Category Archives: Quick Hits

Quick Hits…..More “Bright Ideas” and other government idiocracy

“If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”
P. J. O’Rourke   

President Obama announces new light bulb standards…

“I know light bulbs may not seem sexy, but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and businesses,” the president said, standing alongside Energy Secretary Steven Chu at the White House. 

Obama said the new efficiency standards he was announcing for lamps would result in substantial savings between 2012 and 2042, saving consumers up to 4 billion annually, conserving enough energy to power every U.S. home for 10 months, reducing emissions equal to the amount produced by 166 cars a year, and eliminating the need for as many as 14 coal-fired power plants. 

The president also said he was speeding the delivery of $346 million in economic stimulus money to help improve energy efficiency in new and existing commercial buildings. 

The White House is working to keep energy in the spotlight even as Congress takes a break this week for the July 4 holiday. Obama has spent the past few days pressuring the Senate to follow the House while also seeking to show that the administration is making quick, clear progress on energy reform without legislation. 

Still, in an interview with a small group of reporters, Obama energy adviser Carol Browner said: “I am confident that comprehensive energy legislation will pass the Senate.” But she repeatedly refused to say exactly when the White House expected the Senate to pass the measure, and she wouldn’t speculate on whether Obama would have legislation sent to his desk by year’s end. 

The administration already had released new standards on commercial refrigeration. Lamps were next. (Source: Fox News)

Now that the President got the ball rolling, NJ has jumped on the band wagon with “Project Porch Light”. Free light bulbs for everyone….. Read more at:

http://www.projectporchlight.com/

This apparently is a “huge national issue” – light bulb efficiency, good thing we have that out of the way, now maybe we can focus on; job creation, fixing the economy, improving national defense, border security and reducing the national debt.

It is not an arrogant government that chooses priorities; it’s an irresponsible government that fails to choose.” – Tony Blair 

Barney Frank wants to spend the repaid TARP money again instead of returning the money to the Treasury to pay down public debt…

On June 27th, Rep. Barney Frank (D) MA, introduced new legislation to divert repaid TARP funds to new Democrat supported housing initiatives. His new bill is called TARP for Main Street Act of 2009.  According to the original bill recovered funds “shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury for reduction of the public debt.” However, Barney wants to spend it again right away and ignore the requirements of the bill. This is becoming typical behavior for the Democrats these days.

The proposed bill breaks down as follows; take $1 billion and use it to create a trust fund for low-income rental housing which Frank has wanted for a long time.  (This unfunded measure was part of last year’s bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.)  Another $1.5 billion would be used to set up a “neighborhood stabilization” fund.  Critics have charged that these measures might allow federal dollars to be distributed to activist groups such as ACORN. The thought of any more of our money ending up in the hand of those crooks is unthinkable!

The bill also includes $2 billion to subsidize individuals with delinquent mortgages and another $2 billion to “stabilize multifamily properties that are in default or foreclosure.”

“If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?” – Will Rogers

Even worse, despite the near economic meltdown that was triggered by the mortgage defaults last year, Rep. Frank and N.Y. Rep. Anthony Weiner have sent a letter to the heads of Fannie and Freddie recommending that they lower lending standards for condo buyers. Wasn’t that how we got into this mess in the first place?

After blaming the current crisis on a lack of appropriate regulation and lax lending standards which resulted in bad loans that should not have been approved, Rep. Frank wants Fannie and Freddie to provide more aggressive (lower) lending standards again. These lower standards would specifically apply to condo developments with a high percentage of unsold units or high delinquency rates.

These guys are unbelievable! If we don’t get them out of office, their policies will destroy our economy. Of course, since social reengineering and redistribution of wealth are on their agenda that might just be part of the plan. Do you really want to live in a socialist, possibly even a fascist country? Think about it!

