The Freedom Report

I love Christmas lights!

They remind me of the people who voted for Obama!

They all hang together, half of them don”t work,

and the ones that do …

aren’t all that BRIGHT!

And the low voltage (aka low information) burn outs in the middle ruin it for the rest of us! 🙂

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left wing loon

U.S. President Barack Obama is apparently a fan of the Emmy-winning Netflix series House of Cards.

Before a meeting with tech magnates Tuesday morning, Obama shared a lighthearted exchange about the series with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. Obama said he wished Washington politics were as “ruthlessly efficient” as the show’s portrayal. (mashable)

But I think the Washington Post has a closer explanation for his love of it:

The ways in which Kevin Spacey — as Rep. Frank Underwood — manipulates his colleagues suggests that he is a man among boys, that they are the sheep and he the shepherd.  If Spacey was so very good about bending his colleagues to his will, why isn’t he the president? Or at least the Speaker of the House? (Frank is the House Majority Whip, the third ranking position in leadership.) There’s no question that in the actual Congress there are certain members who have savvier policy and political minds than others. But the black and white distinctions created by the show badly oversimplifies how most legislators interact.

It’s good to be the King. And oversimplification is a great Liberal trait.

‘Vote for Me, the Other Guy’s an Asshole!’  springs to mind…. 🙂

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval,” wrote US District Judge Richard Leon. (of the The NSA spying).

The (IN-)Justice Department has continued to argue that plaintiffs in lawsuits against the spying program lack standing because they cannot prove their records were examined. But Judge Leon suggested that the old calculus that afforded police agencies great leeway when it came to monitoring communications has clearly changed.

Suggesting that the NSA has relied on “almost-Orwellian technology,” wrote Judge Leon, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia bench. “The relationship between the police and the phone company (as imagined by the courts decades ago)…is nothing compared to the relationship that has apparently evolved over the last seven years between the government and telecom companies.”

The judge concluded, “It’s one thing to say that people expect phone companies to occasionally provide information to law enforcement; it is quite another to suggest that our citizens expect all phone companies to operate what is effectively a joint intelligence-gathering operation with the government.”

This case will continue in the courts, as will others.

Remember when Liberals were apoplectic about “warrantless wiretapping”?? 🙂

John Stossel: This wasn’t a great year for liberty. A few disasters that government caused:

–Obamacare. It was supposed to “bend the cost curve” downward. The central planners had lots of time to perfect their scheme. For a generation, the brightest left-wing wonks focused on health care policy. The result? Soviet-style consumer service comes to America.

–Government shutdown. The real disaster was the unnecessary panic over it. Zoos would shut down, and baby pandas would starve. The media made it sound like America might not survive even slightly limited government. They were happy to echo the politicians’ claim that there’s no wasteful or stupid spending to cut.

“The cupboard is bare,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “There’s no more cuts to make.”

Nothing to cut? Government spends $3.8 trillion a year!

Many Republicans are almost as eager to spend as Democrats, despite the difference in rhetoric between the two parties. About the only spending reduction Republicans accomplished in the past few years was the so-called sequester — which really happened by legal default because the two parties couldn’t reach an agreement. The sequester instituted cuts of about $85 billion a year, a mere sliver of that $3.8 trillion budget and a still smaller sliver of our $17 trillion debt.

Yet even those modest cuts will not happen now under the new congressional agreement. Because some Republicans were upset the sequester made small cuts to the military’s budget and were fearful another partial government shutdown might hurt their chances in upcoming elections, they gave up the modest spending discipline the sequester imposed. Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, said conservatives who want to keep the sequester are “ridiculous.”

The Republican behind the new agreement, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was once called a fanatical budget-slasher who wanted to push Granny off a cliff. People talked about him reading Ayn Rand and being a cutthroat capitalist. But now, even he abandons the meager budget cuts that were already scheduled.

I suppose Republicans feel they have no choice. They face Democrats who will cut nothing . They hope to win the Senate next election and realize that spending cuts are not particularly popular with the general public.

Americans say they want less spending. But then they fight for farm subsidies, flood insurance and “economic development” schemes. Most federal spending funds Social Security, Medicare and the military. Even citizens who sound fiscally conservative, especially elderly ones, don’t want these things cut.

–This was also the year we found out just how much the federal government spies on its own citizens. I annoyed my fellow libertarians by saying the privacy I lose to data mining seems a small price to pay for surveillance against terrorism. I posted a list of a hundred other things government does that upset me more. Some people responded by calling me a “traitor” and “LINO” (libertarian in name only).

Look, libertarians, I’m constantly angry at my government for lots of things, but I just can’t get worked up about data mining. My emails fly through the air. For all I know, my political enemies already read them.

It is upsetting, though, that the National Security Agency snooping goes far beyond what the government first claimed. President Barack Obama assured us the NSA does not read our emails or listen to our phone calls. But it turns out they sometimes do.

They say they only look for terrorists, and they won’t use the records to harass and punish their critics. But why would we trust that the same big government that spends $3.8 trillion a year, raids our homes looking for drugs and regulates almost every part of our lives won’t use its snooping powers to look into things other than terrorism?

Given the truth of Thomas Jefferson’s warning — “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground” — I fear next year will be still worse for liberty.

To make it a better year, we can’t trust such a powerful government to restrain itself. We should cut back its duties to reduce its power.

