Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Geithner Paradigm and Kathleen Sebelius

So, the Senate just approved Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of Kansas and pro-partial birth abortion supporting tax-dodging cheat to be the new Health and Human Services Secretary.

The first effort, democrat former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) was dropped based on the stupidity this multi-millionaire lawyer exhibited in handling his taxes... much like the tax-criminal in charge of the IRS, Tim Geithner, handled his.

Apparently, as I pointed out when refining the Geithner Paradigm, if you're a democrat, you can fail to pay your taxes and it costs you nothing in terms of governing.
"Can you commit a felony against the IRS and get a job as a result? Can you defraud an employer and not have that count against you, just the tiniest bit, when you are up for one of the most important positions in government today?"
So now, we get yet another crook in charge of a major part of our government. I guess "competency" has no place in the rat's nest that is today's White House.

Thoughts on Specter's defecation.

So, Arlen Specter has formalized what we all already knew: that he is a democrat.

This is a move of self-preservation. The polls showed him to be road kill in Pennsylvania in '10. Like many politicians of all stripes, he would sell his children to be elected and re-elected.

Specter had the opportunity to stop President Obama from burying us under a heap of debt that generations will not be capable of paying. His rank hypocrisy (Specter attempted a rule change after Jim Jeffords (who is he? Where is he now?) that would stop the very thing he's doing during a senator's term) is based on ideological cowardice... and the idea that the GOP had somehow "moved away from him" is enough to make a sane person blow chunks.

For a coward, this move is inevitable. Earlier, I advocated that our new GOP leader, Micheal Steele, actually expel that waste of skin... and take the other two with him (Snowe and Collins) Had he done that, the result would have been the same, but the GOP would have controlled the circumstances and the message. Now, the shoe is on the other foot... we've arrived at that point, but we got there through Specter's cowardly convenience.

Among other accomplishments, Specter "forced the military to purchase a less-effective personal decontamination substance and system than another available process that the military actually wants; a system less effective because it is a non-chemical agent neutralizing form of charcoal as opposed to a chemical-agent neutralizing lotion;" (Specter only brecieved $47,000 in campaign contributions for that bit of perfidy)

Whether Specter votes with the majority as an alleged Republican or he votes with them as a part of the socialist cabal running (Or is it "ruining?") this country makes no difference. Now, at least, we can count on that particular leftist to vote leftist instead of guessing as to which way his particular wind blows. With any luck at all, Tweedle Dumb (Collins) and Tweedle Dumber (Snowe) will go with him.

None of them will be missed.

Specter to switch to democrats.

As a traitor to everything Republican, to have this scuzball finally formalize his treason only results in a "yawn" and a "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out." As one of the morons that caved on the porkulus bill, he helped bury us in trillions of debt by supporting the empty suits programs to pay off his political supporters.

Now, he formalizes his betrayal. And he deserves everything he gets as a result.

Like most "moderates," (See Sam Reed) to actually be a member of the GOP is to do more than have an "R" after your name.

I'm sure Specter will get his 30 pieces of silver and like his historical fore runner, Benedict Arnold, he will be consigned to the footnote of history he so richly deserves.

Arlan , you were always A DEMOCRAT. Now, your civil union is complete.


The Seattle Times

Politics & Government

Sources: Sen. Specter intends to switch parties

Several officials say veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania intends to switch parties, advancing his own hopes of winning a new term next year while pushing Democrats one step closer to a 60-vote filibuster-resistant majority.

AP Special Correspondent


Several officials say veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania intends to switch parties, advancing his own hopes of winning a new term next year while pushing Democrats one step closer to a 60-vote filibuster-resistant majority.

The sources said an announcement could come later in the day - or Wednesday. The officials who provided the information did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss his plans.

Specter is a 79-year-old veteran of five Senate terms, and one of only a handful of moderate Republicans left in Congress in a party made up largely of conservatives.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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TRB: Typical RINO (Republican-In-Name-Only) Behavior...not that the Republicans are anything to celebrate about these days. Sooner or later, the... Posted on April 28, 2009 at 9:21 AM by Robert E. Lee. Jump to comment

Monday, April 27, 2009

The bigotry of gay marriage supporters is hard to fathom.

The latest dust up involved trashing President Obama for his pro-marriage views in a way I didn't think was possible. Given how rabid the support of the fringe left was for the empty suit, it's hard to believe they could turn on him this way.

Greg Gutfeld of the Daily Gut lays it all out in his Gregalogue: The Uncommon Bravery of Guliana Rancic.

So, it's official: Barack Obama is a bigot.

In a brave stance not seen since the beginning of time, a number of celebrities, journalists and bloggers have called President Obama out on his ignorant, narrow-minded views toward gay marriage.

First, it was renegade blogger Perez Hilton who, after noting Obama`s Christian beliefs, called our President a "stupid bitch." Shortly after that, pageant judge Alicia Jacobs rose up and said she would not have voted for Obama because of his intolerant and freakish views. Meanwhile, outspoken blogs like Queerty and Gawker have started using the b-word against Barack, calling him an out and out bigot. And then – out of nowhere – the Miss California USA pageant has urged Obama to apologize to the gay community! Finally - in possibly the bravest action of all, hard-hitting E News anchor Guliana Rancic tweeted that President Obama is an ignorant disgrace.

This is amazing stuff, people. By coming out against the President over his negative views on gay marriage, these folks are putting their livelihoods at risk.

Okay, they really haven`t actually said Obama by name. Instead, they focused their wrath on Carrie Prejean, the Miss USA contestant who views about gay marriage are entirely the same as President Obama`s. But if Prejean is a bigot for her views, and Obama holds the same views, then clearly Obama is a bigot too.

If A = B, and B = C, then A= C. I learned that when I was ten.

Of course, you won`t hear any of this from those brave voices I mentioned above. I guess views about gay marriage matter if you`re in a beauty pageant, but not if you`re in the White House. Or maybe these folks hold different standards for blonde girls than they do for black dudes.

Meaning, they lower the bar for Obama. Which you could call racist. After all, lowering expectations for someone because of who they are really is the definition of bigotry.

But I prefer not to think that way. Fact is, people like Rancic, Jacobs and Perez are heroes. They know how much tougher it is to beat up on a white Christian chick, than go after the most popular president since Morgan Freeman in "Deep Impact."

For that they deserve a pie of some kind.

Sometimes, judges mystify me.

I admit it, I have a degree in government/political science. Much of what I learned was based on how concepts are SUPPOSED to be implemented when it comes to governing. Some of it was political philosophy, or how some believe that their perspective is the one that should be followed.

So, when I open up a newspaper and see a headline that says "Judge says tax increase should have been considered to balance county's budget," I have to ask myself: "What kind of a moron would say such a thing... and why would a newspaper report it?

Judges have a certain amount of power under our governmental system. They certainly interpret the laws they're asked to, well, judge. But in this instance, this judge's take on what the county "should" have done is just his opinion, no more worthy of consideration than, say, Joe Sixpack's complaints that taxes are too high.

How the Cowlitz County Commissioners resolved their budget shortfall is really none of this judge's business; much like how this judge were to rule in, say, a given murder trial on the admissibility of a weapon is none of the commissioner's business.

That the commissioners made this decision is not subject to Judge Jim Warme's review or approval. If the Judge would like to enter into the business of government, then he should feel free to engage in running for the position of county commissioner like anyone else.

As long as the actions of the commissioners concerning policies, budgets and personnel are LEGAL, then the judges should exercise their judicial discretion and keep quiet. Were the commissioners, or any commissioner, to publicly criticize a judge's decisions in areas that do not apply to them, these same judges would flip out and loose their minds.

This should apply particularly to judges who should be setting the example for ALL government employees by accepting pay cuts as they do their part to help out in this time of recession.

This judge feels himself to be above all that.

While I do not live in Cowlitz County, I certainly hope that when the time comes to re-elect this guy, I certainly hope that the people of that county remember this judicial arrogance and toss him onto the ash-heap of local political history.

TDN.com logo

Judge says tax increase should have been considered to balance county's budget

Sunday, April 26, 2009 8:34 AM PDT

By Barbara LaBoe

Another Superior Court Judge is questioning how Cowlitz County commissioners resolved a $4.5 million budget shortfall, saying taxpayers should have been asked to raise taxes instead of making county employees bear the brunt.

A commissioner replied that Judge Jim Warme’s suggestions are unrealistic and uninformed.

