Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Brits Are not Happy

I don't have much affection for the British. I think of them of an example of what not to do and where we will be in all to short a time. There TV is entertaining more so than ours for the mindless stuff. As classes and sophomoric as the gifts giving was this is a systemic nightmare.

Special relationship? Obama's people won't even answer the phone, whines Downing Street

"He said it meant the Government was finding it 'unbelievably difficult' to hold discussions ahead of the meeting of world leaders in London.
Even though the world was in the grip of the worst economic crisis in decades - top of the G20 agenda - Number 10 was having trouble getting in touch with key personnel, said the Cabinet Secretary.

'There is nobody there,' he told a civil service conference in Gateshead.'You cannot believe how difficult it is.' (cont.)

Nevertheless, it risked opening a spat with Washington. Downing Street aides had already been left frustrated by the White House's handling of arrangements for the Prime Minister visit to the States last week, where he addressed both Houses of Congress.

British officials had to refute claims Mr Brown had been 'snubbed' after a press conference with President Obama was downgraded to a few questions in the Oval Office."

From Hot Air

"When we last heard from the Obama team about their peculiar handling of Gordon Brown, they claimed to be too overwhelmed and exhausted from the economic crisis to pay attention to the niceties of protocol. The upcoming G-20 summit will focus on that very problem, aiming for coordination of action to rebuild confidence in Western financial systems. Is Obama now too overwhelmed and exhausted to work on that crisis as well?"

Is Obama a clueless idiot or a Marxist savant ? I don't know what they are trying to do.

No One Wants to Work for Obama

I had hear this but hadn't seen much direct evidence. A name of some who had turned him down.

Via Ace of Spades From ABC News

"Democratic sources say that H. Rodgin Cohen, a partner in the New York law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and the leading candidate for Deputy Treasury Secretary, has withdrawn from consideration. It's the third withdrawal of a top Treasury Department staff pick in less than a week. (cont.)

Cohen had risen to the top after the withdrawal last week of expected deputy treasury secretary pick Annette Nazareth. (cont.)

Obama administration officials have pushed back hard at critics who argue that failure to fill key Treasury Department positions is hampering their response to the economic crisis. "
Is it that the people have gotten to picky? Is there some problem with the vetting? I wouldn't go this far.

From Ace Of Spades

"Taxes? Hookers? Not paying payroll taxes for his staff of live-in hookers?
Odd that there seem to be so few prominent Democrats with clean bills of health.

What lessons should we draw?

Obviously: That Bush is to blame."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pelosi the Wicked no Pelosi

She isn't evil. She is just an arrogant little bright eyed brat. Is there a difference in name calling. I don't like it. It does get to be distracting. The repeatedly calling people tax cheats doesn't help get your point across. Pelosi in this case I think goes to the heart of the workings in congress. I just say it once. I won't go on calling her a brat at every turn. Just making the point.

It sums up all the behind the seems yelling and things like not letting the senate changing the 2009 budget. Her way or the high way, the we won nonsense. It continues with the tantrums over the planes.

Judicial Watch Uncovers Documents Detailing Pelosi's Repeated Requests for Military Travel

"Taken together, these documents show that Speaker Pelosi treats the Air Force like her personal airline," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Not only does Speaker Pelosi issue unreasonable requests for military travel, but her office seems unconcerned about wasting taxpayer money with last minute cancellations and other demands."

No class and no humility. Arrogant little brat. I understand the need to protecting the third in line for POTUSA. Can you be nice and respectful?

What's new Hot Air
"In fairness to Madam Speaker, she may be the worst abuser of the privilege but she’s hardly the only one. Remember this oldie but goodie?"

Ace of Spades
"BTW-The Republicans need to be all over this. This is the kind of thing people get. Remember it was stuff like the House Post Office and check kiting that combined with the Contract for America, doomed the Democrats in '94. This abuse of power and arrogance shit pisses people off a lot more than wasting a few hundred billion dollars here or there."

It is a distraction. Focus. How does Pelosi acting like a punk teenager effect congress. Are we again going to demonize some and take sound bits out of context are are we going to talk about real issues and ideas when the election comes around. History repeating.

