Crush Liberalism

Liberalism: Why think when you can “feel”?

New terminology, thanks to Gore

Thanks to Tigerhawk for borrowing one of the left’s mindless terms and making it into a more appropriate term in today’s political lexicon:

There righty sphere is in gut-grabbing chortle mode over the revelation that one of Al Gore’s three luxurious houses uses more energy (via Glenn and everybody else) in a month than the average household does in a year. Gore, apparently, is a chickengreen, calling on others to make sacrifices he won’t make.

The most interesting thing about this is that at least some leading conservatives go on quietly conserving without demanding that everybody else do the same. Bill Frist is the rich, retired Senator from Tennessee with the green house, and Wizbang compares the household efficiency and carbon loadiness of Al Gore and George W. Bush, respectively.

Americans — at least those who do not suck up to the Hollywood nobility — can smell a phony a mile away. They will only start listening to these guys about the sacrifices they should make when they walk past them in the first class sections of regularly scheduled commercial flights. Until then, they have less credibility than a carnival barker.

Chickengreens…how appropriate!

February 28, 2007 Posted by | global warming, Gore, hypocrisy | Leave a comment

NY Times laments "Cheney secrecy"…the day after assassination attempt

D’oh! From the Old Gray Hag:

Mr. Cheney’s trip to Pakistan was shrouded in unusual secrecy. In trips to Pakistan last year, President Bush and Secretary State Condoleezza Rice announced their plans days in advance, and reporters filed articles on their visits as soon as they landed. But Mr. Cheney’s traveling press pool was sworn to secrecy, and allowed to report only the barest details just before he left.

American officials did not explain the extraordinary secrecy surrounding Mr. Cheney’s visit to Pakistan, a country the administration has cast as a stable nation moving gradually toward democracy. Mr. Cheney’s aides told The Times and other news organizations that the Secret Service had imposed the requirement that there be no mention of his trip until he had left Pakistan.

Now WHY would Cheney need to be so hush-hush and keep his visits on the down-low? It’s not like Islamic terrorists have tried to kill him or anything!

Oh, wait…yeah, they did. The day before this article hit the stands. Oops.

Nicely done, NYT. When you’re not busy blabbing national security details and classified material all over your front pages, you’re lamenting that the Veep doesn’t make himself a bigger target to the bloodthirsty camelhumper world. Are you that hard-up for writing material these days?

February 28, 2007 Posted by | Cheney, media bias | Leave a comment

Hillary thinks they all look alike!

Her Highness, remembered for her Gandhi “botched” joke, has now insulted an Asian-American media organization in San Fran-istan.

Clinton staff’s gaffe with local ethnic papers
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign excluded reporters for the Bay Area’s two largest ethnic newspapers from a fundraiser Friday at the Sheraton Palace Hotel — a perceived snub that led to days of harsh coverage…

…Reporters from Sing Tao and Chinese-language daily World Journal, as well as the smaller China Press were denied entry to the noon fundraiser.

It turned out that the three papers had not been included in the mailing list for a press advisory sent out two days ahead that instructed media representatives to check in by 11:45 a.m. World Journal reporter Portia Li said she arrived about 10 minutes before noon.

Li, a prominent journalist who has worked for more than two decades in the Bay Area, said she knew such events routinely begin late and that reporters often are allowed in after they start.

But a staffer told her she was too late to get in. When Li argued, the staffer explained that because she was considered “foreign media” — which were limited to a single pool reporter — she could not go in.

Any local media who checked in by the cutoff were admitted.

When Li showed her business card, the staffer asked for two forms of identification, which seemed to Li to be insulting. She said she had never had to show identification at similar events.

“She kept saying this is only open for local media, not foreign press,” Li said. “I told her, I’m not foreign press. I’m local media. I was really angry. It’s not about myself. It’s about how the mainstream looks at Chinese (people) as a whole. Why do they call us foreigners, even [though] we have a local address on our business card?”

Ah, yes…the party of “diversity”! And you were told that the right was racially insensitive?

February 28, 2007 Posted by | Hillary, San Francisco | Leave a comment

Environmentalism the "new religion"

Kudos to our mates Down Under for seeing this global “warming” facade for what it is. From The Age:

HARD-CORE global warming sceptics will descend on Canberra today for the release of a book claiming environmentalism is the new religion.

Former mining executive Arvi Parbo will launch Ray Evans’ new publication, Nine Facts About Climate Change, at a function at Parliament House.

The book claims climate change is nothing new and declares Howard Government investments in solar power and in cleaning up coal a “complete waste of taxpayers’ money”.

“Environmentalism has largely superseded Christianity as the religion of the upper classes in Europe and to a lesser extent in the United States,” Mr Evans says in the publication.

“It is a form of religious belief which fosters a sense of moral superiority in the believer, but which places no importance on telling the truth,” he says.

“The global warming scam has been, arguably, the most extraordinary example of scientific fraud in the postwar period.”

The function is organised by the Lavoisier Group, founded in 2000 by Ray Evans and former mining executive Hugh Morgan to test claims that global warming is the result of human activity.

Mr Evans is a longstanding friend and colleague of Mr Morgan and a committed activist on issues such as workplace reform through the HR Nicholls Society, which he founded with federal Treasurer Peter Costello.

Former Labor minister Peter Walsh also will attend today’s function, and the group will hold a dinner to be addressed by climate-change sceptic Chris de Freitas, Associate Professor in the School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science at Auckland University.

Liberal MP Dennis Jensen has organised the function on behalf of the Lavoisier Group and expects about 50 people to attend the dinner.

Dr Jensen, a nuclear physicist, has said he is not convinced that human activity is responsible for global warming.

In an interview with The Age last month, Mr Evans acknowledged that last September’s visit by former US vice-president Al Gore to promote his Oscar-winning global-warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth had helped generate a lot of publicity on climate change.

But he described Mr Gore’s film as “bullshit from beginning to end”. (Sounds like Gore’s political career, too. – Ed.)

“The science from the anthropology point of view has collapsed. The carbon-dioxide link is increasingly recognised as irrelevant,” Mr Evans said.

“But the Government’s frightened.

“Cabinet, from what I understand, is by and large still sceptical of climate change, but it is scared of the drought and worried about how Labor will make use of it.”

Someone inform Ellen Goodman that there are some “Holocaust deniers” congregating in Australia!

As we’ve seen in this country, insulting the religion of Christianity is A-OK, but insulting the “religious” sensibilities of the global “warming” hysterics could get you compared to a Holocaust denier or, if you’re a meterologist (a profession that pays you handsomely to be frequently wrong), could get your American Meteorological Society (AMS) “Seal of Approval” revoked.

February 28, 2007 Posted by | global warming | Leave a comment

UPDATE: Taliban assassination attempt on Cheney

UPDATES AT BOTTOM OF THIS POST.

The left’s bogeyman (VP Cheney) was almost done in by a bloodthirsty camelhumper from the “religion of peace” last night. Neal Boortz has great commentary:

The Taliban tried to blow up Dick Cheney today during a visit to a U.S. Military base in Afghanistan. Depending on whom you ask, either 3 or 24 people were killed by the suicide bomber. The war on Islamic terrorism continues. Cheney is in the region to meet with he president of Pakistan…and tell him to crack down a bit harder on terrorists.