Warme said late last week that he didn’t think the commissioners' 10-percent, across-the-board cuts were appropriate or fair. Instead, he said interest-bearing warrants should have been issued in the short term, and voters should have been asked to help as well.

“This is government,” Warme said. “It’s supposed to be government paid for by the people. If everyone increased their tax burden, sales tax or property tax by 5 percent, then the problem is passed around by everyone and not borne by the people working at the county.”

Warme said he understands raising taxes might not be popular right now but said cutting county salaries and programs isn’t “fair or very courageous or appropriate.”


Sunday, April 26, 2009

100 Days, 100 Mistakes

100 Days, 100 Mistakes

Last updated: 4:44 amApril 26, 2009 Posted: 12:38 pmApril 25, 2009

1. "Obama criticized pork barrel spending in the form of 'earmarks,' urging changes in the way that Congress adopts the spending proposals. Then he signed a spending bill that contains nearly 9,000 of them, some that members of his own staff shoved in last year when they were still members of Congress. 'Let there be no doubt, this piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business, and the beginning of a new era of responsibility and accountability,' Obama said." -- McClatchy, 3/11

2. "There is no doubt that we've been living beyond our means and we're going to have to make some adjustments." -- Obama during the campaign.

3. This year's budget deficit: $1.5 trillion.

4. Asks his Cabinet to cut costs in their departments by $100 million -- a whopping .0027%!

5. "The White House says the president is unaware of the tea parties." -- ABC News, 4/15

6. "Mr. Obama is an accomplished orator but is becoming known in America as the 'teleprompt president' over his reliance on the machine when he gives a speech." -- Sky News, 3/18

7. In early February, the 2010 census was moved out of the Department of Commerce and into the White House, politicizing how federal aid is distributed and electoral districts are drawn.

8. Obama taps Nancy Killefer for a new administration job, First Chief Performance Officer -- to police government spending. But it surfaces that Killefer had performance issues of her own -- a tax lien was slapped on her DC home in 2005 for failure to pay unemployment compensation tax on household help. She withdrew.

9. Turkey tried to block the appointment of Anders Fogh Rasmussen as new NATO secretary general because he didn't properly punish the Danish cartoonist who caricatured Mohammed. France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's Angela Merkel were outraged; Obama said he supported Turkey's induction into the European Union.

10. . . . and he never mentioned the Armenian genocide.

11. The picture of Obama and Hugo Chavez shaking hands.

12. Hugo Chavez gave him the anti-American screed "The Open Veins of Latin America." Obama didn't remark upon it. At least it wasn't DVDs.

13. Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega went on a 50-minute anti-American rant, calling Obama "president of an empire." Obama didn't leave the room. "I thought it was 50 minutes long. That's what I thought," he said.

14. Executives at AIG get $165 million in bonuses, despite receiving an $173 billion taxpayer bailout.

15. "For months, the Obama administration and members of Congress have known that insurance giant AIG was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while living off government bailouts. It wasn't until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back." -- Associated Press, 3/18

16. "After pushing Congress for weeks to hurry up and pass the massive $787 billion stimulus bill, President Obama promptly took off for a three-day holiday getaway." -- New York Post, 2/15


"Obama soared to victory on the hopeful promise of a new era of bipartisanship. During his inaugural address he even promised an 'end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.'

"Too bad it took all of three days for the promise to ring hollow.

"Start with Obama's big meeting with top congressional leaders on his signature legislation -- the stimulus -- on the Friday after his inauguration. Listening to Republican concerns about overspending was a nice gesture -- until he shut down any hopes of real dialogue by crassly telling Republican leaders: 'I won.' Even the White House's leaking of the comment was a slap at the Republican leadership, who'd expected Obama to adhere to the custom of keeping private meetings with congressional leadership, well, private.

"It's only gone downhill from there. The stimulus included zero Republican recommendations, and failed to get a single House Republican vote.

"It's not just the tactic of using Republicans for bipartisan photo-ops, and then cutting them loose before partisan decisions, that irks Obama's opponents. The new president wasted no time rushing forward with policies and legislation guaranteed to drive Republicans nuts. The first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- a partisan hot-button that drew all of eight Republican supporters in the entire Congress. Then there was the swift reversal of Bush policies on abortion and embryonic-stem-cell research -- issues dear to the Republican base.

"And when Obama and the Democrats in Congress took up SCHIP -- the children's health-insurance bill that Republicans say vastly expands government's role in health care -- they had an easy chance for real bipartisanship. After all, the bill had been hashed out in the previous Congress, and a bipartisan accord was reached before President Bush responded with a veto. Did the Obama team push for the compromise version in the 111th Congress? Nope. They went back to the drawing board, ramming through the Democrats' dream version.

"Of course, the lack of bipartisanship isn't limited to Capitol Hill. Obama has taken gratuitous swipes at the Republicans who recently decamped Washington, blaming President Bush for everything from the economy and the war to the lack of sufficient puppies and rainbows. And who could forget the Rush Limbaugh flap -- in which Obama's top advisers, including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, orchestrated a public relations campaign meant to undermine the Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele, by framing talk-radio personality Limbaugh as the real head of the Republican Party.

"For now, Obama's back-pedal on the bipartisanship promise just makes him look insincere. But the real consequences of the mistake will be felt soon enough. As Presidents Bush and Clinton could tell him, congressional majorities do change -- and at some point, Obama will need Republicans on his side. He'd be smart to spend his second 100 days making up for the serious snubs of his first."

-- Sarah Palin is the governor of Alaska

18. "The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today." -- Department of Homeland Security intelligence report

19. Nixes a "buy American" provision in the stimulus bill.

20. "Yes, Canada is not Mexico, it doesn't have a drug war going on. Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it's been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there." -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The 9/11 hijackers did not come across the Canada border

21. "The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system. The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as 'the largest middle-class tax increase in history.' " -- New York Times, 3/14


"During his historic inaugural speech, Barack Obama promised to usher in a transformational age where hope would replace fear, unity would overtake partisanship, and change would sweep aside the status quo. But early in President Obama's first 100 days it is obvious that the only thing that is changing is the Candidate of Change, himself.

"The same politician who proclaimed during his inauguration that 'on this day we have chosen hope over fear' soon warned Americans that the US economy would be forever destroyed if the stimulus bill was voted down.

"Why was it that same man who promised to put Americans' interests ahead of his own political ambitions chose instead to use the suffering of citizens to advance his agenda?

"Maybe he was following the guidance of Rahm Emanuel, who famously said, 'You never want to waste a good crisis.'

"They didn't.

"The White House's warnings were so over-the-top that Bill Clinton felt compelled to warn the new president against making such grim pronouncements. Americans would quickly warn that the White House would not channel FDR's eternal optimism but rather embrace the gloomy worldview of Edgar Allen Poe.

"The Candidate of Hope also quickly adopted the Nixonian worldview that Americans voted their fears rather than their hopes. Over Mr. Obama's first 100 days, that cynical calculation paid off politically for a White House that seemed most interested in appeasing the most liberal members of his Democratic Party.

"I expected more from Barack Obama. For the sake of my country, I hope I get it from the new president over the next 100 days."

-- Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and author of "The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America's Promise" (Crown Forum), due out June 9.

23. Sanjay Gupta was in discussions to become Surgeon General, but the TV personality withdrew after he was criticized for his flimsy political record.

24. Rasmussen finds 58% of Americans believe the Obama administration's release of CIA memos endangers the national security of the United States.

25. Only 28% think the Obama administration should do any further investigating of how the Bush administration treated terrorism suspects.

26. "Obama thanked CIA employees for their work and said they're invaluable to national security. He explained his decision to release the memos, then told everyone not to feel bad because he was now acknowledging potential mistakes. Theirs, not his. 'That's how we learn,' Obama said, as though soothing a room full of fourth-graders." -- The Oklahoman, 4/23

27. By releasing the torture memos, Obama opened American citizens up to international tribunals. A UN lawyer said the US is obliged to prosecute lawyers who drafted the memos or else violate the Geneva Conventions.

28. In their first meeting, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave Obama a carved ornamental penholder from the timbers of the anti-slavery ship HMS Gannet. Obama gave him 25 DVDs that don't work in Europe.


"Richardson's value in Obama's Cabinet had everything to do with appearances. First, he was the Hispanic pick. Second, because Richardson had run against Obama for President, tapping him for the Cabinet helped the media write the Obama-Lincoln comparisons by burnishing the 'Team of Rivals' image.

