Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Would You Start A 5-18 Pitcher In Game 7 of the World Series?

Because in 2012, we'll be well into a double-dip recession, the Arab Spring will have devolved into open warfare with Israel, and there will be social unrest in America.  And this time, it may not be simply senior citizens yapping at their congressmen at town halls.

And into this mess, when we need most a strong performance to help lead us from tyranny to triumph....we can choose one of the following starting pitchers for Game 7 :

- young upstart Michele Bachmann, more of a successful minor league player with a good inside fastball but questionable savvy, 

-Solid veteran Rick Perry, who's career indicates he can get it done irregardlessof what dire circumstances surround him,

- or a lifetime 5-18 pitcher, who has spent most of his career pleading for a chance to get into the Big Game.

That losing pitcher is....Mitt Romney.  The 5-18 record represents his record in elections.  Jonathan Last on how The Man With No Constituency cannot seem to get it done, no matter how hard he tries, or how much he spends:

Let’s revisit Romney’s campaigns:
1994: MA Senate Republican primary: Romney 82%, John Lakian 18%
1994: MA Senate general election: Ted Kennedy 58%, Romney 41%
2002: MA Gubernatorial Republican primary: Romney runs unopposed
2002: MA Gubernatorial general election: Romney 50%, Shannon O’Brien 45%
2006: MA Gubernatorial primary: trailing in polls for the general election to Deval Patrick—a guy who’d never run for anything before—Romney declines to seek reelection. I’ll count this as a loss; you might be more charitable.
2007: Presidential primaries: I won’t go state-by-state, but here’s the breakdown: Romney won only three states where the vote was a straight-up primary. Each of these wins was in a place where he had enormous legacy advantages: Michigan, where his father had been governor; Massachusetts, where he had been governor; and Utah, which is overwhelmingly Mormon. (He also won 8 caucus states, though the organizing rules there are much less indicative of electoral strength.)
On other side of the ledger, Romney lost primaries in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, California, Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, and Maryland. (He also lost a bunch of caucus states, but we won’t count those against him since we’re discounting his caucus wins.)
Which means that in the 2008 cycle he went 3-16.
Combine that with the rest of his runs and you get a 17-year career average of 5-18. I don’t think you could find any other figure in politics who has run this far below the Mendoza line and still managed to get taken seriously as a presidential candidate. In fact, the only reason Romney gets taken seriously is his money. Strip away the $500M treasure room and the willingness to blow large chunks of his kids’ inheritance, and he’s Ron Paul without the ideological moorings and grassroots support....
Last goes further, pointing out that in his signature victory - governor of Massachusetts - he only received 49% of the vote, and that he blew $7 million running against Kennedy only to lose by 17 points.
This line is brilliant:
It’s funny that Romney’s line of attack on Perry seems to be that Perry is a “career politician” because he’s been in elective office since 1984. Well, Mitt Romney would have been a career politician too, if only voters would have let him. He’s been running since 1994. His real gripe about Perry is actually, “Hey, that guy wins all the time! No fair!”

So back to baseball.  Game 7 of the World Series, and you're the manager.  Do you put in the guy who has never -  ever - lost a game, or the loser with a laundry list of excuses and gripes, coming off of a 3-16 season?

It's a no-brainer.  Just like our choice should be in 2012...

Francisco d'Anconia Explains Why Barack Obama Hates The Rich

I haven't read the famous d'Anconia "money speech" in Atlas Shrugged in some time. But in reviewing it this morning, this passage jumps out at me:

"Money is your means of survival. The verdict which you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men's vices or men's stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards?  If so, then your money will not give you a moment's or a penny's worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you'll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?

"Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?

Why Obama won't get re-elected....

"Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

"Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another--their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

A substitute the Obama administration has been reaching for more and more often lately.  Just ask the folks at Gibson Guitars...

But this is not strictly an American phenomenon.  Across the world, folks are understanding the intrinsic value of money, and how the politicians are destroying it, and are taking down the entire value system of Western civilization with it.  So expect to see more and more stories like this (via I Hate the Media):

Filettino, set in rugged hill country around 100 km (65 miles) east of Rome, is rebelling against a proposal to merge the governments of towns with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants to save money.

Filettino has only around 550 people, but instead of merging with neighboring Trevi, mayor Luca Sellari is trying to go it alone and set up a "principality" along the lines of the famous republic of San Marino to the north.

He has started minting Filettino's own bank currency, the "Fiorito," with his photo on the back, which he says is already being used by the townsfolk.

"We aim to achieve real autonomy from Italy and we have the financial resources to do it," Sellari said in an interview on the town's website

There was no immediate comment from the central government in Rome....

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jews For Rick Perry!

It's gotta start somewhere, why not here?

Three reasons for Jews to get behind Perry:  First, according to his rival for the governor's seat in 2006 (Jewish singer/wannabe cowboy Kinky Friedman), he's a true mensch:

When I ran for governor of Texas as an independent in 2006, the Crips and the Bloods ganged up on me. When I lost, I drove off in a 1937 Snit, refusing to concede to Perry. Three days later Rick called to give me a gracious little pep talk, effectively talking me down from jumping off the bridge of my nose....You might call what Rick did an act of random kindness. Yet in my mind it made him more than a politician, more than a musician; it made him a mensch....

Second: He's re-wrote Texas law to allow for over-sized mezuzahs. Just ask the Mezuzah Store, who has built a custom one in his honor:

Over the last few years we have been following with great interest the different stories of condominium boards making rules prohibiting Mezuzahs. First there was a story in Florida, then in Chicago and most recently in Texas.

Recently in June of this year (2011) Texas did something unique in passing a special law explicitly permitting the display of a Mezuzah up to 25 inches tall. This law overrides the authority of the Condo boards to ban Mezuzahs. This has come to be known as the Mezuzah Law.

After the bill was passed by the Texas legislature, the only question was whether Governor Rick Perry would sign it into law. When he did, we came up with the idea of commissioning a large, Texas style Mezuzah in his honor. We called up our friends at CJ Art in Israel and asked them to make us a very large Mezuzah from Jerusalem stone.

