama responded that investments need to be made to "meet our growth targets that put us on a pathway to growth." He then pointed out that the critics of his budget have yet to bring forth an alternative.
I love the old whining about not bringing in an alternative. Seems like the Dems did that to Bush consistently and were given a pass, but now that the tables are turned it is invalid? I don't think so, though the criticism would be more enlightening if the opposition would lay something more substantial on the table. The generic metrics like fiscal responsibility and pointing out this is no time to enlarge the government are true, but they aren't stimulus plans. Of course there also is suggestions like lowering the capital gains tax or the corporate tax that have merit, but since the Obamateur doesn't like them, he just ignores that they have been brought up.

Keep it up Obama, this method or running the government is sure to lower your popularity ratings soon. (And like the Clintons, he'll then change tack in order to stay popular.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

International Relations with the Obamateur

I have no idea if this is true. But apparently, from the links at the Gateway Pundit, the French press believe it is. And I'm expecting they are as dependable as our MSM.
In his latest faux pas Obama managed to pi$$ off France...
President Obama wrote Jacques Chirac saying he was looking forward to working with the former French president in the coming four years(?)
Monsters and Critics reported:

US President Barack Obama has indirectly praised former French president Jacques Chirac's fierce opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq, the online edition of the daily Le Figaro reported on Thursday.

In a letter described by Chirac as 'very nice,' Obama wrote, 'I am certain that we will be able to work together, in the coming four years, in a spirit of peace and friendship to build a safer world.'

The use of the word 'peace' was taken to be an indirect reference to Chirac's stance against the US intervention in Iraq, which Obama had also opposed as senator.
Nice. Not only does this piss off an ally, but it makes for another laugh for our enemies. You know if Bush had done this he would have been lambasted by every press organ in the US. But since Obama is their messiah we can expect another pass. (Try googling the news on the subject. M&C was the only one this morning when I wrote this to mention it.)

So let's see, the Obamateur has pissed off England, and now France. Who's next? Probably Australia and then Canada and no doubt Poland. It probably will take him a little longer to get to Germany and Japan. But it is nice to see him trying to get chummy with Iran and Syria.

This just seems way too stupid. But the blogs I've read have links to French News carrying the story. I'm really really hoping this is a joke. (But I won't hold my breath.)

Friday, March 20, 2009


I didn't coin the phrase, but I do find it funny. (I don't know if Steyn thought it up, but this is the first I've seen it.)

While not exactly a film buff, Gordon Brown was touched when Barack Obama gave him a set of 25 classic American movies – including Psycho, starring Anthony Perkins - on his recent visit to Washington.

Alas, when the PM settled down to begin watching them the other night, he found there was a problem.

The films only worked in DVD players made in North America and the words "wrong region" came up on his screen...

I'm just having a really hard time with just how pathetic this all is. I know all administrations have this type of start, but the Obamatuer is outdoing himself. The worst part is it gets so much international press. Can someone tell me just how this is helping the US image world wide? How is this bringing us back into the good graces of the international community? I'm sure Bin Laden is giggling over the incompetence.

With an administration run like this, I'd say Bush is looking better all the time.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Posse Comitatus

Heard this briefly mentioned on Glen Beck's Show. I've read the explanation, but still find it baffling.
The mystery over who ordered U.S. Army forces to patrol the streets of the south Alabama town where 11 people were killed in a shooting spree last week has been solved. WND confirmed troops from nearby Ft. Rucker provided limited assistance after a request from the police chief of Samson, Ala.

Multiple news agencies reported the Army was launching an investigation into why the troops were sent to the town, a possible violation of the law. The Associated Press reported uncertainty over who requested the assistance, noting it didn't come from Republican Gov. Bob Riley or the White House.

"Under the authority of a mutual aid agreement which Fort Rutgers has with local law enforcement community in Samson, Alabama, the Samson city police chief requested support from military police after the shooting," Lt. Col. Almarah Belk, an Air Force officer working for the Department of Defense press office, told WND in a telephone interview.
So if your local police chief has a "mutual aid agreement" with the local military, they can violate Posse Comitatus. Fascinating.