But that means you have to get the drug addicts to voluntarily cut back on their drugs…:)

The Christmas Spirit…
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy
A Well Deserved Award…
Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Sequester Jester

The sequester has “cost jobs,” says President Obama, and “gutted investments in education and science and medical research.” But somehow he’s earmarked $500 million for Hamas terrorists.

Circumventing Congress and with no fanfare, President Obama last week issued an executive order enabling him to send an additional $500 million directly to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank — much of which you can bet will wind up going to the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization.

But the White House Tours are still closed! 🙂

According to Obama, “it is important to the national security interests of the United States to waive the provisions of” Congress’ legislative restrictions “in order to provide funds . .. to the Palestinian Authority.”

At the beginning of his first term, Obama promised close to $1 billion in aid to the Palestinian Authority, with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledging none of it would reach Hamas.

But the Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharonot has documented that tens of millions of dollars in aid for the PA — from Israel — ended up being used by Hamas for weapons. If Israel can’t guarantee its own aid is safe, how can we?

What’s more, back in February, the president was warning that the “meat cleaver” of the impending budget sequester of automatic spending cuts would “jeopardize our military readiness” — the budget ax having amazingly already “forced the Navy to delay an aircraft carrier that was supposed to deploy to the Persian Gulf” even before it came into effect.

Sequester was going to force the government to “let criminals go,” Obama claimed, jeopardize “air traffic controllers and airport security,” cause tens of thousands of parents “to scramble to find child care,” and put “hundreds of thousands of Americans” at greater risk of cancer and flu.

Well, the sequester has been supposedly devastating the functions of the federal government for nearly five months now.

And yet the president just managed to pull a half-billion dollars in taxpayer money out of the U.S. Treasury’s hat to fund further an organization that will likely finance more rockets to kill Israeli citizens on their home soil.

When Hamas started winning elections, a realistic Bush administration wisely determined that the ballot box was no road to peace in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip anytime soon.

President Obama, on the other hand — not unlike Jimmy Carter’s policies toward communists in Central America — thinks we can bribe these thugs into civilizing themselves.

That in fact was the whole ethos of his 2009 “New Beginning” speech at Cairo University. Obama opened the door to the subsequent “Arab Spring” that has seen regimes friendly to the U.S. be replaced with Islamists.

Muslim Brotherhood flunky Mohamed Morsi’s rule was threat enough for the Egyptian military to step in, and Morsi now finds himself accused of colluding with — guess who? — Hamas.

In Syria, the White House was convinced that the wild card of Islamist rebels taking control was preferable to menacing secularist dictator Bashar al-Assad; in Libya, Muammar Gadhafi, whose nuclear weapons program was neutralized by the Bush administration’s aggressive waging of the global war on terror, was replaced by an Islamist regime that remains a question mark.

Now, for the sake of restarting negotiations with Palestinians this week after a three-year hiatus, the Israeli government is releasing over 100 Arab militants, some sentenced to life, whose crimes include throwing firebombs at a bus carrying children and stabbing and shooting elderly Jews.

As Israeli Economic Minister Naftali Bennett quipped to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, it amounts to freeing “a hundred terrorists for a process. We are showing the world that, for us, everything is negotiable.”

Thanks to President Obama, it’s a hundred terrorists and $500 million. Apparently, neither Israeli pride nor American budget constraints can stop the appeasement of Islamist terrorists. (IBD)

Another story has emerged out of the Department of Defense that the economic consequences from sequestration will be less dire than what was predicted. DoD initially projected that there would be 22 furlough days for government employees.

First predictions out of DoD were that there would need to be up to 22 furlough days. That was revised down to 11 days, which has now been cut to 6-8. In total, the original projection was an exaggeration of over 300%.

This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who’s been paying attention. the Obama Administration ordered executive agencies not to contradict the official Administration line to try to make sequestration appear as painful as possible.

The Washington Post catalogued the predictions for sequestration that were and weren’t coming true. In total, they found that just 11 of 48 predictions had come true. Time to update those revisions! (Townhall)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/they-said-the-sequester-would-be-scary-mostly-they-were-wrong/2013/06/30/73bdbbfc-da7a-11e2-8ed8-7adf8eba6e9a_story.html

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell


 

Talk is not so Cheap

FAA Update:

The White House has endorsed a plan to eliminate FAA spending cuts that have cause air travel delays across the country. The agency has been forced to furlough air traffic controllers as part of the automatic budget cuts that kicked in this spring. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to end the cuts by claiming savings from the draw down of war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan. Republicans reject his proposal calling it an accounting gimmick.
Of course it’s an accounting gimmick.  The point is that Democrats are desperate to extricate themselves from this mess, which they orchestrated in a bone-headed attempt to rile public anger against any spending cuts.

Chicago Tribune: Hours before the federal spending sequester began on March 1, when President Barack Obama predicted that “People are going to be hurt,” he did not add, Trust me, I’ll make sure of it. But he might as well have, as this week’s furloughs of air traffic controllers make obvious. The furloughs reflect panic: Having exaggerated their early predictions that the sequester’s small reduction in spending growth would seriously affect Americans, many Democrats are hell-bent to pre-empt those Americans from drawing two logical conclusions: If one level of cuts is this painless, then maybe we should make … more cuts to expenditures. And while we’re at it, maybe we should ignore the politicians who told us that if Washington lowered the spending growth curve … the Earth will fly into the sun….