"But Richardson withdrew before Obama was even inaugurated when news came out about a criminal investigation involving David Rubin, president of a firm named Chambers, Dunhill, Rubin & Co. (although there was no Chambers or Dunhill), who had donated at least $110,000 to Richardson's campaign committees and had also profited from $1.5 million in contracts from the state government.

"This was an early warning sign about Obama's vetting process (various tax problems and the Daschle problem would reveal this as a theme), but picking Richardson to run Commerce also highlighted that Obama and Richardson's promise of 'public-private partnerships' -- such as Detroit bailouts, Wall Street bailouts, and green energy--was an open door for corruption and was at odds with Obama's promise to diminish the influence of lobbyists.

"The Richardson mistake was one of Obama's first, and it was emblematic. Richardson embodied Obama's attention to self-image and the problems inherent in his vision of an intimate business-government connection."

-- Tim Carney is a Washington Examiner columnist

30. Timothy Geithner nomination as Secretary of Treasury was almost torpedoed when it was discovered he had failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes. He also employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper. He was confirmed anyway.

31. . . . Not so lucky, Annette Nazareth, who was nominated for Deputy Treasury Secretary. She withdrew her name for undisclosed "personal reasons" after a monthlong probe into her taxes . . .
32. . . . or Caroline Atkinson, who withdrew as nominee for Undersecretary of International Affairs in Treasury Department, with a source blaming the long vetting process. Geithner still has a skeleton crew at Treasury, with no one qualified -- or willing -- to take jobs there.

33. "Barack Obama has been embroiled in a cronyism row after reports that he intends to make Louis Susman, one of his biggest fundraisers, the new US ambassador in London. The selection of Mr. Susman, a lawyer and banker from the president's hometown of Chicago, rather than an experienced diplomat, raises new questions about Mr Obama's commitment to the special relationship with Britain." -- Telegraph, 2/22

34. Obama's doom-and-gloom comments and budget bill push the Dow below 7,000, from which it's only recently recovered.

35. "You're sitting here. And you're -- you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, 'I mean, he's sitting there just making jokes about money--' How do you deal with -- I mean: Explain. Are you punch-drunk?" -- Steve Kroft, "60 Minutes," 3/22

36. "We have begun to modernize 75% of all federal building space, which has the potential to reduce long-term energy costs by billions of dollars on behalf of taxpayers. We are providing grants to states to help weatherize hundreds of thousands of homes, which will save the families that benefit about $350 each year. That's like a $350 tax cut." -- Obama, describing something that doesn't cut taxes.

37. "The Obama administration has directed defense officials to sign a pledge stating they will not share 2010 budget data with individuals outside the federal government." -- Defense News, 2/19

38. Backtracking on a campaign promise he made to black farmers, Obama significantly lowered the amount of money they could claim in a discrimination settlement against the Agricultural Department. "I can't figure out for the life of me why the president wouldn't want to implement a bill that he fought for as a US senator," said John Boyd, head of the National Black Farmers Association.

39. "I've been practicing bowling. I bowled a 129. It was like the Special Olympics or something." -- Obama on "The Tonight Show"

40. Obama lifts travel and remittance restrictions on Cuba.

41. Obama considers dropping the embargo on Cuba.

42. After warming signs from Raul Castro, Fidel Castro says Obama "misinterpreted" his brother's words, and that Cuba would not be willing to negotiate about human rights.

43. Obama is considering dropping a key demand to Iran, allowing it to keep nuclear facilities open during negotiations.

44. In a letter to Dmitri Medvedev, Obama offered to drop plans for a missile shield in Europe in exchange for Russia's help in resolving the nuclear weapons issue in Iran.

45. Medvedev said he would not "haggle" on Iran and the missile shield.

46. Obama asked Congress for an extra $83.4 billion to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a special funding measure of the kind he opposed while in the senate. As a candidate, Obama promised to cut the cost of military operations.

47. After trying to woo Europe as the "anti-Bush," Obama made an impassioned plea for more troops in Afghanistan. "Europe should not simply expect the United States to shoulder that burden alone," he said. "This is a joint problem it requires a joint effort." Only the UK offered substantial help, most others refused.

48. "While the online question portion of the White House town hall was open to any member of the public with an Internet connection, the five fully identified questioners called on randomly by the president in the East Room were anything but a diverse lot. They included: a member of the pro-Obama Service Employees International Union, a member of the Democratic National Committee who campaigned for Obama among Hispanics during the primary; a former Democratic candidate for Virginia state delegate who endorsed Obama last fall in an op-ed in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star; and a Virginia businessman who was a donor to Obama's campaign in 2008." -- Washington Post, 3/27

49. Obama bows to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at a G-20 meeting in London.

50. "It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah." -- An Obama aide


"Has it really only been 100 days? In many ways it feels like a lot longer.

"That's partly because the new administration remains in campaign mode most of the time. Now that's not in itself a bad thing if you can do that and accomplish your agenda. But what's happened is that a popular new president has laid out a very bold agenda in the midst of an economic crisis, and I don't think Congress is going to get a lot of work done on those big ticket items this year. They'll eke out a couple of small wins on issues like healthcare and maybe energy, but the Democrats will hail them as big victories. The Republicans have been working like a cohesive and loyal opposition party, and they need to continue to outline positive new ideas like the recent one to help grow American's savings.

"The early stumbles on the administration's high profile nominations -- Daschle and Richardson for just to examples -- acted like weights around their ankles. In addition, the partisan shots from the White House were unbecoming and I don't think we'll see more of that. Our allies and our enemies -- heck, even we ourselves -- are trying to understand the new foreign policy direction, which in some ways seems to be change just for the sake of change. The next moves by the leaders of other countries -- like Iran, North Korea and Venezuela -- probably will prove that really not much will change just because America has a new president.

"In many ways, it's the next 100 days that will tell us more about our new president and what he'll be able to accomplish than we can forecast based on the first 100 days."

-- Dana Perino was White House press secretary in the Bush Administration

52. "We can't afford to make perfect the enemy of the absolutely necessary." -- Obama, describing the stimulus bill

53. Three candidates for ambassador to the Vatican -- including Caroline Kennedy -- were turned down by the Holy See because they supported abortion, according to reports.

54. After saying he wouldn't have lobbyists in his administration, Obama made 17 exceptions in the first two weeks in office.

55. . . . including Tom Daschle, who worked as a top lobbyist yet was going to be appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services -- until his failure to pay income taxes derailed his nomination.

56. For an April 14 speech at Georgetown, the administration asked the university to cover up all signs and symbols -- including the letters "IHS" in gold, a symbol for Jesus.

57. Samantha Power, who resigned from the Obama campaign after calling Hillary Rodham Clinton a "monster," was hired to a position on the National Security Council.

58. "Chicago has yet to recoup the $1.74 million cost of President Obama's victory celebration in Grant Park -- despite a burgeoning $50.5 million budget shortfall that threatens more layoffs and union concessions." -- Chicago Sun-Times, 2/20

59. Firing Rick Wagoner as president of GM.

60. Threatening to fire Vikram Pandit as CEO of Citigroup.

61. Threatening to fire anyone the administration doesn't like from any company.

62. Not adopting a dog from a shelter.

63. "The GAO study asserts that officials from most of the states surveyed 'expressed concerns regarding the lack of Recovery Act funding provided for accountability and oversight. Due to fiscal constraints, many states reported significant declines in the number of oversight staff -- limiting their ability to ensure proper implementation and management of Recovery Act funds.' " -- ABC News, 4/23

64. "The National Newspaper Publishers Association named Obama 'Newsmaker of the Year.' The president is to receive the award from the federation of black community newspapers in a White House ceremony this afternoon. The Obama White House has closed the press award ceremony to the press." -- Los Angeles Times, 3/20

65. "Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards." -- Attorney General Eric Holder

66. "I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any seances." -- Obama, on consulting with only "living" presidents

67. Obama quietly announced that he would not press for new labor and environmental regulations in the North American Free Trade Agreement, going back on a campaign promise.


"One of Obama's most poignant missed opportunities was in not using the historic $787 million stimulus package to reorder state and local government's spending priorities. As states and cities continue to spend ceaselessly and without results on education and healthcare, they're crowding out investments in the physical infrastructure that the private sector needs to rebuild the economy.

"In the stimulus, of the more than $200 billion that went directly to states and cities, nearly 70% went to education and healthcare spending. Only 24% went to infrastructure spending.

"But the states and cities in the most trouble already spend way too much on education and healthcare, pushing taxes up and sending private industry away. They don't spend nearly enough on infrastructure, which attracts the private sector and builds the real economy.