Cheney is on the warpath lately…and it’s quite refreshing. He’s been taking on the media and the Democrats and not holding back. He rightly called out Nancy Pelosi for her policies, which support Al-Qaeda’s agenda. When a controversy ensued…he didn’t hold back. He’s been taking on the media, appearing on TV shows…complete unapologetic for the war in Iraq. The question remains: where has the administration been for the last two years?

Instead of letting the Left and the mainstream media define Iraq as a failure, which its not, they should have been out there swinging the bat…calling out Democrats for their pro-appeasement policies. But, as the saying goes, better late than never. Besides, it’s not like Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid are ever going to come up with a better plan for Iraq anyway.

I imagine that had Cheney gotten killed, the Kostards and DU dumb#sses (you know, the “compassionate” and “tolerant” left?) would have been giddier than a blind lesbian at a seafood market.

UPDATE (2/27/07 – 11:55 A.M.): Boy, I didn’t go out on a limb with my predictions of the moonbats getting disappointed, did I? The HuffPosties, Kostards, and DUmbasses all publicly display their vile elements who lament the Taliban failure, for the world to see. The HuffPost admins have closed commenting down. Michelle Malkin has the screen caps, though.

February 27, 2007 Posted by | Afghanistan, Cheney, religion of peace | Leave a comment

MSM sloppiness, or running interference for Air America?

From Michelle Malkin:

It’s up to Brian Maloney, once again, to get to the bottom of the story:

Since Air America Radio’s bankruptcy bailout by wealthy Manhattan real estate mogul Stephen L Green was announced on February 7 (and finalized yesterday), the public has been led to believe the network’s assets had fetched $4.25 million.
But the news media, led by the Associated Press, may have blown the story: in fact, Air America’s true valuation may actually be zero!

Did anyone examine the filings?

That’s the stunning conclusion reached by bankruptcy expert Donald J Quigley, a Denver- based attorney who has been assisting your Radio Equalizer on this matter for several weeks.

Quigley is associated with Denver’s Block Markus Williams LLC and as a matter of disclosure, one of the company’s creditors is a distant relative.

Could this be but the latest chapter in Air America Radio’s ongoing shell game, where insiders always manage to stay one step ahead of investors and creditors?

Out of the reported $4.25 million purchase price, according to our legal expert, “$3.25 million is illusory: that’s money that Rob Glaser had already loaned to the company. Air America already blew through this by continuing to operate during bankruptcy at a loss rate of $1m per month…

Read the whole thing. You, too, MSM.

So tell us, MSM: is it sloppiness (i.e. dereliction of your journalistic duty) or bias? Is either of those excuses better than the other?

February 27, 2007 Posted by | media bias | Leave a comment

Gore’s own personal "inconvenient truth"

From Drudge:

POWER: GORE MANSION USES 20X AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD; CONSUMPTION INCREASE AFTER ‘TRUTH’
Mon Feb 26 2007 17:16:14 ET

Nashville Electric Service/Gore House

2006

High 22619 kWh Aug – Sept
Low 12541 kWh Jan – Feb
Average: 18,414 kWh per month

2005

High 20532 Sept – October
Low 12955 Feb – March
Average: 16,200 kWh per month

Bill amounts

2006 – $895.60 (low) $1738.52 (high) $1359 (average)
2005 – $853.91 (low) $1461 (high)

Nashville Gas Company

Main House
2006 – $990(high) $170 (low) $536 (average)
2005 – $1080 (high) $200 (low) $640 (average)

Guest House/Pool House

2006 – $820 (high) $70 (low) $544 (average)
2005 – $1025 (high) $25 (low) $525 (average)

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization, issued a press release late Monday:

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

How many times have I had to mention the left’s “Good enough for me, but not for thee” mentality? This is yet another example in a long line of leftist hypocrisy.

Look, Al Gore is a wealthy man, and as such, he is entitled to buy any house and use as much electricity and natural gas as his dollars will allow him. However…so is everybody else! Perhaps the next time Gore jumps on his big-#ss carbon-emitting airplane to jet off to another international do-gooder soapbox to lecture us peons about how we’re “cooking” the planet, he’ll get called out like this.


That Oscar for “Best Science Fiction” flick may be in danger?

February 27, 2007 Posted by | global warming, Gore, hypocrisy | 1 Comment

Billary: Mention Bubba’s impeachment, and it’s "Game on, b#tch!"

From the Washington comPost:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has a new commandment for the 2008 presidential field: Thou shalt not mention anything related to the impeachment of her husband.

With a swift response to attacks from a former supporter last week, advisers to the New York Democrat offered a glimpse of their strategy for handling one of the most awkward chapters of her biography. They declared her husband’s impeachment in 1998 — or, more accurately, the embarrassing personal behavior that led to it — taboo, putting her rivals on notice and all but daring other Democrats to mention the ordeal again.

“In the end, voters will decide what’s off-limits, but I can’t imagine that the public will reward the politics of personal destruction,” senior Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson said Friday, when asked whether the impeachment is fair game for Clinton’s opponents. Earlier in the week, Wolfson dismissed references to President Bill Clinton’s conduct as “under the belt.”

But the reality, of course, is that the impeachment was conducted very much in public.

As Clinton aides spent several days batting down insults made by David Geffen, the Hollywood mogul who raised questions about the former president’s personal behavior and praised Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in a provocative interview, the intra-party brawl suggested that the scandal remains something of a tripwire for Clinton.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Apparently not:

And as she has invoked the good Bill Clinton, she has risked invoking the bad, several Democratic strategists said.

“She’s using him in this campaign, so why can’t somebody else use him?” asked a veteran of Democratic presidential politics who is not currently aligned with a candidate but who, like numerous other Democrats, spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of angering the Clintons. “She’s just made him fair game. He’s part of her strategy, so why can’t he be part of one of her opponents’?”

And of course, Her Highness would never exploit a personal situation for political gain, right?

And Clinton advisers express confidence that any explicit attempt to revive the scandal would instantly backfire, particularly among Democratic primary voters who were outraged by the Republican investigation into her husband when it first occurred. (One Clinton official said donations to her campaign spiked when the Geffen interview was published.) The former first lady’s popularity ratings have never been higher than when her husband’s affair with a young intern burst into the open and cast her in the role of victim.

The “smartest woman in the world” didn’t know what the rest of us knew in 1992, that her hubby was a philanderer? Right. And Mikie Moore is on Slim Fast.

Seriously, that whole “she’s a victim” thing was phonier than a CBS memo. She knew damned well that Bubba couldn’t keep Little Willie in his briefs (or was it boxers?), but once the public had irrefutable evidence (since Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, etc., were all obviously lying, right?), then she pretended like it was news to her. As they say in the Guiness commercials: “Brilliant!”

Continuing:

In his interview with Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, Geffen, a onetime Clinton fundraiser, gave voice to fears privately held by some Democrats that Republicans intend to revisit past Clinton issues and try to dig up new ones.

“I don’t think anybody believes that in the last six years, all of a sudden Bill Clinton has become a different person,” Geffen said. Speaking of Republicans’ view of the former first lady, he said: “I think they believe she’s the easiest to defeat.”