I've heard that there are something like 26 exceptions to the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. Wiki only lists a few. It doesn't mention anything about mutual aid agreements.

This should be a bit frightening for anyone. Bush tried to get a change to PC after Katrina, and Biden did something similar after the Oklahoma federal building bombing. Both very bad ideas.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ACORN in the Census

Nothing like having a political entity that is under investigation in several states for illegal activities having a say in how the census will be performed.
The U.S. Census is supposed to be free of politics, but one group with a history of voter fraud, ACORN, is participating in next year's count, raising concerns about the politicization of the decennial survey.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now signed on as a national partner with the U.S. Census Bureau in February 2009 to assist with the recruitment of the 1.4 million temporary workers needed to go door-to-door to count every person in the United States -- currently believed to be more than 306 million people.

A U.S. Census "sell sheet," an advertisement used to recruit national partners, says partnerships with groups like ACORN "play an important role in making the 2010 Census successful," including by "help[ing] recruit census workers."
Things will be getting so much better with these idiots and liars involved.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Accidental Guerrilla" Review

By Max Boot.
In "The Accidental Guerrilla," a combination of memoir and military analysis, David Kilcullen looks at the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor, Indonesia and southern Thailand, all of which, excepting the last, he has seen first-hand. He then draws lessons from his experiences and those of other soldiers.

As a former Australian army officer, Mr. Kilcullen may seem to have an odd background for this task, since Australia is hardly a central player in the global war on terrorism. Yet the Aussies have a long, distinguished history of involvement in guerrilla wars, from Vietnam to Indonesia. Mr. Kilcullen, having studied the Indonesian suppression of Muslim separatists in the 1950s and 1960s (he has a doctorate in political anthropology), went on to command an Australian infantry company in East Timor during its independence struggle from Indonesia in 1999. In 2007-08, he served as a counterinsurgency adviser for Gen. David Petraeus and for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In those jobs he spent considerable time with troops in Afghanistan and Iraq observing what works and what doesn't.

The result is "The Accidental Guerrilla." The title is a reference to the distinction between hard-core jihadists and their less ideological fellow travelers. The former, Mr. Kilcullen writes, are "implacable fanatics" animated by Islamist ideology. The latter, by contrast, "fight us primarily because we are intruding into their space." Ironically, we intrude into their space -- tribal territories from the southern Philippines to Pakistan's Northwest Frontier -- primarily because it has become a hideout for al Qaeda and its ilk. By trying to fight these globe-trotting terrorists, Mr. Kilcullen worries, we may be making needless enemies among their tribal hosts.

I've been reading this on the side, since work is a bit overwhelming. Killcullen is a very dense writer. Not much fluff in what I've read so far, and you need to be paying attention to understand where he's taking you.

Now I just need to finish the book.

AIG Bonus BS

AIG is handing out bonus' that were part of worker's compensation packages. Politicos and the population are outraged. They are outraged at AIG and not the Bush/Obama spending spree that put essentially no strings attached on receiving the money. Most of the outrage heard is interesting.

Bill Kristol:
The AIG moment feels like a big one. Public distaste for both the Bush and Obama administrations' handling of the financial crisis seems to be crystallizing in response to the reports of bonuses for executives at the AIG financial products subsidiary, whose derivatives trading helped contribute to AIG’s bankruptcy.

Well, the executives had contracts, we’re told. The firm would risk a lawsuit not to pay up.

Really? Can't risk a lawsuit! A fine business like AIG would never do that! Shareholders have been wiped out, tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs directly or indirectly because of AIG's activities, taxpayers are out tens of billions -- but it would be too hard to change those promised bonus payments, even though the promises were of course made in very different circumstances?

What’s more -- AIG says it won't be able to retain talented staff "if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury.” Sure. Those employees would be snapped up -- there's a boom market right now for derivatives traders! And certainly no one else in the U.S. has had his compensation "subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment" by their employers -- no else in the country has had to take pay cuts, forego promised bonuses, and the like!

