September 29, 2011
— Ace Video here. Here are some of the key bits:
Part of our plan is to make sure that as we create these jobs we create jobs in the future like the ones you're creating, jobs you can raise a family on, green jobs, jobs that will serve as a foundation for a stronger American economy. Which is why it's so important we invest in Solyndra and invest in what Solyndra is doing.
Can we invest more? I know they're bankrupt 'n all, but I really do want that stronger economy.
Not just to get us through today but to power our way to a much brighter tomorrow.
You know, there was a 19th Century Scottish author and political reformer named Samuel Smiles. He once said and I think the quote is appropriate here, he said, Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us."
Hope is like the sun, in that both seem to be about constructing naively optimistic forecasts about triumphs just around the corner.
Well, that's exactly, exactly what we're doing here today. We are journeying, in a sense, closer and closer to the sun...
Icarus just emailed me about journeying closer and closer to the sun. He doesn't recommend it.
... to a more solar powered America. And as we do, we're leaving a shadow of a less efficient, more damaging past behind us./b
And I'm really happy, along with the Secretary, to announce today that we've closed a $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra, more than half a billion dollars. This is the first in what the Secretary is going to be announcing the Department of Energy will be making available for more than $30 billion in loan guarantees the Recovery Act is providing and will provide to American companies that are leading the way to a new, clean energy future.
The loan to Solyndra will allow you to build a new manufacturing facility and with it almost immediately generate 3000 new well paying construction jobs. And once your facility opens, there will be about 1000 permanent new jobs here at Solyndra and in the surrounding business community and hundreds more to install your growing output of solar panels throughout the country.
Let me interrupt Slow Joe to note that I suppose those 3,000 short-term construction jobs were created (and then of course un-created). What did those 3000 construction workers build?
Oh, wonderful things. Wonderful things, my friends.
It wasnt just any factory. When it was completed at an estimated cost of $733 million, including proceeds from a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee, it covered 300,000 square feet, the equivalent of five football fields. It had robots that whistled Disney tunes, spa-like showers with liquid-crystal displays of the water temperature, and glass-walled conference rooms.
The new building is like the Taj Mahal, John Pierce, 54, a San Jose resident who worked as a facilities manager at Solyndra, said in an interview.
The building, designed to make far more solar panels than Solyndra got orders for, is now shuttered, and U.S. taxpayers may be stuck with it....
Amid the still-unfolding postmortems, the factory stands as emblematic of money misspent and the Field of Dreams ethos that seemed to drive the venture, said Ramesh Misra, a solar-industry analyst in Los Angeles for Brigantine Advisors.
Seems to me that with that half-billion loan, plus the anticipation of a second half-billion, this venture socialism enterprise wasn't thinking much about economy and grinding out profits. They were more concerned with whistling robots.
Back to "Sheriff Joe," the guy who would keep a weather eye on our spending. You remember that, right? Obama appointed him point-man on making sure our stimulus dollars were wisely spent. "I've got my badge on," the retarded older man said.
The Hill, at least, remembers.
Sheriff Joe Bidens remarks could come back to haunt him when it comes to Solyndra, the solar company that went bankrupt after winning a $535 million loan guarantee from 2009s economic stimulus package.
President Obama named his vice president the sheriff of the stimulus, and Bidens duties were to ensure that no money was wasted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Back to the Sheriff of Strict Accounting.
It's important. It's important because these jobs are going to be permanent jobs.
Permanent...? In the sense that all eighth grade romances will live forever.
In that sense of "permanent" -- a childishly naive belief that nice feelings are enough to make things last forever -- sure, the jobs were "permanent."
These are the jobs of the future.
Jobs of the future? Dude, these aren't even the jobs of September.
You heard of that show Whitney? Whitney has avoided cancellation longer than these jobs.
These are the green jobs.
He's right about that. These are the Greenest Jobs in the World, jobs that produce precisely zero greenhouse emissions and have a carbon footprint of size triple zero.
The unemployed are just terrific "carbon sinks."
These are the jobs that won't be exported.
Again, he speaks the truth.
These are the jobs that are going to define the 21st Century...
I hope he's not right about this, but I fear he is.
... and the jobs that are going to allow America to compete and to lead like we did in the 20th Century.
Sure, during the period of 1930-1938. That's the 20th Century.
But beyond that, by doing this work you're also reducing carbon emissions just at the plant you're about to build by more than 100 metric tons, folks. That's the equivalent.