"As David Walker, former comptroller general of the US, said at the Regional Plan Association's annual meeting a week ago, nationwide, we are the 'highest in the world' on education. We are 'the highest in the world' on healthcare. 'Nobody comes even close.' On infrastructure, by contrast, we are 'below average' in both critical new investments and in much-needed maintenance spending.

"And, as Democratic governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell said at the same conference, when President Dwight Eisenhower left office, infrastructure spending was about 12.5% of non-military domestic spending. Today, it's about 2.5%.

"This shortfall is obvious to anyone who's ridden on an "express train" to the outer boroughs or driven on the Cross Bronx Expressway recently. But in New York, as elsewhere, the stimulus money has just allowed the state to ramp up spending on its wasteful, inhumane Medicaid program and its nosebleed public-school spending.

"Meanwhile, the subways are about to crumble into oblivion -- taking the economy with them. The same is true of decaying infrastructure in California and in aging states across the nation.

"The stimulus was a once-in-a-generation chance to change this. Instead, it made the situation worse."

-- Nicole Gelinas is a contributing editor to City Journal

69. "The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to overrule Michigan v. Jackson, the 1986 Supreme Court decision that held that if police may not interrogate a defendant after the right to counsel has attached, if the defendant has a lawyer or has requested a lawyer. This isn't the first time the Justice Department, under President Obama, has sought to limit defendants' rights." -- TalkLeft blog

70. "By any measure, my administration has inherited a fiscal disaster." -- Obama

71. "Ahh, see. I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here." -- Brushing off questions from the White House press corps

72. On Earth Day, Obama took two flights on Air Force One and four on Marine One to get to Iowa, burning more than 9,000 gallons of fuel.

73. "President Obama's plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs for the treatment of troops injured in service has infuriated veterans groups who say the government is morally obligated to pay for service-related medical care." -- Fox News, 3/17

74. "And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it." -- Obama during his first State Of The Union address. A German invented the automobile


"We're squandering blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Instead of concentrating fiercely on the vital task of destroying al Qaeda and its friends, the Obama administration's determined to erect a modern nation where no nation exists. Afghanistan isn't a country. It's a dysfunctional reservation inhabited by tribes that hate each other. There's no 'Afghan' identity. And even if our blind-to-reality efforts succeeded perfectly, the result would be meaningless.

"Except as a target range where we can gun down terrorists, Afghanistan doesn't matter. Next door, Pakistan matters immensely. But we don't know what to do about it. With 170 million anti-American Muslims descending into chaos as Pashtuns, Baluchis, Punjabis, Sindhis and others claw each other over the country's shabby remains, Pakistan's corrupt president shrugs, its military cowers, its loathsome intelligence services collude with Islamist extremists, and the safety of its nuclear weapons grows doubtful.

"Pakistan may be this generation's chamber of horrors.

"The Obama administration's response? Drill more wells in the Afghan countryside. Dramatically reinforce our troops in Afghanistan, sticking them with an impossible mission of modernizing a pre-medieval landscape while exposing them at the end of an insecure 1,500-mile supply line through, of all places, Pakistan.

"As for Pakistan itself, the Obama administration wants to send billions of dollars to a thieving government that makes Nigeria's look like a Quaker meeting and to hand Pakistan's military more arms -- weapons that might soon be used against us.

"Pakistan was a bad idea when it was created in 1947. It's a worse one now. Afghanistan wasn't even an idea, just an accident of where other borders ended. We can't 'save' either one -- because neither wants to be saved on our terms.

"Obama said the right things -- that Afghanistan isn't Iraq and that our goal should be the destruction of al Qaeda. But his policies just regurgitate our Iraq strategy (one he opposed) in a profoundly different context, while ambitious generals echo Vietnam-era calls for more forces.
"Our troops will do whatever we ask, to the best of their magnificent abilities. But we should ask them to do things that make sense. We need creative strategic thought, but we're succumbing to sheer inertia. And the president's supporters who howled that we should abandon Iraq to concentrate on their candidate's 'good war' don't seem to be volunteering to do any fighting. Meanwhile, our president's trapped himself inside his own campaign promiseing, Vietnam!"

-- Ralph Peters is the author of "Looking for Trouble: Adventures in a Ben World"

77. "President Obama failed to consult Congress, as promised, before carving out exceptions to the omnibus spending bill he signed into law -- breaking his own signing-statement rules two days after issuing them -- and raised questions among lawmakers and committees who say the president's objections are unclear at best and a power grab at worst." -- Washington Times, 3/24

78. Adolfo Carrion was confirmed as Director of White House Office of Urban Affairs, but is serving under a cloud after allegations that he accepted thousands of dollars in cash from developers whose projects he approved.


"Every so often an unfocused athlete forgets about the field of play and climbs into the stands. Ty Cobb did it. Ron Artest did it. Maybe no one did it with more sick flir than the greasy, furious Hanson Brothers who, in 'Slap Shot,' climbed into the stands to give a beatdown to a fan.

"In March, Barack Obama sent his own personal Hanson Brothers, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and spokesman Robert Gibbs, out to attack a non-politician -- Rush Limbaugh -- who was sitting innocently in the stands jeering the action. Limbaugh didn't even throw a cup of beer.

"Senior White House staffers, who have already fallen into the classic trap of paying more attention to polls than fixing the country's problems, had become obsessed with surveys showing that Limbaugh was an unpopular figure with swing voters. Pretty soon Emanuel and Gibbs developed Limbaugh Tourette's. To paraphrase Joe Biden's witty putdown of Rudy Giuliani, for a few days every sentence they uttered contained three things: a subject, a verb and Rush Limbaugh.

"El Rushbo, chuckling over his cigar as his ratings skyrocketed, could not have been more pleased if a picture had emerged of Obama wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt and burning the American flag on Harvard Square. Even that portion of the public that doesn't like Rush squirmed at the embarrassing spectacle of the president's men going all Mean Girls on an entertainer. George W. Bush's spokesmen maintained a dignified silence about Michael Moore. Picture them fanning out over the Sunday talk shows to denounce, and drive up the box-office receipts of, 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' Wouldn't you have loved that, Michael?"

-- Kyle Smith is a Post columnist

80. Forced banks that didn't want TARP money to take it, then added on stipulations about pay and government control after the fact. Secretly forced Bank of America to buy Merrill Lynch, then allowed the bank to be criticized for overpaying.

81. "More than 90% of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States," Obama said in Mexico, yet factcheck.org says, "The figure represents only the percentage of crime guns that have been submitted by Mexican officials and traced by U.S. officials. We can find no hard data on the total number of guns actually 'recovered in Mexico,' but US and Mexican officials both say that Mexico recovers more guns that it submits for tracing. Therefore, the percentage of guns 'recovered' and traced to US sources necessarily is less than 90%."

82. Obama: "[Jim Owens, the CEO of Caterpillar, Inc.], said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off." Jim Owens: "I think realistically no. The truth is we're going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again."

83. "In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." -- Obama in Strasbourg, France

84. Joe Biden: "If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, if we stand up there and we really make the tough decisions, there's still a 30% chance we're going to get it wrong."

85. Joe Biden: "You all worked for change. You wanted to see change. Well, that wasn't a hard thing to try to communicate to the American people. Obviously, obviously, we needed a change almost no matter who was running."

86. Joe Biden: "You know, I'm embarrassed. Do you know the Web site number? I should have it in front of me and I don't. I'm actually embarrassed."

87. "There are more than 6.5 million trucks in the United States. The program Congress terminated allowed 97 Mexican trucks to roam among them. Ninety-seven! Shutting them out not only undermines NAFTA. It caused Mexico to retaliate with tariffs on 90 goods affecting $2.4 billion in U.S. trade coming out of 40 states." -- Charles Krauthammer, 3/20


"Although the president possesses enormous political capital -- both because of high approval ratings and because his administration is still in its infancy -- he has generally declined to exercise it with Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, including when it comes to crafting legislation key to moving his agenda forward.

"Rather he has allowed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) to craft legislation as they see fit -- even though the very bills in question were proposed by the president and involve key planks in his agenda. Among them were Obama's signature $787 billion economic stimulus bill, his first major piece of legislation that was signed into law in February; and now health care reform, currently being negotiated on Capitol Hill with minimal input from the White House.