We’re less certain, though, that this hostage-taking will cut the way the White House expects: The scheme relies on citizens being — how to put this delicately? — stupid enough to think that the Federal Aviation Administration can’t find a more flier-friendly way to save $600 million.

The Trib’s editors also cite polling showing that the public is less and less worried about the sequester cuts by the day, which likely sparked panic inside the White House:  We can’t allow spending cuts to go unnoticed.  People might start getting the wrong idea.  It’s time to deliberately inflict totally avoidable pain on the populace — it’s for their own good, really. (townhall)

A pre-sequester FAA report demonstrated that air traffic controllers were operating at 22 percent over capacity.  Even FAA employees are aware that the pain is political and intentional: “I am disgusted with everything that I see since the sequester took place,” another FAA employee wrote. “Whether in HQ or at the field level it is clear that our management has no intention of managing anything. The only effort that I see is geared towards generating fear and demonstrating failure.(Townhall)

So the Congress passes a bill and the whole stupid episode goes away, but it’s still not their fault.

Speaking of  flying off on partisan stupidity..

Rep. Hank Johnson (D) (The guy who in 2010 said if too many Marine were on Guam the Island would tip over!) took to the House floor “like a kid at a carnival” Thursday to defend Americans’ right to helium in light of sequester spending cuts.

The Georgia Democrat, irked by his Republican cohorts, gave a snarky, pun-heavy speech in support of the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act of 2013, which would prevent the closure of the Federal
Helium Reserve, scheduled to shutter by October.

“Mr. Speaker, I’m relieved, and I’m sure that the American people are relieved as well, that Congress is finally going to do something about one of the most pressing issues of the day,” he began. “That is we’ve got to ensure access to helium for all.”
The substance of this bill is not the focus of my sarcasm,” he said. “My point is that America would be much better off if this tea party Republican Congress brought to the floor issues that mean the most to Americans.”

(that’s funny, because the Senate has a Left Wing Democrat Majority that refuses to even talk to the other side of the political aisle)

You mean like $7 Trillion Dollars in new Debt and annual deficits near or over a Trillion dollars a year?
Sorry, Democrats don’t want to talk about that.

7.8%+ unemployment for  4 1/2 years?
Sorry, Democrats don’t want to talk about that.

That 20% of all Americans are on Food Stamps.
Sorry, Democrats don’t want to talk about that.

Muslim Terrorists.
Sorry, Democrats REALLY don’t want to talk about that.

Border Security.
Sorry, Democrats don’t want to talk about that. They just want to promote “undocumented Democrats”.

Benghazi.
Sorry, Democrats don’t want to talk about that.

Failure of Schools to adequately Educate.
Sorry, Democrats don’t want to talk about that.

ObamaCare Costs.
Sorry, Democrats don’t want to talk about that. (But they do want to exempt themselves!)

The Debt Ceiling.
Sorry, Democrats don’t want to talk about that.

The Budget that hasn’t been passed in 4+ years.
Sorry, Democrats don’t want to talk about that.

Iran, North Korea, etc.
Sorry, Democrats don’t want to talk about that.

“Knowing that potentially chemical weapons have been used inside of Syria doesn’t tell us when they were used, how they were used,” Mr. Obama told reporters in the Oval Office. “We have to act prudently. We have to make these assessments deliberately.”

Orwell would be proud of your cowardice and lack of backbone about your own “line in the sand”.

Welfare Reform?
Sorry, Democrats don’t want to talk about that.

The abuses of Federal Government Power?
Sorry, Democrats don’t want to talk about that.

Government Ammo Stockpiling?
Sorry, Democrats don’t want to talk about that.
But they are hopped up on Helium, Sugar, Soda, salt, Gays, Illegals, Their own Hubris, The AGENDA, fundraising for 2014, and your right to defend yourself you evil bastards!

So leave them alone. They have their Priorities…. indeed… 🙂

“Everybody sit down,” Obama said sheepishly. “You’re making me blush.”

He told a crowd at the Planned Parenthood Conference. He is after all, Pro-Choice, as long as you make the Correct Choice! (aka whatever the Liberal says).

After all, AG Holder: He said that establishing legal status for the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants is a “matter of civil and human rights.”

“The way we treat our friends and neighbors who are undocumented by creating a mechanism for them to earn citizenship and move out of the shadows transcends the issue of immigration status.” “This is a matter of civil and human rights,” Holder continued.

So if being here illegally is a “civil right” then why do we have a border at all. Everyone is entitle to come here at will and at whim (and vote for the Democrats).

So do they want to talk about that, or just high-handed demagoguery? 🙂

Speaking of that…

CRONY CAPITALISM UPDATE

Ever since the Clinton administration agreed in 1999 to make $50,000 payments to thousands of black farmers, the Hispanics and women had been clamoring in courtrooms and in Congress for the same deal. They argued, as the African-Americans had, that biased federal loan officers had systematically thwarted their attempts to borrow money to farm.

But a succession of courts — and finally the Supreme Court — had rebuffed their pleas. Instead of an army of potential claimants, the government faced just 91 plaintiffs. Those cases, the government lawyers figured, could be dispatched at limited cost.

They were wrong.