Geffen also attacked Hillary Clinton on other fronts, including her vote to authorize the war in Iraq and subsequent refusal to apologize for it, and he described the Clintons as deceitful.

This is a party loyalist saying this, not some Bu$hitler McRummyburton Rovian hack. Yeah, but what does he know?

Finally, Her Highness responds:

The Clinton campaign’s response was fast and unyielding: Advisers issued a statement demanding that Obama renounce his ties to Geffen, who had just thrown the Illinois senator a $1.3 million fundraiser. When Obama refused, and an Obama spokesman issued a statement pointing out that Geffen had once been the Clintons’ guest in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House, Clinton officials pushed back once more. They accused Obama of failing to live by the principles of positive campaigning he proclaimed. Obama later said he had not authorized his campaign’s statement.

Obama and Geffen should be thankful that they haven’t wound up like Vince Foster for crossing Billary.

February 27, 2007 Posted by | Hillary, Obama | Leave a comment

GOP rank-and-file abandoning Bush? Not really.

Regardless of whether you like Bush, hate him, or could have liked him if not for (fill in the blank), this story is fairly interesting (and likely stunning to liberals and the MSM, pardon the redundancy). From USA Today:

The Washington punditocracy has proclaimed far and wide that Republicans, disenchanted with the war in Iraq, are abandoning President Bush in droves, leaving him the lamest of lame ducks. However, the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll suggests Bush might not be as wounded as he appears — at least not among his party faithful.

The Feb. 9-11 poll puts Bush’s job approval at 37%, but among people who identify themselves as Republican or leaning Republican, his approval rating is 76%.

Thus, despite bad news from Baghdad and carefully crafted hand-wringing by high-profile GOP war critics in Congress such as Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, three of four Republicans in the country are hanging in there with the president.

The poll also shows that rank-and-file Republicans have higher regard for the president than they do Republicans in Congress. They gave GOP lawmakers a 63% job-approval rating, 13 points below Bush’s. And 72% of Republicans do not think Bush made a mistake sending U.S. troops to Iraq.

So if congressional Republicans figure the key to re-election in 2008 is taking a hard line against Bush on Iraq, they could be dead wrong. (Sucks for you, Hagel. – Ed.) They might lure some independents, but they risk alienating their GOP base. To win, you need solid support from your base plus independents, not independents alone.

Conventional wisdom also says the presidential ambitions of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., could be derailed by his strong support for the war. This poll, however, shows that his stance could be a plus among the base.

The latest congressional skirmish over Iraq underscores the point. In the House’s non-binding vote to oppose the president’s deployment of more troops to Baghdad, 17 Republicans voted with 229 Democrats to pass the measure. Four GOP representatives didn’t vote. Lost was the fact that 180 Republicans stuck with Bush. By that count, Bush gets a 92% loyalty standing among House Republicans who voted. Hardly a GOP exodus.

In the Senate, Democrats fell four votes short of the 60 needed to force a vote on an identical Iraq resolution. Why? Not enough Republicans would go along. Indeed, seven GOP senators broke with the president, and nine didn’t vote, yet 33 held firm. Among GOP senators who voted, that’s an 83% Republican loyalty rating for Bush.

Though the president may have lost the country on the issues of the day, rumors of his demise among Republicans voters and lawmakers are greatly exaggerated.

“Greatly exaggerated”? As in, the left and the MSM (pardon the redundancy) may have been…geez, dare I say it?…wrong??

Look, for what it’s worth (and this may tick off my conservative friends), I am looking forward to Bush’s departure on 1/20/09. I have stated before that when it comes to issues that I find important (tax reform, illegal immigration, federal spending, campaign finance “reform”), I was sold a bill of goods when I twice voted for him. I also feel that the administration has mismanaged the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (though obviously I don’t have the doom-and-gloom despair that the left has). Having said that, I am wary of a lot of polls out there, especially those that purport to speak for the right-of-center base.

February 26, 2007 Posted by | media bias, polls | Leave a comment

Former VA ACLU prez: I have kiddie porn, and it should be legal!

If you ever had any doubts as to the depravity that exists in the peabrained gourds of ACLU types, you need look no further than Virginia. Hat tip to Texas Rainmaker:

Federal agents arrested Charles Rust-Tierney, the former president of the Virginia chapter of the ACLU, Friday in Arlington for allegedly possessing child pornography.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by ABC News, Rust-Tierney allegedly used his e-mail address and credit card to subscribe to and access a child pornography website.

The complaint states that federal investigations into child pornography websites revealed that “Charles Rust-Tierney has subscribed to multiple child pornography website over a period of years.”

As recently as last October, the complaint alleges, “Rust-Tierney purchased access to a group of hardcore commercial child pornography websites.”

Allahpundit says:

“He could be writing a book on child abuse, say, and wanted to see just how bad it can get.

But if he’s writing a book, he’s researching it awfully thoroughly.”

This story would explain why the ACLU is so eager to argue that child porn should be legalized. It probably also explains why Rust-Tierney once argued against restricting Internet access in public libraries in Virginia (hat tip: StopTheACLU):

“Recognizing that individuals will continue to behave responsibly and appropriately while in the library, the default should be maximum, unrestricted access to the valuable resources of the Internet.”

Child porn = valuable resources? Be sure to use that line in Cell block C when you get there…they’ll love it.

The ACLU: Pedophiles’ best friend!

February 26, 2007 Posted by | ACLU | 3 Comments

That’s your House Speaker

Some of you may have seen this late last week, so my apologies for weighing in on it now. The VP had a slight problem with the Murtha-Pelosi “cut and run…er, redeploy 5000 miles away from the war zone…or the money’s gone” plan, and replied to their idea thusly:

“I think if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we will do is validate the al-Qaida strategy,” the vice president told ABC News. “The al-Qaida strategy is to break the will of the American people … try to persuade us to throw in the towel and come home, and then they win because we quit.”

In other words, Al Qaeda’s stated strategy has been to break the will of the American public, and the Pelosi-Murtha plan would, in his opinion, achieve that goal (perhaps, or not, unwittingly).

So how did the nation’s first female Speaker respond? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Pelosi, at a news conference in San Francisco, said Cheney’s criticism of Democrats was “beneath the dignity of the debate we’re engaged in and a disservice to our men and women in uniform, whom we all support.”

“And you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to call the president and tell him I disapprove of what the vice president said,” Pelosi said. “It has no place in our debate.”

Nothing says “I’m a serious leader and I demand respect!” quite like whining like a bitch and running to go tattle-tale on the mean ol’ Veep.

As Reverse Vampyr observes:

Typical liberalism.

  • Claim to support the troops.
  • Attempt to insure America’s (and therefore, Bush’s) defeat.
  • Shame any opposition into silence.
  • Act insulted that their patriotism might be in question.

    The only thing she forgot to do was claim that Murtha’s defeatist plan was “for the children.”
  • The VP may not have questioned her patriotism, but I damned sure do.


    The Jackass Party, drunk with their new power, is weary of publicly supporting Murtha’s plan

    February 26, 2007 Posted by | Cheney, defeatism, Iraq, Pelosi | Leave a comment

    "Non-political art"?