"This soft-pedal style of leadership runs the risk of forcing Obama to embrace legislation constructed for narrow partisan interests rather than in a manner capable of garnering broad bipartisan support. Over time, the public might come to see Obama's deference to Pelosi and Reid as a weakness of leadership not befitting a president in tough times."

-- David M. Drucker is a staff writer for Roll Call

89. "It has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census, there are irresolvable conflicts for me." -- Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who became the second failed Commerce Secretary nominee

90. In the third sentence of his first speech as president, Obama said, "44 Americans have now taken the presidential oath." The correct number is 43, as Grover Cleveland served twice.

91. The $49 million inauguration -- triple what taxpayers spent at Bush's first inauguration.

92. Giving the Queen of England an iPod full of his own speeches.

93. Three prime-time briefings in his first 100 days, eating into television revenues and this Wednesday pre-empting "American Idol."

94. "The United States government has no interest in running GM. Your [GM] warranty will be safe. In fact, it will be safer than it's ever been, because starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warranty." -- Obama

95. GM is given $15.4 billion in loans from the government.

96. The Obama Administration is trying to scuttle a lawsuit filed in federal court against Iran by former US embassy hostages. The lawsuit alleges that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was one of the hostage-takers who interrogated the captives.


"Ten days before his inauguration, the President's chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Rohmer, released a report describing what to expect economically during the first 100 days and beyond. It presented two starkly different scenarios: one good (if the stimulus were to be passed), and one terrifyingly bad (if we did nothing). Amazingly, the report estimated that if the stimulus package were to pass, the unemployment rate would not go above 8% at any time until at least 2014.

"It's already at 8.5%.

"In fact, while there is an acknowledged level of uncertainty, the projections estimated that the unemployment rate would be lower today if we had done nothing at all. This suggests one of two things: either the administration misjudged the seriousness of our economic problems, or the stimulus plan is actually making things worse. I suspect it's a little of both.

"Remember, when the President's budget was released, he was roundly criticized for his never ending deficits, even under his own optimistic scenarios for growth. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected deficits that were even uglier. But, if the President and his economic planners were this far off, this soon, how much worse does the future look now?

"The election was supposed to bring 'change,' but I was hoping for more than the letter after the President's name, the positivity of the media coverage, and the hypoallergenic qualities of the White House puppy. President Obama didn't get us into this situation, but so far he's doubling down on the same spending philosophy that did. Common sense tells us that new debt is not the cure for old debt. No matter what the slogans say, that won't change in 100 days or 100 years."

-- Glenn Beck is the host of the "Glenn Beck" show, weekdays at 5 p.m. on Fox News.

98. "Education Secretary Arne Duncan has decided not to admit any new students to the D.C. voucher program, which allows low-income children to attend private schools ... For all the talk about putting children first, it's clear that the special interests that have long opposed vouchers are getting their way." -- Washington Post, 4/11

99. Obama enrolled his daughters in a DC private school.

100. "Don't think we're not keeping score, brother." -- Obama to Rep. Peter DeFazio, after the Democratic congressman voted against the stimulus bill.

Compelling column by Danny Westneat: Tunnel's cost may fool us all, or they all lie about project costs.

There is a case involving the many lies related to costs about Sound Transit and the unbelievably expensive and unnecessary light rail project infesting Seattle.

In a moment of candor, Sound Transit announced that the completion of the project would do absolutely nothing to impact congestion.

That is, once this multi-billion dollar project is completed, it will make no difference to anyone, since most riding that system will have just shifted over from the bus routes they're already riding... and those driving cars will not see any difference.

That, of course, begs the issue: why are they building it? Further, why does it cost almost twice as much for roughly half the distance promised?

Some objected to this. After all, the approval provided by the people for Sound Transit talked about something on the order of $2.2 BILLION for 21 miles, instead of the $4 BILLION for the 14 miles they're getting.

Our State Supreme Court has ruled that lying municipalities are perfectly OK; much like they have ruled the "Liar Law" unconstitutional, removing any incentive for campaigning politicians to tell the truth... as if lies during or discovered after a campaign as part of the campaign should not matter as to the outcomes.

Here, locally, we're confronted with the same issues when it comes to the moronic idea of replacing our I-5 Bridge.

We've been lied to as to what the replacement bridge will accomplish (Which, when built, strangely reminiscent of Sound Transit, will have accomplished absolutely nothing as to the primary concern of reducing congestion) We've been lied to as to the reasons to replace the bridge (The bridge works perfectly fine; but it cannot carry light rail as currently configured. Essentially, those obsessed with light rail are willing to spend $4 BILLION of our money to the tune of at least $100,000,000 yearly in tolls sucked out of our economy locally, only so they could get the public outbreak of a Herpes-like loot rail system started in the Vancouver area, so their fetish is served at public expense.) and, no doubt, we have been lied to as to the costs.

Precisely like Sound Transit, completion of the light rail and bridge project will accomplish absolutely nothing in the areas of congestion or freight mobility. It WILL, however, pay political interests, primarily unions; it will keep people employed; which is not something that government should be doing; and it will provide Vancouver with yet another unwanted and unneeded pamphlet cover at the expense of billions of dollars wasted... and wasted without even giving us the courtesy of asking us first, but the arrogance of the scum behind this project knows no bounds.

Westneat's column provides a dandy explanation as to the most likely reasons. And those reasons, strangely compelling as they are, seem to mirror out situation down here to a "t."

The Seattle Times


Danny Westneat
Tunnel's cost may fool us all
A professor at Oxford University in England has done a compelling series of studies trying to get at why big public-works projects such as bridges, tunnels and light-rail systems almost always turn out to be far more costly than estimated.

Seattle Times Staff Columnist

Danny Westneat
Seattle Times staff columnist
Danny Westneat's columns via RSS

"We don't envision any cost overruns on this project." — Pearse Edwards, spokesman for Gov. Chris Gregoire

"The way I see it, I don't think we're going to have overruns." — State House Transportation Chairwoman Judy Clibborn

"There won't be any cost overruns." — State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond

These people are all talking about the tunnel to be drilled beneath downtown Seattle, as a replacement for the creaky Alaskan Way Viaduct. How would you characterize their statements? Informed? Promotional? Utopian? Foolish?

A new body of social-science research about the psychology of public-works projects suggests a more pointed set of words may apply. Deluded. Deceptive.

Or: Lying.

That last one is such a loaded charge that I want to be clear: The research is not specific to these public officials, or to our struggle to figure out what to do with the aging viaduct.

But a professor at Oxford University in England has done a compelling series of studies trying to get at why big public-works projects such as bridges, tunnels and light-rail systems almost always turn out to be far more costly than estimated.

"It cannot be explained by error," sums up one of his papers, matter-of-factly. "It is best explained by strategic misrepresentation — that is, lying."

The professor, Bent Flyvbjerg (pronounced flew-byair), has become a flash point in civic-planning circles. Some think he's a rock star; others say his analysis is too cynical.

It started seven years ago, when he published the first large study of cost overruns in 258 mega-transportation projects. He found that nine out of 10 came in over budget, and that the average cost overrun was nearly 30 percent. Rail systems had an average cost escalation of 45 percent.

Our own Sound Transit light-rail system was not included in the study, but it fits the profile. Its budget soared by more than 100 percent, forcing planners to halve the length of the rail line. The shortened line opens this summer.

What's so controversial about Flyvbjerg's research is not his documenting cost overruns. It's his effort to show why public projects are so chronically out of whack.

It's not technical challenges or complexity or bad luck, he asserts. If that were so, you'd get more variation in how it all turns out. He concludes the backers of these projects suffer from two main maladies.

One is "delusional optimism" — they want it so badly, they can't see its flaws. I know about this firsthand from when I supported the monorail.

The second is worse: They knowingly are lying to the public.

"Delusion and Deception in Large Infrastructure Projects," was the title of Flyvbjerg's most recent paper, published in January. He details through interviews with public officials how the pressure to get a project approved politically and under construction almost invariably leads to deception — a lowballing of costs and an exaggeration of benefits.

Which brings me back to our viaduct-replacing tunnel.

I have no idea if planners there have underestimated the cost of that tunnel. Some projects do come in on budget. We likely won't know for a year or more.

I do think it's suspicious that this same tunnel was rejected in December by a stakeholder advisory committee on account of it being way too expensive.

Only to have the costs then shrink (!) by $400 million, arriving at a size that happily fits the state's pre-existing budget.

Many aspects of the new tunnel seem to jibe, generically, with Flyvbjerg's recipe for a boondoggle. It has been minimally engineered. It has boosters spinning for it, in this case a Seattle think tank, the Discovery Institute. And there is extreme political pressure — or exhaustion — after eight years of dithering and delay.