On the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling, interviews and records show, the Obama administration’s political appointees at the Justice and Agriculture Departments engineered a stunning turnabout: they committed $1.33 billion to compensate not just the 91 plaintiffs but thousands of Hispanic and female farmers who had never claimed bias in court.

The deal, several current and former government officials said, was fashioned in White House meetings despite the vehement objections — until now undisclosed — of career lawyers and agency officials who had argued that there was no credible evidence of widespread discrimination. What is more, some protested, the template for the deal — the $50,000 payouts to black farmers — had proved a magnet for fraud.

(emphasis added)

Absolutely unbelievable.  Ever wonder how Obama can “need” higher taxes despite going on the biggest spending spree in American history? Perhaps this story offers a clue. (townhall)

Will Democrat want to talk about that?

No.

pro-choice butexempt 2exempt

 

V.D.

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

The latest available data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that a record number 23 million households in the United States are now on food stamps.

The most recent Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) statistics of the number of households receiving food stamps shows that 23,087,886 households participated in January 2013 – an increase of 889,154 families from January 2012 when the number of households totaled 22,188,732.

The most recent statistics from the United States Census Bureau– from December 2012– puts the number of households in the United States at 115,310,000. If you divide 115,310,000 by 23,087,866, that equals one out of every five households now receiving food stamps.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, food stamp rolls in America recently surpassed the population of Spain. A record number 47,692,896 Americans are now enrolled in the program and the cost of food stamp fraud has more than doubled in just three years.

But if we just spend more money everything would be fine! 🙂

After all, the economy is improving. 🙂

Sep 24, 2012 One in seven Americans is on food stamps.

We just need to Spend More money!

It’s that those Damn Republican’s Fault!

It’s the Sequester!! 🙂

Let’s just call it what it is: The country has a big, nasty case of V.D. (That’s Virus Democratus).

A particularly invasive, and aggressive strain.

Anywho, as I was saying: The country has a virus similar to the malaise that was going around when Carter was president. Our enemies are treated like friends and our friends are treated like enemies; Gas prices are high, wages are low, and the misery index is on the rise, even if calculated differently today than when Carter was the Worst-President-Ever.

Unemployment that has been 7.8%+ SINCE he took office!

$7 Trillion Dollars in New Debt. But we have to Spend Even More.

Cutting Increases in Spending is Evil, wrong, and “hurts people”. But none of these other factors do?

This is what happens when you put hippies in charge.  Again.

“Free” “love” and “peace” often ends in this type of communicable disease.

Quick: What percentage of people in the Obama administration do you think go to church each week? What percentage of people in the Obama administration smoke weed each week?

Now subtract the one number from the other.  

Any questions?

The lurch to the left that has been institutionalized by our newest Worst-President-Ever – an ideological lurch where appearances don’t matter anymore- is scaring even Democrats.

“And while the president made the big calls, like pushing for a health-care overhaul, he did not always drive the administration’s strategy on getting his agenda achieved. That has now, fully, changed,“ reports BuzzFeed.

Hurray! Obama’s now in charge of EVERYTHING.

“‘You’re talking about somebody who has a tremendous amount of confidence in his own capacities,’” said a top Democrat. “‘On most days it’s hard to tell him he’s wrong about anything.’”

Really? You guys are just figuring this out now?

Ha!

It’s not hard to tell the Democratus apparatus that they deserve exactly what they’ve got coming- while laughing uproariously.

After a decade of letting Obama work on scholarship because of white guilt, demographics and a weak bench of unelectable doofuses- John Edwards, Howard Dean, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton anyone?- now that political results matter to the Democratus Party, some are getting a little shy about the president.  

And can you blame them? These are folks who won’t get the same free pass that Obama gets.  

Imagine when the entire Democrat party is remade in Obama’s image.

Confident.

Capable.

Arrogant.

Irresponsible.

Wrong.

Politico laid out the dilemma facing Democrats even before Obama was sworn in for his second term.

“To the extent that they break with the president, it could be — I don’t want to say it is — a big advantage for them in deep-red states,” a Democrat strategist told Politico in January regarding Democrat Senators up for reelection.

Politico cited particularly the gun issue, where Democrats from more moderate states could be at risk by an aggressively left-wing Obama agenda.

From Politico:

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who could face a tough reelection and has previously opposed reinstating the assault weapons ban, said there needs to be “more emphasis on [mental health issues and counseling families in crisis] as well as enforcing some of the laws that are already on the books.” She added it was important for Washington “not to overreact one way or another.”

[Senator Mark] Begich [D-AK] added: “To start saying we’re going to have more laws and more regulations, I think, would be problematic.”

Udall voiced similar sentiments, though he suggested more of an openness to tightening background checks.

“When you talk about gun rights and the situation in the West, there are very mixed feelings in terms of pushing a nationwide package — a one-size-fits-all package,” [Senator Tom] Udall [D-NM] said, questioning the effectiveness of an assault weapons ban.

From their mouths to Obama’s very large ears, somehow, something in the manner of this warning was lost in translation.

Because Obama’s defeat on the gun issue was both large and stunning.

Or, as Politico pointed out, maybe it was what we could have expected.

Any other president would have been defeated in November based on results. Any other president would have been chastened by the results, not emboldened.

Instead, Obama is acting more like himself, more in charge and exactly in character:

Confident.

Capable.

Arrogant.

Irresponsible.

Wrong.