This Mezuzah is a one of a kind. There is only one in the world. It is hand crafted of one solid piece of Jerusalem Stone and measures 26 inches tall. It is pictured next to a standard 4 inch Mezuzah to give you a sense of proportion....

Third: Well...I'll send it back to Kinky, who provides us with the  following bit of simple wisdom last night on FOX News:

It comes down to this: do you prefer a president who doesn't believe in evolution, or do you prefer a president that doesn't believe in Israel?

That counts for something....

If You Liked Hurricane Irene, You'll Love...Tropical Storm Katia!

OK, well, I'm not an expert on these things (just an aficionado), but don't these two tracks look a bit familiar?

Here is Irene's track, early on, when she was just little 'ol "Tropical Storm Irene"

And here is just-named Tropical Storm Katia (promoted from mere "Tropical Depression #12")

Irene seemed to track at a slightly lower latitude, and it's still early, but....I don't like that northeasterly tilt....

From NOAA:


34 KT....... 0NE 0SE 0SW 30NW.

FORECAST VALID 02/0600Z 17.0N 49.5W
50 KT... 60NE 45SE 45SW 60NW.
34 KT...120NE 80SE 80SW 120NW.


OUTLOOK VALID 03/0600Z 18.5N 54.0W

OUTLOOK VALID 04/0600Z 20.5N 58.0W



Rick Perry vs. Barack Obama: Which One Is Truly Dumb?

We've addressed this question before, and it will come up again and again, as liberals work to convince the American people that anyone who disagrees with their agenda is an idiot.  Worked well in 1980, 1984, 2000, and 2004, I suppose....

Today's charge of idiocy against Rick Perry is base upon him calling Social Security a "Ponzi Scheme".  He's touched the third of American politics!  He's maligning (these) popular programs on the campaign trail!  He's...moving up in the polls?

John McCormack over at The Weekly Standard notes:

The Democratic National Committee emailed reporters three different stories reporting Perry's "Ponzi scheme" remark this weekend, so Democrats clearly think Perry's statement could hurt him with seniors in a general election.

It's worth noting that the attack wasn't very effective against one candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010. Ron Johnson had called Social Security a "Ponzi scheme" but rather than completely backing down, he produced this ad:

"Guess what's coming in Russ Feingold's negative campaign? He's going to tell you I said, 'Washington treats Social Security as a Ponzi scheme.' You know what? I did say that. Because it's true. Russ Feingold and politicians both parties raided the Social Security trust fund of trillions and left seniors an IOU. They spent the money. It's gone. I'll fight to keep every nickel of Social Security for retirees. And I'll respect you enough to tell you the truth."

Johnson went on to beat Russ Feingold 52 percent to 47 percent in Wisconsin.

Rick Perry: Smarter than a fox (or a wily coyote).  But Barack Obama, on the other hand,'s Byran Preston:

When President Obama introduced his new economic adviser today, he...needed two teleprompters to pull off this one-note, three-minute speech. What person in public life needs a teleprompter just to introduce someone else?

Obama’s speeches score lower in their content reading level than any other modern president. The words tend to be small, and the sentence structures simple. Obama doesn’t write these speeches entirely, of course, but they are supposed to represent his thinking and are crafted to suit his delivery style.

Obama himself is a terrible writer....many of Obama’s sentences are muddled messes. The other is that Obama’s extemporaneous speaking sounds very similar to the muddled sentences he wrote as a young man. The ideology is certainly the same.


Barack Obama actually does not think very deeply, does not retain information very well or for very long, and cannot form the ideas he does believe into coherent, grammatically-correct sentences. For a fourth point, consider that he hardly ever shows any real curiosity or passion about much and has not shown any ability to process new information or change his mind about anything, and you have ample evidence that Barack Obama is quite average, and possibly below average.

A below average genius (see Simpson, Bart), whose poll numbers are moving in exactly the opposite direction of Rick Perry...

You want a "smart" president who will give us "smart" government" and use "smart" power and "smart" diplomacy? Call a Texan...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meet Alan Krueger: Another Obama Appointee, Another Economic Illiterate...

President Obama spoke (sigh) today on the nation's economic morass and gave his typically intellectually meager thoughts on pulling us out:

That challenge, the president said, encompasses the need to create a climate in which “more businesses can post job listings,” “folks can find work to relieve the financial challenge they’re feeling” and “families can regain a sense of economic security in their lives.”

“That’s our urgent mission and that’s what I’m fighting for every single day,” he said. “That’s why today I’m very pleased to nominate Alan Krueger to chair the Council of Economic Advisors.”

Stunning incoherent? Oh, you betcha. But somehow this is even worse than it sounds. Mr. Krueger is a big fan of the VAT:

In the long run, a 5 percent consumption tax would raise approximately $500 billion a year, and fill a considerable hole in the budget outlook. In addition, a consumption tax would encourage more saving in the long run. Many economists consider a consumption tax an efficient way of raising tax revenue, especially in a global economy....

The main downside of this proposal is that taxes reduce economic activity. But the government must make critical trade-offs, and a consumption tax could be the most efficient means to raise revenue to finance essential government functions.

Another downside is that a consumption tax is a greater burden for the poor, who spend a relatively high share of their income. But this can be compensated by exempting essential items, like rent and nutritious, or by providing a rebate to low-income households.

Got it? The functions of the government are "essential", but those of your family are not. And as for the poor, who pay no taxes anyway, well - heaven forfend they kick in anything at all, so we'll just have to give them even more of your money to help assuage our guilt.

Krueger also beleives increases in the minimum wage don't depress employment.  Others - even New York Times op-ed liberals - would disagree. So do other, equally credentialed, economists.  Krueger was also one of the great minds behind "Cash for Clunkers", an economic fail that has hit the poor and middle class the hardest of all.