To read more go to:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Barney-Frank–49649362.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124580784452945093.html 

Gov. Schwarzenegger considers temporarily closing state parks to save money during California budget crisis… Feds threaten to seize parks if the plan is approved 

“The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.”
P. J. O’Rourke  

Scrambling to find ways to reduce operating costs Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed closing 220 state parks to save $143 million. The California Legislature is considering the move to reduce the $26 billion budget deficit.

However, six parks on the list are on land that was formerly federal property and as a result the federal government could seize the land if the parks are closed. The Governor was recently warned that this was a possibility by National Park Service Regional Director Jonathan Jarvis. Schwarzenegger was also informed that the closures could result in the loss of other federal funding of the California Parks budget. 

While I have virtually no sympathy for California and the mess they find themselves in, I can’t help but be annoyed at the federal government’s position on this. It seems that no matter what Schwarzenegger tries to do to save money the Feds step in to tell him why he can’t do it. Remember when he tried to renegotiate state contracts with SEIU? That was  immediately shot down by the White House with funding cut threats. It makes you wonder if they really want California to solve their problems without Federal intervention. This type of interference is exactly the reason there needs to be separation between state and federal government. If state governments only took federal funding for things that are directly related to federal projects such as infrastructure and defense; they would be able to operate under the states’ rights provisions in the Constitution. Instead, the long strings attached to federal funds reduce the sovereignty states’ rights would otherwise provide. 

The six parks are; Angel Island, a former federal military and immigration facility; the top of Mount Diablo,  once a Navy microwave relay station; Point Sur State Park in coastal Big Sur; and three beaches Fort Ord Dunes near Monterey, Point Mugu State Park near Malibu, and Border Fields along the Mexican border. All prime California real estate; some is even beach front – Hmmm …. Maybe, this is just an opportunity for a federal land grab! 

After all, the way the administration is growing the size of the federal government; it might outgrow D.C. before we know it. Since so many of the crazies in charge are from the Golden State (Pelosi, Waxman, Feinstein and Boxer to name a few), maybe the real plan is to force the state into bankruptcy, buy it with taxpayer money, nationalize it and set up D.C. West. I mean think about it, the House and the Senate could just meet via video conference (D.C. East and West); each representative could travel to the closest site resulting in huge travel savings. How green would that be?  – (Plus Pelosi wouldn’t have to keep bugging the military for use of a jet) 

Best jobs ever… all play; no work, no worries 

(Karen Matthews, Associated Press, N.Y.) Hundreds of New York City public school teachers accused of offenses ranging from insubordination to sexual misconduct are being paid their full salaries to sit around all day playing Scrabble, surfing the Internet or just staring at the wall, if that’s what they want to do.

Because their union contract makes it extremely difficult to fire them, the teachers have been banished by the school system to its “rubber rooms” — off-campus office space where they wait months, even years, for their disciplinary hearings.

The 700 or so teachers can practice yoga, work on their novels, paint portraits of their colleagues — pretty much anything but school work. They have summer vacation just like their classroom colleagues and enjoy weekends and holidays through the school year.

Because the teachers collect their full salaries of $70,000 or more, the city Department of Education estimates the practice costs the taxpayers $65 million a year. The department blames union rules.

“It is extremely difficult to fire a tenured teacher because of the protections afforded to them in their contract,” spokeswoman Ann Forte said.

City officials said that they make teachers report to a rubber room instead of sending they home because the union contract requires that they be allowed to continue in their jobs in some fashion while their cases are being heard. The contract does not permit them to be given other work.

Of course, you probably won’t be surprised to find out that this practice also goes on in California…

The Los Angeles district, the nation’s second-largest school system with 620,000 students, behind New York’s 1.1 million, said it has 178 teachers and other staff members who are being “housed” while they wait for misconduct charges to be resolved. To read the full story, go to: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090622/ap_on_re_us/us_rubber_rooms

My guess is that L.A.’s 178 “special cases” are costing them about $25 million. You would think that if these people are going to get paid they should have to perform some productive work. Does anyone believe that there is nothing productive that they could be doing, if the contract was ammended? So why isn’t someone correcting this? I am sure if anyone tried to step in and fix the contract, the administration would step in to stop it. These days, the best jobs are union jobs. At least it seems, they are the only ones the government is interested in protecting. 