Got a little bonus, now that the entire venture is shuttered. Add a couple of metric tons.
I know you know it but the rest of America may not -- that's the equivalent of pulling 25 million cars off the road. They're exactly the kind of steps we need to take to make our air cleaner, to save money and to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
To quote another famous person, Galileo, he once said...
You have to love Slow Joe's description of astronomer and polymath Galileo as "a famous person."
Shit yeah he's famous. Almost as famous as Paris Hilton!
... "The sun, with all the planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do."
Well, folks, there is still a whole lot more we can do with the sun and you're leading the way.
Yup. We can fleece billions from overburdened taxpayers, too.
And out there at Solyndra, you guys have figured it out. You've figured out how to harness the sun's power for a better, more efficient, more prosperous future for all of America and in the process you're creating more jobs.
I haven't seen an endorsement that embarrassing since Paul Krugman pimped Enron.
But Slow Joe was right -- Solyndra did figure it out, if by "it" you mean "running an Enron-style scam on the taxpayers."
Solyndra LLC had such steep financial problems in late 2010 that the company violated terms of its loan-guarantee agreement with the Department of Energy and technically defaulted on its $535 million loan, according to people familiar with the matter.
The failed solar-panel maker, which is under numerous criminal and congressional investigations, ran so short of cash in December 2010 that it was unable to satisfy certain terms of its U.S. loan agreement, these people said. The agreement required Solyndra to provide $5 million in equity to a subsidiary building its factory but cash-flow problems prevented those payments.
WSJ's Ryan Tracy reports a new Congressional report says warnings about Solyndra's competitive abilities came out before the government awarded the company a $535 million loan guarantee and the company's subsequent collapse.
The Energy Department ultimately restructured the loan agreement to help keep the company afloat and Solyndra continued to draw money from its loan.
Yup, Solyndra really figured it out.
FBI Said to Be Probing Solyndra for Possible Fraud
Now let's go back to Sheriff Joe's statement about another $30 billion in loans to just this sort of solid corporate citizen as part of its "stimulus" efforts.
— Ace He seems to have even read the post, because he comments on Martin Bashir, who is not mentioned until the end of the post.
I just confirmed this was Andrew.
I thought it sounded like him.
Here's Breitbart's encounter with Martin Bashir. more...
— Ace The title. Oh dear Lord, the title.
I'm just reading it now.
But, does anyone think that "venture socialism" might maybe become a catchphrase? I do.
The demise of Solyndra, the bankrupt solar panel company showered with more than a half-billion dollars in stimulus loans, exposes the fatal flaw of President Obamas jobs plans.
Government officials rushed $535 million to Solyndra because the Obama administration was determined to make the company the centerpiece of its green agenda regardless of the law of supply and demand. Billions more have been wasted by politicians betting on favored companies and making Washington bigger, using the brute force of government to force liberal preferences into the economy. Mr. Obama calls them investments, but this is really venture socialism.
The entire purpose of the $825 billion stimulus bill was to sink government money into politically advantageous projects...
The Obama economy is littered with billion-dollar busts. Yet Mr. Obama is advocating massive tax increases that would, in part, pay for more of his investments. If his new jobs bill were made law, it would create a new, permanent National Infrastructure Bank to fund even more green energy projects - a permanent venture socialism fund.
[T]here is a much-needed lesson to be learned from Solyndra for Republicans and Democrats alike. Playing investor on the taxpayers dime wont rebuild the economy, it will destroy it.
Great read. Even greater title.
Well, I will say this. First of all, youre absolutely right. There were those who cheered when Jesus was crucified, and we have found that despicable from the beginning of history to this time.-- Sheila Jackson Lee, MENSA Chapter President
Did you not finish reading The Gospels? Did you not realize that the Jesus story ends on a bit of down note?
(Or, as Christians would say, a very up note; okay, let me say that just before the ending there is what many would call a downer.)
In any event, the ending was not "And then everyone just loved Jesus so much they erected a solar tower in His honor, and then He gave them free health care."
Just sayin'. You guys have been pushing Obama -- quite seriously -- as an actual avatar of Jesus Chris Himself, but now you're all a bit dumbfounded that your President and Savior is subject to an ordeal.
Tavis Smiley is pretty down on Obama (that's the angle in this Newsbusters account), so, sign that man up, give him a white hood, a bullhorn, and a firehose.