These are all symptoms of a very bad disease for  the Democrats.

And because it’s communicable, the country is at risk as well.  (John Ransom)

But that’s why they need Amnesty. The 10-12 million new Democrats will give them a voting majority for life and it won’t matter what YOU think or what anyone thinks.

All they have to do is pander to this majority and they are set for life. To a Democrat what could be better than complete and total, uncontested rule over everyone and everything forever!

Heaven on Earth! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Not for For Me, But for Thee. It’s the Story That Counts.

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

For Thee, Not for Me.

The chief of the FAA told Congress today that Washington-area airports will largely escape the effects of the air traffic controller furloughs — a blessing for lawmakers who fly out of the nation’s capitol.

Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, told a congressional panel that the Washington region’s airports are spaced out enough and have enough spare capacity that furloughs to air traffic controllers won’t hurt as much here.

Because, in case you hadn’t heard Obama and his FAA have decided that the Sequester is not causing enough pain so they need to ratchet it up some more., but NOT on themselves though.
The White House accused Republicans of a political distraction Wednesday after House committee chairmen asked President Obama to release a State Department cable that they said would prove Hillary Rodham Clinton, as secretary off state, signed off on security cuts at the diplomatic post in Benghazi ahead of the attack Sept. 11. (WT)

Not that the whole “internet video” thing wasn’t a massive distraction and politically motivated to begin with.
Not for For Me, But for Thee.
Political Cartoons by Steve Breen
Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

“Green” Update…The Story Continues

Remember the “green” stimulus money that went to a company in Finland to build electric cars (not here in the US, but Finland).

The electric carmaker, which laid off 75% of its employees earlier this month, missed its first loan payment to the Energy Department on Monday. Treasury has already seized $21 million in an effort to get back some of the taxpayer money loaned to it, but most of the $192 million that was given to the company over the three years is very much at risk.

Also at risk is about $21.5 million it received from the state of Delaware because of plans it once had to reopen a closed General Motors plant there.

Company officials and spokesmen are not commenting on the outlook for the company or reports that it is close to a bankruptcy filing.

Fisker is what is known as a story stock. It’s not a public company, of course, but it still qualifies. A story stock is a company that relies upon “a story” to get new investors to pony up more money to keep the story going. 

It can’t point to results, or a business model, or demographics. It has some new, breakthrough technology or process that will revolutionize the world if and when… blah, blah, blah, blah, talk, talk, talk.

And all they need is a bit more money.

And Obama gave Stimulus Money to them.

More Money down the “green” rat hole.

Story stocks suffer from the opposite problem Google and Facebook posed: Story stocks have a revolutionary way to monetize demand for products, but they have little demand.

And the last thing a company with very little demand needs is a bit more money.

A bit more money gives a company with no customers the trappings of success without the fuss and bother of actually selling things; a bit more money allows the story to supplant sales; a bit more money means that the only thing left to do is go out and get a bit more money over and over again.

In the 1990s the fuel of the future was to be ethanol, especially ethanol derived from biomass cellulose waste like switchgrass and cornstalks and sawdust.

All they needed was a bit more money to perfect the technology of refining ethanol from waste products and success was to be ensured.

Sounds like every Liberal idea I’ve ever heard of. When it fails, all we need (perpetually) is more money and it will succeed!  Just that little bit more…!!! 🙂

Twenty years later, all biomass fuels have to show for the story is more research grants from the Department of Energy, more demonstration plants that can’t produce commercial volumes and more need for subsidies from the federal government to stay afloat.

Other than an a food storage because of all the Corn converted to fuel instead of food, that is. 🙂

And regular corn ethanol- a competitor to biomass ethanol- is still only about as economical as regular gasoline, if not a little less so. 

Just a bit more money, please.

“There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate,” Mark Twain wrote in Following the Equator, “when he can’t afford it, and when he can.”

Twain by then had been ruined by a story stock of his own making.

“The author,” he says, “did not gather [these observations] from practice, but from experience.”

Twain invested in, managed and ultimately smothered a new marvel in typesetting technology called the Paige Compositor. Twain had the great disadvantage of knowing a thing or two about typesetting. He was a young apprentice typesetter in Philadelphia, New York and St. Louis.

In Twain’s case- as in other story stocks- a little knowledge proved to be a dangerous thing.  The inventor James Paige beguiled Twain with creating the most perfect machine ever, instead of one that would sell. Consequently the machine never even got to the prototype stage. Instead of merely losing money in the affair, Twain’s quest for a perfect machine finally drove him into bankruptcy- an event from which his creative mind never fully recovered.

According to biographer Justin Kaplan, Twain later indulged in fantasies of locking the inventor of the typesetting machine in a steel trap and watching him die.

The folks from Fisker have no less arduous a trap to face themselves.

“As the years rolled by,” writes Scientific American, “Fisker observers became increasingly suspicious that the company didn’t even possess a working car. At the 2008 debut, Fisker announced that the Karma would go on sale in late 2009. Yet by early 2010, when Bill Gifford profiled the company for Popular Science, no one but the chauffeur for the Crown Prince of Denmark had driven even an early prototype.”

But like most Liberal ideas, it sounded good, noble and tugged at the heart strings of emotion so with good intentions they wasted vast amounts of money. And in stead of admitting they were morons for buying into it they just want to spend even more money to prove their pie-in-the-sky righteousness is correct no matter what.

