Friday, July 31, 2009

Rapid punches

More political shorts combined into one post:

A couple of recent columns, by Jonah Goldberg and Jeff Jacoby, build on my post on Ginsberg’s comment and its implications and are well worth a read.


Nice to see Obama blame Medicare and Medicaid for driving up the costs of healthcare in his televised prime time presser. Admitting that government is the problem is step one…


Tom Maguire on Henrylouisgate: “So - do feminists and domestic violence experts agree that if the man of the house shouts at the cops that everything is cool so get out, the cops should simply leave?”


That 378-0 resolution that, in part, confirmed Obama having been born in Hawaii? 88.8% of the Republicans voted for it, but only 86.3% of the Democrats did.


Obama said in a Business Week interview “I haven't signed a bill that's raised taxes yet.”

That’s a lie that takes some serious chutzpah, given that it took him only until his 16th day in office to do so: "President Barack Obama signed legislation Wednesday to more than double the federal cigarette [tax] to pay for an expansion of health insurance for poor children."


Ann Althouse: “If studies show that divorce damages health, then horning into our marriages will become the government’s business too. Obviously another blue pill. You expect us to pay for the red pill, when there’s a blue pill?”


Education 101: “I worried that a homeless person had wandered onto the school grounds. When I pointed him out to a fellow parent, she giggled and explained that he was a new teacher.

That can’t be true, I thought, and went off to see the principal, who briefed me about the seniority transfer clause in the teachers’ contract. Among all the applicants for a posted vacancy at P.S. 87, our obviously impaired new teacher had the most years in the system, so he automatically got the job.”


Who took the most money from HMO’s in 2008, by more than a 2-1 margin? Barack Obama! No wonder he wants the whole country run like an HMO.


For all of the propaganda painting Republicans as obstructionist on health care reform, it should be noted that Jim DeMint led an effort to allow Americans to purchase individual health insurance across state lines, only to see it defeated 62-37 including no votes by Senators Reid and Obama. The same pair also rejected an effort (as part of a 55-32 vote) to allow for the expansion of health care access and reduced costs through the creation of small business health plans.

It would be more accurate to say that Democrats have blocked health care reform, Republicans have blocked a government takeover of health care.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

And now for some frivolity

Who isn’t touched by a nice love story? Like…the sacred bond between the guy who likes children and the girl who likes beagles. Okay, not exactly Lifetime movie fare.

Proof there is a God, and He is a just God: Explorers On Global Warming Expedition Stranded in North Pole by Cold Weather

Don’t you wish that Harry Carey was alive and doing SWAC basketball?

Does this Baylor tennis player have a sister named Miso?

Dept. of Unfortunate Appellations:

World’s worst video game, the Helen Keller Simulator


Greatest story ever?: The world of Mexican midget wrestling was rocked to its tiny foundations this week, when a pair of pint-sized, twin performers were murdered -- apparently by poison-wielding hookers they met in a sleazy bar.

I can’t imagine why this street name fell out of favor.

Not getting the whole cap concept.

We didn’t start the flame war.

She should have SEALed it up.

Gifts for your baby mama, even if your baby’s white and she’s Latina.

Unfortunate patio furniture.

Finally, I’ve found some help.

For the woman who’s too lazy to actually wear a thong.

Why I don’t trust card players.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This is not good

A dozen male-focused Web sites including AOL's men's lifestyle/humor site — as well as Ask Men, Just a Guy Thing and Double Viking — have sanctioned Aug. 4 as a Megan Fox media blackout day.

Why the diss? All the editors feel the starlet has become a bit too overexposed — and they're not just talking about her fashion sense. Fox has appeared on the covers of Esquire, Empire, Maxim, GQ UK, Entertainment Weekly and Elle this year alone, plus she did heavy press for her role as Mikaela Banes in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."

"You can have too much of a good thing," says's Editor-in-Chief James Bassil, who tells us, "We're joining in the media blackout and giving our readers a one-day reprieve from the woman we've been drowning in all summer."

I have to disagree; you can never have too much Megan.



Mark Steyn: “Thousand-page bills, unread and indeed unwritten at the time of passage, are the death of representative government. They also provide a clue as to why, in a country this large, national government should be minimal and constrained. Even if you doubled or trebled the size of the legislature, the Conyers conundrum would still hold: No individual can read these bills and understand what he’s voting on. That’s why the bulk of these responsibilities should be left to states and subsidiary jurisdictions, which can legislate on such matters at readable length and in comprehensible language.”

Preaching to the choir here!


Other than that, his answers were honest!

FactCheck's assessment of Obama's health care presser last week:

Obama's Health Care News Conference
July 23, 2009
Facts vs. Obama

President Obama tried to sell his health care overhaul in prime time, mangling some facts in the process. He also strained to make the job sound easier to pay for than experts predict.

* Obama promised once again that a health care overhaul “will be paid for.” But congressional budget experts say the bills they've seen so far would add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit over the next decade.

* He said the plan "that I put forward" would cover at least 97 percent of all Americans. Actually, the plan he campaigned on would cover far less than that, and only one of the bills now being considered in Congress would do that.

* He said the "average American family is paying thousands" as part of their premiums to cover uncompensated care for the uninsured, implying that expanded coverage will slash insurance costs. But the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation puts the cost per family figure at $200.

* Obama claimed his budget "reduced federal spending over the next 10 years by $2.2 trillion" compared with where it was headed before. Not true. Even figures from his own budget experts don't support that. The Congressional Budget Office projects a $2.7 trillion increase, not a $2.2 trillion cut.

* The president said that the United States spends $6,000 more on average than other countries on health care. Actually, U.S. per capita spending is about $2,500 more than the next highest-spending country. Obama's figure was a White House-calculated per-family estimate.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Imitation is the sincerest form of flatery

From an AP report:

EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Jacques Barrot said the 27-nation bloc wants to give anti-terror investigators at the U.S. Treasury access to European operation centers run by the bank transfer consortium SWIFT, expanding an existing 2007 anti-terror banking data sharing deal with Washington. To do so, it needs to negotiate under what conditions U.S. officials would have expanded access to such sensitive banking information. ...

The U.S. Treasury already has access to SWIFT's American database, but the banking consortium is setting up a new European office in Switzerland, which would focus on European clients. American investigators now want access to this new database as well.

SWIFT's other two database centers, in the U.S. state of Virginia and in the Netherlands, handle all the consortium's transfer orders, including those of European citizens.

"It would be extremely dangerous at this stage to stop the surveillance and the monitoring of information flows," Barrot said, adding that the current pact, which only covers U.S. operations of SWIFT have been "an important and effective tool to fight terrorism financing and to prevent terrorist attacks."

Powerline's reaction: "It's one more instance of the Obama administration not only adopting but expanding the once-secret anti-terror tools that were developed by the Bush administration. Somehow, though, I don't think this time around the SWIFT expansion will be the occasion for exposes or critical editorials."

As for me, I wonder if President Bush (43) has a sore shoulder from repeated pointing at the scoreboard.

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Lakers bring back DJ Mbenga

The Lakers exercised their $959,111 veteran’s minimum contract option to bring back center DJ Mbenga. DJ is the prototypical 3rd center/12th man, having played only 181 minutes in the regular season and 16 in the playoffs even with Andrew Bynum missing more than two months with a knee injury.

He brings a pretty strong defensive presence to the table. Big and strong, he has the base to hold his position against bigger post players. Very athletic, he is a top-notch shotblocker and a solid (if sometimes overeager) help defender. As a bonus, he can play Tim Duncan for stretches, a role he filled in Dallas and in which he could be useful again if they stay healthy enough to be a bother at playoff time.

Of course the counter is his almost total lack of an offensive game, which is why he has yet to make his way into an NBA rotation. He has no post game to speak of, in fact I watched him an hour before game time last November trying to score down low against Brian Shaw, with only limited success.

He has added a midrange shot which he can make passably, but to say opponents will give him that shot is a massive understatement. His offensive game is pretty much limited to putbacks and finding himself open under the basket after not being guarded.

Still, as a third center and an energy guy, you could do a lot worse. He’s capable of being a backup center with a unit that has plenty of offense, so I can’t argue with having him available for emergency duty or to steal minutes in certain matchups as my 12th man.

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Senate health care pledge

Here's a pledge that you all should be asking your Senators to sign:

My Pledge to My Constituents on National Health Insurance

1. I will not vote to expand the bankrupt Medicare program unless and until it is first placed on a sound actuarial basis.

2. I will not vote for any national health insurance legislation that includes a public plan unless I am prepared to enroll myself and my family in the public plan. If a national health insurance bill with a public plan passes the Senate with my vote in support, then I pledge to enroll myself and my family in that public plan.

It's pretty simple: if the public option will truly make quality health care available to the people, the first to be bound by it should be the president and the 535 members of congress.

Yes, the president has already said he would not allow his family to be covered by the plan (in his June 24 ABC infomercial), but this is a chance for Congress to show the principle than he lacks on this issue.

Any public official who would not have the public option cover his family should tell us why, and why our children should not be allowed the same coverage as his children.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Slapping down an absurdity

Not sure which editor this is to (WaPo?), I got it from John Stossel:

To the Editor:

If an armed man breaks into your house, confiscates money from your wallet, insists that he and his goons are blessed with a grand vision of how you and your family should be provided with health care, and commands you to do as he orders, would you believe his promise to keep armed intruders "out of health care decisions"? ("Text: Obama's Remarks on Health Care," July 22).

Of course not.

So why isn't the entire country furious at being insulted by Pres. Obama's patently absurd claim that his efforts to give government a greater role in paying for health care will "keep government out of health care decisions”?

Donald J. Boudreaux
Chairman, Department of Economics
George Mason University

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Bad day for unskilled workers

The minimum wage increases for the third straight year today, this time to $7.25. It has now risen 41% from the $5.15 level in effect on July 23, 2007.

What does this mean? The same thing it means when you raise the price of anything else arbitrarily: a decrease in demand. Unskilled labor has an intrinsic value, that value being whatever level businesses are willing to voluntarily pay before deciding that the cost outweighs the benefit, at which point they will no longer pay it.

Of course, those businesses that employ minimum wage workers will pay the new wage, that's not what I mean. What I mean is that they will not just raise their unskilled labor cost by 41% in two years.

What they will do is cut the number of minimum wage hours they pay at the new level. For some, this will mean eliminating minimum wage jobs. For others, this will mean cutting full time workers to part time, with the added benefit of cutting, uhh, benefits. Part timers can be employed without having to provide perks such as medical benefits, paid vacations and the like.

The key thing to understand is that you cannot just arbitrarily force unskilled workers to make more money by government fiat. If you could do so without negative consequences, why not raise the minimum wage to $20.00 and make them middle class? Or why not $100.00 and make them rich?

Because, of course, you would cut the number of minimum wage workers to near zero and zero, respectively. Wages are the mechanism by which scarce resources, in which case this unskilled labor, are allocated among competing consumers, in this case employers.

Any attempt to artificially overprice these resources can only result in increased supply and decreased demand of said resource. Since the resource in this case is unskilled labor, that is who will get hurt by this ham-fisted government intervention in the market.

But the good news is that politicians and elites in journalism and academia will get to pat themselves on the back for their compassion, no matter who gets hurt as a result.

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The empty suit

John Hinderaker offers up maybe the best quick summary of the president I have yet read:

President Obama is widely regarded as a gifted orator. Actually being President, however, is a very different task from running for President--something that the inexperienced Obama seemingly hasn't figured out. As a small-time local politician, as a Senator and even as a Presidential candidate, it is possible to speak carelessly and get away with it. Glibness is rewarded; not much else matters.

A President, however, must choose his words carefully, because they actually matter. As I've noted before, President Bush chose his words with great care, even when doing so made him seem halting in his delivery. As a result, he made fewer verbal mistakes--I'm talking about substance here, not minor stumbles--than any politician in memory.

Obama, in contrast, continues to overestimate his verbal skills. All his life, he has been rewarded for assuming a certain pose and offering up platitudes in a reasonably glib fashion. These are minor talents at best, but they got Obama elected President, notwithstanding his lack of original insight into any issue of public policy. Now that he is President, however, these limitations are starting to haunt him.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quick hits

Some things I've run across, with limited commentary, combined to avoid a bunch of really short posts:

Thomas Donlan: “Once a government gets the idea that it can control the economy, or at least smooth off the rough edges of the business cycle, there's trouble ahead."


Bizarre statement by Obama in a speech in Africa: "No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top".

He’s correct, but what on earth is he talking about? In this country the government skims off about double that, and the president is trying to GROW the government.

What a hypocrite.


What a difference a few years makes. Under Bush, we famously had jobless recovery for a while. Under Obama, we have job-loss recovery.


Dick Morris: “Obama’s health care proposal is, in effect, the repeal of the Medicare program as we know it. The elderly will go from being the group with the most access to free medical care to the one with the least access.”


John Roberts echoes my own beliefs on “empathy” and the role of a judge in this quote from his confirmation hearing in 2005: “If the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy's going to win in court before me. But if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well, then the big guy's going to win, because my obligation is to the Constitution.”


Indiana governor Mitch Daniels refers to Obama’s domestic programs as “shock and awe statism.” Perfect.


President Bush (43) gets too much abuse from some quarters and too much of a pass from others, but one thing that we should not forget: the man did more for the people of Africa than anybody who has ever lived.


Dems unintentionally let us in on how they really feel about Cap and Tax with the unemployment provision that provides 70% of your salary (in addition to any other standard unemployment benefits) is you lose your job because of the bill. That’s a clear admission that they realize it will destroy a lot of jobs.


Mark Steyn: "Both the secular Big Government progressives and the political Islam recoil from the concept of the citizen, of the free individual entrusted to operate within his own societal space, assume his responsibilities, and exploit his potential."


More Steyn, on what our future may look like with a government health care takeover: "Under Britain's National Health Service, for example, smokers in Manchester have been denied treatment for heart disease, and the obese in Suffolk are refused hip and knee replacements. Patricia Hewitt, the British Health Secretary, says that it's appropriate to decline treatment on the basis of 'lifestyle choices.' Smokers and the obese may look at their gay neighbor having unprotected sex with multiple partners, and wonder why his 'lifestyle choices' get a pass while theirs don't. But that's the point: Tyranny is always whimsical."

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Sobering stats

From Forbes:

In public-sector America things just get better and better. The common presumption is that public servants forgo high wages in exchange for safe jobs and benefits. The reality is they get all three. State and local government workers get paid an average of $25.30 an hour, which is 33% higher than the private sector's $19, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Throw in pensions and other benefits and the gap widens to 42%.

Four in five public-sector workers have lifetime pensions, versus only one in five in the private sector.

Yeah, I'm sure it's fiscally responsible to eliminate 10's of millions of private sector jobs in order to create public sector jobs, Mr. Obama...Good call!

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Why are teachers underpaid?

It's pretty simple: because so much education money is siphoned off to salaries and perks that reach well into the six figures for administrators and union bosses. A classic example of the former from the Chicago Sun Times:

A Niles Township school superintendent made $411,500 last year -- a record in a year that saw top public elementary and high school administrators' pay climb past $400,000 for the first time.

But the taxpayer tab for Neil Codell, 56, didn't stop after he left his post June 30.

Codell continued to receive his superintendent's salary -- even while in a lesser job -- for an additional six months. Niles Township High School District 219 now faces a potential penalty of well over $100,000 from the Teachers' Retirement System because of Codell's early retirement and large spike in pay, state officials say.

"This may turn out to be a platinum parachute by the time all the bills are paid,'' said the agency's executive director, Jon Bauman. [...]

[A] contract option, for both Codell and his family, committed the district to cover 100 percent of hospitalization and major medical premiums for 10 years after Codell's retirement. The deal also included, while he was employed, a $500-a-month auto allowance and a term life insurance policy for twice his salary. [...]

Both the district ACT score and its Prairie State Achievement Exam pass rate are lower now than when Codell became superintendent.

Remember that story when you hear about how more taxpayer money needs to be funneled into education.

There is plenty of money, way too much really, going to education. But the majority of it is seized by greedy unions and bureaucrats.

Why do private schools so outperform public schools despite much lower costs per student? It's elementary (pun intended); an average of 80% of private school budgets go to teachers, the corresponding figure for public schools being 40%.

Is there really any coherent argument against school choice at this point? But when the interests of poor children run up against the interests of teacher's unions, guess who wins?

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Religion of Peace update

Malaysian Islamic court orders woman caned for having a beer

KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 (AP) - (Kyodo)—A Malaysian Islamic court sentenced a part-time Singaporean model to six strokes of the cane and a 5,000 ringgit ($1,416) fine for drinking beer in a nightclub, the New Straits Times reported Tuesday.

The Syariah High Court in Kuantan, capital of Pahang State, handed down the ruling after Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, pleaded guilty to the charge.

Consuming alcohol is prohibited for Muslims, but it is very rare for the syariah court to impose caning on women.

"The caning is aimed at making the accused repent and serves as a lesson to Muslims," Judge Abdul Rahman Yunus was quoted saying.

He imposed the maximum penalty allowed under the state Islamic law. If the fine is not paid, Kartika faces three years in jail.

According to the newspaper, this is the second time the Kuantan court has made such a ruling.

The first was against a waitress who was arrested with Kartika and another man during a raid by the religious vice squad on a hotel nightclub in Cherating, a popular beach resort near Kuantan, in July last year.

The waitress and the man were also sentenced to fines of 5,000 ringgit and six strokes of the cane.

All three are appealing.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ted Kennedy's manslaughter, 40 years in

Today is the 40th anniversary of the killing of Mary Jo Kopechne by Ted Kennedy. Via Powerline:

I thought I would take a moment to bother you all, ladies included, to remind everyone that this is the 40th anniversary of the infamous Chappaquiddick incident in which an inebriated Senator Ted Kennedy marked a reunion of his brother Bobbie's [sic] "Boiler Room" girls by driving one to her death off the Dyke Road bridge.

This manslaughter might have been forgiven if Kennedy hadn't decided to evade responsibility for the accident and cover it up by failing to report it, trying to co-opt one of his aides to cop to being the driver, and then leaving them to try and fix it for him for over seven hours.

Worse, Mary Jo Kopechne, whose drowned body was found in a position trying to eke out the last molecules of air within the submerged car, was left to drown by the self-involved Senator, who chose not to seek immediate help.

After proceedings by a Kennedy-friendly judicial system in Massachusetts, Kennedy was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident and had his driver's license suspended. But perhaps the crowning event was Kennedy's appalling nationally-televised apologia, which I remember viewing on TV, and which still reigns as probably the worst and most self-indulgent political pitch ever.

He may be "the Lion of the Senate", but I will never forget Chappaquiddick. For the uninitiated, a must read is Leo Damore's excellent book Senatorial Privilege.

Yes, Ted Kennedy not only managed to kill the girl in what is now known as vehicular homicide, but he deliberately failed to take the opportunity to rescue her, instead allowing her to die as a live witness would have made the incident even more of a political liability.

And that is the very essence of Ted Kennedy, the man and the politician. May he meet his maker soon, the world will be a better place when he's gone.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Adam Morrison returns...for now

Adam Morrison came over (with Shannon Brown) in the February salary dump of Vladimir Radmanovic. A prolific college scorer who was drafted #3, his career so far has featured a disappointing rookie season followed by a major knee injury, and the subsequent attempt to work his way back and carve out a role in this league. He played only 44 minutes for the Lakers, and did not make an appearance in the postseason.

He does have some offensive tools and a scorer’s mentality. He can hit open shots to the three point line and beyond, and has a nice little step back move that he can use to get his shot off over pretty much anybody that is guarding him.

But that’s about it. He does not have the athleticism or skill to take NBA players off the dribble and create shots or get to the line. He is not strong enough to post up and take advantage of his height. And he is an absolute sieve on defense, with the lack of strength and athleticism making him a guy who just cannot guard NBA players one on one.

If he was a big scorer, you could justify hiding him on defense, but with him not being efficient enough to be anything other than a complementary scorer it’s really hard to see how he is going to find his way into an NBA rotation, more likely settling in as an end of bench guy who can help you at the end of quarters or give an occasional scoring spark, with lots of DNP-CD’s in the meantime. Barring a bad run of injuries, he will be very lucky to play more than 50 minutes a month this year for the Lakers.

His contract is guaranteed this year at $5,257,228 and nobody is going to give him the $6,897,484 qualifying offer he would be due next summer, so he is for all practical purposes an expiring contract. And thus he will have some trade value at the deadline, as teams look to clear cap space for next summer (particularly with the ever-shrinking salary cap).

Thus he will be spend his time at the end of the Laker bench or in his best business casual attire this year, before they try (and will probably be able) to unload his expiring contract at the deadline, to try to add a piece for the stretch run or to avoid some luxury tax.

I wish Morrison the best in his basketball future, but I have doubts that he has much of one in the NBA beyond this year. Perhaps he can find a home in Europe, where his floor-bound shooting game might work out.

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Joining the dark side

Now on twitter @LakerGMC

As if I needed something to make my blogging more irregular!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Quick hits

Some quick things I've run across, offered with little or no comment:

Ouch: “Short of writing ‘get whitey,’ It's difficult to imagine how Judge Sotomayor could have fouled up the Ricci case any more than she did. Let's count the ways.”


Nah, no need to read bills before voting on them: TARP tax break recipients include NASCAR race track builders, Burger King, and a London rum producer. Let’s rush through cap and tax!


Michael Kinsley on health care rationing: “Here is a handy-dandy way to determine whether the failure to order some exam or treatment constitutes rationing: If the patient were the president, would he get it? If he’d get it and you wouldn’t, it’s rationing.”


BOTWT reader Joe Engel asks if a gay lawmaker voting against gay marriage is hypocritical, isn’t also the smoker Obama signing anti-tobacco legislation hypocritical? It has to be both or neither.


Strange headline here: "Analysts say home loans will soon be hard to get with bad credit". Good news, but why “soon”? Why would it have ever been otherwise? The ability to repay should be the only consideration for determining whether loans should be granted.


Ann Coulter nails the fatuousness of yet another of Obama’s moral equivalencies, this one from the Cairo speech:

Obama said, "Now let me be clear, issues of women's equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam." No, he said, "the struggle for women's equality continues in many aspects of American life."

So on one hand, 12-year-old girls are stoned to death for the crime of being raped in Muslim countries. But on the other hand, we still don't have enough female firefighters here in America.


Glen Reynolds on Al Franken: “Caligula sent a horse to the Senate. Minnesota is just sending part of the horse.”


The first lady's unfortunate disrespect of Queen Elizabeth showed that one does not have to be white to be white trash.


Megan McArdle: “There’s a reason that most countries do not attempt to fund large welfare states with a very progressive income tax, the way we do. The income of the wealthy is fungible, mobile, and volatile. These are not strengths from the vantage of the tax system.”


Populism in action: “A health care rally drew only four people to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker’s office Thursday. Sponsored by MoveOn, a national public policy advocacy organization, the rally was intended to support expanded health care for the poor.”


Jeffrey Miron: “The fundamental problem underlying the financial crisis was government policy. Instead of undertaking enormous new policies, we should try to fix or eliminate bad policies and focus on efficiency rather than redistribution. Doing nothing new and simply working with pre-existing procedures would have been much better than anything we’ve done so far.”


A call for honesty from James Gibney:

Every product whose ingredients benefit from a subsidy should include the following language on the label:
"This product has been subsidized by the U.S. government at taxpayer expense. For more information, please visit"

And every product that benefits from tariff protection should have the following language on the label:
"This product is protected from foreign competition by U.S. import tariffs. Its price is higher as a result. For more information, please visit"

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Freudian slip?

A tip of the hat to Powerline for this remarkable find, a quote from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be published in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine.

Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn't really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.

It's a fascinating glimpse into the liberal mindset for a couple of reasons.

First is the strangely uncontroversial desire for population control, by any means possible and preferably in populations "that we don't want to have too many of" as she puts it. The wackier factions of the environmental movement have often fantasized about plagues to wipe out significant portions of the human race, and even the more mainstream left mostly sees humans as a bad thing for the planet, and thus populations need to be frozen or outright reduced or unspeakable catastrophes will occur (see Paul Erlich's unintentional comedy for a pointed example).

But second is the leftist impulse that dare not speak its name, namely that we don't want too many of certain kinds of people. You seldom hear it acknowledged, but the abortion movement of the 20th century in general, and Planned Parenthood in particular, grew out of the desire to keep down black populations. "A woman's right to choose" is much like "state's rights" in that it is not in itself, nor are even most (post-1960's/early 1970's, at least) proponents of the concepts in fact trying to find justifications for racist policy, but in that they have often been used as code words for those who want to keep blacks down, be it by segregationist laws or by limiting offspring.

Admitting these kinds of things is usually avoided in these days of political correctness, but then again Mrs. Ginsberg is 76, and it is not that uncommon for people who predate the PC movement to sometimes let slip things that would make their children or grandchildren blush. Nobody (except the loony right) thinks she's a racist per se, but how easily historically racist concepts such as population control and abortion slip into matter of fact conversation for the leftist who lived through the 60's is a fascinating glimpse into their underlying worldview. ("Affirmative action" serves a similar function for later generations).

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Honor the Jackson Five

I love this from Move America Forward via PowerLine, a call to honor five Jacksons who really deserve it.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Lakers re-sign Shannon Brown

Combo guard Shannon Brown is coming back for the bi-annual exception, a 2 year deal for $1.99 million this year with a player option for $2.1492 million next year. This is a nice compromise for both sides.

For the Lakers, it’s reported that they get Brown for a lower figure than what he was offered elsewhere. For Brown, he gives up some salary in the first year to return to what is, for him, the perfect situation. And if he has a good year, he retains the right to opt out and more than make up for any shortfall this year.

Brown came over from Charlotte in the Vladimir Radmanovic salary dump trade at the deadline. He was thought to be a throw in, but most of us saw him as a possible useful part, with Morrison being the true throw-in. But he had to be a pleasant surprise for even those most bullish on him.

He only played 136 minutes in the regular season, but put up a 15.0 PER behind a sterling 63.1 TS%, showing an ability to hit from deep and finish with spectacular dunks as well as showing the ability to defend 1’s and 2’s competently, including some spectacular blocks.

He followed that up with 276 minutes of 12.2 PER on a solid 55.0 TS%, again playing good defense in the right matchups.

This is a guy who started the season not even sure he would stay in the NBA and ended it as a useful role player on an NBA champion. How did he do it?

By persevering, and by finding the right system for his talents. He is not really quick enough or a good enough floor general to be a 1, and a little bit undersized for a 2, making him the kind of tweener guard that struggles to find a role in traditional NBA offenses. So he moved from Cleveland to Chicago to Charlotte before landing in LA, all in his first three years.

But in the triangle, anybody can initiate the offense, meaning you do not have to have a true point guard. Indeed, Phil has always preferred big lead guards. In this offense, he would be asked to space the floor and make good passes and cuts and finish at the rim. And that fits his skillset to a T.

You also have to credit him for just working his ass off to try to learn the offense. Because it is built on reads and not plays, it takes a long time to master, but it is a testament to him that he was able to gain enough of Phil’s trust to earn key minutes in critical playoff games, in particular in providing s spark in the Lakers comeback win over Denver in Game 5 and in helping out on Deron Williams against Utah.

I’m happy to see him bring back his shooting, athleticism, strength on defense and emotion for another year or two in LA. At 24 and with a full training camp to add to his knowledge of the triangle, I expect him to be an important piece in our guard rotation. He may fight for minutes with Farmar and Vujacic, but with his skillset he will find plenty of playing time as we push towards a repeat.

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Why isn't America hiring?

Jerry Bowyer has the answer:

America isn't hiring precisely because of government policy. Small business owners, who are usually the first into and the first out of the job pool, are standing by the fence and watching. They are paralyzed by regulatory uncertainty. If they hire someone who ends up doing poorly, will they be able to fire that person? Will they have to pay their health care bills after they've been terminated? If so, for how long? Who will pay for all these stimulus checks? If it will turn out to be small business, why would they hire instead of keeping costs low to prepare for the big tax bill? Where will the market move? Are you in the right business or are your clients in a politically disfavored industry? Are your clients in health care (being nationalized), autos (already nationalized), banking (somewhat nationalized) or any energy production process which uses carbon (pulverized)? Until you know, you don't grow, and until you grow your market, you don't grow your payroll.

Jobs aren't languishing despite the government's best efforts. They're languishing because of them.

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Crooked is as crooked does

Byron York catches Barney Frank being...well, Barney Frank.

You may recall that TARP was sold partially on the basis that the taxpayers could end up showing a profit on bank bailouts, with the money returned in the form of paying down the public debt. Which would benefit taxpayers of this and future generations.

Enter the despicable Frank, who wants to intercept the people's money to...see if you can guess...funnel it into a slush fund to use to pay off Democrat donors and special interest groups:

Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has come up with a proposal to spend any TARP profits before they can be returned to the taxpayers. Last Friday, Frank introduced the "TARP for Main Street Act of 2009," a bill that would take profits from the program and immediately redirect them toward housing proposals favored by Frank and some fellow Democrats. ...

The original TARP legislation required that money made from the program "shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury for reduction of the public debt."

But now Frank wants to spend the money before it can be used to pay down anything. First, the "TARP for Main Street" proposal would take $1 billion "from dividends paid by financial institutions that have received financial assistance provided under...the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act" and apply it to a trust fund that Frank has long wanted to create for low-income rental housing. (The measure, unfunded, was part of last year's bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.) Next, Frank would take $1.5 billion from TARP dividends for a so-called "neighborhood stabilization" fund. Republican critics have charged that both measures might allow federal dollars to be distributed to activist groups like the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, or ACORN.

The "TARP for Main Street" bill would also spend $2 billion, apparently from remaining TARP funds, to subsidize people who are delinquent on their mortgages, and another $2 billion to "stabilize multifamily properties that are in default or foreclosure."

Frank is nothing more than a common criminal, a Bernie Madoff for the gay political class. What a miserable piece of shit.

The voters wanted Democrat rule, and as Mencken said they're getting it good and hard: the emboldening and strengthening of America's enemies, a massive transfer of wealth and power from the people to the federal government, feverish attempts to permanently ration energy and health care, and making pay to play the defining principle of governance. Hope you're enjoying it!

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Pair of 500 homer guys homering

Last night was a bit or a rarity (although all seven occurrences are in the last four decades) as 500+ home run hitters Ken Griffey Jr and Alex Rodriguez both homered in the Yankees-Mariners game. It was also the second time for the more exclusive feat of 550+ players homering in a game (not surprisingly, Aaron and Mays were the other).

The complete list, courtesy of the great David Vincent:

Two 500 HR Club members homering in the same game

06/17/1970 @ SFN Willie Mays 615 Ernie Banks 504 total:

05/08/1971 @ SFN Hank Aaron 604 Willie Mays 634 total:

06/12/2004 @ BAL Barry Bonds 675 Rafael Palmeiro 536 total:

06/12/2005 @ CIN Ken Griffey 512 Sammy Sosa 581 total:

06/13/2009 @ NYA Alex Rodriguez 556 Gary Sheffield 502 total:

06/26/2009 @ NYN Alex Rodriguez 558 Gary Sheffield 504 total:

07/01/2009 @ NYA Ken Griffey 612 Alex Rodriguez 554 total:

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