Unrelated But Sweet: The laws of sweepstakes require that there be a "no purchase necessary" way to enter, and My Precious Dinner With Obama raffle includes just that:
(a) Free Online Entry Method: To enter via the free online entry method, visit http://www.barackobama.com/page/dinner-with-barack-sept-signup or other web page specificly identified by Sponsor and complete and submit an online entry form during the Promotion Period.
(b) Contribution Method: We are asking for a donation of up to $2,500 from individuals per election to Obama for America. We are not asking for, and will not accept in connection with this solicitation, donations in any amount from registered federal lobbyists, registered foreign agents, federal political action committees, or minors under the age of 16. Contributions in any amount from corporations, labor organizations, national banks, federal contractors, and foreign nationals are prohibited. To enter by contributing money to Sponsor, complete and submit the contribution form at http://my.barackobama.com/sept-dinner during the Promotion Period. No minimum contribution is necessary to enter. Entering via the contribution method will not increase your chances of winning the prize.
So, like, enter. I mean, the comedy value? Incalcuable.
Thanks to JeromeB.
— Ace Racial bullying. That's what this is. I think that term sums things up properly, and "racial bullying" should take its place next to "racism" in the lexicon.
Here is the news clip covering the "controversy." A parade of mostly-black neighbors demand it be taken down.
Why? Is it a rule that the president shall not be mocked? Of course not. Bush was depicted as a chimp so many times that simply searching for "chimp" on google images brings up the Bush/Chimp photoshops starting on page 2.
You don't have to search "Bush Chimp." Chimp will do it. (In fairness, now Obama has a monkey photoshop soon after.)
So what could account for this insistence that the president, suddenly, cannot be mocked?
Only one thing: His race. Which we are to "respect." And by showing "respect" to him, we show it to blacks as a general matter.
But this is bullshit. No one ever claimed that Bush could not be mocked or else it would be "disrespectful" towards the white race.
A special, additional level of "respect" for blacks is demanded, and should be refused. We are, in terms of our rights and privileges, perfectly equal, and any effort to bully others into putting one race above others (and hence putting other races further down on the list) should not just be resisted, but repudiated as anti-American.
The caricature of Obama here is not racist it at all. There is no age-old stereotype that "black people wear diapers into late middle age and cry like babies." There is no racial slur terming black people "Pampers."
It is simply disrespectful. And it is all Americans' right to be disrespectful towards our employee, especially when he is a stuttering cluster***k of a miserable failure.
Even if he is black.
And efforts to bully others into affording any member of any race additional, special, race-contingent privileges, with consequent special race-based forbiddances for others, is racial bullying.
Hello? Hi, this is the Race Card Bank. You've overdrafted your account, I'm afraid. Yes, I know it happens. Just letting you know, you're overdrawn. No, no problem, just you have to stop using the Card for a while. Thanks for understanding.
More pictures here.
— Ace An old left-leaning correspondent, Vonkers, tells me that media is covering Fast and Furious, and tells me Anderson Cooper did a piece on it last night in which he asked two questions: Was there any law enforcement goal here that you can imagine? And, Does this appear to be criminal?
He says the answers elicited were "No" and "Yes."
He does, however, set the piece up by saying that Fast and Furious was designed to track weapons sold to Mexico, which is patently false, and of course supports the Administration's "botched surveillance operation" lie, and then suggests that much of it was due to a "communication" error.
This is how he sets it up -- in the most Obama-friendly, nothing-to-see-here-folks-move-on way.
But my main gripe is that this is a classic example of assuming the answer to the question posed. The biggest question in Fast & Furious is Why? -- as of yet unanswered -- and yet Cooper purports to provide the answer right at the top of the report.
Now, as the piece unfolds, his correspondent undermines these premises. Supposedly.
I only have the clip below, which stops shortly after the correspondent begins to undermine Cooper's starting premises.
I'd be interested to see the rest of the clip, if anyone knows where it is.
Second clip: Down the page there is another clip on this. I've embedded that as well. It's this second clip where the interviewee says there was no law enforcement goal here.
— Ace Maddow? Yeah, pretty bad, as she claims to be honest and "nice" as she traffics in absurd lies, slurs, and conspiracy theories. And always with that sidewider smirk. She seems to think everything is "snark."
Lawrence O'Donnell? Fake tv tough guy who, whoops!, missed his opportunity to demonstrate his courage in Vietnam?