They actually did build a few cars, but most of them flooded before some spontaneously caught fire, just like the Chevy Volt. Really.

So now the steel trap set for Fisker is in Congress, which of course wants taxpayer money back. But what Congress really wants more than anything is to embarrass Obama, the Department of Energy and the whole green energy scheme, which was produced by a little too much knowledge and way more money than they ever needed.

They have found a willing victim in Fisker.

While Twain could only fantasize about retribution, Congress owns the steel trap of public investigation in which many others who speculate on the public dime have gone to die a slow, and humiliating, death.  

It’ll make a great story.  (Townhall)

The Greatest Story/Show on Earth. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

 Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

1984- 2013 Gangnam Style

Before I get to my  blog for today I just wanted to congratulate Rep. Barney Frank (D-NY) for solving the Boston Bombing case single-handedly.

The cause: The Sequester!!

The Solution: Spend More Money!

WOW! isn’t that amazing… 🙂

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/barney-frank-demands-higher-taxes-over-boston-bombing-msnbc-anchor-calls-him-out-for-politicizing-attack/

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Victor Davis Hanson: Imagine if, during the campaign of 2008, someone had written the following: “If Barack Obama is elected president, then each year from now on the federal budget will be a trillion dollars in the red. He will pile up in two terms more debt than all previous presidents combined. Interest rates will stay at near zero; 7.6 percent unemployment will be proof of progress in creating jobs. Record use of food stamps, unemployment, and disability insurance will be hallmarks of recovery. The government will take over health care, and the costs will skyrocket. During Obama’s second term, ammunition will vanish from America’s store shelves in panic buying. Gay marriage will become uncontroversial. Women will be eligible for infantry combat. The only question about amnesty for illegal aliens will be when, not if, it is enacted. States will begin legalizing marijuana.” Obviously, such a conspiracist would have been dismissed as an unhinged nut.

You may object that Obama himself has hardly been responsible for all these radical transformations. True, but he helped to create, in brilliant fashion, a “hope and change,” quasi-revolutionary climate — the political cover, if you will, for the media, the universities, federal judges, state legislatures, and Congress to reinvent American popular culture and tradition in a manner rarely if ever seen in the past.

LANGUAGE
First were the necessary changes in language. In the Obama age, as in Orwell’s 1984, the natural meanings of words had to change. See the third book of Thucydides’ history for the details.

Running up serial trillion-dollar deficits was not profligacy, but rather making “investments” for “the children.” Irresponsible borrowing became “stimulus.” Indeed, “trillion” — not a frequently used part of most people’s vocabulary before 2009 — suddenly replaced “billion” as a familiar fiscal numerical adjective. A takeover of health care that would spike premiums and ration services, devices, and procedures was aptly named the “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

“Assault weapons” superseded “semi-automatic rifles,” even as “semi-automatic” and “automatic” were no longer distinct adjectives. The obvious purpose of rapid-fire weapons was to kill innocent children, not to protect your household from intruders, to shoot fast-moving game, or to practice a sport at a shooting range, much less to remind the government, in Second Amendment fashion, that the populace was autonomous and vigilant.

“Illegal alien” disappeared in favor of the inexact “undocumented immigrant” or “undocumented worker,” even though most illegal aliens never had proper documents of any sort, and sizable minorities of them were not working. The key was to convince the American public that millions of people had inadvertently wandered over the poorly demarcated border, all in search of work. They sort of lost track of both their bearings and their legal documents in the process. “Comprehensive immigration reform” superseded “amnesty,” as if the new proposed reforms focused mostly on hordes of brilliant Ph.D.s from the Czech Republic, queuing up to acquire legal authorization to work in Silicon Valley — rather than some 11 million or so Latin Americans who entered the country unlawfully, mostly without capital, English, or a high-school diploma.

“Homosexual” became a derogatory substitute for the proper term “gay,” and male homosexuality was redefined almost as an asexual act — a fun or “gay” Platonic experience rather than one connected with any particular sort of sexual congress.

“Global warming” begat “climate change,” which eventually begat “climate chaos,” once tornadoes, hurricanes, and tsunamis had to be enlisted in the good fight — given that there was no proof of rising temperatures in the last decade, and even the specter of melting polar ice caps, rising seas, and drowning polar bears had not proved enough to scare the public into banning coal and enacting cap-and-trade.

After the language changed, obfuscation followed, designed to wear down the opposition through a bewildering array of incomprehensible regulations that led to an attention overload and confusion of theories with facts. Nancy Pelosi astutely gauged the pulse of an exhausted public that wanted the drawn-out debate over Obamacare just to be done with and go away, when she promised that we could find out what was in the vast, 2,400-page Obamacare bill as soon as it was made law. Likewise, the new “comprehensive immigration reform” bill is reputed to be over 1,500 pages. As many will read that monstrosity as have read the Obamacare document. The “hockey stick” and tree rings from “11,000 years ago” proved global warming in a way that no one could quite fathom until private correspondence was leaked to the public giving the proper academic context. No one quite knows what the advent of gay marriage will entail, once the idea of marriage as the exclusivity of a single man, joined with a single woman, to promote procreation has ended. But the theoretical possibilities of bold new unions, both sincere and cynical, are now as endless as they are taboo to discuss publicly.