Flyvbjerg chronicles many types of public deception, from the hard sell to the noble lie. Still, he has no example that tops a public official making a promise as categorical and unknowable as: "There will be no cost overruns."

Nobody seems to believe that pledge, even as they repeat it. Last week, the Legislature passed an amendment to put all cost overruns for this tunnel onto the property owners of Seattle. The project wouldn't pass without it, they said out of one side of their mouths. But don't worry, there won't actually be any overruns, they said out of the other.

I think they know this tunnel is going to cost more, probably far more. But everyone is sick of talking about it. I know I am. That they've finally made any choice at all seems like a victory.

Flyvbjerg says that's the way it often goes. He also has all sorts of ideas for how to make this process more honest and accurate, most involving outside scrutiny. Suffice to say, that route would drive up the estimated costs of most projects dramatically.

I wondered, when I read them: If we knew the truth, would we accomplish anything at all?

Or is it better to be lied to?

Danny Westneat's column appears Wednesday and Sunday. Reach him at 206-464-2086 or dwestneat@seattletimes.com.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pro-life or pro-abortion, this should outrage you

Check out this 4.30 minute you tube.

This appears to be a slam dunk. If it is, it's absolutely despicable, and Planned Parenthood should pay, big time.

I have a 15 year-old daughter, and if these people had done something like this, there is no where they could hide that a regiment of lawyers wouldn't dig them out and crush them.

I eagerly await the non-action and apologists for Planned Parenthood to act on this.

But I'm not holding my breath.

The Shark at Sound Politics wins a big one on King County, WA's corruption effort during the 04 election.

The Shark (Steven Sharkansky) became the bane of the existence of King County Elections, King County Executive Ron Sims, and democrats supporting Gregoire in the Rossi recount generally.

Hated by leftist at Kos and H.A., Sharkansky became THE go-to guy on all things related to the election recount, launching himself as one of the major political blog spots in the country.

As even-handed a place available for all sides, even idiot leftists, to come in and state an opinion, Sound Politics is one of the mainstays of the political realm for hundreds, if not thousands, of political junkies around the area to keep in touch and see what's happening in a lot of places, but certainly in Olympia and the Sound region.

Congratulations to the Shark, who has once again shown that persistence can be it's own reward.


SEATTLE -- Conservative blogger Stefan Sharkansky says King County has agreed to pay him $225,000 to settle a public records lawsuit over the county's failure to release documents about the 2004 governor's election.

Sharkansky filed his request in December 2004, seeking a list of everyone who voted in the election that year, but the county didn't satisfy the request until more than three years later.

He says the documents that were ultimately provided revealed that elections officials in King County counted hundreds of ineligible ballots, which could have changed the outcome of the razor-thin race between Democrat Chris Gregoire and Republican Dino Rossi.

The county issed[sic] a statement Friday saying officials had a hard time fulfilling Sharkansky's request because they were so busy dealing with the gubernatorial recount and court challenge. The statement confirmed the county reached a settlement, but declined to say for how much.

Sharkansky wrote on his blog Friday that the size of the payment, which King County offered before trial, clearly reflects the county's culpability.

Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Liar to the press... liar to the American people. "I didn't know about the use of waterboarding."

Clearly, the despicable Speaker of the House in DC has been reduced to the punch line in this old saw:

"How do we know the Speaker is lying?"

"Her lips are moving."

Earlier, I busted her chops for lying about pork in the stimulus. (That post went quasi-viral via email, with 10,000 or more separate page views to that one blog entry) In this latest buffoonery, Pelosi shows that when the subject makes her botox uncomfortable, her knee-jerk reaction is to lie.

"In that or any other briefing…we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used. What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel ... opinions that they could be used," she told reporters today.


Nancy Pelosi denies knowing U.S. officials used waterboarding — but GOP operatives are pointing to a 2007 Washington Post story which describes an hour-long 2002 briefing in which Pelosi was told about enhanced interrogation techniques in graphic detail.

Two unnamed officials told the paper that Pelosi, then a member of the Democratic minority, didn't raise substantial objections.

It is to our shame that we seem to be cursed with a pathological liar at the helm of our House.

Mr. Obama's decision to release our playbook so that our enemies can study it in detail is typical of his efforts to put politics ahead of our security. And even though the fringe left is ready to go with their "it's Bush's fault" mantra when we are attacked again, the responsibility for that will rest squarely on Mr. Obama generally and the left particularly... or is it the other way around?

Meanwhile, Pelosi and her Winged Monkeys continue to strengthen our enemies in the name of political expediency, making us the laughing stock in circles where it really, really, matters.

At some point, "truth" really does matter.

I, for one, happen to believe that if your intention is to hang Bush Administration corpses from a bridge over the Potomac, which is the primary motivation for all this crap in the first place, then you should be subjected to the same rope for the same reasons.

Of course, there's no way the democrats or anyone else (including the media) would utilize a double standard about something so important...

... is there?

Thanks to Drudge and Glenn Thrush at Politico.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The whining leftists: it's perfectly OK for them to trash Bush... but THEIR guy? Not so much.

No one can snivel like a leftist.

Today's particular example if Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist David Horsey of Seattle PI fame.

Horsey spent eight of the last eight years beating George Bush like a rented mule. He drew cartoons so dispicable, so hypocritical and so completely false as to be absurd. His columns typically stopped just short of calling for Bush or Cheney's assassination, but he typically strained at the bit.

Now, like the rest of the leftist media, he has a vested interest in his socialist choice for president, and will do everything he can to help him achieve the patena of success.

And by "everything," I mean lie (if not actively, then by ommission) mislead and engage in efforts like his column, below, written as if he had been hired by the White Houe already.

Addressing some excerpts:

"When I see people at anti-tax rallies carrying signs equating the duly-elected president of the United States with Adoph[sic] Hitler or calling him a "Kenyan" who stole the government from real Americans, it makes me suspect the protests spring, not from reasoned analysis, but from blind paranoid anger."

Yet, his cartoons and columns during the Bush Administration fostered this very attitude, an attitude leftists expressed repeatedly... without similar concern from him.

Run a Google search that simply says "Hitler Bush" and 1,280,000 hits come up.

You see, the problem here is that his fake concerns, expressed here when the messiah is in office... compared to his silence on that very subject to the point of crickets chirping during the last Administration, is the basis for what appears to me to be the left's rank hypocrisy.

The rhetoric on the right may all be for show or to "energize the base" or vent feelings of frustration in the wake of a bad election loss. But how long can we sustain this level of vitriol in our civic discourse before someone with a deep grudge and a loose purchase on reality feels justified in picking up a gun to save America from some imagined, high level treachery? Is that too paranoid on my part? Do the Oklahoma City bombers have no kindred spirits? Were the knuckleheaded neo-Nazi kids who got caught before they attacked an Obama campaign event utterly unique? I doubt it

Again, his deep-felt concern for these issues was totally absent during the last Administration in any written or drawn word I could find. His OWN PERSONAL LEFTIST rhetoric was clearly designed to do that which he seems to be complaining about now.

How come it was perfectly OK for him and his ilk to engage in this nonsense over most of the last decade when the president was his opponent and he strived so hard to support our enemies... but now that the shoe's on the other foot, it's so problematic for him now?

"The one indisputable fact is that Barack Obama was freely elected by a majority of the people. He and his advisors[sic] are making a sincere attempt to save our capitalist system using methods that make sense to a lot of mainstream economists. Obama and company could be wrong, but they are not evil."

Besides his obvious, factual inaccuracy (Obama was, in fact, elected by a majority of the VOTERS, not "the people," meaning he actually received the vote of about 1/5th of "the people") I really can't seem to recall him expressing similar concerns for Bush.

I know... I know... it's DIFFERENT when it's your guy. He's going to be a total hypocrite with a stake in having his guy achieve success, even if he has to lie, or confuse, or treat him differently in any way to get it. I'm sure HIS leg was "tingling" the entire time he wrote this tripe. After all, why be fair when you can be biased?

So, replace "Obama," with "Bush," and what have you got?

The one indisputable fact is that George Bush was freely elected by a majority of the people. He and his advisors[sic] are making a sincere attempt to save our country using methods that make sense to a lot of military experts. Bush and company could be wrong, but they are not evil.

And see, this is the crux of the matter.