So expect Obama's new "economic plan" (or is it a speech?) to contain more of the same old sh*t that contributed to the epic fail that is the 2011 American economy.  And as far as Alan Krueger's smarts, well, don't tell me he's a bigwig at Princeton.  That only serves to remind me of a certain episode of the Simpsons: Brother From Another Series, in which Sideshow Bob confronts his brother with an accusation of professional jealousy:

Cecil opines that one gets more respect as a civil servant than as a homicidal maniac. "Or a clown's sidekick." Bob believes this confirms his theory: Cecil still resents the fact that Krusty chose Bob, not him, as his sidekick years before.

Bob: You wanted to be Krusty's sidekick since you were five! What about the buffoon lessons, the four years at clown college?

Cecil:  I'll thank you not to refer to Princeton that way....

Obama "Takes Charge" Of Hurricane Irene; Yahoo! Readers Play "Caption This!"

Reading news filtered by Yahoo! is not much different than reading White House press releases - filled with stories about the greatness and good of Barack Obama and the Democratic party; with occasional stories brimming with disgust over this or that Republican initiative.  But they may have gone a bit too far with this piece, and picture:

Obama takes charge at hurricane command center

US President Barack Obama warned the US east coast was in for a "long 72 hours" as he led his government's response to Hurricane Irene at a disaster command center in Washington.

Obama on Saturday chaired a meeting at the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) set up at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) headquarters in Washington, which is marshaling federal and local hurricane-relief efforts.

Really? The federal government "responds" to a hurricane? What is it, an overpowering high pressure system, or cool ocean water?

And Obama looks as clueless here in a made-up position of authority as he does everywhere else:

And if you needed any more proof that this president has "jumped the shark" in the minds of the average American, listen to the scathing response of Yahoo! readers to this photo and glowing profile:

Obama was at the Hurricane Command Center? When did they get a golf course?

He just downgraded his Presidency to Weatherman.

Things just went from bad to worse.

Is there anything this man can't do?

The only thing missing from this headline is a picture of Obama standing inside a tank wearing a Michael Dukakis helmet.

I thought Al Gore was in charge of the global climate.

Top priorities for Obama as they prepped up the storm command center for his arrival: Teleprompter setup, and six dozen double cheeseburgers, five dozen fries, and ten dozen milk shakes for Michelle. I think the rest of the staff got something to eat as well.

He is the least qualified person in any room he walks into.

Don't let him touch any of the buttons.

Now that the hurricane is over, I'm glad he is taking charge of the hurricane.

he couldn't lead a cub scout troop to the latrine.

All hail our Prima Donna in Chief.

The president of the United States of America needs to deal personally with a tropical storm. Ugh, liberal thinking at its best.

Thank Alla that we have a truly fearless leader who is not afraid to stand in the face of Hurricanepalooza, give a speech, and make the godless storm move away from his voting base. I wish that I could bear his child.

I wonder how much borrowed Chinese money it took to build that fancy command center?

And a little on the blatant bias:

Does anyone else find it blatantly bias and sycophantic that whenever yahoo "news" speaks of this president they always use the fullest form ie: US President Barack Obama or at the shortest President Barack Obama? When they covered President Bush it was always fine to use the term "Bush said this".

Every story paints this guy as a hero and genius and in reality he is an incompetent do-nothing.

To whomever wrote this piece, it's good to see you pulled your head out of the President's behind, long enough to take a deep breath, write this love-letter to your BFF Barack, then go right back up the POTUS behind.

I would have added in this bit from private William Hudson in Aliens:

"He's coming in".  I feel safer already...

Hurricane Irene: Over-hyped? Short Answer: No

Instapundit seems to believe the media overplayed Hurricane Irene, as he links to a number of posts that try ot make the case.  First, we get Toby Harden who labels it the Perfect Storm of Hype:

The TV anchors were expressing their relief at the good news that the east coast had “dodged a bullet” and Irene had not been the apocalypse they had predicted.

Perhaps it would be a bit too much to hope that they and certain politicians felt a little sheepish too.


I’ve seen worse damage—and had longer power interruptions (my power went out last night at 3 am for a grand total of two minutes)—from normal severe summer thunderstorms.

They link to Howard Kurtz, who says "don't believe the hyp"e:

Someone has to say it: cable news was utterly swept away by the notion that Irene would turn out to be Armageddon. National news organizations morphed into local eyewitness-news operations, going wall to wall for days with dire warnings about what would turn out to be a Category 1 hurricane, the lowest possible ranking....I say this with all due respect to the millions who were left without power, to those communities facing flooding problems, and of course to the families of the 11 people (at last count) who lost their lives in storm-related accidents.

And here Glenn Reynolds seems to go after Chris Christie a bit as well with this note, echoing Harden:  Chris Christie: ‘No regrets’ on evacuations.

OK, so let's address all this, shall we?

With all due respect to the bloggers that were completely unaffected by the storm, I can say from my perch in New Jersey that the precautionary measures and the media warning saved lives (and not just a few) and prevented untold amounts of property damage, both private and public.

One (only, one thankfully) story:

In the Garden State, where beaches were battered and boardwalks were broken up, a Salem County woman called 911 early yesterday after her car was swept away by floodwaters....

A State Police SWAT team rushed to Route 40 in Pilesgrove, but not before the rising waters submerged the car and killed the 20-year-old driver behind the wheel.

There were flash floods everywhere in New Jersey, as 8-10 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in an already saturated state.  Were it not for the "dire" warnings, how many other families, thinking they were seeing just a "severe summer storm", would have gone out for a family drive on Sunday, and gotten themselves killed?  Miles of the Garden State Parkway were covered in water - imagine the danger to both citizens and rescue crews had folks simply driven right into it?  And the chaos that would have ensued diverting a summer weekend's worth of traffic onto side streets for dozens of miles?  Not to mention folks that would have gotten killed by falling trees, not an uncommon occurrence even in the aforementioned "summer thunderstorm"...