Sure AIG could wade into all those lawsuits, but why should they? Personally, I think they should have fired most of these bastards for tanking the company. Kristol is right that they should be happy to have a job in this economy, which they helped create. But on the other side, why should AIG waste it's time fighting something that will definitely be lost in the courts due to that little thing called a contract. I listen too a lot of people yelp about how it's wasting tax payer dollars and share holder funds, but they seem to miss that the law is on the side of the contract holder. If the contract has an out for performance than AIG should be using it, but I haven't seen any reports stating that.

And along that line about arbitrary adustments to your pay by the Treasury department, we have some political morons bellowing to tax them to death.
As public and political outrage grows over $165 million AIG paid as bonuses to executives while taking billions in taxpayer dollars, an idea is germinating in Congress. If you cannot get the money back, tax the bonuses.

"It's an idea very much at the embryonic stage," said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., "You can write a tax provision targeted specifically at 98 percent of the taxable proceeds."

Dodd said that "doesn't violate the terms of the contracts," referring to legally-binding agreements that appear to preclude government action.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., says his staff is reviewing such a proposal. He called it a "worthy" idea but said he needs to know more about how it would work.

Dodd says this is something that "could happen fast. We could write this tomorrow."

Rep. Carolyn Maloney D-N.Y, the chair of the Joint Economic Committee, is also calling for a 100 percent tax on bonuses not related to commissions.

In a letter she distributed to fellow legislators for co-sponsorship, Maloney introduces legislation that will instruct the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service to develop guidelines that tax at 100 percent any bonus compensation that is not directly related to a commission for any recipient of TARP funds where the government is the majority owner of the company.

Fascinating. If this isn't arbitrary, I'm not sure what is. These are the same jack-asses that approved the bailouts with no considerations and no strings. Maybe we should demand their paycheck since they were too stupid to be responsible.

And of course there is the head cheerleader as noted by McQ at QandO:
No one with any sense is going to argue that AIG should be doing what it is doing or that the insurance giant isn’t absolutely tone-deaf to the dirge playing within the economy. But the effort and the PR agenda to reclaim the bonus money pursued by our new president just underscores the “confusion and contradiction” his actions and words engender.

President Obama vowed to try to stop the faltering insurance giant American International Group from paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to executives, as the administration scrambled to avert a populist backlash against banks and Wall Street that could complicate Mr. Obama’s economic recovery agenda.

We’re talking “hundreds of millions” of dollars here. But when confronted by a omnibus spending bill with hundreds of billions of dollars in 9,000 pork projects, meh, no biggie - “last year’s business.”

If the car companies had to renegotiate contracts with the unions, wouldn't it have been wise for the financial companies to have done the same? No doubt the people running AIG don't think so. And by hurling cash at them so that they would survive their own malfeasance didn't help them do the right thing either. Worst of all is blaming the people with the contract and punishing them when the jack-asses that put the whole scenario together is just pathetic.

What Dodd and his ilk are trying to do is called in the Constitution (Article I, section 9, clause 3) a Bill of Attainder.
No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
Wonder how these wizards of legislation are going to manage that bit.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spent Mil Brass - Or How Obama Kills More Business

Should I even mention that this stupidity is going to impact shooting sports in the US? Or how it will impact LEO who purchase practice rounds at lower prices from such suppliers? The fact that this stupidity will piss away large amounts of money is bad enough in itself.
It is an end-run around Congress. They don't need to try to ban guns--they don't need to fight a massive battle to attempt gun registration, or limit "assault" weapon sales.

Nope. All they have to do is limit the amount of ammunition available to the civilian market, and when bullets dry up, guns will be useless.

Think we jest?

Here are copies of two letters sent to Georgia Arms just Thursday evening--effectively cancelling a contract he had to purchase 30,000 pounds of expended military brass in .223, 7.62mm, and .50 caliber:

Dear Valued Customer:

Please take a moment to note important changes set forth by the Defense Logistics Agency:

Recently it has been determined that fired munitions of all calibers, shapes and sizes have been designated to be Demil code B. As a result and in conjunction with DLA's current Demil code B policy, this notice will serve as official notification which requires Scrap Venture (SV) to implement mutilation as a condition of sale for all sales of fired munitions effective immediately. This notice also requires SV to immediately cease delivery of any fired munitions that have been recently sold or on active term contracts, unless the material has been mutilated prior to sale or SV personnel can attest to the mutilation after delivery. A certificate of destruction is required in either case.