    Any idiot can do something stupid and call it art, and this Brit is no different. From the New Editor:

    According to Reuters, London ‘performance artist’ Mark McGowan, dressed in a suit and wearing a George Bush mask with a sign on his posterior reading, “Kick My Ass,” will offer New Yorkers a chance to kick him during a 72-hour crawl across Manhattan, hoping “his performance proves therapeutic to the city’s denizens.”

    McGowan told Reuters that he “insisted his work was no publicity stunt but art: ‘It’s definitely an art form. A lot of the things I do are a bit silly but they always have a political edge to them.'”

    Reports Reuters:

    McGowan [who] said he does not have any particular political stance on the Republican president … made his name in Britain with a series of controversial acts including a performance called “Dead Soldier” where he dressed up in army fatigues and lay in the streets for a week. He also crawled 60 miles from London to the town of Canterbury.

    He “doesn’t have a particular political stance” on Bush, eh? Well, as a commenter so astutely pointed out:

    From Reuters:

    “McGowan [who] said he does not have any particular political stance on the Republican president”

    From McGowan’s website:

    “On a more serious note this is a protest against George Bush and his policies and i am expecting injuries, i just hope not to (sic) severe.”

    A fine deal of research done by al-Reuters, huh?

    Come on, #sswipe, if you’re gonna offer up your duff for pugelistic purposes, the least you could do is be a little more forthright with the world, hmmm?

    Liberal policy at its finest: “Please…kick our ass!”

    February 26, 2007 Posted by | moonbats | Leave a comment

    Quote of the day

    Nicely done, Johnny Mac:

    After the speech, McCain was asked by an audience member if he was “sucking up to the religious right.” He drew laughs by responding: “What’s wrong with sucking up to everybody?”

    Boy, that will sure put a ding in that “maverick” armor that the MSM gave him when he was butting heads with Bush. Kidding or not, nothing says “I’m a man of conviction” like admitting pandering in front of the world.

    Here’s hoping that if by some miracle the man is elected, he won’t go “sucking up” to the Euros or the mad mullahs of the Middle East.

    February 26, 2007 Posted by | McCain, quote of the day | Leave a comment

    Pic of the day

    I hope DirecTV doesn’t sue over this:

    February 24, 2007 Posted by | humor, Obama | Leave a comment

    Obama wants unions to do WHAT to America’s middle class?

    No surprise here: prez wannabe Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is a functional economic illiterate like the others in his party. From economist Thomas Sowell:

    Senator Barack Obama recently said, “let’s allow our unions and their organizers to lift up this country’s middle class again.”

    Ironically, he said it at a time when Detroit automakers have been laying off unionized workers by the tens of thousands, while Toyota has been hiring tens of thousands of non-union American automobile workers.

    Oops. Talk about sucky timing. Continuing:

    Labor unions, like the government, can change prices — in this case, the price of labor — but without changing the underlying reality that prices convey.

    Neither unions nor minimum wage laws change the productivity of workers. All they can do is forbid the employer from paying less than what the government or the unions want the employer to pay.

    When that is more than the labor in question produces, some workers who are perfectly capable become “unemployable” only because of wages set above the level of their productivity.

    In the short run — which is what matters to politicians and to union leaders, who both get elected in the short run — workers who are already on the payroll may get a windfall gain before the market adjusts.

    But, sooner or later, the chickens come home to roost. They have been coming home to roost big time in the automobile industry, where hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost over the years.

    It is not that people don’t want automobiles. Toyota is selling plenty of cars made in its American factories with non-union labor.

    Sowell goes on to see where the same leftist claptrap has been tried and failed, yet these people who fancy themselves to be intellectuals are real ‘tards when it comes to basic economics:

    Senator Obama is being hailed as the newest and freshest face on the American political scene. But he is advocating some of the oldest fallacies, just as if it was the 1960s again, or as if he has learned nothing and forgotten nothing since then.

    He thinks higher teacher pay is the answer to the abysmal failures of our education system, which is already far more expensive than the education provided in countries whose students have for decades consistently outperformed ours on international tests.

    Senator Obama is for making college “affordable,” as if he has never considered that government subsidies push up tuition, just as government subsidies push up agricultural prices, the price of medical care and other prices.

    He is also for “alternative fuels,” without the slightest thought about the prices of those fuels or the implications of those prices. All this is the old liberal agenda from years past, old wine in new bottles, a new face with old ideas that have been tried and failed repeatedly over the past generation.

    But politics is not about facts. It is about what politicians can get people to believe.

    February 23, 2007 Posted by | economic ignorance, Obama | Leave a comment

    Satire alert: Dems to repeal Social Security?

    Great satire from Scrappleface:

    Democrats in the Senate plan to introduce a measure next week to repeal the 2002 Iraq war authorization, and Republicans have already announced they’re willing to discuss the bill in exchange for Democrat support of a measure repealing the 1935 Social Security Act.

    Democrats said circumstances have changed in the past five years – Saddam Hussein is gone and no WMD were found – making the 2002 war authorization obsolete.

    Republicans used similar logic in offering their Social Security repeal act: the Great Depression is over, and despite 60 years of trying, no security has been found.

    February 23, 2007 Posted by | Iraq, satire | Leave a comment

    Global "warming" now giving Euro kids nightmares

    Thanks to everyone for your kind words yesterday. They are much appreciated.

    Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming…

    Damn that George W. Bush! His evil Rovian Climate Zapper is now frightening those poor kids in Europe! Does this man’s evil know no bounds? From the Euroweenies:

    Global warming concerns are keeping children awake at night

    Half of young children are anxious about the effects of global warming, often losing sleep because of their concern, according to a new report today.

    A survey of 1,150 youngsters aged between seven and 11 found that one in four blamed politicians for the problems of climate change.

    And you thought the education system in America was rotting the brains of kids? I can see it now: It’s 2:00 a.m. Little Raoul wakes up in bed, screaming his little head off. Papa runs in and asks him if he’s seen the three-eyed thong-clad Helen Thomas monster in his closet again. Raoul weeps and whimpers “No, Papa! It was even scarier! It was…(sniffle, sob)…a dream about global ‘warming’! And even you couldn’t save me, Papa!”

    The story even mentions that while “most of those polled understood the benefits of recycling, … one in 10 thought the issue was linked to riding a bike.” I don’t know that I really need to add anything else to that!

    February 23, 2007 Posted by | Euros, global warming | Leave a comment

    Goodbye, old friend

    My loyal friend Duchess, a Rottweiler, was born in December of 1997. I bought her at a breeder’s booth in Jacksonville in February of 1998. She was the “runt” of her litter, weighing a mere 7 lbs. at 13 weeks of age.

    Her first five minutes in her new home were traumatic for her, as she proceeded to get her ass kicked by Buddy, the 12-year-old clawless cat. Later in Duchess’ life, when she was big enough to literally eat Buddy, she still recalled her thrashing as a puppy and avoided Buddy like the plague. Of course, they eventually became friends.

    Duchess loved playing fetch. Duchess loved car rides, and it didn’t matter what kind of vehicle you wanted to take her in: car, van, SUV, Yugo, whatever. Duchess loved everyone, man, and child…defying the media-fed stereotypes of the Rottweiler as a devil dog. The mailman loved her. The neighborhood kids loved her. Hell, everyone did.