And in New York, the mass transit shutdown may have saved hundreds of millions of dollars.  No sh*t.  Entire trainyards and bus yards were submerged,  with the vehicles themselves only saved from the junkyard because Bloomberg shut down the system and moved them to higher ground.  Imagine the cost of replacing this infrastructure?  With subway tunnels flooded, hundreds if not thousands would have needed rescue, putting first responders at unnecessary risk.  And, of course, later flooding the city with lawsuits....

I'm sure the owner feels "sheepish" for evacuating...

And the evacuations?  Again, lives were saved- both citizens and government - by clearing out high-risk areas that - lo and behold! - actually flooded.  While Chris Christie does have some hurricane-related issues to be defensive about, ordering evacuations of the barrier islands is not one of them.

So why the taunting from bloggers?  Part of it is justified - there was a certain blood lust in the media, especially when it became clear that NYC would be hit.  After all, every disaster movie worth it's salt has to have an epic "fall of New York" scene; the greatest city would by nature have the greatest destruction.  And the media took advantage of that, and perhaps should have tempered it's enthusiasm by honestly predicting that Hurricane Irene could devolve into a tropical storm by landfall in the Big Apple.

But part of the blogger's joy here is undeserved bravado:  They were unaffected, they thought it was no big deal, they escaped unscathed, therefore the media blew it big-time.  While they piously show distressed for the 2 million without power, well...I know many of these folk, and most of them heeded warnings and stocked up for this eventuality.  If they didn't, they'd be thirsty and starving as well as inconveineced.

And what would the above bloggers be doing then?  Why, blaming the very same governments who actually did something right this time.  Shaking their heads, they would have wondered why no one learned the lessons of Katrina, loud demands for heads to roll would have already been issued, certain political careers would be determined as "finished" (see Christie, Chris) and they would be writing long pieces (like this one) on what they feel should be done to save lives "next time".

Hey - glad Glenn and Toby stayed dry, happy Steven Hayward suffered minimal damage, and I am always pleased Howard Kurtz's snark did not get washed away with the surf.  But their safety does not indicate how close a call it was for many others, and how local governments - with no help from the feds - did their job properly when faced with an imminent disaster.

Maybe that should be the real story here...

UPDATE: Professor Jacobson opines that it's big city folks - safe in their rent-controlled apartments - sticking it to suburban America again...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene Blasts New Jersey With Bad Media, Offhand Governance, And Tornados

Just got my power on after some 12+ hours in the dark; and I consider myself lucky as I was about an hour from flood-stage waters in the basement.  A few quick thoughts:

-New Jersey 101.5 (WKXW), is a local radio station that broadcasts on various frequencies from Cape May to the state's northern reaches and is the unofficial "official" radio station of New Jersey, absolutely dominating local coverage (and ratings).  Surprisingly, they went to music at around 12 noon today, as opposed to staying live with road conditions and reports from various townships.  Without internet, with minimal cell phone service (must have had a tower knocked down near me), and with New York radio stations focusing their reporting on city matters, I was in the dark both literally and figuratively.  Very disappointing.

-Also disappointing was Chris Christie's performance today.  Apparently, he made the rounds of the national TV talk shows this morning, but that did little to help get information to the almost 800,000 Jersey residents that were without power, and hence their TV sets.  Christie finally got off the national stage and deigned to talk to local media at around 12 noon. The WKXW jocks sneered derisively - after Christie pushed his 10AM briefing up to noon - that he'd get to local residents after he finished burnishing his national credentials.  And mind you, the aforementioned "official" radio outlet of the state is usually very much in the governor's corner.  Shocking lack of awareness from the usual media-savvy governor.  I was pretty pissed at him myself...

-Here's an approximated Hurricane Irene rainfall totals map by New Jersey county, in case you were interested:

~And here's video of the aftermath of what appears to be a tornado that tore through Long Branch.  Sounds more like a water spout that came ashore and stayed aloft for a few minutes.  Still, the damage is severe, and tornadoes are a somewhat rare phenomenon in New Jersey:

~Although less unusual then they once were - I took this picture a few weeks ago on Route 9 in Old Bridge - it's a tornado attempting to form in a cornfield, at the leading edge of a thunderstorm.  Took the pics from a bus, it was fascinating to watch:

~And finally, back to Irene - here's my home weather station's barometric readings ovder a 24 hour period.  Csan you guess at what point the storm passed through?

Below the charts low-pressure...yowza...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Signs of the Apocalypse: Earthquakes, Hurricanes, and...Giant Rats?

Well, if they were fleeing New York in advance of Irene, I'd be even more worried.  But still...this is not a good sign:

A giant 3-foot-long rat met its maker at the Marcy Houses recently, when Housing Authority worker Jose Rivera stabbed it multiple times with a pitchfork. The 48-year-old says he believes there are at least two more on the loose out there, which he spotted when filling a rat hole last week.

 An expert at the Wildlife Conservation Society told the Daily is likely a Gambian pouched rat, and was probably someone's escaped or discarded pet. The head of the Marcy Houses Tenant Association says these giant rats have been spotted over the past six years; and one resident told BBN that eight big rats were recently killed in one day.

Tenants believe the rats have been breeding with Norway rats in the area, and are "spawning a super-breed of rodents" that "gang up on the cats."

Yuk. Probably means nothing. Probably. But in reviewing the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse, I came up with:

First sign is the arrival of false prophets. (Barack Obama as God, perhaps?)
The second horseman is associated with conflict and war. Accordingly the sign here would be the outbreak of wars. (More than we can count right now)
This third horseman of the apocalypse rides a black horse with scales in his hands. He is associated with commerce and therefore is said to bring an imbalance in the costs of goods. Famine is his legacy. (See the price of food lately?)
The fourth sign is widespread death. (hmm...not yet)
The fifth sign is a mass murdering of Martyrs. (not here yet either. But I find the fact that First Responders and Clergy have been denied access to the 9/11 memorial ceremonies this year to be certainly allegorical, at the very least...)
The sixth sign is the earthquakes, darkness, and red colored moon. (gulp...)
The seventh sign is quite simply- calm silence.