Ed Shultz? Fat redneck cracker whose contribution to the national discourse consists chiefly of awkward sweating?
Al Sharpton? Absolutely, we much consider him, and we much, we much, we much.
But I gotta tell ya: It's Martin Bashir.
Honestly, he's the worst.
— Ace Is anyone going to cover this?
This just might be the smoking gun weve been waiting for to break the festering Fast and Furious gun-running scandal wide open: the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives apparently ordered one of its own agents to purchase firearms with taxpayer money, and sell them directly to a Mexican drug cartel.
Let that sink in: After months of pretending that Fast and Furious was a botched surveillance operation of illegal gun-running spearheaded by the ATF and the US attorneys office in Phoenix, it turns out that the government itself was selling guns to the bad guys.
Agent John Dodson was ordered to buy four Draco pistols for cash and even got a letter from his supervisor, David Voth, authorizing a federally licensed gun dealer to sell him the guns without bothering about the necessary paperwork.
Please accept this letter in lieu of completing an ATF Form 4473 for the purchase of four (4) CAI, Model Draco, 7.62x39 mm pistols, by Special Agent John Dodson, read the June 1, 2010, letter. These aforementioned pistols will be used by Special Agent Dodson in furtherance of performance of his official duties.
On orders, Dodson then sold the guns to known criminals, who first stashed them away and then -- deliberately unhindered by the ATF or any other agency -- whisked them off to Mexico.
I think it was Dodson who specifically attempted to defy orders and surveil the safe-house where these guns were stored. But he was stopped.
This is the problem here, and this has been the problem from the start: This was not a "botched surveillance mistake" as the Administration is trying to peddle. The ATF goons in charge of this deliberately allowed the guns to be delivered into the hands of narcoterrorists with no surveillance whatsoever.
This is not a case where they watched 2000 guns, but lost 25 guns due to the inevitable problems with 24/7 surveillance. And that, oh bad luck, some of those 25 lost guns were used in crimes, such as the murder of Brian Terry.
They didn't watch any of them. Mexico wasn't even in the loop, so how the hell could they have watched where the guns went on the Mexican side of the border?
They didn't "lose" 2000 guns. They intended to let 2000 guns loose.
Why? This is the question, which the media does not seem interested in at all. And because the media isn't interested in asking why, the Administration gets away with the false cover story that this is just the story of a few guns going missing, while the other 1975 guns were always under the watchful eye of surveillers.
Why were all 2000 guns not lost but rather loosed?
Because the goal was not to suddenly arrest dozens of narcoterrorists. How could they arrest them? They had no idea where the guns had gone.
The writer goes on to speculate about my "Moderate Iranian" theory:
There are two possible explanations. The first is that the anti-gun Obama administration deliberately wanted American guns planted in Mexico in order to demonize American firearms dealers and gun owners. The operation was manufacturing evidence for the presidents false claim that were to blame for the appalling levels of Mexican drug-war violence.
If this is true, then Holder & Co. have got to go -- and the trail needs to be followed no matter where it leads. For the federal government to seek to frame its own citizens is unconscionable.
A second notion is that the CIA was behind the whole thing, which accounts for all the desperate wagon-circling. Under this theory, the Agency feared the los Zetas drug cartel was becoming too powerful and might even mount a coup against the Mexican government. So some 2,000 weapons costing more than $1.25 million were deliberately channeled to the rival Sinaloa cartel, which operates along the American border, to keep the Zetas in check.
That latter theory would not be as bad as the first -- the first theory being essentially a criminal conspiracy against the Second Amendment, American citizens, and a sovereign neighboring nation to boot -- but it would still be plenty bad. Reagan was nearly impeached over Iran/Contra.
But one theory we can discard is the Administration's -- the "just a mistake" theory.
Not a mistake. What was done here -- letting guns loose -- was not a bug. It was a feature. It was the plan from Jump Street.
So if that was the plan, What was the goal?
Oh By The Way: 200 people have been murdered with these same guns, possibly as many as 300.
Two points flow from this:
1) This wasn't "just a few guns." This was all of them.
2) If there was some sneaky, spectacular bust planned... um, me personally? I would have ordered the Big Bust when the bodycount got up to, uh, say 10.
Or maybe last freakin' year when an American border agent got killed.
There is no goal of a Big Bust then.
I'm allergic to big conspiracy theories but here, given what we know, I'm not calling the Big Conspiracy Theory crazy.