Thank you,

DOD Surplus
15051 N Kierland Blvd # 300
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

March 12, 2009

Larry Haynie
Georgia Arms
PO Box 238
Villa Rica, GA 30180

Re: Event 7084-6200:

Dear Larry Haynie,

Effective immediately DOD Surplus, LLC, will be implementing new requirements for mutilation of fired shell casings. The new DRMS requirement calls for DOD Surplus personnel to witness the mutilation of the property and sign the Certificate of Destruction. Mutilation of the property can be done at the DRMO, if permitted by the Government, or it may be mutilated at a site chosen by the buyer. Mutilation means that the property will be destroyed to the extent prevents its reuse or reconstruction. DOD Surplus personnel will determine when property has been sufficiently mutilated to meet the requirements of the Government.

If you do not agree with the new conditions of your spot sale, please sign the appropriate box provided below stating that you do not agree to the new terms and would like to cancel your purchase effective immediately. If you do agree to the new terms please sign in the appropriate box provided below to acknowledge your understanding and agreement with the new requirements relating to your purchase. Fax the signed document back to (480) 367-1450, emailed responses are not acceptable.

Please respond to this request no later than close of business Monday, March 16th, 2009.


Government Liquidation.

Got that? From now on, remanufacturers of military brass will not be able to buy surplus brass from DOD--actually from Government Liquidators, llc.--the corporation that sells surplus materials for the U.S. government. At least, not in any form recognizable as once-fired brass ammunition.
Haynie further pointed out this move is a stupendous waste of taxpayer money--reducing the worth of the brass some 80%--from casings, to shredded bulk brass.

He stated most of this will now go to foundries where it will be melted down, cast in shippable forms, and likely be sold to China, one of the largest purchasers of U.S. metals on the open market.
Wonderful. And guess what? Nothing you can do about it. Go ahead and call your congressCritter. They won't be able to do anything either. Obambi has just decided to piss away more money because for some reason. No doubt it's related to those evil black guns.

UPDATE: Reversed!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fiscal Responsibility

An interesting bit of Senate interaction with Geitner:

"The argument that this budget doesn't have tax increases [on everyone] is, I think, an 'Alice in Wonderland' view of the budget," he said.

He challenged the budget's math on cutting the debt: "When you take the deficit and quadruple it and then you cut it and half, that's like taking four steps back and two steps forward. That's not making any progress; you're still going backwards."

Gregg questioned why any foreign country would continue to buy up U.S. debt: "Because if I'm in the international marketplace, and I'm looking at this budget, I'm saying to myself, ‘Where's the discipline? Where's the containment?' There isn't any."

In his withdrawal statement last month, Gregg said, "I expect there will be many issues and initiatives where I can and will work to assure the success of the president's proposals."

A most worthy, and actually reported, criticism of the spending spree they call a budget.

I know Media Matters and Chucky Schumer think this is nothing, but "A billion here, a billion there; pretty soon you're talking real money." I guess I would have to ask these fiscally responsible pundits, how much money does it actually take to start worrying you? If all the earmarks and other pork are so fiscally responsible, why are they tagged onto a budget that needs to be passed and don't stand on their own?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why Are You Here?

Now this is entertaining. I thought he was a diplomat.

After drawing a rebuke from the White House, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tried Thursday to smooth over his characterization of the U.S. as a "deadbeat" for its late payments to the world body.

"My point was simply that the United Nations needs the fullest support of its members, and never more so than in these very demanding times," Ban told reporters at U.N. headquarters

The White House objected to Ban's use of the word "deadbeat" to describe the U.S. during a private meeting Wednesday with lawmakers at the Capitol, a day after he met with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Ban's "word choice was unfortunate," given that the U.S. is the largest contributor to the United Nations.