    When my grandfather passed away in February 2000, a co-worker of mine (whom I had only known for about three months) reluctantly agreed to watch her and my other Rottie while I went out of state to the funeral. Bill told me that the dogs made great chick magnets, as he took them for a ride in his Pontiac Sunfire up to his taekwando dojo.

    Duchess was obedient and knew several commands: sit, stay, down, come here, paw, speak, heel, and “crate” (she slept in a dog crate), as well as a couple of tricks like “Bang” (she’d drop like she was dead) and “high five” (she’d throw her paw up high to touch your palm). She loved chasing squirrels, and she once mauled a black racer in my backyard. On the rare occasion she got to experience snow, she bit at the snowflakes as they fell from they sky, mistaking them for dog treats, I assume.

    Duchess was loyal and affectionate. When my life was turned upside-down a few years ago (those closest to me probably know what I’m talking about), it was nice to have her wanting to play fetch, wanting to lie down on me (all 120 lbs. of her), wanting to go for a walk with me. She made a great temporary distraction from things that were troubling me.

    Duchess lived a full life, experiencing much love and happiness. I was blessed enough to have had her as my dog. But all good things must come to an end, and as a result of declining health that culminated with severe renal failure, Duchess’ dignity needed to be preserved. I consulted with the vet to see what the options were, and they were few and unpromising. She was euthanized today, ending her suffering but beginning mine. However, I loved that dog too much to keep her alive for my selfish reasons.

    I’ve heard it said that dogs are like kids. With all due respect to dog owners current and former, I respectfully disagree. Dogs are not like kids. Dogs may indeed be a part of the family (Lord knows Duchess was a part of mine), but they aren’t like kids. See, barring any horrible tragedy, the vast majority of kids outlive their parents. Most parents will never have to experience the pain of losing a child, and most parents get to spend several decades with their kids before the parents die. We have but a few short years to spend with our canine companions. Dogs are like kids? In my view, I don’t think so. Dogs are like family? Absolutely. I know one family that is feeling a big loss right now as a result of a dog’s death.

    Rest in peace, Duchess. I thank God for the wonderful memories you left me. Suffer no more, my friend.

    Duchess: December 1997 – February 2007

    February 22, 2007 Posted by | non-political | Leave a comment

    When moonbats attack

    We’ve seen moonbats get unhinged on way too many occasions, taking their intense levels of disagreement to personal levels and becoming dangerous. Remember when the moonbats published Michelle Malkin’s home address, phone number, and maps to her house on their nut-osphere? That is but one example.

    Well, we’ve got another example of the “tolerant” left getting up close and personal from Fredricksburg:

    A Fredericksburg man was arrested Saturday on charges he assaulted three strangers at their home during a dispute over politics, police said.

    According to a Fredericksburg police report, the suspect went to a home in the 900 block of Marye Street about 5:30 p.m. after finding one of the resident’s name on a Republican Web site.

    The resident and his two roommates engaged in a discussion with the suspect, though none of them had ever met or had contact with him before.

    The argument got heated and the suspect learned that the young residents had not enlisted in the military and “put their all” behind the Republican-led war effort in Iraq, police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said.

    The suspect refused to leave the home after repeatedly being asked to do so, police said. The three roommates were hit multiple times each as they attempted to get the suspect out of the door, authorities said.

    The suspect continued to be aggressive and disorderly even after a city police officer arrived, the report states.

    Andrew Stone, 23, was charged with three counts of assault and battery. A magistrate released Stone on his own recognizance and he was ordered to have no further contact with the victims.

    It was not clear in the report what political agenda Stone was supporting.

    Uh…what?? Let’s see: he found the victims’ names on a Republican web site, looked them up, went to their house, spewed typical stupid “chickenhawk” gibberish and anti-war drivel before assaulting them. Nah, I give up…exactly what was his political agenda? No liberal media bias, though, right?

    February 21, 2007 Posted by | Iraq, media bias, moonbats | 1 Comment

    Shrillary buys black SC Senator’s endorsement

    I’m sure it’s just a big coinkidink. From Breitbart/AP:

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday denied that her campaign traded money for an endorsement from one of South Carolina’s most influential black politicians.
    In an interview with The Associated Press, Clinton responded to questions about the consulting contract her campaign negotiated with state Sen. Darrell Jackson, who last week endorsed her candidacy rather than of top rivals John Edwards or Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

    “Senator Jackson was someone who was involved in my husband’s campaigns. He was someone we turned to for political advice and counsel and I’m proud to have him on my team,” Clinton told the AP.

    Soon after the endorsement, Jackson acknowledged that his media consulting firm had negotiated a $10,000 per month contract with Clinton’s campaign. Jackson has said he turned down more lucrative contracts from other candidates.

    Although he backed Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, in the 2004 Democratic presidential primary, Jackson said he now supports Clinton because she has the best shot of winning the White House.

    Jackson isn’t backing the Silky Pony, despite doing so in 2004. He isn’t backing Obama, despite their racial heritage and shared political values. He’s backing Her Highness because he genuinely thinks she can win, and that $10k consulting contract she just so happened to throw him had diddly to do with his endorsement. Right…and if you believe that, I’ve got some primo oceanfront property in North Dakota for you to check out.

    February 21, 2007 Posted by | Hillary | Leave a comment

    NYC moonbats: let non-Americans vote

    From the Big Apple:

    Immigrant-rights activists yesterday renewed their push to allow legal noncitizens to vote in the Big Apple.

    A bill that would grant permanent residents and other legal immigrants the right to vote in municipal elections has been stalled in the City Council since last year.

    “More than 50,000 adult noncitizen taxpayers in those two districts are disenfranchised by citizenship voting laws,” said Cheryl Wertz, of New Immigrant Community Empowerment, referring to today’s special election for council seats in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

    Councilman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn), the sponsor of the Voting Rights Restoration Act, said that years ago, when immigrants were mostly European, they had voting rights.

    “Then when the complexion of immigrants changes, then all of a sudden, the laws change,” he said.

    Ron Hayduk, a CUNY professor, concurred, saying immigrants voted in national elections from 1776 through 1926.

    That’s right, ladies and germs: if you are not an American citizen, Charles “Slap Whitey” Barron wants your vote!

    Of course, Barron also sees a racial component to it. For some reason, he thinks our laws were changed in 1926 to prevent brown people from voting. It couldn’t be that we actually expected American citizens to vote (how crazy is THAT concept?). Noooooo, it must be racist. Try going to another country and demand being allowed to vote in their elections. Your demand would be about as well received as mouthwash in Paris!

    The notion of granting one of the biggest privileges of citizenship to non-citizens (which of course seems to include not only permanent legal residents but also temporary residents as well as those who are present in violation of our laws) demeans the substantive concept of citizenship and undercuts the idea and process of naturalization.

    This country is taking leave of its common sense, thanks to the Democrats (and spaghetti-spined Hispandering Republicans).

    February 21, 2007 Posted by | illegal immigration, moonbats, political correctness | Leave a comment

    More government nanny state, but by a "conservative"?

    Pardon me if I think this smells like cronyism and corruption, and of the most perverse kind. From Star Parker:

    Watching politicians and corporations shoot themselves in the foot, you get to taking seriously theories about drives to self destruction. The trouble is that when these folks do it, they tend to take the rest of us with them.

    Such is the case now in the 20 state legislatures considering bills to mandate that pre-teen school girls be vaccinated with Gardasil, a new vaccine against certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) that can cause cervical cancer. These initiatives are being shepherded by lobbying campaigns by Merck, the pharmaceutical giant that developed the vaccine.

    One dose of the vaccine Gardasil, developed by Merck & Co., is displayed Friday, Feb. 2, 2007, in Austin, Texas. Gov. Rick Perry ordered that schoolgirls in Texas must be immunized with the vaccine to help prevent the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. It would make Texas the first state to require the shots. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck) A vaccine that prevents cervical cancer sounds great. But this is a free country. Remember? Unless there is a compelling reason to use government to mandate, Soviet-style, use of a particular product, then medicines, like all products, should be sold on the free market. Consumers can buy them if they want them.

    Not only is there no reason to mandate the use of Gardasil, but the reasoning being used to justify its mandated use is perverse. Among the destructive consequences will be that girls who are most at risk, those who are poor, usually minorities, will be hurt more than helped.

    Government mandated vaccines for communicable diseases, like measles, where an infected child can put others at risk, are justifiable. But the HPV virus which may lead to cervical cancer is spread through sexual contact. It is, as Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, aptly put it, a “lifestyle disease.”

    Where are we going as a country when we start mandating vaccines against diseases resulting from behavior we choose? And where are we when we consider sexual behavior to be private, but its consequences public?

    Merck has to love this picture. They don’t just get guaranteed purchases from those whose insurance companies will foot the bill. But they’ll also get state and federal governments to pay for the low income kids who, if left alone, would never be their customers.

    This is the most expensive vaccine in history (nine times more expensive than a measles vaccination), the incidence of deaths from cervical cancer are miniscule (.65 percent of the annual deaths from cancer in the U.S.), and the vaccine is only eight months on the market with many legitimate concerns, such as side effects and long-term risks and costs, yet to be clarified.

    Organizations such as the Texas Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine oppose mandated use of this vaccine.

    How about the particularly strange situation in Texas? Gov. Rick Perry, a conservative Republican governor, was so anxious to mandate Gardasil vaccinations he by-passed his own legislature, much to its consternation, and with practically zero public debate has done this via executive order.

    Could the fact that the Governor’s ex-chief of staff is Merck’s lobbyist in Austin be relevant here? Or maybe that a government mandate would insulate Merck from exposure to future lawsuits from unforeseen problems with the vaccine. Or, possibly the fact that GlaxoSmithKline is close to bringing a competing vaccine to market explains some of the rush.

    Merck advertises itself as a company “where patients come first.” But if Merck were really placing its patients first it would not be trying to get government to force them to use its product.

    It would be obscene to trivialize the 3,700 expected deaths that occur nationwide each year from cervical cancer. But to mandate use of this vaccine would violate rights of parents and children and justify behavior that leads to more death, pain and problems than caused those by cervical cancer.

    I mean, why stop at this vaccine? Why not force kids to be immunized against other venereal diseases? The possibilities are endless!

    There are thousands of people who believe that vaccines caused their children’s autism. Whether true or not is debatable and not the point. The point is that if these parents didn’t want certain vaccines for their kids out of legitimate (perceived or real) concerns, just who in the hell does the government think it is to tell these parents they must immunize their kids in a way that (a) may compromise the kids’ health due to unknown factors mentioned above, and (b) overrides parental concerns AND responsibilities?

    I don’t know if “conservative” governor Rick Perry is the first governor to sign onto this lobbyist-inspired anti-parent legislation, but I sure as hell hope he’s the last.

    February 20, 2007 Posted by | wingnuts | 1 Comment

    Depends on the meaning of the word "bipartisan", plus a House Resolution parody

    An analysis of Clintonesque word-parsing by Stuart Rothenberg:

    Moments after the House voted against President Bush’s additional deployment of troops to Iraq – the so-called surge, if you are for it or trying to be neutral, or the so-called escalation, if you are opposed to it – House Democrats sent out a flurry of e-mails crowing about the “bipartisan” support for it.

    House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel’s release was titled, “Emanuel Statement on Bipartisan Approval of Iraq Resolution,” while House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s was headlined an only slightly different, “Bipartisan Majority in U.S. House Votes Against the President’s Plan to Escalate the War in Iraq.”

    On the House floor, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, staying true to her party’s talking points, also referred to the resolution as “bipartisan.”

    In fact, support for the Iraq resolution was bipartisan only in the technical sense that the vote on the resolution was not completely along party lines. But it was awfully close to that, and referring to the final vote as bipartisan has more to do with Democratic strategy and nervousness than reality.

    Only 17 Republicans – or 8.4% of GOP House members – joined 225 Democrats in voting for the resolution, while over 90% of Republicans opposed passage of the resolution. Republicans constituted just 7% of the 242 House members who supported the resolution. Only two House Democrats voted with 185 Republicans against the resolution. (Using Pe-loose-screw’s “logic”, doesn’t the fact that two Democrats voted against the resolution mean that the vote against the resolution was also “bipartisan”? – Ed.)

    Democrats had enough votes to pass the resolution without any GOP support, and given national polls showing widespread dissatisfaction with the Bush policy, just 17 Republican votes for the resolution is stunningly small, and little or no indication of a bipartisan consensus.

    Clearly, the vote on the resolution was very much partisan, though with a handful of defections. We can argue over what would constitute a truly bipartisan vote, but 92% of Republicans voting against something and 99% of Democrats voting for it surely doesn’t come close to passing the threshold. By insisting, whether in a press release, in statements on the floor or in interviews after the fact, that the vote was bipartisan, Democratic leaders look silly. (Remember when former Congressman James Traficant (D-OH) was the only Democrat in the House to vote for Dennis Hastert (R-IL) to be Speaker? Could the GOP have argued that Hastert’s election to House Speaker was a “bipartisan” vote? – Ed.)

    But if the vote was overwhelmingly partisan, why don’t Democrats just say so? What’s the big deal?

    The likely answer is that Democrats are trying so hard to avoid allowing Republicans to label their criticism as merely partisan that they won’t even acknowledge the obvious. Instead, they are looking for any opportunity to portray their opposition to the President’s policies as part of the nation’s dissatisfaction with the administration’s Iraq policy.

    While that’s understandable – one of the few ways Democrats could screw up during the next year and a half would be to appear to be basing their opposition on possible political gain and a petty desire to punish Bush politically – there is no indication that Democrats have been too aggressive in criticizing the President or his policies so far.

    In fact, a partisan division over the war probably would help Democrats by further damaging the Republicans between now and next year’s Presidential election. After all, if it isn’t merely President Bush, but also his entire party, that supports the war and ignores public opinion, Democrats would seem to benefit.

    Obviously there are a handful of high profile Republicans who have opposed the Bush policy in Iraq for a considerable time – most notably Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska in the Senate and Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina in the House – and a number of GOP members of Congress have over the past couple of months sounded increasingly critical of Bush policies.

    But the House vote demonstrates that Republicans still have not left the President’s ship, even though it clearly seems to be sinking, and Democrats ought not be so wedded to their talking points’ emphasis on bipartisan opposition to the war that they refer to a “bipartisan resolution” that clearly was nothing of the sort.

    Considering that the House worked really hard on telling us their opinion instead of governing (an act of grandstanding), it should surprise no one that the Dems are giving us this dog-and-pony show called “bipartisanship” to go along with their vote to…do nothing.

    Well, thanks to our friends at The Nose on Your Face, we see the real motivation behind the Dems’ House resolution:

    Publicly, the text of today’s Congressional rejection of the troop surge in Iraq appeared to be a simple 2 point resolution:

    1. Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honourably in Iraq; and

    2. Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W Bush announced on January 10 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.

    TNOYF has learned, however, that Congress included several additional points to the resolution that were not shared with the media. They are:

    3. Congress asserts that, while Points 1 and 2 might appear to be contradictory, they are, in fact, not. To the soldiers in Iraq who ask how this is possible, Congress replies, it is a highly complicated, multi-layered issue which your lack of education makes it difficult for you to understand. (Thanks, John Kerry! – Ed.)

    4. Congress understands that they are voting against the reinforcements wanted by the tired, exhausted mercenaries troops in Iraq. Congress wants the troops in Iraq to know that less soldiers means more extravagant perks for the soldiers already there. Congress once again shows that they support the troops. Congress requests a rousing ”Boo-Ya.”

    5. Congress understands that this resolution may create feelings of sadness and underappreciation among the 20,000 troops that have been called upon for this effort. Congress wants those troops to know that they should not feel this way. Congress would prefer that they feel uncertain and confused.

    6. Congress would like to give a “shout out” to the Iraq insurgency.

    7. Congress understands that should the tide turn in the War in Iraq and the United States complete its mission, anyone who voted for this resolution is going to have some splainin’ to do. That is why Congress has decided that this resolution is non-binding.

    Bookmark The Nose on Your Face now, or I’ll have to call you names…like “you’re French”!

    February 20, 2007 Posted by | defeatism, satire | Leave a comment

    Non-political public service announcement

    There’s a search engine called Goodsearch that is powered by Yahoo which allows you to raise money for the charity of your choice, all at no cost to you. Basically, it works like this: you specify a charity (which it remembers every time you return to Goodsearch), enter a search term, and every search you make (regardless of whether you click any of the search results) generates money to your designated charity.

    My selected charity is the Autism Solution Center of Cordova (which is in the Memphis metro area). I would be honored if you chose that charity, but I would also NOT hold it against you if you selected another charity that may be nearer and dearer to your heart. There are so many great ones out there, to be sure.

    Anyway, I’ve made Goodsearch my homepage, so please consider doing the same. Thanks!

    February 20, 2007 Posted by | non-political | Leave a comment

    Happy Presidents Day

    I will be enjoying this fine day away from the office and away from the home PC, so for those of you who have been drinking Paranoia Cola, if your comments don’t appear for a while, that’s why. I shall resume posting tomorrow.

    May you all have a wonderful day!

    February 19, 2007 Posted by | non-political | Leave a comment

    Another socialism failure in Venezuela

    Yeah, that Hugo sure is doing a helluva job. From the Old Gray Hag:

    Faced with an accelerating inflation rate and shortages of basic foods like beef, chicken and milk, President Hugo Chávez has threatened to jail grocery store owners and nationalize their businesses if they violate the country’s expanding price controls.

    Food producers and economists say the measures announced late Thursday night, which include removing three zeroes from the denomination of Venezuela’s currency, are likely to backfire and generate even more acute shortages and higher prices for consumers. Inflation climbed to an annual rate of 18.4 percent a year in January, the highest in Latin America and far above the official target of 10 to 12 percent.

    “It is surreal that we’ve arrived at a point where we are in danger of squandering a major oil boom,” said José Guerra, a former chief of economic research at Venezuela’s central bank, who left Mr. Chavez’s government in 2004. “If the government insists on sticking to policies that are clearly failing, we may be headed down the road of Zimbabwe.”

    The economy grew by more than 10 percent last year, helping Mr. Chávez glide to a re-election victory in December with 63 percent of the vote. Yet economists who have worked with Mr. Chávez’s government say that soaring public spending is overheating Venezuela’s economy, generating imbalances in the distribution of products from sugar to basic construction materials like wallboard.

    Public spending grew last year by more than 50 percent and has more than doubled since the start of 2004, as Mr. Chávez has channeled oil revenues into social programs and projects like bridges, highways, trains, subways, museums and, in a departure for a country where baseball reigns supreme, soccer stadiums.

    In an indicator of concern with Mr. Chávez’s economic policies, which included nationalizing companies in the telephone and electricity industries, foreign direct investment was negative in the first nine months of 2006. The last year Venezuela had a net investment outflow was in 1986.

    Shortages of basic foods have been sporadic since the government strengthened price controls in 2003 after a debilitating strike by oil workers. But in recent weeks, the scarcity of items like meat and chicken has led to a panicked reaction by federal authorities as they try to understand how such shortages could develop in a seemingly flourishing economy.

    Economic ignorance abounds here, by both socialists and the NYT (pardon the redundancy). It’s simple, oh functional economic illiterates: if you keep food retailers (or any other business owners) out of a profit margin, do you think they’re going to work for free? The more that government tries monkeying with prices and basic supply and demand, the more damage it does to the very people that government purports to want to help.

    Continuing:

    With shoppers limited to just two large packages of sugar, a black market in sugar has developed among street vendors in parts of Caracas. “This country is going to turn into Cuba, or Chávez will have to give in,” said Cándida de Gómez, 54, a shopper at a private supermarket in Los Palos Grandes, a district in the capital.

    José Vielma Mora, the chief of Seniat, the government’s tax agency, oversaw a raid this month on a warehouse here where officials seized about 165 tons of sugar. Mr. Vielma said the raid exposed hoarding by vendors who were unwilling to sell the sugar at official prices (in other words, they wanted to make a profit…those bastards! – Ed.). He and other officials in Mr. Chávez’s government have repeatedly blamed the shortages on producers, intermediaries and grocers (aka the market! – Ed.).

    Those in the food industry argue that the price controls prevented them from making a profit after inflation rose and the value of Venezuela’s currency plunged in black market trading in recent weeks. The bolívar, the country’s currency, fell more than 30 percent to about 4,400 to the dollar in unofficial trading following Mr. Chávez’s nationalization of Venezuela’s main telephone company, CANTV, and its largest electric utility, Electricidad de Caracas.

    Fears that more private companies could be nationalized have put further pressure on the currency as rich Venezuelans try to take money out of the country. Concern over capital flight has made the government jittery, with vague threats issued to newspapers that publish unofficial currency rates (officially the bolívar is quoted at about 2,150 to the dollar).

    “There seems to be a basic misunderstanding in Chávez’s government of what is driving scarcity and inflation,” said Francisco Rodríguez, a former chief economist at Venezuela’s National Assembly who teaches at Wesleyan University.

    “There are competent people in the government who know that Chávez needs to lower spending if he wants to defeat these problems,” Mr. Rodríguez said. “But there are few people in positions of power who are willing to risk telling him what he needs to hear.”

    Take note, Dubya! The left thinks that Chavez is wonderful, and since Hugo threatens newspapers that publish anything that could be seen as detrimental to Hugo’s image, one can logically conclude that the left approves of such censorship. Therefore, if Bush were to do the same thing to the NYT or other leftwing fishwrap that Hugo is doing to his newspapers, the left would support the move, no?

    February 17, 2007 Posted by | economic ignorance, Hugo Chavez, socialism | Leave a comment

    Dem guv doesn’t get memo, forgets to blame Bush

    If PA Dem guv Ed Rendell keeps this up, he’ll be put on liberal “double secret probation”! From Philly.com:

    Gov. Ed Rendell apologized Friday for the state’s lackluster response to a massive traffic backup on Interstate 78, saying that hundreds of motorists became stranded Wednesday and Thursday because of an “almost total breakdown in communication” among state agencies.

    Calling the situation “totally unacceptable,” Rendell announced an investigation into what went wrong – including why it took until 6 p.m. Thursday to close all ramps onto I-78 in eastern Pennsylvania. That was more than 24 hours after the worst of the Valentine’s Day storm had passed, leaving 50 miles of jammed traffic in its wake.

    “Everyone involved in the state response was a state employee and therefore I am to blame,” Rendell told a news conference in Philadelphia. He tapped James Lee Witt, the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to help lead the review.

    The mea culpa was an abrupt reversal for Rendell, who had insisted on Thursday that state government responded properly to the storm and that “Mother Nature is the only one to blame,” as spokeswoman Kate Philips put it.

    Now if only those bumbling Dems that run Louisiana and Chocolate City (for those of you on the left, that would be LA guv Kathleen Blanco and N.O. mayor Ray “School Bus” Nagin) could take a cue from Rendell and own up to their own mistakes, rather than blaming their failures on Bush, that would be a refreshing change of pace.

    February 16, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

    Zarqawi’s replacement caught

    More bad news for the left, I see. From MSNBC:

    The leader of al-Qaida in Iraq was wounded and an aide was killed in a clash Thursday with Iraqi forces north of Baghdad, the Interior Ministry spokesman said.

    The clash occurred near Balad, a major U.S. base about 50 miles north of the capital, Brig. Gen Abdul-Karim Khalaf said.

    Khalaf said al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri was wounded and his aide, identified as Abu Abdullah al-Majemaai, was killed.

    Khalaf declined to say how Iraqi forces knew al-Masri had been injured, and there was no report on the incident from U.S. authorities.

    Deputy Interior Minister Maj. Gen. Hussein Ali Kamal said he had no information about such a clash or that al-Masri had been involved.

    Al-Masri took over the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq after its charismatic leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike last June in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad.

    “Charasmatic leader”? Yeah, that Zarqawi was a real charmer when he wasn’t decapitating infidels and raining evil on innocent people.

    February 16, 2007 Posted by | religion of peace | Leave a comment

    Profile in moonbattery: John Cougar Menstrual-cramp

    This would be another great addition to the Shut Up & Sing Brigade. From In the Bullpen:

    Singer John Mellencamp on the ‘Charlie Rose Show’ said the removal of the Taliban after 9/11 was wrong, but further Mellencamp stated if the United States knew exactly where Osama bin Laden was it would be wrong to drop a bomb on OBL’s head.

    Mellencamp: I think what would have been appropriate is exactly what we’re going to have to do right now.

    Rose: What’s that?

    Mellencamp: Talk to people.

    Rose: Who do we go talk to? Do we call him up and say, “Osama, can we talk about this? We’re not real happy about this. Can we talk about it?”

    Mellencamp then said we should talk to “the Muslims” and ask “where are we so far apart here?” (Hint: They want us to die, and we don’t want to die. Aside from that, all is peachy. – Ed.)

    Later in the interview Mellencamp says he doesn’t know how he’d respond to the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II because he doesn’t really know what happened. (Condensed version: Japan dropped some bombs in a sneak attack on our fleet in Hawaii, killing a bunch of Americans. Glad I could help. – Ed.) He says he’s read books, but he doesn’t know if history is always right.

    Good point, Menstrualcramp. Karl Rove probably went back in time and rewrote history books to blame Japan for Pearl Harbor, since it was probably a Prescott Bush inside job, right?


    JCM’s foreign policy results

    February 15, 2007 Posted by | dhimmitude, moonbats, religion of peace | 1 Comment

    Libertarian influence

    While I do not share the Libertarian (capital “L”) Party’s views on immigration (they support open borders, which I think is suicidal) or military action in Afghanistan (even most liberals initially supported that), I share their basic philosophical goals. John Fund has a good column on libertarianism (little “l”) in America today:

    Scores of books have been written on the role of communists and socialists in the U.S., dour chronicles of welcome failure. But very few writers have devoted much attention to the role of libertarians, a more appealing and optimistic group of thinkers, political activists and ordinary citizens who believe that respect for the individual and the spontaneous order of market forces are the key to progress and social well-being.

    The neglect is strange, given how much libertarians and their limited-government logic have shaped the culture and economy of the U.S. The ideas of John Locke and David Hume animated the writings of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Libertarian principles kept what we think of as “big government” in check for much of the 19th century and well into the 20th, despite tariffs and war. The federal income tax officially arrived, in permanent form, as late as 1913. Coolidge and his Treasury secretary, Andrew Mellon, took a famously minimalist approach to governing. Of course, we now live in a post-FDR age, with government programs everywhere. Still, the libertarian impulse is part of our political culture. “I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism,” Ronald Reagan declared. (A great endorsement, in my view. – Ed.)

    Today, pollsters find only 2% of people refer to themselves as libertarians, but some 15% of voters hold broadly libertarian views and can be a swing factor. In the photo-finish presidential race of 2000, some 72% of libertarian-minded voters supported George W. Bush. Last November, many of them abandoned the GOP, disillusioned by its profligate ways, and helped hand control of Congress to Democrats.

    Libertarian ideas have enjoyed a surge of respect lately, helped by the collapse of Soviet central planning, the success of lower tax rates and the appeals of various figures in popular culture (e.g., Drew Carey, John Stossel and Clint Eastwood) who want government out of both their bedroom and wallet. Even so, libertarianism is often not the people’s choice. Part of the problem is the inertia of the status quo. “In a world where government has its hand in almost everything,” Mr. Doherty writes, “it requires a certain leap of imagination to see how things might work if it didn’t.” Many people couldn’t make that leap when, for example, economists proposed channeling some Social Security payroll taxes into private accounts.

    Today the Internet has become, Mr. Doherty notes, an efficient way to transmit libertarian ideas and show their practical application. (With its decentralized, free-wheeling ethos, the Internet is itself libertarian without even trying to be.) Jimmy Wales, the man who started the interactive online encyclopedia Wikipedia, believes that “facts can help set the world free.” The largest retail market in the world is eBay, which allows anyone to buy and sell without a government license.

    Louis Rosetto, the “radical capitalist” who founded Wired magazine, notes that, even if libertarian ideas must now push against a statist status quo, “contrarians end up being the drivers of change.” Among the most ornery contrarians, he says, are the libertarians “laboring in obscurity, if not in derision.” They have managed “to keep a pretty pure idea going, adapting it to circumstances and watching it be validated by the march of history.” Mr. Doherty has rescued libertarianism from its own obscurity, eloquently capturing the appeal of the “pure idea,” its origins in great minds and the feistiness of its many current champions.

    February 15, 2007 Posted by | libertarian | Leave a comment