OK, nothing about giant rats, or even ROUS.  But still, if someone tells you they don't think they exist...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene/New Jersey: Chris Christie Briefing 4:45PM

Classic Christie:  commonsense advise delivered with a spiked glove. Via Ginger Gibson's Twitter feed:

"Do not waste anymore time working on your tan. Get off the beach, get out of your beach houses and to safer lands."

"The most important piece of advice I can give is think, don't react, think. Think about what you need to do to protect your life."

"There is never a government big enough to take care of 8.7 million people one by one."

"The people of NJ have to be the good extension of our government."

"Bring supplies to deal with your pets. I can't believe as governor I'm having to say this, bring your kitty litter."

"We're not approaching this because we have nothing better to do this weekend so why not get together at the ROIC and close the Parkway south of exit 98."

Sound advice with no hyperbole.  God, what a great president he would be....

ESPN "Warns" Golf Analyst Not To Criticize Obama

Funny, I don't remember criticism of George W. Bush by media employees as being verboten; I recall it as being de rigueur.  Not so under the benign rule of The One who bringeth Hope and Change.  The offending tweet, by PGA heavy Paul Azinger:

Paul Azinger 
Facts: Potus has played more golf this month than I have: I have created more jobs this month than he has: 

And here comes the blowback:

ESPN is coming down on Paul Azinger for mocking President Barack Obama on Twitter. The golf analyst tweeted Friday that the Commander-in-chief plays more golf than he does -- and that Azinger has created more jobs this month than Obama has.

ESPN has 'reminded" Azinger his venture into political punditry violates the company's updated social network policy for on-air talent and reporters issued yesterday.

"Paul's tweet was not consistent with our social media policy, and he has been reminded that political commentary is best left to those in that field," spokesman Andy Hall told Game On! in a statement

ESPN's Hall would not comment on whether Azinger, who won the 1993 PGA Championship, will be fired, suspended or punished in some way. "We handle that internally," he said.

President Obama has a good relationship with ESPN. He's appeared several times on the network to fill out his March Madness brackets for both the men's and women's college basketball tournaments.

Is ESPN that out of touch that they feel their viewing audience comprises the rabid 29% that still view Obama favorably?  Or have they been warned by the White House that the president expects an uncontested forum to air his views on all matters of sport great and small?

What a bunch of pussies.  Wish Azinger would just grab a 9-iron and tell ESPN - and our thin-skinned president -exactly where they can shove it...

Hurricane Irene: Is Mayor Bloomberg the next Ray Nagin?

With Hurricane Irene bearing down on New York City like a...well, like a hurricane, it's useful to look at the last item a storm of his magnitude went barreling down the throat of a major city.  Does anyone remember Hurricane Katrina, and how a certain Mayor Ray Nagin handled the run-up to one of the worst disasters in American history?

On Friday, August 26, 2005 Nagin advised New Orleanians to keep a close eye on the storm and prepare for evacuation. He made various statements encouraging people to leave, without officially calling for an evacuation throughout Saturday the 27th before issuing a call for voluntary evacuation that evening. He was hesitant to order a mandatory evacuation because of concerns about the city's liability for closing hotels and other businesses.Nagin continued to announce that the city attorney was reviewing the information regarding this issue and once he had reviewed the city attorney's opinion he would make a decision whether to give the order to evacuate the city. With fewer than 24 hours left before the storm's landfall, Nagin declared a mandatory evacuation, the first in the city's history, and the first for a U.S. city of this size since the American Civil War....

To little, too late, as close to 1,500 people dies, many of whom could have been saved with better planning, mroe foresight, and a bit mroe urgerncy.

With that historical disaster as recent precedent, how is New York's Mayor Mike Bloomberg handling a potential hit of a similar-sized hurricane on a city surrounded by water? This will sound familiar, and -  to Branden Loy - possibly insane:

Two days short of six years later, with a big-time hurricane hurdling toward a Sunday strike on his city, is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg making the same mistake? He has announced that he will wait until Saturday morning to decide whether to order a mandatory evacuation of the “Zone A” low-lying areas that are home to roughly 250,000 people. So, like Nagin, he’ll be ordering an evacuation on the very day before the storm’s landfall or closest approach, and with perhaps 12 hours or less before conditions begin to deteriorate. That seems pretty foolish. Heck, I thought late Friday was pretty late to get started. Saturday morning? Really?!

(click to enlarge)

And here's the danger:

I hope, though, that Bloomberg & co. have taken a few things into account. First, an order mandating that 250,000 people evacuate won’t merely put 250,000 people on the roads. A lot of people on higher ground, who don’t technically need to evacuate, will undoubtedly feel that the mayor’s evacuation order is their cue to leave as well. When the mayor tells a good chunk of the city to Get The Hell Out, that’s going to be jarring and frightening, and lots of people will freak out and leave...And the longer New York waits, the better the odds of roads being overwhelmed, leading to the nightmare scenario of folks stuck on the roads during a hurricane. (“But this is New York!” you protest. “People won’t take the roads, they’ll take mass transit!” No, they won’t.)

Second, what if Irene intensifies more than expected, and suddenly a Category 2 landfall near NYC is in play? That would greatly expand the amount of territory, and thus presumably the number of people, affected by an evacuation order, since it would require “Zone B” to get out too. You certainly wouldn’t want to wait until Saturday morning to start evacuating both zones.

Bloomberg already destroyed much of his reputation with his ineffectual response to this winter's blizzards, followed by his sneering elitist disdain for those who were unable to get to their jobs for days ("Take in Broadway play instead!", was his foppish response). Should Hurricane Irene become an epic disaster with unnecessary loss of life, Bloomberg will lose what little of his reputation he has remaining. The myth of the "intellectual technocrat" will be destroyed forever, and Washington will likely be asked to step in to micro-manage all future emergencies, most likely with Katrina-like efficiency (you thought I was kidding when I said a botched response could lead to a revolution?).

Let hope the little nanny has learned something over the past few years. Or people will pay with their lives...