Besides the fact that a lot of mainstream economists also OPPPOSE this clown's destruction of our future with the multi-trillion dollar debt he's run up at light speed since he took office, (A debt that the CBO has told us was not necessary) a debt that threatens the existence of the capitalist system he's extolling here; he's screwed up our foreign policy (Man, the Russians, Iranians and the NorKs are falling all over themselves to do his bidding.) He's helped reduce the number of inmates in our jails by hiring them for his Cabinet; he's tried to get veterans to pay for our OWN healthcare, even when the basis for that care is sustaining wounds in battle; he's hired a clueless moron as HSC Secretary; he's lied about hiring lobbyists for HIS Administration... WE are suffering in the midst of a terrible recession, but that doesn't seem to interfere with the weekly White House parties.

He moronically requires a Catholic school to cover up their religious symbols during his speech; his lackeys claimed he wasn't even aware of the tea parties (you know, people exercising THEIR right to protest? People that leftist scum repeatedly and despicably refer to as "teabaggers" (I'm sorry, did I miss your column decrying THAT sort of abuse? Didn't think so.)) He's illegally used soldiers in uniform as campaign props; he got, essentially, NOTHING from Europe in the G20 to help us out in Afghanistan; he's lied about cap and trade; lied about how much he's going to cut the deficit; lied about ear marks; lied about bankruptcy resulting from health care costs; lied about our oil imports; lied about the AIG bonuses, all the while expressing your fake outrage that such a thing could happen; he's wasted billions for failed car manufacturers to keep his union buddies happy; he forced a vote on a the stimulus, all in the name of transparency, you understand, WITHOUT EVEN ALLOWING ANYONE TO READ THE WHOLE BILL, while HE had worked overtime to talk down the economy.

He's burying us in debt... a debt that will not be paid for generations, if at all; and he's setting us up for hyperinflation by printing enough money to paper the moon.

His first 100 days has been a nightmare.

But I've missed his columns and drawings treating Obama the same way he treated Bush. And not one drawing from him taking him to task for any of this?

Now, if you'll just point me in the right direction so I can look them over?

Meanwhile, he should spare us his "I'm trying to get the White House Communications Director" job type columns, written in support of this idiot, since even SHE has been smart enough to dump this clown.

He has not displayed even a pretense of fairness over the last Administration, so being a leg-humper for this one avails him nothing.

At the end of the day, Horsey and his ilk achieved success by the very tactics he's now complaining about when they're aimed at his guy. And that's just additional rank hypocrisy on his part... that mutes his impact in this time of leftist hyper-partisanship.

Fellow Americans are not the enemy

As Rodney King so famously asked, "Can't we all just get along?"

Last week, I wrote a column and drew a cartoon commenting on the anti-tax tea party protests that were whipped up all over the country. I took a bit of a jaundiced view, questioning the logic of the protesters and the credibility of some of the commentators like Sean Hannity who become cheerleaders for the event. Among the many people who responded to my comments was John Carlson, the well-known conservative talk radio host and one-time Republican nominee for governor of Washington. Carlson wrote:
Here is what I think your blog and cartoon missed about the Tea Parties. I went to the one in Redmond to talk to the demonstrators. I saw hundreds of people waving signs and American flags, who work hard, who play by the rules, and who are saying, "ENOUGH". The spending, the deficits, the debt that were already bad under George Bush are all getting worse today. Why are they getting worse? Because of pork barrel spending and bailouts of people and politically connected companies that made bad choices. The people at the Tea Parties don't want a bailout, and they don't want their taxes going up to bail out other people's bad behavior, either. Half the people I talked to had never been to a protest before. That's important. These tea parties might be the beginning of something that changes American politics like the tax revolts of the late 70's. You made fun of them too, at the time. Remember?
John Carslon and I have been acquainted for a long time. We like each other and respect each other, even though we are often on different sides of the issues. I appreciated hearing from him and getting his critique. It was a little different from the message sent by some other folks. A reader who saw the same commentary on the San Francisco Chronicle's web site, SFGate, proposed organizing an advertising boycott of the Chronicle...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Idiocy of Sam Reed, our state's Secretary of State, continues.

It was primarily because Sam Reed, our Secretary of State, is an incompetent moron.

I've hammered Reed many times over his idiocy on this and other matters. He accomplished his goal with this vote, he thinks, which is to eliminate his sworn duty to enforce all of the laws... including those pertaining to felon voters (He doesn't happen to think that much about identification or citizenship requirements, either) but because it's too "hard," he doesn't want to do it any more... not that he ever did it in the first place.

The idiocy of this bill is that with a dolt for Secretary of State who didn't want to deal with the administration of the felon voting requirements, who has no system in place nor the intelligence to figure one out (after all, he's only wasted NINE years ignoring this problem) will simply ignore the requirement that felons make their payments on time to keep their eligibility, and just make sure that all felons can vote.

He can't and won't monitor felons WITHOUT this program... who really expects him to do it WITH this program?

That's EASIER, you see, and Reed is only concerned about reducing his responsibilities. Not what's right. Not what's ethical... and given his abysmal enforcement of the felon voter laws (Essentially non-existent) not what's legally required.

If you Republicans want him, you can have him. But I would vote for a fire hydrant before I would ever vote for him.

Lawmakers OK bill to restore voting for felons

Lawmakers OK bill to restore voting for felons

Story Published: Apr 22, 2009 at 4:24 PM PDT

By Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Washington state Legislature has approved a measure that lets convicted felons get their voting rights back once they're no longer in state custody.

The House, on a 52-44 vote Wednesday, concurred with changes made in the Senate. The measure now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Under current law, felons can't vote until they have served their sentences and are no longer under state custody, including any parole or probation, and have paid all restitution and other court fees.

Under the bill that passed Wednesday, felons could register to vote once they're no longer under parole or probation. But those rights could be revoked if a felon fails to make regular payments on financial obligations, including court fees or restitution. not what's legal, either.

FBN reports: GM will not make $1 Billion debt payment on June 1st. Market tanks.

It may be just me, but it appears that The One's plan for GM... and the billions he wasted on them, has failed.

Gee. What a surprise.

Is the Kohl-Welles income tax bill for Washington State a scam? Sure seems like it.

On the aptly named April Fool's Day, I posted about what, on the surface at least, just appeared to be the typical democrat class warfare scam: Our democrat legislators in action: the start of class warfare and the camel's nose under the tent flap income tax.

Well, Pudge, over at Sound Politics, discovered a nuance that clearly escaped me: This was nothing more nor less than a state income tax bill... not just for those making $500,000 a year as the bill's proponents claimed... but for EVERYONE.

Legislation, like contracts, typically contain this arcane item known as a "severability clause."

(From Wiki) The severability clause (sometimes referred to as a salvatorius clause, from the Latin word salvatorius) is the name for a special clause that regulates the legal consequences or the applicability of the remaining clauses of a contract when some clauses of a contract are or become ineffective or infeasible. The goal of the severability clause is usually to maintain the spirit of the contract as much as possible.

Severability clauses are sometimes used in statutes, to preserve the effectiveness of certain portions of the statute if some part is struck down as unconstitutional by a court acting in judicial review.

Pudge concludes this:

The bill offers a standard deduction of one million dollars for people filing jointly, and half a million for singles, so few people would end up paying it, as written. As Kohl-Welles says on her web site, the measure would "impose a state income tax upon Washington's highest wage earners."

However, Washington State's Constitution requires that all taxes on property must be uniform (Article VII, Section 1), and the state's courts have consistently recognized income as property. So this form of tax would likely be stricken as unconstitutional, as it is clearly intended to be non-uniform.

If this bill were passed, and the Court did rule that provision to be unconstitutional, the bill's severability clause means the rest of the bill would remain valid, and it we would then immediately have a tax on every federal income tax payer, instead of just the wealthy.

There is no question that we all knew this thing stunk. Pudge's deft analysis gets to the underlying cause in a way that just blew right past me.

Recently, government here locally and now, clearly, at the state level, have been trying to screw us on a variety of levels. They hide behind "Madisonian" concepts that he never intended, claiming that their election allows them to but us in billions of debt without asking us... and then they try and pull a deliberate scam like this crap.

Stains on democracy abound. Will these ever wash out?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jim Jacks hasn't been there long and he's a liar already: Light rail gerrymander bill approved: SB 5540

Rep. Jim Jacks is new to the legislature. So, when he says that the measure “gives Clark County voters the final decision on the idea of creating a High Capacity Transportation Corridor area,” I can only think he's a liar... or he's stupid. If he's the former, that's too bad for the people of the 49th District, of Clark County and of this state.