The United States pays 22 percent of the organization's nearly $5 billion operating budget but is perennially late paying its dues.

I guess I must be missing something. Do you really want to piss off those that pay the largest percentage of dues from any single country? The UN and their diplomats abuse our laws and call us names incessantly and we just stand there and take it.

Maybe they should see how they are going to fund their little resort when they have to do it some place not quite as free as the US. Or not quite as secure as the US. Or not quite as tolerant as the US.

Let's not mention how will the enforce any of their resolutions without the US. Considering their success rate when the US isn't present, I don't think they should hedge that bet.

Maybe Ban should be happy he gets his money at all. Because when it comes to stimulating the economy, the UN isn't exactly high on the helpful side.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Princess Pelosi's Abuse of Power

Judicial Watch is always worth a look. I heard this mentioned on Fox last night and decided to read for myself. No big surprises here, just lots or reasons to be irritated. Oh and as noted at WizBang, Fox is the only MSM company even mentioning it. No doubt that is because they are so very partisan. I guess I like partisanship if it will at least inform the public of this kind of abuse. If this had been a republican you can bet that all the other MSM companies would be running around with pitchforks and torches.

I personally don't mind that Pelosi have a military asset to periodically take her on travel if she is deemed that important. My real problem is that she's abusing this benefit and costing the taxpayer lots of money.


  • In response to a series of requests for military aircraft, one Defense Department official wrote, "Any chance of politely querying [Pelosi's team] if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend?...[T]here's no need to block every weekend 'just in case'..." The email also notes that Pelosi's office had, "a history of canceling many of their past requests."
  • One DOD official complained about the "hidden costs" associated with the speaker's last minute changes and cancellations. "We have...folks prepping the jets and crews driving in (not a short drive for some), cooking meals and preflighting the jets etc."
  • The documents include a discussion of House Ethics rules and Defense Department policies as they apply to the speaker's requests for staff, spouses and extended family to accompany her on military aircraft. In May 2008, for example, Pelosi requested that her husband join her on a Congressional Delegation (CODEL) into Iraq. The DOD explained to Pelosi that the agency has a written policy prohibiting spouses from joining CODEL's into combat zones.
  • Documents obtained from the U.S. Army include correspondence from Speaker Pelosi's office requesting an Army escort and three military planes to transport Pelosi and other members of Congress to Cleveland, Ohio, for the funeral services of the late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Pelosi noted in her letter of August 22, 2008, that such a request, labeled "Operation Tribute" was an "exception to standard policy."
  • The documents also detail correspondence from intermediaries for Speaker Pelosi issuing demands for certain aircraft and expressing outrage when requested military planes were not available. "It is my understanding there are no G5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable...The speaker will want to know where the planes are..." wrote Kay King, Director of the House Office of Interparliamentary Affairs. In a separate email, when told a certain type of aircraft would not be available, King writes, "This is not good news, and we will have some very disappointed folks, as well as a very upset [s]peaker."
  • During another email exchange DOD staff advised Kay King that one Pelosi military aircraft request could not be met because of "crew rest requirements" and offered to help secure commercial travel. Kay King responded: "We appreciate the efforts to help the codel [sic] fly commercially but you know the problem that creates with spouses. If we can find another way to assist with military assets, we would like to do that."

Nice. I especially like the military walking on eggshells to accomodate this bitch. With this attitude, I think she should lose this and have to pay her own way.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

RFID Saves the Day, Again

Seems the Homeland Security genius' are at it again with RFID tagging. Now in the Real ID licenses.
The article, from World Net Daily, suggests that, sooner than some might wish, we might all have driver's licenses that are embedded with a very clever chip. Clever in the kind of way Heath Ledger's Joker is.

It's an article with many words, some of them technical and some political. The gist, however, seems to be that your driver's license could soon be adorned by a radio frequency identification, or RFID, chip. This might have some advantages, but I'm not quite sure what those might be just at this rainy moment.

However, as I understand it, anyone with the appropriate reading unit will be able to scan your personal information, even though your license is tucked into your wallet, your jeans, or that secret pocket near your chest area, just by passing you by.

The World Net Daily article is here. And has a lot to add, including this:
Privacy advocates are issuing warnings about a new radio chip plan that ultimately could provide electronic identification for every adult in the U.S. and allow agents to compile attendance lists at anti-government rallies simply by walking through the assembly.

The proposal, which has earned the support of Janet Napolitano, the newly chosen chief of the Department of Homeland Security, would embed radio chips in driver's licenses, or "enhanced driver's licenses."

"Enhanced driver's licenses give confidence that the person holding the card is the person who is supposed to be holding the card, and it's less elaborate than REAL ID," Napolitano said in a Washington Times report.

REAL ID is a plan for a federal identification system standardized across the nation that so alarmed governors many states have adopted formal plans to oppose it. However, a privacy advocate today told WND that the EDLs are many times worse.

I wonder how this lines up with the Bush phone taps? Seeing as that focused on individuals (under investigation related to national security) and this is sounding like a requirement for everyone. No doubt the government won't abuse them while the dems are in control. No, they wouldn't do that. They are the good ones and will only use these to collect taxes or some worthy cause. (BULLSHIT!)

Read the article.

Schneier hasn't commented on this as of yet, but he does point to an interesting article on the ethics of military robots. Hopefully Schneier won't prove to be as much of a partisan twit as he did during the Bush administration.

Monday, March 09, 2009

"Cap & Trade" or "Tax & Redistribute"

So the foolishness continues in the selling of the cap and trade policy. I've no doubt this will be implemented, but I just want all the losers who thing the One is going to actually help you understand how it will work.

Who is being taxed?
Hit hardest would be the "95% of working families" Mr. Obama keeps mentioning, usually omitting that his no-new-taxes pledge comes with the caveat "unless you use energy." Putting a price on carbon is regressive by definition because poor and middle-income households spend more of their paychecks on things like gas to drive to work, groceries or home heating.

The Congressional Budget Office -- Mr. Orszag's former roost -- estimates that the price hikes from a 15% cut in emissions would cost the average household in the bottom-income quintile about 3.3% of its after-tax income every year. That's about $680, not including the costs of reduced employment and output. The three middle quintiles would see their paychecks cut between $880 and $1,500, or 2.9% to 2.7% of income. The rich would pay 1.7%. Cap and trade is the ideal policy for every Beltway analyst who thinks the tax code is too progressive (all five of them).

Oh, but wait, it gets better. We now need to add in the redistribution part of the scenario.
Democrats say they'll allow some of this ocean of new cap-and-trade revenue to trickle back down to the public. In his budget, Mr. Obama wants to recycle $525 billion through the "making work pay" tax credit that goes to many people who don't pay income taxes. But $400 for individuals and $800 for families still doesn't offset carbon's income raid, especially in states with higher carbon use.
"Trickle back" is so entertaining that I just giggle every time I read it. Someone appears to be pissing down my neck and keeps telling me that it's raining. No doubt this will be great for no one.

Oh, and I did get my first pay check under the new stimulus package. I got nothing. What a shock.

I'm so thrilled with hope and change.

Maybe Obama would be less tired if he spent more time on things that make sense rather than all this stupidity. (He'd also piss off less of our close allies. Funny how Bush was so vilified for that and Obama is wonderful for doing worse.)

Monday, March 02, 2009


We find that the freest states in the country are New Hampshire, Colorado, and South Dakota, which together achieve a virtual tie for first place. All three states feature low taxes and government spending and middling levels of regulation and paternalism. New York is the least free by a considerable margin, followed by New Jersey, Rhode Island, California, and Maryland. On personal freedom alone, Alaska is the clear winner, while Maryland brings up the rear. As for freedom in the different regions of the country, the Mountain and West North Central regions are the freest overall while the Middle Atlantic lags far behind on both economic and personal freedom. Regression analysis demonstrates that states enjoying more economic and personal freedom tend to attract substantially higher rates of internal net migration.
Nice to live in a free state.

Well, until our Democrat Party controlled government changes that this. With luck they won't have that majority for long.