SILENCING DEBATE
After language changed and facts were buried beneath bureaucratic avalanches, debate became almost un-American, either silenced or relegated to caricature. Legitimate worries about rising health-insurance premiums and restricted care translated into being against the “young” and “vulnerable.” Object to infringements on the Second Amendment, and Vice President Joe Biden (who, as so often in the mudslinging, was wheeled out to demonize opponents) will charge that one must suffer from some near-sexual fetish to want an “assault weapon” in one’s hands, a thrill like “driving a Ferrari.” (Most Americans, apparently unlike Biden, have no idea of what driving a Ferrari is like.) Biden instead advised the illegal act of blasting a shotgun into the air to scare off intruders. Concerns about the dangers of a nationwide gun registry were tantamount to membership in “the black-helicopter crowd.”

In the debate over illegal immigration, one paradigm was the DREAM Act. The new gospel was that 11 million illegal aliens were denied their futures as neurosurgeons and aeronautical engineers simply by lack of access to the appropriate university. No one was allowed to talk of an “un-DREAM Act” — to point out that for all the hard-working, crime-free, and long-residing illegal aliens, there must be at least some who were on public assistance, had criminal records, and or entered the country only recently in hopes of receiving amnesty. All illegal aliens were desirable newcomers; none were undesirable. Breaking the law, and cutting in front of others who did not, was noble, whereas drawing attention to those who did was ignoble. The illegal-alien debate was framed as involving those who wished to allow José López to finish his M.D., against racists who could not tolerate the idea that people from south of the border were outpacing them to the pinnacles of American success.

To ponder whether females could meet, without adjustments, the brutal physical requirements of Special Forces training was tantamount to being anti-woman. There could be no real debate over gay marriage. America was instead to have happily evolved from the Neanderthal 1990s, when homophobia had made such moral improvement impossible. That earlier public had been obsessed with illegitimate and improper concerns that particular types of sexual congress might lead to new worries over the spread of HIV or the recent transformation of hepatitis into a common sexually transmitted disease.

Anecdote, the age-old enemy of logic, now reigns supreme and trumps induction —  as if the exception is always proof of the rule, as if the public will always forsake reason for emotion. Forget the statistics on Obamacare — my Uncle Joe was denied coverage after he lost his job. The economy is getting better, because my friend Will was offered a job today. Why enforce federal immigration law, when there is no nicer window washer than Herlinda, who comes to my house every Tuesday? It hailed in June here; therefore the world must be experiencing climate change. I would never shoot an AR-15, and therefore there is no need for anyone else to. My nephew is gay, and he’s a great guy; therefore gay marriage is great too. Sally yesterday lifted heavier weights than did three guys in the gym: Presto, female soldiers can do anything that male soldiers can.
DEMONIZATION
Finally, to make the once controversial the new convention, demonization and character assassination were essential. Opposing trillion-dollar deficits meant that you were a fat cat who didn’t build your own business and didn’t know when you had made enough money, a suspect 1-percenter who did not pay “your fair share,” and who junketed to Las Vegas or lopped off patients’ limbs for profit. To oppose Obamacare meant that you wished the vulnerable like Sandra Fluke to have to choose between eating and having access to exorbitantly priced condoms. Or perhaps you wished those with lymphoma to go without medical treatment.

Wariness about Congress’s rush-to-judgment haste to infringe on the Second Amendment was proof that you were callous toward the parents of the Sandy Hook victims, with veritable blood on your hands in a repeat of the Gabby Giffords tragedy. Gun owners were now to be divided into the good Joe Biden and John Kerry types who, outfitted in proper L. L. Bean attire, each year ceremoniously fired off a few rounds at skeet from their Italian shotguns — and the overweight and sunburned clingers who, in places like southern Illinois and rural Pennsylvania, slaughtered deer for the hell of it with sinister black machine guns, when they weren’t indulging in militia play-acting in bandoliers and camouflage.

America may have had the most liberal immigration policy, both legal and illegal, in the world, which inordinately favored illegal entrants from Latin America. But nonetheless the desire to enforce federal legislation was tantamount to being a “nativist” and “racist” who, as “an old angry white guy” could not “get over” “the new demography” — incorrect behavior by “enemies” that warranted a vow from the president to “punish” them. Those who opposed gay marriage but were willing to accept civil unions were “homophobes” who had set out to demonize the children and grandchildren of us all.

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What are we to make of this creeping brave new world?

The scary part, at least for now, is not the ends so much as the means used to achieve them. The reason that Orwell, a man of the Left, made his farm animals and lost urban souls the victims of tyrannical left-wing megalomaniacs was his sense that the far Left, much more so than the far Right, could insidiously distort reality and destroy free expression. The right-wing dictator is typically an identifiable thug who transparently stifles free speech to benefit a small coterie of aristocrats and insiders. In contrast, the left-wing dictator is always a misunderstood reformer who was forced by counterrevolutionaries to break a few eggs in order to make the collective omelet. Think of the reaction to drones, renditions, and Guantanamo under Bush compared to that under Obama. After all, there are no Pinochet T-shirts on campus to rival the romantic depiction of Che — a psychopath in service to a Cuban autocracy that came to power killing far more than did Pinochet in Chile. We are long conditioned to airbrush the word “socialism” out of Hitler’s “National Socialism” and must only with care remark that the collectivist Mao was the greatest mass murderer in the history of civilization. Our popular culture is currently engaged in canonizing bombers and murderers from the 1960s campuses, but not the equally violent anti-abortion activists who likewise sometimes took the law into their own hands in service to their own purported sense of the greater good.