Replacing God with State

In any stable society there has to be a moral center, not necessarily a moral authority, and a place of comfort and last refuge. There will always exist this core in a society. What is there now is the church. I do not like that it is but it can not just be removed. It is to heavy an anchor that retains the development of what might be a better system. The better system is not there and that is why it must remain as it is.

The state does not control the church and the church does not control the state. The influence is applied from one to the other through the citizen. The citizen is not the all important check currently but it keeps a balance. The church as well has the important characteristic of not being run by one man or having it primary authority ie. God available for direct commentary. It is open to some small amount of interpretation and still stands. It can bend and not break. Demonstrated by the many denominations the have come along over the years. It is mildly amorphous and does not have the force of law behind it.

The popular alternative is the state. No balance at all. It's authority is there to speak, no interpretation and no flexibility. Everything falls under it's purview and it can use force of law to enforce it's ideas. The state should never be the core of a society. That should be pain to see at this point in history. U.S.S.R., 1930's Germany, 1950's China, Cuba, and on and on. The state becomes the core of a society and it ends in ruin.

Just an aside. Other candidates for the core? Humanity as a whole or the human being lends it self to more of a collectivists ideal. The individual? May lead to to much chaos. If the individual is all important them do the rules apply to you as an individual? The French revolution is an interesting case study in all of this. Nationalism end in stateism so no. I have given it more than a little though and have two conclusion. The state can not fill the void. Change can not happen with out chaos or oppression with out well rounded educated citizens. Back to the point.

As with most of the policies of Obama, he made small changes that right now and by themselves look harmless. Trouble starts when you add them up, take in the long term effects and others take action along the same ideology. It is becoming more clear that a move from the church to the state at it's core is being directly pushed by the administration.

It has started from loud small parts of the people. The marriage issue is the the tip of the attack. This is the others with similar ideology. They believe in the issue but are not looking down the road.

State encroaching on church

"As you know, one of my main reasons for supporting Proposition 8, which amended the California constitution to define marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman, was because I believe that move to redefine marriage has the potential to put the State and religion organizations — especially the Catholic church — into a head-on collision.

Liberals, when confronted with this notion, will often argue that, while the Catholic Church objects to abortion, that’s never created a constitutional crisis. What they ignore is the fact that, while the church is not in the business of providing abortions, it is in the business of providing marriages. It also ignores the fact that abortion is a legal right, not a constitutional one, while gay marriage proponents have been framing it in the opposite way: they say gay marriage as a constitutional, rather than a mere legal right."

Then we have the naked and direct attack and take over of the church. They of course argue that it is for the good of the people. The government must act to fix the problem . That argument must necessarily ignore the fact that there are already laws to punish the the acts that are the problem.

Connecticut looking to regulate the Catholic church?

"This should send a chill down your spine, Catholic or not. What this will do is basically take away the existing organization of the Catholic church, and replace it with a governing board selected by the state. The pastors, bishops, and archbishops in Connecticut would see all of their authority in the church taken away. The archbishop or bishop would have a seat on the board, but would have no right to vote. This bill is directed only at the Catholic church. "(cont.)

"Here's the problem with that reasoning. Theft and fraud are already against the law. If a parishioner believes that theft and/or fraud has taken place, then they can take legal action. If they feel they've been deceived, then obviously there's no legal action they can take -- there's no law against lying or deception, even if it's not very nice to lie to or deceive someone. A parishioner can, though, stop donating money to that particular parish. They can attend another parish. Or they could cease attendance of Catholic churches altogether. No one is required to donate money to their church, nor are they required to attend a particular church. The government, however, does require people to donate their money, and what recourse does an unhappy citizen have when they feel their money is being mishandled?"

It is entirely unconstitutional. It removes the balance and puts the state at the heart of society. They can use the church as a puppet as they always do when the state takes over.

Connecticut moving to regulate the Catholic Church

"According to the First Amendment and the Establishment Clause, the government has no business dictating to religious organizations how they should structure themselves. In Connecticut, though, some lawmakers seem to have skipped over the Constitution. "(cont.)

"In other words, bishops would no longer have power over the actions of the parishes. That’s the Connecticut legislature’s vision of Roman Catholicism, but in America, government doesn’t get to structure religious organizations to suit itself. That, in fact, is a form of fascism that we routinely decry in other countries. The State Department objects to China’s insistence on picking Catholic bishops itself to suit their political oppression of religion, and Lawlor’s motion would find a welcome in Beijing as another means to the same end: state control of Catholicism."

Currently there is a rally planed. The actions of the state is unclear after all the press.

Via Gateway Pundit
"UPDATE: Canceled: Following the biggest political firestorm of the 2009 legislative session, a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday on the financial and administrative management of the Catholic Church has been canceled."
It is direct and easily demonized. It is just the idealism with the best intention. It gives cover to other action that can results in the same ends. Money begun coming to faith based programs under Bush and was expanded under Obama and included other not for profits. The so called community development funds. Shouldn't communities develop on their own? The end result is that churches are getting funding from Washington in increasing amounts. The scope of the purse strings has yet to be decided. If a church decides that it is not in their best interest to follow the rules that are set forward they just don't take money. Pretty harmless in the long run.

Obama have also decided to cut the amount that can be deducted in taxes for charitable giving. It has not happened yet. Of course that doesn't mean that all giving stops and I don't have the number on how much of that goes to churches. Churches will get less money how much is an open question. That by it self is not the end of the world.

Put the two together and it opens a path for a massive and direct control of the church by the state. Take away money coming from the people and replace it with money from Washington. The Church has to "play ball" or lose their money and influence. I hate conspiracies. Unfortunately just because your paranoid does not mean they aren't watching you.

The clear structure of both programs is yet to be worked out. The results will not be clear for years. That is the problem. It can all not only be spun away but there is not enough evidence to prove it is a state take over. Obama or the ones pulling the string are very bright politicians and manipulators. It all points to a deliberate take over buy the state, but there is no hard evidence and there will not be until it is to late.

Cap and Trades Little Brother

I missed this. Not a surprise, Me not paying much attention to all the details and the massive amounts of ridiculous ideas coming out of Washington. The American Renewable Energy Act not to be confused with the forth coming cap and trade bill is in congress now. Some states have past this and this bill will mandate it for the country as a whole. Where cap and trade is about taxing to much CO2, RES (renewable energy standard) is about penalizing for to little renewable energy.

If both are passed energy producers are going to get hit "coming and going" as they say. Renewable energy is almost exclusively not CO2 admitting. If you burn coal your hit with the carbon tax and it will not count toward the 25% renewable energy requirement. However if you use solar you have no carbon tax and it can be used toward the renewable requirement. This is not as economy crushing as a cap and trade bill will be. It is not going to help.

To be clear I find man made global warming a joke. You can make a security argument. Drilling and a gradual change over don't further destabilize the economy. At the moment I find it to be much more a security issue than energy.

Why bring this up. I read Obsidian Wings only occasionally. Thought there was some value in it I am not so sure anymore. New thoughts, at least new to me, keep you from falling into ideological pits.

From Renewable Energy Standards.

"A renewable energy standard is a requirement that utilities get a certain percentage of their power from renewable energy. It's a market-based system: utilities that exceeded the requirement would get credits that they could sell to other utilities who weren't doing as well, enabling us to meet the standard in the most cost-effective way.

This would be good in a number of different ways: good for the environment, good for our national security, and also, according to both the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), good for consumers"(cont.)

Mar-ket Basssed Sy-stem ? You mean a system that uses a market not a free market system. Washington sets up a market by creating artificial demand. Pass a law that penalizes not having enough renewable energy raising the demand for it. Then just to be sure it keeps going, it is artificial after all, set a minimum price. I got it a market based system. Don't forget to use free market sounding ideas like "most cost-effective way".

Good for the environment if evil CO2 spewing man is causing the world to burn to a cinder. Good for national security if it do not press on the economy till it grinds to a stop. Good for consumers .?

"It would probably save less money now that oil and natural gas prices are down, but they will rise again. When they do, we'll be very glad if we took advantage of this drop in demand to cut our reliance on them."

Oh that pesky free market idea. Making energy the cheapest way we can. If coal and gas get to high we find a cheaper way. That can't work.?

Referenced is the idea that is more energy comes for renewable it will lessen the demand for fossil fuels thus driving it's price down. I do not know the numbers but it only works if increased cost of the renewables is less than the savings on fossil fuels. It looks like it is going to be hard with the increased cost of cap and trade on those fuels.

Is it wrong to hope it fails!?

Friday, March 6, 2009

More Mark to Market

I have charged the mark to market changes with being the push off the cliff. I am not clear on every single detail. It is clear that Washington was the cause at most stages. I am not letting mark to market off the hook. It does look less guilty.

Mark to Market

"Mark-to-market accounting has received a lot of criticism during the current financial crisis. But a recent email from Less Antman, a CPA and financial planner, offers the best explanation I've seen of why government-mandated capital requirements are the real source of the problem. Economists now realize that reserve requirements, designed to make banks more LIQUID, have the unintended reverse impact during a panic, tying up cash that banks need to pay out in order to stem the panic. As a result, reserve requirements are fast disappearing as a tool of bank regulation. Similarly, capital requirements, designed to make banks more SOLVENT, also have the reverse impact during a crisis."

Yes i did read it all. It is about to where I start to drown. (over my head) But I do learn.

Enforcing the Declaration of Independence

Talk of the leaving the Union or an outright revolt has been growing. Not necessarily among the public in general but among those that have been paying attention. If states can make the case that Washington have fundamentally violated the constitution, the agreement is broken and they have every right to leave. The revolt option is, well bad. It will have to to be used if the people are silenced for good whether though direct suppression or the continued newsspeak in all things.

Obama and the Leftist are very very good at spinning, bending logic, demonizing and just making their case in the face of facts. I am beginning to think that not enough people can be shaken out of their sleep. Really woken up not just rolled to the GOP side. If that is the case it will in the end be revolt. The election of '10 will tell the story.

The Old Argument

"As bizarre as it may sound now, the 'John Galt' rumblings have renewed old echoes of a serious and unresolved question regarding the Union. Obama's plan is clearly a new chapter of class warfare, and political divisiveness, which has strong support in some places and meets strong opposition in others, according to the cultures and moral values of the locations and people concerned. It must be considered, therefore, that some people may find the present form of government unacceptable, and, as the Declaration of Independence clearly states:

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Whether dissolution of the government is the necessary step, or whether some separate states of the union may secede and form their own government (the matter having been met with force but not resolved through honest debate), or whether revolt or rebellion may in fact be anything but catastrophe, the present set of actions by the Obama Administration demonstrates - again - the overreach of federal government, to a degree far beyond anything envisioned by the signers of the Declaration or the Constitution."
Try to fix it with the election then separation then revolt. Most important election in the history of the US. This time I believe that.

War Ends, War Spending Goes On

I have not directly looked at how the accounting was done in the 2010 budget. It looks as if the Iraq war spending was added to the budget just to claim the savings. Technically it is savings, you are no longer spending the money but is very misleading. It was borrowed money to begin with. It does not mean you have more to spend. Savings is jusst shy of newsspeak, call it Obama speak.

Ace of Spades
'So here's how he comes up with $1.6 trillion of his $2 trillion in "cuts:" He takes the 2008, peak-of-the-surge cost of the Iraq War as our permanent Iraq War spending baseline. He extends that out ten years -- including goosing it down the line for inflation.

Then he notes that he's ending a war which was actually pretty much ended by our troops (and the Iraqis, too) by defeating Al Qaeda and ending the insurgency.

Then he says,"Hey, man, look -- every year I'm going to be saving money on those Iraq War costs! Count it as a 'cut'!"'

I find the rest of it entertaining, being on blogger I won't repeat.

The Never-ending Surge
"This is, even by Washington standards, unusually dishonest. And coming from the administration of Barack Obama, who promised us “honest” accounting and made a big show of how much integrity and candor he would bring to his governing, this is astonishing."

You take last years subtract what your not going to spend and then add what else you want to spend. That is the way it is always talked about in this manner. So what does this mean for all the spending next year? If we spend like we did this year next year then they "held the line on spending". This is exactly what is argued about the stimulus package, only they are talking about the war ending not the need for stimulus ending.

Stopping the Political Fight

Back and forth between the parties. The GOP may find a way back. Right now we would be better for it. In the long run we will end up just where we are now.The economics are the issue now and the GOP is the leader on freedom in that arena. They will fall again when they don't take it far enough or when the freedom of society issues raise up.


"Tapping in to the rage of taxpayers by exploiting their fears then,
would almost certainly result in unanticipated problems for the GOP.
But beyond that, is this the way the Republicans wish to return to
power? The Rovian strategy of using wedge issues to cleave the
electorate over gay marriage, abortion, and other social issues got
Republicans elected but also sowed the seeds of their own destruction.
By the time 2008 rolled around, those wedge issues had lost their
potency and there was ample evidence of a backlash by center-right and
center-left moderates against the GOP and
their perceived intolerance. It was Obama who exploited this backlash
by promising to govern based on not what divides us but by what unites
"But if the GOP were to descend to the Democrat’s level – scaring people by screaming about “socialism” and the attendant imagery of economic doom and gloom, the party may indeed make some gains but with what kind of mandate? And would it be as effective as preparing the people for tough choices by playing to their native optimism and saying that as Americans, we are capable of anything if we pull together? Coupled with some new ideas about targeted tax cuts and real “stimulus” spending instead of the porked up monstrosity offered by the Democrats, that rage could turn to optimism and hope which would attract a helluva lot more people than scare tactics."
Optimism is one thing and it is a great thing. The parties tend to sell optimism on there strong suites not as a whole. They can't. You either have more economic less social freedom or less economic more social freedom. Both freedoms are under attack so do we run to the GOP? I am not convinced.

Is there a viable third party now? Are we stuck with a typical but more extreme fight? The consequences of a perpetual collectivist system end the debate out right. Can we have a third party that puts and end to the fight with freedom are do we have to keep the fight going to protect freedom with the GOP? I just hope the GOP doesn't screw it up so bad that they allow the collectivists to take power permanently.

Cramer? Really

How many people will jump off the Obama ship before he acknowledges this might be the wrong way? 50%+ of the population in 2012 I suspect.

ViaCNBC’s Cramer on Obama: ‘It’s Amateur Hour at Our Darkest Moment’

Amateur? To simple of an explanation? Is there a "puppet master" of sorts behind this or is Obama just a true believer?

Freedom of Pigs

I wonder exactly how many of us get this. It would seem to be a very small leap in logic, but we just don't get it. If it is a leap to far we are done. Try try again.

Sense of Events: How democracies perish

"Once you find out where in the countryside the pigs roam free, you locate a flat spot big enough to hold the herd. Then you pour a couple of buckets of feed corn on the ground. Bye and bye the pigs find the corn and eat it. The next day you repeat. And the next and the next, until you have trained the wild pigs to go to that spot every day and eat free corn.

Then you build a single fence next to the corn spot. The pigs notice the fence but ignore it - after all, their free corn is still there. Once they have gotten used to the fence, you build another to the side, connecting both fences at the end at right angles. Pour more corn. The pigs will learn to ignore that fence too. The free corn is still coming, so what's another fence?

Then the fence on the opposite side goes up. More free corn. Then the final fence, but you leave the gate open. This will confuse the pigs, but only momentarily. They'll smell the free corn and that will be all that matters. So they'll go in to eat the corn. You shut the gate.

Now the pigs realize they are trapped and they try to break through the fence. But it's too strong. Besides, to calm them down you just pour more buckets of corn into their new prison. Shortly the pigs lose interest in the fence and settle down happily to eat free corn."
Iran Is another matter. If we don't get it here Iran makes little difference.