Why Jon Huntsman?

An answer to a question I posed a while back (within the post title) is finally answered by Charles Krauthammer:

“Huntsman is a liberal’s idea of what a Republican ought to be..."

Perfecto. Thanks, Doctor K....

More on how Huntsman came to his bizarre belief system here (hint: It involves time travel!), and how he is akin to Newt Gingrich (and not in any sort of a good way) here (with bonus America-bashing!)...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Obama gets his first re-election endorsement!

Although an endorsement from the Communist Party USA isn't one he will likely brag about.  But then again, given his recent rhetoric about soaking the rich, looting the banks, and union/racial solidarity, maybe it's the one he was angling for.

But even they are less than fully satisfied with their man in DC:

I am disappointed too with some aspects of the Obama administration's domestic and foreign policy.

But I don't forget that this administration governs in a very hostile political environment in which the right is laboring overtime to wreck its initiatives at every step of the way.

In addition, there are the structural pressures of governing in a capitalist economy and state.

Then there are conservative pressures coming from some congressional Democrats and members of the administration.

But the main question from a strategic point of view is this: Does it make any difference, from the standpoint of the class and democratic struggles, which party gains political ascendency?

Some - though not the labor movement nor other mass organizations of the American people - say no, it doesn't.

Some even go a step further and say a Democratic victory creates popular illusions, which in turn weaken the people's struggles. And the only way out of this vise is to form a third party now.

Communists don't agree with either one of these views. In our view, the differences between the two parties of capitalism are of consequence to class and democratic struggles.

Neither party is anti-capitalist, but they aren't identical either. Differences exist at the levels of policy and social composition. And despite the many frustrations of the past two years, the election of Barack Obama was historic and gave space to struggle for a people's agenda....

Now, if only Obama could circumvent the "structural pressures of governing in a capitalist economy and state", and declare unilateral power, then our commies would have his back 100%.  Actually, maybe they should cut the guy some slack - after all, isn't he using executive fiat to eliminate the borders via "Homeland Security" and destroy our inherently wicked economy via the EPA?  They shouldn't nit-pick, they should award him with the Gold Star Hero of the Soviet Union?

I thought the picture accompanying  the article was ironic, as it is that of a 2008 New Jersey ballot:

Wonder if he pulled the lever for Frank "we've got to eliminate the rich" Lautenberg next?  Do I even have to ask...?

Hurricane Irene: Heading Straight For New York City?

We're are still in the "forecasts can change" period, but that window is rapidly closing, and if I were a government official, I'd have a Katrina sized knot in my stomach right around now.  How do you like this impact chart, currently considered the most reliable?

(Click to enlarge)

Or go here for an animated version, which shows Irene tearing through the Jersey Shore like The Situation through twins before heading smack-dab into New York.

Brendan Loy has been doing some of the best reporting to date (as well as the most accurate) on Irene's track and movements.  Heed his words:

It’s still not at all clear exactly where in the northeast Irene will go. But for everyone in the threat zone, and most especially for folks in the highly vulnerable Big Apple, the time to prepare is now. That includes being prepared to leave, at least if you’re in a low-lying coastal area and/or evacuation zone. You need to be ready to potentially leave town as early as Thursday night or Friday morning, when I expect evacuations will begin if the track forecast doesn’t decisively shift eastward in the next 24 hours. (Side note: Although the storm would not hit until Sunday, with no serious adverse impacts likely until Saturday night at the earliest, I predict the New York Stock Exchange will be closed on Friday, barring such a track shift, in order to facilitate evacuations and begin clearing out Lower Manhattan. You heard it here first.)

It’s also time for NYC’s local officials to stop pretending that a Category 1 hurricane strike is the “worst-case scenario” for their city. That sort of false reassurance, masquerading as a warning, is deeply unhelpful.....It’s been clear all day today that something far worse, while perhaps still unlikely, is very much within the realm of realistic possibility for New York City…

And as of right now, I have not heard a peep from our government officials. Mayor Bloomberg's been silent, Obama's trying to squeeze in another 18  at Martha's Vineyard, and there has been nary a sound save the concerned voices on the local newscasts.

If you want to see a revolution, well...just wait and see what happens if we get a Katrina-esque event in New York, proving our government learned nothing from the storm that destroyed New Orleans.  A failure of government officials to act preemptively and lay the groundwork for evacuations and rescues will beg the question:  What the f*ck are we giving these clowns 1/3rd of our salary for? There will be no mercy in the streets of the big city as we pick through the rubble of was once the world's greatest metropolis, fishing out bodies that might have been saved had the people we put in charge had done their jobs. They have been warned; why haven't we?

What are they waiting for? Are they afraid we sheep will panic like wildebeets should we be properly informed?  Or are they frozen by fear, fear of being held responsible, fear of being mocked if it all comes to naught, fear of just acting in a life spent shifting responsibility to others?

Let us hope the past is not prologue:

To learn about New York City’s last direct hit from a severe storm, you’d need to look all the way back to 1893, when a so-called “West Indian Cyclone” carried sailing ships to Sixth Avenue, created a river on Canal Street that briefly connected the East River and the Hudson, swept much of Coney Island into the sea and entirely destroyed a barrier beach called Hog Island that once lay south of the Rockaways in Queens....

The geography, quite simply, is not kind:

New York Harbor is narrow, which means that water rushing northward from the storm surge, with nowhere to go, would build up very high — as high as 30 feet, or the third floor of some buildings, according to past warnings from the city’s Office of Emergency Management. According to an evacuation map posted on the city’s official Web site, aside from Lower Manhattan, many low-lying parts of the other four boroughs would also be at risk, including LaGuardia Airport and J.F.K. Airport, which are located right by Flushing Bay and Jamaica Bay, respectively. All of this would be compounded if the storm surge happened at high tide. …

Every New Yorker has seen how messy subway stations get in heavy rain: dirty puddles form on the platforms, water streams from openings in the ceiling onto the tracks, and trains are frequently delayed. Now imagine even heavier rain, plus a storm surge that sent water from the rivers and harbors crashing into the stations through the stairwells, ceilings and tunnels. It would not even take a worst-case scenario to bring the entire New York City public transportation system to a standstill. In the short term, this would eliminate any chance of last-minute evacuations...