We are in revolutionary times, but of the French rather than the American sort. The popular effort is not to preserve liberty from an all-encompassing government, but rather to have an all-powerful state impose an egalitarianism of result — and increasingly by any means necessary.

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

 

Thinking Disability

Almost as many people signed up with the federal government’s permanent worker disability program as got jobs in March, according to two sets of government data, continuing a troubling trend throughout the Obama recovery.

But don’t worry, it’s not Obamanomics! It’s the Sequester!!! OMG! The world is coming to an end!

Obama’s top economic adviser Alan B. Krueger:”It is important to bear in mind that the March household and payroll surveys are the first monthly surveys to look at employment since the beginning of sequestration.”

All evil stems from the hound of Hell itself! 🙂

Krueger did not mention January’s 2% payroll tax increase, which will wipe out an entire year’s worth of wage gains by American workers. Roughly 70% of national expenditures emanate from consumers. (Breitbart).

Oh course not, why would they. After all, that was not there fault. They passed the payroll holiday as a voting bribe and when they won they took it back.

But that’s not Washington’s Fault! No, the Sequestration is the evil.

The fact that THAT WAS Obama’s Idea and it was implemented as a Doomsday that Washington has 18 months so to fix and just didn’t do it is not their fault either… 🙂

Last month, 81,804 workers left the workforce to join the Social Security Disability Insurance program. So far this year, nearly a quarter million workers have joined the program.

Over the past four years, 4 million left the workforce to go on disability. Even after accounting for those who dropped out of the program because of death or retirement, the ranks of the disabled have shot up more than 1.4 million under Obama.

Today, the ranks of the disabled number 8.8 million, and when you add in children and spouses, the number climbs to 10.9 million.

Economists generally agree that the anemic recovery under President Obama has driven legions of workers who have been unable to find work to seek out the SSDI program.

“When opportunities for employment are plentiful, some people who could quality for (disability insurance) benefits find working more attractive,” the Congressional Budget Office noted in a recent report on the program, adding that “when employment opportunities are scarce, some of these people participate in the DI program instead.”

Since the recovery officially started in June 2009, more than 9 million have dropped out of the labor force, either because they retired, gave up looking for work, or signed up with a program like SSDI. This year alone, the number of people who aren’t in the labor force shot up 959,000.

As a result, the labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people working or actively looking to the entire working age population, has fallen to 63.3%, from 65.7% at the start of the Obama recovery. That’s the lowest level for this indicator since 1978.

The concern about so many signing up for disability is that almost none ever end up returning to the workforce. It’s a problem the even the White House has expressed concern about.

In an economic report issued in 2011 the administration noted because “workers on SSDI rarely return to the labor force,” this can result “in a loss to society of the economic contribution those workers could have made.”

So they then have to be replace entirely. But the economy can’t even replace the ones it has now.
But don’t expect anything like this coming from a Democrat or the Ministry of Truth.
They are too busy screaming the World is coming to an end over a paper cut (sequester).
OMG!
Democrats, of course, tried to pin the blame for this on Republicans for allegedly pushing austerity measures.

White House economic adviser Alan Krueger complained that “arbitrary and unnecessary cuts to government services will be a head wind in the months to come.”

His predecessor in that job, Austan Goolsbee, worried that “maybe the sequester’s a bigger deal than people thought it was.”

And Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid argued that “self-inflicted setbacks like the sequester” were behind the tepid jobs growth.

It didn’t take long for the Democrats’ amen chorus in the press to run with this spin.

“Friday’s jobs report is the first to reflect the post-sequester world,” is how Politico put it.

The Huffington Post said “austerity may be starting to squeeze the life out of the job market.”

Just one problem: There’s nothing unusual about this month’s jobs report, and there’s been no austerity.

From the start of the Obama “recovery” nearly four years ago, job growth has been week. In fact, job growth has averaged just 100,000 a month, and in 16 of the 45 months since June 2009, it’s been under 100,000.

Nor is the March drop in the labor force participation rate unusual. In fact, it had been steadily falling all along, as Obama’s anemic jobs recovery led millions to retire early, give up looking for work, or go on government disability programs.

By the end of last year, the labor force participation rate was down to 63.6% from 65.7% when the recovery started. And it’s fallen each month so far this year.

The sequester isn’t to blame for any of this, since the spending cuts have barely begun to take effect, and even by the end of the year will amount to a mere one-half of one percent of GDP.

Plus, that spending trim will only slow, not reverse, spending growth. In fact, federal outlays in the first five months of this fiscal year are up 2% from the some time a year ago, according to the Treasury Dept., and deficits already total $493 billion — which, by the way, is more than any given year under the Bush administration.

State spending, too, has been on the upswing, and government at all levels added 5,000 jobs in March.

The real reason for the anemic job growth under Obama has nothing to do with spending cuts, and everything to do with the aggressively anti-business climate Obama has created.

Indeed, given his out-of-control regulations, tax hikes on businesses and investment, and the looming catastrophe known as ObamaCare, it’s a wonder businesses are hiring at all. (IBD)

But everything is fine. And Cutting Spending is Evil. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez