Monday, October 31, 2011

Whodda Thought: A Good Idea From Romney

Wow, something from Mitt Romney that I could actually support.

Campaigning last week in Nevada, the epicenter of the housing bust, Mr. Romney was asked by the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial board what he would do about housing and foreclosures. His reply:

“One is, don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom. Allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the house up. Let it turn around and come back up. The Obama Administration has slow-walked the foreclosure process that have long existed, and as a result we still have foreclosure overhang.

Number two, the credit [that] was given to first time homebuyers was insufficient and inadequate to turn around the housing market. I think it was an ineffective idea. It was a little bit like the cash-for-clunkers program, throwing government money at something which was not market-oriented, did not staunch the decline in home values anymore than it encouraged the auto industry to take off.” (Source: Wall Street Journal via TigerHawk Blog)

You have got to know that there are folks in the Obama Administration AND the leftist media (aka: Main Stream Media) that are going to be completely up in arms about what Romney said. “How dare Romney endorse throwing people out into the street without a roof over their heads. Doesn’t he know winter is around the corner?”

I know the democrats and progressive can trot out heart-rending stories about individual homeowners forced out of their homes because of the big, bad banks. And to tell you the truth, the stories can be heartbreaking.

But let’s look at this from another angle. For most of the progressive movement, it has always been about the collective, not individual freedom and responsibility. But on the matter of housing and foreclosures, for progressive and liberals it is all about the individual (certainly not about freedom and responsibility) homeowner. They want the government to save the individual homeowner so they can stay in their house. But with this stance, they have lost sight of what is good for everyone (the collective). If we continue in the direction we have headed over the past three years, home values will take years to even begin to climb, much less recover. Isn’t a faster recovery in the housing market good for everyone (the collective)? You’d think that liberals and progressive would support this.

All that is happening is the can is being kicked down the road. Romney is suggesting that we stop kicking the can down the road, man-up, take our lumps, let the market recover on its own. No amount of government intervention is going to save the housing market, it has to save itself and the sooner we allow this to happen , the better off we are going to be in the middle- and long-term. The role of government is not to control or run the economy, but to make it easier for the economy to function.

BTW: Still not a fan of Romney.

Media After Cain

Does this little piece of news surprise anyone? I’m not talking about the actual issue here. I am referring to the fact that the main stream media trots out 20 year old harassment charges against the GOP frontrunner, Herman Cain. That they can’t substantiate the charges is beyond the point. Anyone want to bet that some democrat operative had this in his hip pocket just in case Cain became the leader of the GOP pack?

According to the report, Cain was accused by two women, employees of the NRA [National Restaurant Association], of repeated inappropriate behavior, including “unwanted sexual advances,” but both women were paid off to leave the association, and to keep quiet. While the sourcing for this reporting is all anonymous, most of the sources bear strong attribution (e.g. “a former board member” versus “a source familiar with…”), and Politico has the names of both women involved, but has withheld them out of respect for their privacy. They also report having seen documentation relating to one of the cases. Journalistically speaking, it’s rock solid reporting. (Source: Mediate)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Volt Update

Mike, formally of Confederate Yankee and now with his own blog, Stately McDaniel Manor, and I have been hitting the Chevy Volt HARD. Well, Mike is up to his old tricks again and put together a biting piece on recent developments in the less than energetic field that is the Volt.

It is well worth your time to stop by and get an update.

Cain Stands Tall

According to MSNBC, Martin Bashir, and democrat strategist Karen Finney those of who are conservative and are supporting Herman Cain (or leaning that direction such as myself) are using Cain to make us feel better about our supposed racist views.

“One of the things about Herman Cain is, I think that he makes that white Republican base of the party feel okay, feel like they are not racist because they can like this guy,” Finney said. “I think he’s giving that base a free pass. And I think they like him because they think he’s a black man who knows his place. I know that’s harsh, but that’s how it sure seems to me.”

“Thank you for spelling that out,” Bashir responded. (Source: Weekly Standard)

Of course we feel good about Cain. He stands for nearly all that we stand for. He is fiscally conservative, he wants to seriously revamp an unfair tax system, he has socially conservative views, and he just also happens to me an all around nice guy (seems that way).

And I will agree that he knows his place, as he should. His place is at the front of the conservative movement, right besides the likes of Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Rep Paul Ryan, and others who are fighting to save this country for progressives like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and those in the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Snowfall in New England

It looks like a couple of inches of global warming is going to hit the East Coast today. New York could get its first measureable snowfall since the Civil War. I know most of us weren’t around during the Civil War (although my kids might beg to differ), but I certainly don’t remember my text books (before the progressive ruined history) telling me that this was a time of huge industrialization. I bring this up because somehow, one of the high-priests of global warming/climate change is going to blame this earl snowfall on global warming/climate change.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Military Gays Take on DOMA

This certainly didn’t take long.

Gay and lesbian service members and veterans plan to file suit Thursday challenging the constitutionality of the federal ban on gay a marriage and federal policy that defines a spouse as a person of the opposite sex.

The suit comes five weeks after the Pentagon ended its ban on gays in the military.

Lawyers plan to sue in federal district court in Boston, the same court that ruled last that the federal Defense of Marriage Act in unconstitutional because it interferes with a state’s right to define marriage. That decision is being appealed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit. (Source: Washington Post)

Good grief, after finally winning the whole battle for unencumbered entrance to the US military, now they want the whole enchilada. I knew this was going to happen, but I didn’t expect it quite so soon. I figured they’d give it a couple of years to let the rank and file straight members get used to the fact they had to accept, under penalty of jail or being kicked out, a life style that is morally unacceptable to the very large percentage of the those currently serving.

Makes me wonder what the military is going to be like in the next 20 years. Let’s face it, we are not an Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps made up of sophisticates from uptown. Are military is mostly made up from men and women from Middle America. We are from the small towns and communities that still teach God’s word is the final word. Yes, things have changed, especially with the advent of the internet and cable TV. Those small town people are no longer isolated from the rest of the world. But that doesn’t change the makeup.

In 20 years, are we even going to recognize our service members? Will they outfitted by those dudes from the “Queer  Eye?” Will straight service members have to explain to their children why Steve and Tom live in the same house and why they hold hands when walking around the block? How do you explain to a small child that you are trying to raise in a Christian home why Tom kisses Steve every morning as they are headed off to duty? Christianity does not support or condone the homosexual lifestyle.

This country is sliding into an abyss.

Budget Crisis, Round Two (or is it Three)

The state of Washington is about to get hard once again due to needed budget cuts.

For the fourth year in a row, Gov. Christine Gregoire on Thursday outlined more than $1.5 billion is state cuts to health care, social services, prisons and education.

The latest round would increase public-school class sizes, eliminate subsidized health care for the working poor and release hundreds of inmates early.

“These are pretty much the very shocking things we’ve been trying to avoid for the last three years,” Senate Ways and Means Chairman Ed Murray, D-Seattle, said of the governor’s proposal.

“There are no choices left,” he added (Source: Seattle Times)
We have been down this road once already. The last time was much worse, in terms of dollar amounts. In the last legislative session, over $5 billion had to be trimmed from the state’s budget. All kinds of program were impacted, including health care, prisons, and government salaries (3% reduction).

While the dollar amount of the cuts begin sought by Gov, Gregoire won’t be as large, the reductions could have far wider and significant impact.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Dam Has Been Breached

Here is a quick update to a post I made earlier this week about a dam here in the PACNW being knocked down for a couple of fish.

The Condit Dam on the White Salmon River has been breached.

The reservoir behind the dam has already emptied and the river is its channel.

Time lapse of the reservoir emptying:

Also, in the earlier post I questioned how salmon that have never been above the dam will migrate to locations beyond were the dam used to sit. Well, it seems that prior to the breach, fish biologists hand carried salmon to a point above the dam. This was done for two reasons. First, due to the heavy silt that was going to head down stream due to the breach, all river life was going to end. Fish, frogs, water skippers, salamanders, and what-have-you-not were not going to survive the muddy, turbulent flow. Secondly, the salmon were moved in the hopes they would establish themselves upstream from the old dam site. I guess this makes sense. As I mentioned, Salmon return to the place they were hatched. If they are further upstream, then it stands to reason they will return there in a few years. This remains to be seen.

Obama Panders Yet Again

As I pointed out the other day, President Obama is making a bid to make Congress irrelevant. Not that there are not times when the congress-critters don’t deserve a little knot on the head every once in a while, but this blatant power grab by our socialist-democrat president is quite clear for all to see.

As most of you already know, he has decided that he doesn’t need Congress to revamp the student loan program, a program that he took over in 2010 when he signed into law a bill that removes private banks from the government backed student loan program. This bill flew under the radar a bit since it was passed shortly after the health care bill was passed. What might not be known is that as of right now, there is over $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. That is almost as much as the health care bill, yet it received scant attention. Prior to July 2010 the government was on the hook for about 20 percent of the balance by guaranteeing the loans. When this bill became law, that figure jumped to 80 percent (the rest are private loans).

Obama argued for the measure in 2009 as a cost-saving initiative, saying that the old system of privately issued, government secured loans reduced the amount of available money for needy student and also prevents the feds from making the system more efficient, (Source: Fox News)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

El Presidente for Life

Over the past year I have blogged several times about how President Obama is increasingly taking Congress out of the mix when it comes to governing our nation through his czars and his unilateral executive orders.

While certainly not the first instance of Obama threatening to bypass Congress, this was probably the one that caught everyone’s attention (of course, except those in the main stream media).

“Believe me; doing things on my own is very tempting.”

That little sentence scares the livin’ snot out of me. How can someone who purports to be a Constitutional scholar really believe this is a good way to govern? What is even scarier is the crowd chanting its approval. Are these people really Americans? Do they really want to live in nation where power is even more centralized than it is now? Maybe they should move to Venezuela or Iran to get a taste of what it is like to live under a dictator.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Got this in an e-mail. I think you all will enjoy it. It is a bit dated, but still funny. And quite possibly true!

Queen’s riddle

Barack Obama met with the Queen of England.

He asked her, “Your Majesty, how do you run such an efficient government? Are there any tips you can to me?”

“Well,” Said the Queen, “The most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people.”

Obama frowned, and then asked, “But how to I know the people around me are really intelligent?”

The Queen took a sip of tea. “Oh, that’s easy; you just ask them to answer an intelligent riddle.”

The Queen pushed a button on her intercom. “Please send Tony Blair in here, would you?”

Tony Blair walked into the room and said, “Yes, Your Majesty?”

The Queen smiled and said, “Answer me this please, Tony, you mother and father have a child. It is not your brother, and it is not your sister.”

“Who is it?” the Queen asked.

Without pausing for a moment, Tony Blair answered, “That would be me.”

“Yes, very good,” said the Queen.

Obama went back home to ask Joe Biden, his vice presidential choice the same question. “Joe, answer this for me. Your mother and father have a child. It is not your brother, and it is not your sister.”

“Who is it?” asked the President.

“I’m not sure,” said Biden. “Let me get back to you on that one.” He went to his advisors and asked everyone, but none could give him and answer.

Finally, Biden ran into Sarah Palin out eating one night. Biden asked, “Sarah, can you answer this for me? Your mother and father have a child. It is not your brother, and it is not your sister.”

“Who is it?” asked the Vice-President.

Sarah Palin answered right back, “That’s easy, it’s me.”

Biden smiled, and said, “Thanks!” Then, he went back to speak with Obama. “Say, I did some research and I have the answer to that riddle. It’s Sarah Palin!”

Obama got up, stomped over to Biden, and angrily yelled into his face.


“You Idiot!

“It’s Tony Blair!”

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Libya and Sharia Law

I wonder is President Obama is now happy that we back the Libyan rebels.

First of all, there is a very good possibility that Dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was basically executed in cold blood. An autopsy shows that Gaddafi was shot in the head after being wounded in what has turned out to be the last battle over the future of Libya.

Now comes word that within days of the end of Gaddafi, the new government has declared that all laws will be based on Sharia law

The transitional government leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil set out a vision for the post Gaddafi future with an Islamic tint, saying that Islamic Sharia law would be the “basic source” of legislation in the country and that existing laws that contradict the teachings of Islam would be nullified. In a gesture that showed his own piety, he urged Libyans not to express their joy by firing in the air, but rather to chant “Allahu Akbar,” of God is Great. He then stepped aside and knelt to offer a brief prayer of thanks. (Source: Yahoo News)

So basically, over the past several months we have backed the same kinds of people who chant “death to the Great Satan” and encourage terrorist attacks against US and Western targets and people. Couple this with the pull out of Iraq and the ever-increasing threat to Iraq sovereignty by Iran we have a foreign policy in the Middle East that will do nothing but further the growth of Islamic extremism. And now these extremists will not only have back water locations like northern Pakistan in which to train, they will have full-fledge governments to fund and support their activities. Just great!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Occupy Wall Street and the Jews


You really should drop by Doug’s blog, American Power Blog. He has a very good post on the anti-Semitism that is running through the Occupy Wall Street movement in particular and the progressive movement in general. I have asked several times over the last year (here, here, here, and here) why Jewish Americans vote for democrat politicians time after time when these dems are so heavily tied to the progressive movement. I have to receive an answer.

Anyway, Doug’s post is a must read for anyone who wants to know more about how the progressives feel about Jewish folks.

The key thing about the rash of anti-Semitism we’ve seen out of Occupy Wall Street is not that it’s shocking, but so mainstream. I’m not shocked at all by it. I write about this stuff all the time. One reason progressive work so hard to shut me down and shut down this blog is because I continually and relentless (sic) shine a light of moral approbation of the Jew-hatred. Not enough people do this, in my opinion. People must think that anti-Semitism lingers only in the extreme fringes of the aging millenarian right-wing, the last gasp of a few Nazis…

Friday, October 21, 2011

Another PACNW Dam Bites the Dust

At the end of the month, PacifiCorp will be punching a hole in a dam that holds back water on the North Salmon River in SW Washington. This dam has been in place for nearly 100 years and generates power for approximately 8000 homes.

The dam is being removed because the company that runs the Condit Dam and uses it for power generation said it would be cheaper to bring it down rather than retrofit the dam for salmon migration. PacifiCorp figures it would cost over $100 million to build the necessary salmon bypasses, but $32 million to knock it down. Obviously, PacifiCorp decided to go the cheaper route.

Behind the dam removal (and the Elwha Dam near Port Townsend, WA and it’s 14.8 megawatts of power generation) the Endangered Species Act, which has designated the salmon as an endangered species. Because of this, all impediments to salmon migration have to be removed or overcame. As pointed out above, it is cheaper to destroy the dam.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Simple Budget

A couple of images I think you all would like.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It Just Keeps Getting Worse for California

Doug over at Director Blue has another reason to NOT move to California. Actually, if you read his post, he has highlighted several reason why moving to Cali is not in your best interest.

Seems the teacher’s pension gap is huge (as in: HHHUUUUGGEEEE!!!!!).

Combined, all pension obligations are nearly $500 billion, as in one half a trillion.

Cities cannot file bankruptcy; instead have to go to mediation.

But hey, the state will always have Hollywood. Wait, maybe that isn’t such a good thing since that comes with Matt Damon and Michael Moore.

Budget Cuts Starting Point

As with many localities and states, the state of Washington is struggling with its operating due to high levels of spending and a sharp decrease in revenue during this deep recession (I don’t care what the numbers say, we are still in a recession). Last winter, the legislature passed a spending bill that cut over $5 billion from the state budget. Even that wasn’t enough as Governor Christine Gregoire is seriously contemplating calling a special session in order to cut another $1 billion.

In the initial cuts, state workers saw an across the board cut in their salaries and many programs saw deep cuts. It is quite possible that more cuts will have to be initiated to get the budget balanced as revenue was under-forecasted.

In this environment of tightening budgets and people hollering their salaries or programs should be cut comes news from a state auditor that government employees are wasting our tax dollars.

Several state workers habitually tended to personal affairs while on the clock, including planning a wedding, trading stocks and even running a private business.

A new report by the state auditor details waste at state agencies, which cost some workers their jobs and led to a computer crackdown.

State employees use computers and phones to conduct their business, but they’re not supposed to use that equipment or their work time for anytime personal.

“State law’s pretty clear. You cannot use public resources – and that’s going to time, money or equipment – for personal use,” said state auditor Brain Sonntag. (Source: KOMO News)

Sure seems like there might be a little room for some more cuts in the budget if people can use their work time to conduct personal business. Here is an idea: the positions held by those folks that were fired or decided to resign in lieu of getting fired should not be filled. It certainly won’t make up much of the difference in the grand scheme of the budget shortfall, but it could be a starting point.

Occupy Wall Street Gaining, Umm, Exposure

Interesting to say the least:

A man accused of exposing himself to children at least five times across Seattle was arrested early Tuesday morning.

Officers had been given a composite sketch of the suspect and detectives learned he had been at Westlake Park taking part in the Occupy Seattle protests.

Would someone refresh my memory if any of the Tea Party participants have been accused of exposing themselves to children. This is about the only thing the left hasn’t accused Tea Party people of committing.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Is the OWS Party Racist?

Although the trend might be shifting, I still have to wonder (for the umpteenth time) why American Jews feel compelled to support Obama and the Democrats.

As you are most likely aware, the Occupy Wall Street protest have VERY strong ties to the progressive  movement, hence VERY strong ties to the democrats. Even President Obama has now aligned himself with the movement.

[White House Spokesman Josh] Earnest added that while on the trip, Obama will make it clear that he is fighting to make certain that the “interests of 99 percent of Americans are represented” – the first time the White House has used the term to differentiate the vast majority of Americans from the wealthy. (Source: Business Insider)

It has become increasingly clear there is a segment of the OWS gang that has shown very evident anti-Semitic feelings.

In Los Angeles, California, protester, Patricia McAllister, who identified herself as an employee of the Low Angeles Unified School District (we can only hope she is not an educator), had this to say:

“I think that the Zionist Jews, who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve, which is not run by the federal government…they need to be run out of this country.” (Source: Israel Today)


Friday, October 14, 2011

OWS Protesters Lob a Loogie

Still think the whole Occupy Wall Street protests are milk and honey? I don’t know what was worse: the victim was a Coast Guard member or that the victim was a woman. Actually, in my opinion the fact that someone from the OWS gang would even entertain, much less follow through, spitting on a woman disgusts me to no end. Has the left completely lost its chivalry?

In a word: pathetic.

A New Thought for the OWS Folks

I wonder if any of the OWS protesters thought this might be a good way to go through life.

Maybe they should think about it for a minute and stop asking for the rest of us to pay for their stuff

Obama Care Dead -- Round One

Along with the “must purchase insurance” mandate, the fiscal viability has always been at the core of opposition for those who think the Health Care law was seriously flawed. No matter how often book-people looked at the costs and the expected benefits paid, the numbers just didn’t balance the way Obama and his crew promised.

All one had to do, even if they weren’t an accountant or bean-counter, was look at two central themes of this law. First one was the no disqualification due to a pre-existing condition. While trying to get everyone covered and to reduce the financial burden of health care, especially care needed for things like cancer and other horrific diseases, was admirable, there was no way it could be sustained, especially since insurance companies couldn’t charge those folks more than healthy people.

The other financial burden of the health care law was a little more difficult to ascertain. The Community Living Assistance Services (CLASS) was going to be voluntary insurance plan that would pay a “reasonable” daily cash benefit for anyone who became disabled. The problem was since the program was voluntary (unlike regular insurance under Obama Care) and was not subject to denial due to health reasons. There was a significant question whether or not it could be sustained and not become a burden on the taxpayer.

Well, it looks like it was going to be a burden;

But a central design flaw dogged CLASS. Unless large numbers of healthy people willingly sign up during their working years, soaring premiums driven by the needs of disabled beneficiaries would destabilize it, eventually requiring a taxpayer bailout.

After months of insisting that could be fixed, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finally acknowledged Friday she doesn’t see how.

“Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time,” Sebelius said in a letter to congressional leaders.

The law required the administration to certify that CLASS would remain financially solvent for 75 years before it could be put into place. (Source: AP News)

I will admit to a little amazement that someone from the spend-at-all-costs Obama Administration would actually admit that their “dear leader” might actually be wrong. I am also amazed that they are willing to throw a portion of Obama Care under the bus for something as small as not being able to pay for it. Heck, what’s another couple hundred billion dollars slung around the necks of the American taxpayer.

Oh, and one more thing: transparency, whodda thunk it?

Do They Even Know What Rasicm Is?

In today’s post-racial environment (we are post-racial, Obama promised it), is it OK for a white dude to issue a cry of racism against blacks? Is it OK for him to do this when he doesn’t have a clue as to what he is talking about?

Ed Schultz, host of MSNBC’s the Ed Show, believes that Republican presidential contender Herman Cain is pandering to “white Republican out there who don’t like black folks: and accused Sen. Jim Demint, R-S.C., of using racist language in his opposition to Obamacare.

On his show last night, Schultz said that Demint, whom Cain has mentioned as a potential running mate, repeated on “old southern racist term when talking about defeating President Obama during the health care debate.” Schultz’s example? He quoted Demint saying that “if we are able to stop Obama on the [health care law], it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” For clarity, Schultz repeated the offending line, “It will break him.” (Source: Washington Examiner)

A couple of weeks ago, people like Schultz and the rest of the liberal media (aka: main stream media) barely had any time for Cain. But win a couple of straw polls, do well in the debates, and get a serious boost in your polling numbers and suddenly they take an interest. But I wonder why they don’t take an interest in the fact that a black man had an exceptionally successful run as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, or the fact that he has done very well on the radio and lecture circuit, or that he has become a bestselling author.

As for the “It will break him” line being racist, I don’t profess to be from the south nor do I have any insight on any of the colloquialisms of the language down there, but I don’t ever recall hearing that this group of four words is racist. So I guess when Ivan Drago told Rocky that “I must break you” it was really “you are nothing but American scum.” Or when a defensive coach tells his linebackers that they have to break the line of scrimmage, which often times has a black athlete or two, it is really a veiled reference about their ability to play football.

All you really can do is shake your head at the wonder of how stupid people have become in trying bring a man down. Sorry to break it to you people, but my feelings of “get rid of that guy in the White House” have nothing to do with his race. Heck, the dude is half white anyways. So are you saying that I approve of half of him, but not the other half? I felt the same way about Clinton. I guess that makes me bigoted against people from Arkansas. One thing I will have to say about Clinton, I am bigoted against two-timing floor-flushers.

It is funny, I found myself becoming a Herman Cain supporter, but I certainly don’t feel any racism towards him.

Another Green Project Shut Down

Liberal Washingtonians pride themselves in being “green”. Recycling is a big deal here, although we have to pay for the privilege. The West Coast Green Highway project is starting to install electric car chargers along the I-5 corridor (although I still think it a huge waste of money. And they have done a terrific job of cleaning up Puget Sound.

But news coming out of Vancouver has me a little confused. It seems that company wants to open up a biomass plant in an industrial area of Vancouver (for those unaware, Vancouver is just across the river from Portland, OR). This plant would burn wood debris and generate electricity for a group of nearby buildings. The excess electricity would be sold.

The confusing part comes as the Vancouver city council put a 6-month moratorium on any construction ad permit issuing. Apparently there are some concerns about noise, traffic and odor. But this moratorium is going to have a serious impact on the construction. Schneider Electric was going to build this plant with absolutely no local taxpayer money. A goodly portion, $8 million, of the $25 million dollar cost was going to come from a federal grant for these types of project. Schneider Electric was going to cover the rest of the costs. But the moratorium will likely cause the federal grant to expire, leaving the company to pick up the rest of the tab if it wants to build.

This is the kind of thing that really gets me about the whole green movement. Not only was this plant going to generate electricity in a fairly green manner, it wasn’t going to cost the local government a dime. Now I understand there are some concerns, but why shut the whole process down, and possibility cause the cancellation of a good project? I know there were environmental impact statements done during the planning stages. Heck, we can’t even fart without filing tons of paperwork with the local and federal level environmental folks. So why wasn’t this enough?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

High-Speed Rail Can't Get Out of the Station

If you are a long time reader of my blog you know that I have posted several times about high-speed rail. Aesthetically, I am a fan. I love to ride the rails. I have taken several trips over the years on trains and have enjoyed them immensely. But from a practically standpoint, it just not a good fit for us here.

Our nation is just too large. Heck, we stretch from sea to sea; 3,000+ miles. We have vast and well maintained (mostly) highways that can take us from New York to LA in less than a week. Two and half days if you’re “Handsome Rob” And we have air travel. Hop on a plane at 6am in New York, and reach LA in time for a late breakfast. A high-speed train would take a little less than three days, coast to coast, and that would be on dedicated lines. If on a shared line, it would reach four days. Not much fast than a car, plus you now have your car in LA.

I do think there would be some places where high-speed rail would flourish. The NE-Corridor from Boston to DC is already proving its worth. I also think LA to Sand Diego and LA to Vegas would work well. As would Portland – Seattle – Vancouver. But do the high-speed rail dreamers really think a line from Chicago to Denver would be worth the money spent? Or how about that line from Houston to New Orleans?

There has to be a demand. The air routes in the USA NE are already at a saturation point. More flights cannot be added under the current technology and circumstances. It would make sense here and it has already happened to a degree with the ACELA. The run from Portland to Seattle has been well done and been helped by the fact there is a double- and sometime triple-mainline giving both passenger and freight trains plenty-o-room. Outside of these and a few other examples, the demand is not there and will not be there for the foreseeable future.

I dredge up these points because Michael Barone has written a fine article on the death of the high-speed rail dream (nightmare?)

It [high-speed rail] hasn’t failed because of lack of willingness to pony up money. The Obama Democrats’ February 2009 stimulus package included $8 billion for high-speed rail projects. The Democrat Congress appropriated another $2.5 billion.

But Congress is turning off the spigot. The Republican-controlled House has appropriated zero dollars for high-speed rail. The Democrat-majority Senate Appropriations Committee has appropriated $100 million in its budget recommendations. (Source: Real Clear Politics)

$100 million! In Seattle, that won’t even keep a homeless shelter open. In these times of shrinking state level budgets and decreased tax revenue at all levels, our congressional leaders are looking for pork fat to trim. If this doesn’t qualify, I don’t know what would.

While I don’t think our congress-critters are smart enough to look as far ahead as 2050 (when the high-speed rail project is to be done), I do believe in the back of their minds are the inevitable cost overruns. Already, there are cost overruns in California that are projected to increase the cost somewhere between 40 percent to 100 percent. Wow, who would have thought that a government project would have cost overruns? Oh the humanity.

Please comment if you have nay thoughts.

Our Constitutional Scholar -- NOT!

I think to say want is in this video is scary would be understating it a bit. President Obama has instructed members of his staff to…

”scour this report,… identify all those areas which we can act administratively without additional Congressional authorization and just get it done.” (Emphasis: PACNW Righty’s)

So our Constitutional scholar wants to further damage the Constitution by passing legislation without Congressional approval. Isn’t enough that his stormtrooper’s at the EPA have already bypassed Congress when it comes to the Clean Air Act? Hasn’t his DOJ already done enough damage with Fast and Furious and the look the other way stance when it comes to voter fraud and intimidation?  This just boggles the mind. I my memory I don’t think there has been a president who treats the Constitution with such unconcealed contempt.

(h/t and video via: The Blaze)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Homeless Shelter Wants Gates to Give More Money

With the recent steep cuts in our state’s budget, one of the services impacted is homeless shelters. As the weather begins to turn colder, more folks are requiring the services of homeless shelter. But there is a problem. Due to budget cuts, the shelters have had to reduce the number of beds available which is forcing people to sleep outside.

If you happened to walk by the Bill & Belinda Gates Foundation Monday night, you would have noticed a whole lot of people sleeping on the sidewalks.

The reason: Seattle homeless shelter Share/Wheel wants to know why the Gates Foundation is focused on helping communities thousands of miles away when there are people in need literally on its doorstep.

“When one is denied a fair chance at the basics of life – food, shelter and clothing – in a land of plenty such as ours, it is only fair and just to stand up peacefully and ask for better,” the shelter said in an online statement. (Source: Seattle PI)

Basically, they are asking for the Gate Foundation to pony up some more money.

Here is the kicker:

…the Gates Foundation responded, saying $100 million has been donated to Puget-Sound homeless programs. (Source: Seattle PI and KIRO News)

$100 million dollars to homeless programs in the local area? How much more do these people want? While I certainly am not advocating that we just dump these people on the street, how can $100 million go to such a waste? I have no idea whether or not the Gates Foundation is mulling over donating more money to these shelters, but after giving that much money I can certainly see why there might be some hesitation on the Foundation’s part.

I happen to think the Gates Foundation is one of the great philanthropic organizations around. They have donated billions to causes around the world, with education and health being a focal point. I tip my hat to Bill and Belinda for this effort.

People Want Free Stuff from the People Who Pay for Their Free Stuff

A friend of mine sent this to me today. Maybe you have seen it, maybe not.  It certainly does a great job of capturing the mood of the country right now, on both sides. On the right, we want people to pick themselves up by the bootstraps and get moving. On the left, they want someone to provide the bootstraps, help them get up, and then get paid for using the bootstrap and getting up.

Feel free to copy and paste the text and pass it along.

The folks who are getting the free stuff, don’t like the folks who are paying for the free stuff,

Because the folks who are paying for the free stuff,

Can no long afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff.


The folks who are paying for the free stuff,

Want the free stuff to stop.

And the folks who are getting the free stuff,

Want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff that are already getting!

Now… the people who forcing the people who pay for the free stuff,

Have told the people, who are paying RECEIVING the free stuff,

That the people who are PAYING for the free stuff,

Are being mean, prejudiced, and racist.

We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are,

Now more people getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.

So…the people who are GETTING the free stuff,

Have been convinced they need to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff,

By the people who are forcing some people pay for their free stuff,

And giving them the free stuff in the first place.

Now understand this.  All great democracies have committed financial suicide somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded. The Reason?
The voters figured out they could vote themselves money from the Treasury by electing people who promised to give them money from the Treasury in exchange for electing them.

The United States officially became a Republic in 1776, 231 years ago. The number of people now getting free stuff outnumbers the people paying for the free stuff. We have one chance to change that 2012. Failure to change spells the end of the United States as we know it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

California, The Leading Nanny State

Well, California is at it again. As a nanny state, California has both figuratively and literally broken the bank. Their record for stupid liberal decisions is well documented here and all across the web. Yet despite the evidence of their continuing stupidity, they keep on keepin’ on.

Just recently, Gov Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown signed legislation that bans tanning beds for those under the age of eighteen. This is outright ban, regardless of whether there is parental permission. The state of California doesn’t think that someone who is 17 can make good decisions. And as the father of a 17-year old, I happen to agree with that sentiment. However, there is a reason why 16- and 17-year old kids have parents: So they can make informed decisions about the choices their teenagers want to make. Taking away that responsibility from the parents and giving it to the state is what I am have trouble with. Why oh why do liberals and progressive think they are so much smarter than everyone else that they have to pass laws that further whittles away at parental rights? Is it not my responsibility and my right to raise my children how I see best? If I want to allow my teenager to get a suntan via a tanning bed, that is my right. But it also my responsibility to make sure that my kids are not done any harm, so I wouldn’t allow them too anyway. It still galls me that the state of California thinks they can raise my kids better than I can.

Often, the wounds inflicted on California are done by the idiots in Sacramento.

But every once in a while, the citizens themselves act like a bunch of loons.

Arab Spring has the Winter Chills

How about the whole “Arab Spring”? Back in January and February liberals were saying that the fall of Mubarak in Egypt would be a watershed moment in the Middle East. Peace would break out everywhere and the desert would suddenly be resplendent with wild flowers.

Into the vacuum has come the Muslim Brotherhood. And now comes the heavy hand of Islamic extremism.

Flames lit up downtown Cairo, where massive clashes raged Sunday, drawing Christians angry over a recent church attack, Muslim and Egyptian security forces. At least 24 people were killed and more than 200 injured in the worst sectarian violence since the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in February.

The rioting lasted late into the night, bringing out a deployment of more than 1,000 security forces and armored vehicles to defend the state television building along the Nile, where the trouble began. The military clamped a curfew on the area until 7 a.m.

At one point, an armored security van sped into the crowd, striking a half-dozen protesters and throwing some into the air. Protesters retaliated by setting fire to military vehicles, a bus and private cars, sending flames rising in the night sky.

After midnight, mobs roamed downtown streets, attacking cars they suspected had Christian passengers. In many areas, there was no visible police or army presence to confront or stop them. (Source: Yahoo News)

I find it interesting this story did not mention that most of those killed were Christians, many killed when the vehicle ran up on the sidewalk.

The Christian protesters said their demonstration began as a peaceful attempt to sit in at the television building. But then, they said, they came under stack by thugs in plainclothes who rained stones down on them and fired pellets.

“The protest was peaceful. We wanted to hold a sit-in, as usual,” said Essam Khalili, a protester wearing a white shirt with a cross on it. “Thugs attacked us and the military vehicle jumped over a sidewalk and ran over at least 20 people. I saw them.”

Wael Roufail, another protester, corroborated the account. “I saw the vehicle running over the protesters. They opened fire at us,” he said.

Khalili said protesters set fire to army vehicles when the saw them hitting the protesters.

Ahmed Yahia, a Muslim resident who lives near the TV building, said he saw the military vehicle plow into protesters. “I saw a man’s head split into two halves and a second body flattened when the armored vehicle ran over it. When some Muslims saw the blood they joined the Christians against the army,” he said. (Source: Yahoo News)

Anyone care to take a stab at who might be behind the plain clothes thugs? While no one comes and says it was the Muslim Brotherhood, it sounds like stuff they have done in the past. Who knows. But for the army to attack the Christians with complete disregard for life is inexcusable. I hope someone is held accountable, but I am not going to hold my breath.

Protesters Cry "Gimme Something"

The Occupy Wall Street protests have hit the Seattle area over the last several days. It really is kind of hard to really get a grip on exactly what it is they are protesting but the under current is quite evident.

They call themselves the 99 percent, which I assume they mean they think they represent the 99 percent of all Americans and the 1 percent are the “rich”. Sorry, but I certainly don’t feel like they represent me. I am not a socialist who is bent on tearing down the most wonderful form of government ever devised.

These people really thought they had it made when Barack Obama was elected President and Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House. They had a clear Marxist occupying the White House and a nutjob leading the House. Soon everyone was going to be holding hands and singing around the campfire. Just one problem. Obama and his crew don’t really represent the majority of Americans. They soon found this out when the Tea Party was formed and pushed hard during the health care debate.

Local Real Estate Good News/Bad News

Here is a good-news, bad news story. In King County (Seattle), home sales were up in September and compared to September 2010. This is the good news, although tempered somewhat with the knowledge that last September sales were the worst in nearly a decade.

On the bad news side, values continue to decrease, down 8 percent from last September. On a positive note, it was unchanged from Aug.

PS: Sorry about the slow blogging. Came down with a touch of something. I have also been putting a lot of extra hours at a second job. My lovely bride went to visit our daughter in San Diego to attend her San Diego State University Nursing Program Induction ceremony. And my Oldest Son has decided to join the Marines, Since he is 17, his mom and dad have lots of paperwork to deal with. It has been a very hectic week around here.

(Source: Seattle Times)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Obama Still Pushing Jobs Bill

Tonight, President Obama held a press conference in which he once again pushed his jobs bill which he introduced nearly three weeks ago. His $447 billion jobs bill would supposedly reduce payroll taxes, increase spending on schools and start on infrastructure projects. This would all be funded by raising taxes on “the rich.” While the bill has languished on The Hill, there really still aren’t any concrete ideas within the bill, other than the 5.5% tax increase on “the rich.”

Watching the presser I was amazed at just how feisty he has become over this bill, almost daring the Republican to not pass the bill. He urged Congress to pass the bill or “be ready to get run out of town” by voters.

I really do think he is missing the mood of the country. In the past three years, he and his Congress (2008-2010) passed spending programs in excess of $2.5 trillion. I think people are tired of the spending.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

CBS Reporter "Unavailable"

The CBS reporter (Sharyl Attkisson) who dared report on the brewing ‘Fast and Furious’ and ‘Gunwalker’ scandal has apparently been made incognito by the brass at CBS. As reported by John Hinderaker of “Powerline Blog:” (h/t Mike at CY)

Today I called CBS News in an attempt to interview Attkisson. I was told by CBS news senior vice president of communications Sonya McNair that Attkisson would be unavailable for interviews all week. When I asked why Attkisson would be unavailable, McNair would not say.

I’ve also heard from a producer at another media outlet that has previously booked Attkisson that they tried to book her since she made news with the Laura Ingraham interview yesterday. They were also told that she would be unavailable. (Source: PowerLine)

Very interesting, to say the least. Here we have a reporter that has probably done the best job (outside the conservative blogosphere) of reporting on the developing scandal. Yesterday she gets into a shouting match with a couple of Obama flunkees over her coverage on the scandal. Now today she is suddenly “unavailable.” Ya jus’ gotta love how the main stream media carries Obama’s water. It is certain that Obama and his crew do not believe in “freedom of the press.”

Republican Field Set

Well, it looks like the Republican nomination race is set. Yesterday Chris Christie decided not to run and today, Sarah Palin also thought it wasn’t such a good idea.

I am actually glad both of these two are not running, but for different reasons.

I am not a fan of Gov Christie. While I do enjoy the heck out of the videos that pop up every so often, generally him taking some poor sap to school, I think he is too progressive/liberal on a couple of key platforms. I outlined my concerns in a post yesterday.

I do think that he was able to think this decision through and understand that while the press might be his friend right now, they would stop at nothing to tear him down. The issue raised about his weight more than likely gave him a taste of what he could expect.

I am a huge fan of Sarah Palin. I remember very clearly being quite pleased when John McCain announced her as his running mate in 2008. Not a lot of people had heard of her at that point, but since I traveled to Alaska several times in 2008, and make it a policy to follow local news, I was able to get a feel for her political philosophy. I liked the fact that she was no nonsense, and took on whoever needed a butt kicking (Rep or Dem).

But for her, and her family’s, sake I am glad she decided not to run. Never in the history of American politics has there ever been a more polarizing figure. Almost from day one the main stream media tried to tear her down. While the record of another complete unknown, this one from Illinois, was hardly given a second glance, enough reporters to fill a small airline were sent north to Given Palin the once-over.

To make matter even worse, once the press discovered that Palin couldn’t be had (her composure is remarkable), they took after her family. Todd and cheating allegations, Bristol’s child, and even Willow couldn’t be a kid without the press hanging them out to dry.

This evening, while discussing this with my better half, she asked me if I thought Palin not running was a good thing. She also happens to like Palin. Anyway, I told her that if she were Palin (their viewpoints on a lot of things dovetail) and I were her husband, I would ask not to run because the family has been through enough already. Whether the treatment from the press was a significant factor or not, I think they made the right call. And you know that the Palin’s will not admit the press played any part of their decision.

CBS Reporter Called Out for Covering Gunwalker Fairly

While I have not blogged much about the developing scandal that is ‘Fast and Furious’ and ‘Gunwalker’, I have been following this story at Confederate Yankee. I figured, why blog about something that has been so well covered. Plus, as I read the posts, it is clear to me that the writers have resources and sources that I could not begin to develop. If you want to read more about it, just click on over to CY and take a gander. They have lots to stuff.

But I wanted to point out this little bit of hypocrisy. A CBS reporter who had the gall to develop a story line that did not show the Obama Administration and Holder’s DOJ in a very positive light got read the riot act by a couple of Obama and Holder underlings.

[Sharyl] Attkisson also said the DOJ and White House representatives complained the CBS was “unfair and biased” because it didn’t give the White House favorable coverage on the developing scandal.

“Is it sort of a drip, drip. And I’m certainly not the one to make the case for DOJ and White House about what I’m doing wrong,” she added. “They will tell you that I’m the only reporter, as they told me, that is not reasonable. They said The Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, The New York Times is reasonable – I’m the only one who thinks this is a story, and they think I’m unfair and biased by pursuing it.” (Source: The Daily Caller)

I wonder if the White House will pull her press credentials. Remember when the Obama Administration tried to freeze out Fox News in 2009? Fox News makes no bones about not covering Obama and his group in a favorable light. They report the news as needed. Fortunately, other members of the press stood up to Obama and basically told them to knock it off.