Actually, if it's the latter, it's the same thing.

Rep. Jacks knows damned well that tens of thousands of Clark County voters who will be forced to pay this tax will have absolutely no say in whether or not it's implemented. To suggest that "Clark County voters" will make this decision is disingenuous at best.

So, when his seatmate, Rep. Jim "Hussein" Moeller, says the bill as an essential piece of the plan to build a new freeway bridge over the Columbia River, actually, what it is, is an essential piece of their scummy plan to ram an unwanted, monstrously wasteful bridge down the throats of 65,000 commuters and 400,000 residents of this county without a vote.

"The legislators said the project is essential to the economic recovery of Southwest Washington."

The legislators are liars.

Sucking $100,000,000 a year out of this county for tolls will do absolutely nothing to recover our economy. In fact, it will provide substantial damage to that already caused by the President with his multi-trillion dolar debt that he's hammered us with.

What it will do is reward Moeller and Jacks' political allies in the unions while they strive to waste $4 BILLION of our money so they can get light rail into Vancopuver... which is the entirety, begining to end, of the reason for this project.

These two make me ashamed of our Legislature... and the local government officials going along with this program equal a stain on democracy that will live forever on the local political scene.

Allow us a vote. Otherwise, democracy will have failed utterly in our local corner of this state.

House, Senate OK light rail tax bill
Several differences remain to be worked out

Monday, April 20 1:29 p.m.


Legislation that would let C-Tran ask voters whether they want to create a taxing district to support the operation of light rail in Clark County has now passed both the House and Senate.

But differences between the original Senate bill and the version passed by the House remain to be worked out, including a House amendment sponsored by Rep. Jim Moeller that would delay a vote on such a measure until July 2012.

Moeller and Rep. Jim Jacks, both Vancouver Democrats, hailed the bill as an essential piece of the plan to build a new freeway bridge over the Columbia River.

“The federal government has made it abundantly clear that any new bridge will not be built unless the plan incudes a high-capacity transit component,” Moeller said in a statement. “This legislation helps our county meet that requirement.”

Jacks stressed that the measure “gives Clark County voters the final decision on the idea of creating a High Capacity Transportation Corridor area.”

The legislators said the project is essential to the economic recovery of Southwest Washington.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Another pro-bridge replacement, pro-light rail puff piece by The Columbian that fails to mention the opposition.

Another day, another pro-bridge puff-piece that fails to mention the opposition.

"Design group far from consensus?" How about a more accurate, more relevant headline, like:

"New bridge? Community far from consensus."

Last week, Lou Brancaccio acknowledged his failure to cover the opposition.
I'm not here to say we always get it right. We try to ask the tough questions and hold folks accountable. Something else to consider, there isn't always "equal" opposition on issues. So we often hear "why didn't you quote the other side?" There isn't always another side. If you take school bonds and levies for example there usually is a very organized side in favor of them. Not so much on the other side. So it's not always easy to find the other side. And it's even more difficult to find equal numbers on the other side. There may be hundreds of folks mobilized on the pro side of a school bond. You might be lucky to find one or two on the other side.
I don't know... somehow the phrase "disingenuous" doesn't quite cover it.

ZERO coverage of the opposition is to infer that no opposition exists. Month after month of doing nothing to determine the opposition when, for example, Commissioner Tom Mielke and Senator Don Benton's opposition to this crap is well known.

Hundreds of people from a wide variety of locations on the political spectrum met a couple of weeks ago to protest this massive waste. This one meeting of pro-bridge leg humpers received more coverage.

Bias plays a MASSIVE part in this drama. Saying you CAN'T find opposition when clearly, you've made no effort to LOOK for it, is the quintessential cop out.

Arrogance plays the rest, in that many Federal officials who should know have told these morons that there's no money for their grand designs. Clearly, they're incapable of listening to ANYONE who doesn't share their bizarre vision.

The worthlessness of the article, below, is that the idiots behind this monstrosity are arguing over a crap pile that faces long odds of ever seeing the light of day and that those who are forced to use it do not want.

Without community support, it doesn't matter what this bridge looks like. If it ever is built, it will reflect a governmental tyranny that is a full-blown stain on democracy.

If, as I devoutly hope, no shovel of dirt is EVER turned on this steaming heap, then these morons will have wasted $100 MILLION plus.

But since it ain't their money... do you think they'll give a damn?

Local News
Design group far from consensus
Saturday, April 18 12:06 a.m.

One of the proposed design features for the I-5 bridge, a path for pedestrians and cyclists on a deck underneath a freeway span, was a bone of contention at Friday’s meeting. (Touchstone Architects/Columbia River Crossing)
Bridge planners came to a Friday design meeting seeking consensus on a new Interstate 5 Bridge.

There wasn't much to be found.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams, co-chairman of the Urban Design Advisory Group, said he wants to consider placing cyclists and pedestrians on a path at road level, not tucked underneath one of the two freeways spans.

Several others said they didn't care for the work to date and wanted to be more involved in the design process.

Current planning has focused on two "stacked" bridges, with light-rail tracks under the southbound freeway span and a "world-class" bicycle-pedestrian path under the northbound bridge.

Projections indicate that as many as 1,000 pedestrians and 5,000 cyclists could use the path during a nice summer day in the year 2030.

But Adams said having the path underneath a bridge "was not even close to a world-class option."

Ron Anderson, consultant project manager for the Columbia River Crossing, said placing cyclists and pedestrians next to freeway traffic creates "a very mean environment: road spray conditions, noise, dirt."

Adams said a bicycle-pedestrian path could be separated from freeway traffic to create a pleasant environment.

Mark Masciarotte, who represents the Vancouver Aviation Advisory Committee on the design group, said he would much rather be walking or riding underneath the bridge during the Northwest's rainy weather.

"For six months of the year, it is not pleasant up on that upper deck," he said.

"So we're going to bike to the bridge to get out of the rain?" Adams replied.

"I might get to the point where I can support this," Adams said, "but I get really concerned about a process that leads us to here without looking at other options."

Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard, the design group's other co-chairman, said the bistate panel previously expressed a preference for a stacked option.

"Sometimes I'm not sure what the hell 'world-class' means," Pollard added.

"World-class also means looking at the options," Adams said.

Bridge planners have turned to a stacked design to reduce costs and minimize the project's footprint and eliminate having a third bridge for light-rail trains, pedestrians and cyclists.

But there also are concerns that a stacked option would isolate cyclists and pedestrians and heighten worries about safety and crime, which in turn could discourage use.

Bridge planners say they might be able to place bicycle-pedestrian paths at road level, depending on how much separation would be required from freeway lanes and how wide each path would be.

Peg Johnson, who represents the Jantzen Beach Moorage Association Inc., mentioned the possibility that an underneath path could provide a refuge for homeless people.

"To me, this is a place for people to throw down their newspapers and sleep," she said.

Several group members, most notably Carrie Schilling of Works Partnership Architecture in Portland, said they wanted to be more closely involved as the design work moves ahead.

Adams, noting that "I've got a lot of controversial projects on my plate," said he likes quite a bit of bridge architect Bradley Touchstone's work.

But the Portland mayor, who last week suggested the team that designed a planned light rail-bicycle-pedestrian bridge over the Willamette River might take a crack at the I-5 project, stopped far short of embracing Touchstone's work.

"I've seen Bradley's designs for bridges," he said. "I don't think we've gotten the best out of his yet."

Portland officials have long called for an asymmetrical design that provides for an architectural statement across Portland Harbor, connecting Hayden Island to the rest of the city.

Because of the close proximity of Pearson Field on the Washington side, bridge engineers have little room to play with to make a structure high enough to prevent traffic-choking bridge lifts but low enough not to substantially interfere with the airspace designated for Pearson traffic.

Adams indicated that adding architectural flourishes to the main bridge won't be enough.

"I've stated from the very beginning I wouldn't be bought off with great lighting," he said. "I wouldn't be bought off with mosaics and gargoyles."

Johnson said she believe designers are paying too much attention to where the bridge touches down as the "iconic focal point."

"I like you guys a lot, but I'm not impressed with your bridge," she said.

It was all a bit much too much for Dick Pokornowski, who represents the Vancouver City Center Redevelopment Authority.

"I think at some point we have to move ahead," Pokornowski said. "Right now, I think we're going back. I'm very frustrated."

Jeffrey Mize: 360-735-4542 or jeff.mize@columbian.com.

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