Don't worry, though. Barack Obama will take care of everything. As soon as he completes the back 9...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Young Obama vs. Young Rick Perry: Still No Contest...

In the spirit of this now-famous photo of our juvenile president contrasted with with Israeli hard-ass Benjamin Netanyahu,  we bring you a comparison of Barack Obama at age 22 with his likely rival for for the presidency in 2012, Texas governor Rick Perry, taken at the same point in time:

The names change, but the song remains the same:

You need only compare pictures of Perry and Obama as young men to see the difference. One is a serious person, the other a jive-ass.

And to quote myself:

Yeah, but when you look at the two pictures above, who do you think Democratic politicians, MSM editorial writers, and garden-variety liberals identify with? And thus, right or wrong, who do you think they are rooting for? The man who resembles them as they were (or still are), or the man they were never brave enough or strong enough to be?

If past is prologue, let us remember that Bibi has kicked Barack Obama's lame, pathetic ass at every turn. Expect Mr. Perry to do the same...

Loyal Lab Refuses To Leave Dead SEAL's Side....


This heart-wrenching photo shows how a Navy SEAL’s dog refused to leave his master’s side during an emotional funeral.

Petty Officer Jon Tumilson, 35, killed in the major U.S. helicopter crash in Afghanistan this month, was remembered by around 1,500 mourners.

But it was his Labrador retriever Hawkeye that really captured the public’s emotions in the photo taken by Mr Tumilson’s cousin, Lisa Pembleton:

Poor thing.  Confused and scared, he knows where his master is, and knows something is wrong, terribly wrong...

I hope someone comforted him....

Michelle Obama: Junkie?

Well, if I may clarify - a "vacation junkie"?  Why not?  What else would you call someone who has selfish desires they are beholden to, which control their actions (in defiance of common sense), and will steal from other people in order to fulfill them?

That's our Michelle, the bestest First Lady ever, if you were to believe the media.  Well, not the British media, which goes where the American press fears to tread:

The Obamas' summer break in Martha's Vineyard has already been branded a PR disaster after the couple arrived four hours apart on separate government jets.
But according to new reports, this is the least of their extravagances.

White House sources today claimed that the First Lady has spent $10 million of U.S. taxpayers' money on vacations alone in the past year.

Branding her 'disgusting' and 'a vacation junkie', they say the 47-year-old mother-of-two has been indulging in five-star hotels, where she splashes out on expensive massages and alcohol.

The 'top source' told the National Enquirer: 'It's disgusting. Michelle is taking advantage of her privileged position while the most hardworking Americans can barely afford a week or two off work.

'When it's all added up, she's spent more than $10 million in taxpayers' money on her vacations.'

The First Lady is believed to have taken 42 days of holiday in the past year, including a $375,000 break in Spain and a four-day ski trip to Vail, Colorado, where she spent $2,000 a night on a suite at the Sebastian hotel.

The source continued: 'Michelle also enjoys drinking expensive booze during her trips. She favours martinis with top-shelf vodka and has a taste for rich sparking wines.

'The vacations are totally Michelle's idea. She's like a junkie. She can't schedule enough getaways, and she lives from one to the next - all the while sticking it to hardworking Americans.'

While the President and his wife do pay for some of their personal expenses from their own pocket, the website says that the amount paid by the couple is 'dwarfed by the overall cost to the public'.

The magazine also reported that Mrs Obama, whose fashion choices are widely followed, had been going on 'wild shopping sprees', much to the distress of her husband, who, its sources reveal, is 'absolutely furious' at his wife's 'out-of-control spending'.

ell, if the president was more of a man and less of a bitch, he might be able to control his wife.  But reflecting on what he allows his junkie woman to get away with, is it any surprise Barack allows the Democrats in Congress to essentially do the same thing?

And how do you think the Chinese, the Russians, the Iranians, and the Palestinians are sizing up the man who cannot even stand up to his female partner?  I can almost hear the multicultural snickering as plans for our demise are being laid, while the president fuels his wife's uncontrollable desires with both his own, and the nation's, ever-shrinking wealth...

The S&P Downgrade: Obama's Katrina Moment?

Patrick Ruffino:

Working theory: S&P downgrade was Obama's Katrina. Economic fundamentals didn't change, but it was a huge blow to American prestige/morale.

Well, while the "fundamentals" may not have changed - as long as Obama is in power, they never will - but like an earthquake, that huge shift at the bottom caused shaking far and wide. Unless, that is, if you don't have any money invested in the stock market. Or in Treasuries. Or in a retirement fund such as a 401(k). Or in a pension plan that invests in the same types of mutual funds....

But just a look at recent polls tells you the American people digested the downgrade, heard the President and his party braying that "The Tea Party did it!", and decided to utterly reject that argument and instead blame the man in charge. Shocking, right?

Most traumatically for Democrats, there are signs that President Obama has not hit bottom in the polls. In Gallup, he’s reached a new approval low (38 percent) and new disapproval high (54 percent). He is statistically tied even with GOP candidates who have considerable liabilities and who remain unknown to a chunk of voters. The right track/wrong track direction polling reflects the public’s sour mood. A GOP operative puts it this way: “Every day it becomes harder to see how President Obama is going to find the momentum necessary to turn around these awful numbers. The election is a referendum and the American people are making their verdict pretty clear.”

And while the professional political class still sees a path to victory:

The chances of Obama’s reelection are "going to be strongly influenced by the GOP nominee,” says Baker (a professor at Rutgers University who studies the presidency). “If it is someone who can be spun and framed as a fanatic, he can survive.” actually seems like, well...voters are at the point where they'll take a dead dog over another four years of this administration:

“President Barack Obama is closely matched against each of four possible Republican opponents when registered voters are asked whom they would support if the 2012 presidential election were held today. Mitt Romney leads Obama by two percentage points, 48% to 46%, Rick Perry and Obama are tied at 47%, and Obama edges out Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann by two and four points, respectively.”