I'm just calling it "premature" and "less likely."
But the Administration is lying about the goal of this covert operation with a death toll of 200-300, and no one in the media seems terribly interested in pressing them on this point.
— Ace A better answer, but the problem is that the old answer is still on the record.
The important thing is to communicate that any errors made as governor would not be repeated in the new job being sought.
And I mean that as a matter of political messaging. I'm not even saying it has to be true (as far as the political goal of reassuring voters).
Once again, Perry sounds reasonably smart in this CNBC interview. I don't know why he sounds dim in the actual debates.
Still No? Okay, My Point Was Sarcastic. Does That Do The Trick?
— Ace Oh, and a bonus "out of context" claim to boot.
"My point was one of sarcasm," Perdue told reporters in Thomasville. "We really just need to encourage our leaders who are elected to work together and solve America's problems."
She added: "It was taken out of context from my perspective. But honest to goodness, who would think something like that would be said seriously. It's ridiculous to have this kind of discussion about it."
People always claim that -- "out of context." Pro-tip for the media: The proper follow-up question here is "What context in your statement gives your words a different meaning?"
If you are vague on this point, as almost all Democrats are (because they're never asked the follow-up), you can just claim that some unknown context of earlier remarks completely changes the meaning, in context, of the quoted words.
"Out of context" is not just a Get Out of Jail Free card. I know Democrats and their media enablers believe it is, but it has a specific meaning: That in fuller context, with a fuller quotation provided, the quoted material gains a different meaning than the one suggested when that quote stands naked on its own.
So what "context" is Bev Perdue referring to?
In fact, the entirety of her remarks on this subject were in fact quoted.
I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we wont hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover, Perdue said at a rotary club event in Cary, N.C., according to the Raleigh News & Observer. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that.
The context I see is "I hope that someone can agree with me on that," which expresses, in the common understanding, a hope that someone can agree with her on the claim she is making. (I know, it's a stretch, huh?)
— Ace At Gizmodo, a story about PETA's latest
Charles Wickersham, a 21-year-old guy, was bitten by a shark while fishing with his friends in the Bay Area near Anna Maria Island. Sharks. Bite. Near death. Beyond scary. Anyone with a modicum of a soul would hope that Wickersham gets better (he's still in intensive care right now) and lives a happy life. Those more equipped might help with the hospital bills or raise awareness on how to prevent such animal accidents from happening. A human survived a traumatic shark attack, what a story that is, amiright? That's normal behavior for normal people with normal emotions.
PETA is not normal. No. They're insane.
In response to Wickersham's accident, those heartless pricks are launching an insensitive ad campaign against all types of fishing. They're using a man, who almost died, as their soapbox. Their rallying call. Might as well accuse him of being Michael Vick, why don't you. Their photo, which will be plastered across benches and billboards in the Bay Area, shows a shark chewing on a bloody human "drumstick" (leg) with the tagline: "Payback is Hell. Go Vegan."
I was trying to think of a way to push back against PETA. The only thing I can think of is to set up a website promoting meat-consumption every time they run one of these viciously anti-human ads. Something like a mass agreement to go to a meat-serving restaurant during a specific week. And maybe not just meats, but the sort of meats that PETA gets especially weepy over -- veal, for example. Or game meats, venison, bunny rabbits. There are some neat restaurants that specialize in hunted, exotic meats, like ostrich or kangaroo.
Maybe set the week 45 days in advance, to make sure restaurants get booked up and have time to stock up (more little cows being killed!).
And have an automatically-generated email to PETA for each sign-up, informing them that a Precious Little Animal who wasn't previously in any danger would now be executed due to their actions.
The idea wouldn't be to just do this generally, but in specific response to their anti-human provocations, their glib Holocaust of Chickens equivalencies, this latest monstrosity. Let them agitate like non-deranged people without incident -- who cares if they do another nudity-themed campaign.
But when they become deranged (as they always do), then let an Apocalypse of Fuzzy Cute Creatures begin.
We should let them know that humans bite back, too.
Thanks to JohnE.
Jobless claims fall a bit (I wouldn't call it a "tumble", but then I'm not carrying Obama's water). GDP is still flat at 1.3% growth. Not horrible numbers, but nothing to shout about either. It's basically a sideways drift.
Is the old bromide about small businesses being the backbone of the American jobs market incorrect? Are big companies really the main driver of employment? I suspect this is a regional thing, and patterns may have changed since the downturn got really bad in 2008 -- the heavy hand of regulation falls particularly hard on smaller businesses, and the downturn has put unbearable pressure on what was in many cases a low-margin business to begin with. If America wishes to have a healthy economy, small businesses must be able to thrive and grow.
Why stocks are safter than treasuries. I don't know that I'd use the word "safe" in a financial context these days: complete safety is an illusion. If you want a decent return, you have to accept risk. But I'd rather hold equities than government debt right now, I'll tell you that much.
Leave it to a Frenchman to come up with an idea this stupid.
Indeed, a tax of just 0.05 percent levied on each stock, bond, derivative or currency transaction would be aimed at financial institutions casino-style trading, which helped precipitate the economic crisis. Because these markets are so vast, the tax could raise hundreds of billions of dollars a year globally for cash-strapped governments and could increase development aid.He then stroked his little pencil-line mustache, gave a fruity little laugh, and ate some stinky cheese.
Yeah, Obama's reign has been bad for Latinos. But it's been a catastrophe for everyone else too. Obama is an equal-opportunity boning machine. You could chalk the 2008 vote up to bad judgement and misplaced hopes, but a vote for this clown again in 2012 is nothing more than a death wish.
Ambrose Bierce rises from the dead and takes a crack at Euro-speak.
The error most Americans make when trying to understand the European debt crisis is this: They fail to realize that the euro isnt just a doomed currency, but a language unto itself.
Liberals: Fond of diversity in everything but thought. Barney Frank once again shows the authoritarian leanings of the Democrat Party by proposing to strip the 12 regional Fed banks of their right to vote in the FOMC. Oversight is for chumps!
All my sources confirm, again and again, this is a desperate attempt to find the right path through this mess. The people in the know, realize there are no longer any good solutions only pain. The pain from here is either 2-5 years of recession or 10-15 years. Enron-i-sation & tax makes this week
the new low in solidarity, rationality and solution seeking.
Conrad Black at NRO follows up with "Euro Collapse".
A scary little video about fiat money.
Out: "In God we trust." In: "What, me worry?"
How boned is Illinois? This boned:
Pension contributions and debt service comprise 17.4% of Illinois $33.6 billion general fund budget in fiscal year 2012, according to a report released Monday by the Institute for Illinois Fiscal Sustainability at the Civic Federation.
The state will pay $4.2 billion in pension contributions in fiscal year 2012 and $1.6 billion for debt service on pension obligation bonds. Illinois sold pension obligation bonds worth a combined $7.2 billion in fiscal year 2010 and 2011 to pay its pension contribution expenses, according to the report.
And finally, in non-DOOM news, Amazon announces the Kindle Fire, which may turn out to be the first real competitor to the Apple iPad. Did I pre-order one? Yes. Yes I did.
UPDATE 1: Interesting bit of trivia -- Milwaukee only allows 321 taxicabs, and half the licenses are owned by one person.
— Gabriel Malor
September 28, 2011
— Open Blogger
What's up my fellow morons? We're halfway through the week so take a deep breath, get a cold one and dive right in to the ONT. Oh, and don't forget the dress code.
— Ace The latest cringe-inducing pitch has Michelle Obama playing the huckster.
Not everyone knows how to prepare for a dinner like this. As someone who's eaten countless meals with my husband, I want to tell you the one thing to do if you're selected to join him...
Just relax. Barack wants this dinner to be fun, and he really loves getting to know supporters like you.
I hope you'll take him up on it before Friday's deadline.
Will you donate $3 or more today and be entered to have dinner with Barack?
These dinners mean a lot to Barack. They're a chance for him to talk with a few of the people who are driving the campaign and a chance for him to say thank you.
They mean so much to Obama, in fact, that he charges people cash money for the opportunity.
That's how much dinner with you means to Obama: So much that he charges you money for just the chance of having dinner with Obama.
But no seriously, it means so much to him.
Please attend, whoever you are. Be sure to enter the security code on the back of your credit card, New Best Friend!!!
By the way, People Who Mean So Very Much To Obama: When Obama does $1000 a plate fundraisers, there is no question whatsoever those donors get to dine in His Radiant Presence.
They don't get some cheap-ass raffle ticket. They get the real deal.
No but really he loves you.
Whoever you are.
He just doesn't love you as much as he loves his big ticket donors. He loves you, but just a tiny bit.
As a technical, mathematical matter, you have a 1 in 1,258,000 chance that he loves you.
— Ace Although other petitions have landed there, Gabe says, this is the one the Court will most likely accept.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) stole a march on the Obama Administration this morning by filing a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court appealing the 11th Circuits Obamacare decision.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) had announced on Monday that it was not going to ask all 11 judges of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to review en banc the August 12 decision of a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit that found the individual mandate unconstitutional. This opened up a path to an appeal by DOJ to the Supremes.
However, with this petition, the NFIB jumped ahead of Eric Holders slow-moving DOJ (which until Monday had done everything it could to slow-walk this case filed by 26 states and the NFIB). The NFIB is obviously not appealing the three-judge panels opinion about the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate. But the NFIB is appealing the portion of the panels decision that held that the unconstitutional individual mandate could be severed from the Obamacare legislation.
Either way the Supreme Court rules, it's bad for Obama. If it strikes ObamaCare down, it's a big problem, because then he has to run for re-election promising his base that he'll pass some kind of health care measure in his second term.
And everyone not in that base is not giving him a second bite at the apple, when he screwed the first shot up so badly. And worse yet, did not listen to the people while doing so.
How could he appease the public on that? "This time, I promise I won't completely ignore you and shut you out of the discussion"?
Few would buy his promises to be more inclusive or bipartisan this time around.
Obama would risk derisive jeers even saying anything like this.
Vote For Barack Obama
Remember that time he burned your house down? Yeah, well he promises this time he'll only light three matches at a time.
— Ace Over in the sidebar are a couple of polls showing Romney passing Perry in Iowa and Florida.
Romney hasn't actually gained -- it's just that Perry has dropped ten points, with Gingrich and especially Cain benefiting.
The new poll found Cains support has nearly tripled among GOP primary voters to 17 percent.
Thats up from 6 percent before this months debates, and puts him in what is essentially a three-way tie with Perry and Romney.
Perry now garners 19 percent, a drop of 10 percentage points from a month ago. That puts Romney back in the top spot with the support of 23 percent. Last month Romney was at 22 percent.
Newt Gingrich recovered some ground and now stands at 11 percent. Ron Paul receives the backing of 6 percent now compared to 8 percent before the September debates.
Bachmann has fallen to 3%.
No Palin: This poll doesn't exactly track the last one because this time, Palin wasn't included, whereas in the last one, she was.
Where did her supporters go in this poll? Well it seems not to Perry. Most likely to the "flavor of the month," as she terms Cain.
— andy Peter Orszag, President Obama's first Director of the Office of Management and Budget, has a piece in The New Republic that dips its rhetorical toe in the same authoritarian waters as Bev Perdue's "joke".
To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.
Radical as it sounds? You bet. Here, let me translate that for you: "This would be an awesome country if you rubes would just lie back and think of England while your betters fix the mess you made."
This isn't really shocking in its scope, though. Both Orszag and Perdue are giving us an insight into the way liberals think, but its not anything that isn't readily apparent from their actions.
They are firm believers in central planning and do not trust Adam Smith's "invisible hand". Hayek's "knowledge problem"? - never heard of it. They simply do not trust individuals to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.
This control fetish comes through in almost everything they support. Take, for example, mass transit, which involves moving herds of people from point A to point B on a fixed schedule. Meanwhile, with a car I'm free to go where I want when I want. Mass transit = control; automobiles = freedom.
The left has gone so far as to subvert the scientific method to try to scare you into believing your car is destroying the planet to get you to commit untold billions of dollars to mass transit schemes (among other stupidity). It's not about the planet; it's about control.
If they can do this to hard sciences, the soft sciences like economics are a piece of cake. So when Mr. Orszag's Keynesian dreams fail to materialize, it's never because he's wrong. It's because those damned humans screwed up his perfect plans.
Let me be more specific in the context of fiscal policy, which was at the heart of the debt-limit debate. Virtually all responsible economists agree that we should be aiming to reduce the deficit in the long-term but not in the short-term. We need an even larger deficit in 2011 and 2012, to support a weak economybut a much smaller deficit in 2020 and 2050, to put the nation back on a sustainable fiscal course. Yet our polarized political system has proved incapable of reaching a consensus on this common-sense approach.
What we need, then, are ways around our politicians. ...
The arrogance on display here is maddening. Has it ever occurred to Orszag that he (and his appeal to authority cohort of "virtually all responsible economists") was simply wrong? Has he once stopped to consider that the government's constant, omnipresent meddling in every minute aspect of our economy (Delta Smelt, anyone?) is largely the cause of our current problems? No, of course not.
A couple hundred years ago, this sort of thinking prompted some colonists to write:
... Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ... (emphasis added)
Both Orszag and Perdue seem to have some problems with that "consent of the governed" thing. To the extent that this mindset represents the liberal worldview (it does) what comes next should be clear.
No ... not muskets and tri-corner hats. We have the ability to abolish this government at the ballot box. We took a great first step in November 2010, and now we need to complete the clean sweep of these statist SOB's in 2012 and salt the fields so this muddleheaded ideology never grows back.
— Ace A U.S. citizen arrested for plotting an attack on the Pentagon and Capitol.
A 26-year-old Ashland man was arrested today for allegedly plotting a jihad against the United States that included blowing up the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol using three remote-controlled drones packed with explosives, federal officials said.
The suspect, Rezwan Ferdaus, a graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in physics, is accused of plotting to stuff the aircraft with C-4 plastic explosives. He was also accused of giving undercover FBI agents mobile phones rigged to act as an electrical switch for an IED to maim or kill U.S. soldiers serving overseas.
Quick, let's not change our immigration policies or anything. Let's just keep on pretendin'.
The United States' strained relationship with Pakistan has grown more tense after 50 influential imams and religious leaders there threatened a jihad if the U.S. attacks the nuclear-armed country.
— Ace Missing the point:
I was probably a bit over-passionate by using that word and it was inappropriate, Perry admitted. In Texas in 2001 we had 181 members of the legislature only four voted against this piece of legislation because it wasnt about immigration it was about education.
There are several problems here, which Perry doesn't seem to get.
It wasn't just the Lindsey-Graham-style appeal to liberal emo-politics. That was bad, absolutely. In fact, that is in fact probably the worst part of it.
But there are several other bad parts.
First, by noting he was "overpassionate" about it, he indicates that his emotion, and his conviction based on that emotion, is on the wrong side of the Republican Party mainstream here.
As we saw with Bush and amnesty, it is a problem when a politician emotionally, in his bones, feels he is doing the right thing. At least, it's a problem when that "feeling" is repudiated by the majority of the party.
There is no reasoning someone out of a position he wasn't reasoned into in the first place, the saying goes, and it's a keeper.
The other problem is that, combined with his rejection of a full-border-fence (which actually doesn't make a great deal of sense from a practical point of view) and his rejection of E-Verify (most states actually do reject E-Verify), he's got the reputation, now set fairly solidly, of an immigration squish, something the Lindsey Graham appeal to emotion only sets and hardens further.
And the party is not squish on illegal immigration.
Eventually he gets around to the only answer that can save him...
We wouldnt be having these conversations today, whether its about in-state tuition for illegal immigrants or whether its the Arizona law or whether its voter-ID which we passed in Texas, or sanctuary cities and the banning of those None of those would come up if the federal government had simply done its job through the years to secure our borders.
...but that really should have been his answer from the start: The federal government, not me, has created and encouraged an impossible situation for governors to deal with; I dealt with the difficulties of this non-policy as governor, making the best of a bad situation; but no, what I would do as President would not be the same thing I had to do as governor who is prisoner to a policy of insecure borders foisted on the states from DC.
And as for those children of illegals here -- as the government is not requiring them to vacate, I was just attempting to deal with the facts on the ground such as they are.
That would have minimized the damage here, at least.
But by affirmatively doubling down on this, and in such an emotional (that is, incapable-of-being moved) way...
Well. We are where we are.
I don't know how he entered this primary without realizing the party's mainstream is strongly immigration-enforcement, and that he'd have to adapt to that reality.
On a Meta-Level... I am really getting sick to death of this party becoming the Party of Feelings.
Thinking has almost become a dirty word. It's all about convictions (emotional) and values (not emotional per se, but pre-rational).
Those things do have a very big place in the scheme of things.
But the idea that we can just "intuit" everything like goddamned Emo Jedis... I'm really getting tired of it.
We seem determined to replicate the worst parts of liberalism.
Governor Perry In The Comments Section! I'm honored.
Look at the big picture. Once we get 'em into the colleges, we inject 'em all with Gardisil. Texas winds up with the lowest cost of landscape maintenance in the entire country.
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