So he's getting beat by Romney, who is nothing more than "not Obama", he is tied with Perry - who got into the race 15 minutes ago, shot off a few guns and yelled "Yee-Haw" Yosemite Sam-style, then went back to Texas - and he is is barely leading Ron Paul (a nutjob) and Michele Bachmann (quite sane, but oft portray as a nutjob).

So it looks like the downgrade will stick with Obama - fairly, in my opinion - much as Katrina stuck with Bush (quite unfairly, IMHO). And it seems as if the American people have made their mind up on that, and all the caterwauling from the liberal talking heads, and all the demonetization of the right by the mainstream media, won't make a dime's worth of difference...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

East Coast Earthquake: Only A "Foreshock"? "The Worst is Yet To Come?"

Great, just great.  That's according to the USGS, by the way:

Minutes after the quake, the director of the U.S. Geological Survey, Marcia McNutt -- who watched objects falling from the shelves in her office -- cautioned that the shaking might not be over.

“What the concern is, of course, is that this is a foreshock. If it’s a foreshock, then the worse is yet to come.”

She said the energy from earthquakes on the East Coast does not attenuate as quickly as it does on the West Coast, and thus even a relatively modest tremor can shake a very broad.

“When something like this happen, everyone has to remember, more than half of the states in the U.S. are considered earthquake country. When something like this happens, remember what to do in the case of a seismic event. Duck, get under something sturdy like a desk or a doorway, get away from falling glass. Make sure that you are not in the way of falling objects like pictures, bookshelves, books, anything that’s not firmly connected the wall.”

.....From Mike Blanpied, associate coordinator for the USGS earthquakes hazards program:

“Aftershocks could go on for days, weeks, or even months. They’re most likely to be felt under the next 3 or 4 days.”

“The rocks are old and cold and they carry the seismic energy very far. Even a magnitude 6 or less earthquake can be felt over a considerably large area, unlike California where the shaking is more concentrated,” Blanpied said

Not my first trip to the rodeo, having lived in LA for a few years. Still, one fo the things I always liked about the East Coast was that natural disasters were usually limited to hurricanes, which can be predicted a few days out. Speaking of which, I was heading to Home Depot anyway to get some tape, bottled water, and boards. Maybe - in the light of the possibility of more "foreshocks" - I need to get a hardhat as well?

Investment Advice for 2011-2012

So, while having dinner with a group of friends (yes, the same aforementioned meal from which I received insights on the immigration debacle), I was listening to one pontificate on the best place to invest money during the current economic upheaval.

"Gold", he said, and only gold.  "Don't get scared off by the $1800/ounce price", he advised, as it will cross the $2K rubicon soon enough, and continue northwards from there.

"But what if you can't afford ingots of $2,000 gold",  I asked the player, "or have your investments in securities that are penalized if they are liquidated into cash too rapidly?  What's my next best option?"

My friend held my gaze coolly for a moment for a moment, but replied without hesitation, and without a smile.

"Ammunition.  And lots of it.  Preferably matched up with a large caliber handgun...."

I've been thinking about it. And I'm starting to realize this might have been the best finanacial advice I have ever received....

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jon Huntsman, Defined.... Robert Stacey McCain.  The question, as the Other McCain re-positions it, is not where does he come up with his strange brand of Republicanism, but when.  Because Huntsman has defined himself by a moment in time that he thought - like many liberals - was transitional.

Instead, it was only transitory.  Very much so, as it turns out:

Huntsman doesn’t represents any particular Republican faction. Rather, he represents a point in time — late 2008 through spring 2009 — when a lot of ”smart” people in the GOP seemed to believe that the Obama ascendancy was more or less permanent. The way to succeed as a Republican in the Obama era, these people believed, was to cooperate in the patriotic spirit of Bipartisan Compromise.

You can run down the list of names of those who succumbed to this nonsense: Arlen Specter, Charlie Crist, Dede Scozzafava, Bob Bennett...

When Huntsman accepted an appointment from Obama as ambassador to China, the former Utah governor probably little suspected that the political tide would turn as soon as it did. He might have expected that he could return from Beijing in a couple of years and be welcomed by a GOP chastised by defeat. Instead, by the time he returned to seek the presidential nomination, the Republican Party had rolled to its biggest mid-term landslide in more than half a century...

It's as if a Republican candidate left town in 1976, upon Carter's election, and returned in 1980 talking about detente and appeasement with the Soviet Union, only to be faced with a fellow named Reagan talking about an "evil empire".

Some, of course, believe that Huntsman realizes he's a man out of time and out of a job, and is angling to replace Joe Biden as the Vice President on the 2012 Democratic ticket. What a coup it would be for the "centrist" Barack, and how well it would play at the Convention, a former Republican reciting the many ways "that party left him". How could Obama refuse? Not out of loyalty to Biden....

Also explains why the media loves Huntsman. He may become one of their own any day, and they don't want to tarnish his brand. As a matter of fact, they described him thusly not too long ago:

Contributor Mike Barnicle relayed the enthusiastic tribute of a man he met who said Huntsman reminded him of John F. Kennedy: "The guy was so smooth, the guy was so comfortable, so handsome, so articulate, so composed. he was stunned..."

Who does that sound like they're describing? If you can't get the hint, the Morning Joe crew lays it out:

JOE SCARBOROUGH:  on Huntsman and his wife together -- is it safe to say the most impressive team you've seen on the campaign trail since Barack Obama emerged?

Senior Political Analyst MARK HALPERIN...As impressive as any couple I've seen.

Seems like the media - much like their new hero, Jon Huntsman - fail to realize the moment of the glib and glamorous left-of-center politician is as dead as $2/gallon gas. It's almost sad, like watching an aging women in black lace gloves, spandex and leg warmers get ogled by a bunch of guys with spiky hair and parachute pants...