“Let’s reintroduce corporal punishment in the schools – and use it on the teachers.”


P. J. O’Rourke  

 

 

 

Quick Hits – More creative thinking from the left…….

 

The Administration sets up its’ U.A.W. Outreach Office

If I studied all my life, I couldn’t think up half the number of funny things passed in one session of congress. – Will Rogers

If you make any money, the government shoves you in the creek once a year with it in your pockets, and all that don’t get wet you can keep. –Will Rogers

(AP Perrysburg, OH)— President Barack Obama is creating a White House council to handle issues that affect American communities and workers tied to the automotive industry.

“Today’s announcement reiterates the president and vice president’s deep commitment to standing with our auto communities and workers during these very tough economic times. The White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers will ensure that the federal government is responding quickly and accelerating recovery efforts to those communities hardest hit,” said Dr. Montgomery. “It builds on the foundation we have laid over the past months to speed up and increase recovery to the region and ensure workers see a coordinated response from their government.”

The recession has been particularly hard on the auto industry, which has lost more than 400,000 jobs in the last decade. Northwestern Ohio has been hit hard by the job losses, and now is banking on more “green” factory jobs.

I am as empathetic as the next guy and I feel bad that so many auto workers are unemployed. But what about all the other industries with unemployment reaching six figures (Examples; Construction & Printing), who is looking out for them? I guess it is harder to pin down the vote of this worker demographic. Seems like the administration is good at creating government jobs between the new departments they keep setting up and all those Czars, they must have created a few thousand jobs by now. The problem is it requires more taxes to pay all these government salaries and it adds nothing to the GDP.

California cities monkey around as the state goes bankrupt…..

(L.A. Daily News) After hiring a feng shui expert and spending more than $7.4 million on a special exhibit, Los Angeles will not be getting three rare golden monkeys from China promised in a 2002 trip led by former Mayor James Hahn, officials said Wednesday.

“It was a decision by the Chinese government and we’re disappointed,” said Councilman Tom LaBonge, whose district includes the Greater Los Angeles Zoo. “But, it is not a waste. We have a beautiful facility and we will put other animals on display there.” The special exhibit was designed to create the sense of a rural Chinese village.

The agreement to bring in the golden monkeys, identifiable by their blue faces and long flowing blond hair, was developed by Hahn during his trip to China.

He went to China hoping to win a panda exhibit for the zoo, but came back with what was seen as a consolation prize – a commitment by China to loan the city three golden monkeys for 10 years.

Now even the consolation has been withdrawn.

Low‐Income Student Food Program Funds Used for Employee Bonuses – California ($3 million)  

The  San  Diego  school  district  misused  $3  million  in  federal  funds  intended  for  nutrition  programs  to  assist  low‐income  students  by  spending  it  on  bonuses  for  employees  leaving  the  district,  according  to  the  Voice  of  San  Diego.   The funds  were  given  to  the  school  district  by  the  Department  of  Education,  which  had  not  yet  decided  whether  the  school  district  would  be  required  to  pay  back  the  misused  funds. (Source: 2008 Worst Waste of the Year, Sen. Tom Coburn, (R) OK)

So California is going broke, they are considering selling off state monuments but in the tradition of liberal spending, they built three foreign monkeys, coming to LA for a ten year visit, a $7.4 million dollar home with all inclusive service. Meanwhile, in San Diego they are stealing lunch money from low income school kids to provide bonus money to employees leaving (?) the district.  This proves it is better to be an animal or a former school district employee than a homeless person or a low income student in CA – you’ll be treated better. If the administration bails out CA, taxpayers in the rest of the country should refuse to pay their taxes. We can not be expected to continue to bailout fiscally irresponsible states, companies or individuals. It is unfair to those that are responsible.

“We could say they spend money like drunken sailors, but that would be  unfair – to drunken sailors. It would be unfair, because the sailors are  spending their own money.” – Ronald Reagan on Congress  

Barbara Boxer is an egomaniac

Sen. Barbara Boxer* (D-Calif.) didn’t like a Brigadier General calling her “ma’am” at an EPW hearing yesterday.

“Do me a favor,” she said, “could you say ‘senator’ instead of ‘ma’am?’ It’s just a thing, I worked so hard to get that title, so I’d appreciate it, yes, thank you.”

Imagine the nerve of this woman — this ‘servant’ of the people — interrupting a Brigadier General to make sure that he stops referring to her as ma’am and starts calling her by the title she ‘worked so hard for’…

Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina was also disturbed by the nomenclature request, calling the Senator a “loose cannon” and an embarrassment to her party.

Unfortunately, this is what passes for Congressional leaders these days. Polite is not good enough, she is a senator – he is only a mere Brigadier General. I’ll say no more…

“Whenever a man (or woman*) has cast a longing eye on [offices,] a rottenness begins in his (her) conduct.” –Thomas Jefferson

Now for some hope, presenting … Intelligent Lawmaker of the Week …

Utah Rep. Chaffetz suggests mail carriers conduct Census

Double duty » Proposal would turn postal workers into counters 

Thomas Burr, Salt Lake Tribune Updated: 06/24/2009 03:23:22 PM MDT

Washington » Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, wants your mail carrier to count you.

Chaffetz said Wednesday he will introduce legislation to marry the U.S. Postal Service temporarily with the Census Bureau so that the postal workers can help with the once-a-decade count of how many people live in America.

“They really have the workforce in place to do this,” Chaffetz said. “They already go to everybody’s door.”

Chaffetz proposes taking a “postal holiday,” so that mail carriers, instead of dropping bills and magazines to your mailbox, would count the number of people in each household. The Postal Service matches up well with the Census needs, Chaffetz argues.

There are 760,000 postal employees, and the Census is anticipating it will need 750,000 temporary workers to conduct the Census next year. Congress is forking out $11 billion to do the count while the Postal Service is looking at a $1 billion revenue shortfall this year.

The Postal Service had no comment on the bill because the legislation had yet to be formally introduced Wednesday and Census officials did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment.  

Chaffetz says he’s introducing the bill to avoid having the Census hire groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, which has been under investigation in several states for voter fraud during the 2008 election.

“The ultimate underlying thing here about the Census is trust,” Chaffetz says. “And people trust postal employees a lot more than somebody just off the street.”

 Meanwhile, Rep. Rob Bishop introduced legislation Wednesday that would force the Census Bureau to count Americans living abroad.

The move is a response to Utah missing out on a fourth congressional seat after the 2000 Census because the bureau did not count thousands of Mormon missionaries serving overseas.

“The Census Bureau could fix this problem right now and count Americans abroad, but they refuse to and are sitting on their hands until Congress makes them do this,” Bishop said. “It seems there is no other solution other than mandating that the Census Bureau change their policy immediately.”

Bishop’s bill follows on the heels of language that Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, tacked onto a funding bill that requires the State Department to study the best way to count Americans abroad.

The amendment is in reaction to the 2000 census when Utah came about 800 people shy of gaining a fourth U.S. House seat. But the census didn’t count Mormon missionaries in foreign countries, a bone of contention with Utah officials who unsuccessfully sued.

Matheson called it “unfair” that LDS missionaries abroad are not counted in the Census.

This is a great idea. Let’s utilize a workforce that is in place, that we trust and needs more to do right now. The government is going to underwrite the massive losses being incurred by the USPS anyway so why not redirect the funding from the census and kill two birds with one stone?

Of course, this is a logical, common sense solution so the question is will Pelosi and Reid allow it to get to the floor for a vote since it wasn’t their idea? Also there is that other minor issue of cutting ACORN out of the deal…..Hmmm, I wonder how that will fly at the White House?

“I love to see honest and honorable men at the helm, men who will not bend their politics to their purses nor pursue measures by which they may profit and then profit by their measures.” –Thomas Jefferson

Quick Hits…… Part 2, Theater of the Absurd

America is now a state run corporation 

Today on Fox Business News, former Time Warner AOL CEO Gerald Levin declared, “You know basically what we have now is a new CEO and it happens to be the president of the United States and new CFO that happens to be — Tim Geithner. And I think we’ll never see business as usual again”.  So there you have it – even powerful business leaders are acknowledging that the President has taken the government and is using it to nationalize private businesses. He went on to say, “You know who’s to say, who’s going to do a better job with General Motors or Citibank at this point. Because up until now things have not been going well at all. And it’s time I think not only to put some principals back in executive pay but also trying to get CEOs to be — a part of society. You know let’s shop at Costco and you know let’s fly Coach for awhile and let’s not have a class society where the disparity between what — the CEO makes and what people in the company — is so large. As to be almost unfair and unjust.”….. Seriously? – this guy made tens of millions per year at Time Warner, I’m sure this made him a regular Joe at the office. 

However, the message here is the nationalization of American businesses and banks is real and is happening. Capitalism is on the ropes and socialism is on the rise. The question is what are we going to do about it? To see this disturbing interview, go to: 

http://www.foxbusiness.com/search-results/m/22471622/former-aol-time-warner-head-on-exec-pay.htm#q=gerald+levin

 Tough New Obama Terror Policy ……..Enemy Combatants get Miranda Rights! 

Miranda rights are being read to suspected terrorists at military detention facilities in Afghanistan. This practice could result in a shift from a war against terrorists to legal battles against criminal defendants.

The Department of Justice acknowledges terrorist suspects have been read Miranda rights, at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and other places but claim it is to “preserve the quality of evidence obtained.” 

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-MI of the House Intelligence Committee has visited bases in Afghanistan and Bagram. He said the practice is causing chaos, confusion and frustration in the field.  “We don’t want our soldiers thinking, is this a law enforcement event or is this, a combat event,” Rogers said, “It’s shocking to believe that we’re going to give non-United States citizens in combat zones who are training, equipping and planning to kill United States citizens and our military and treat them as if they’re U.S. citizens and afford them those rights.” Read more below:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/11/combatant-criminal-reading-miranda-rights-detainees-draws-criticism/

Today’s Crazy Quotes from the Left: On The Environment 

By David Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!: “We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects. We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of acres of presently settled land.” 

By Harry Reid, Democrat, U.S. Senate majority leader: “Coal makes us sick. Oil makes us sick. It’s global warming. It’s ruining our country. It’s ruining our world.” 

By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: “Large-scale hog producers are a greater threat to the United States and U.S. democracy than Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network.” 

By Ted Turner, billionaire, founder of CNN and major UN donor: ‘Global warming’ will kill most of us, and turn the rest of us into cannibals.” 

By Noel Brown, UN official: “Entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of “eco-refugees,” threatening political chaos.” (Yes, he meant the year 2000.) 

By Paul Ehrlich, professor, Stanford University: “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.” 

By Ted Turner, billionaire, founder of CNN and major UN donor: “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.” 

By Jeffery Sachs, Columbia University, Director of The Earth Institute: “Obama is already setting a new historic course by reorienting the economy from private consumption to public investments…free-market pundits bemoan the evident intention of Obama and team to ‘tell us what kind of car to drive’. Yet that is exactly what they intend to do…and rightly so. Free-market ideology is an anachronism in an era of climate change.” 

By Emma Brindal, a climate justice campaigner coordinator for Friends of the Earth: “A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources.” 

These are examples of the agenda of left wing environmentalists. They are dangerous to all Americans. The Waxman Markey Climate Change Bill is one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation ever proposed. Please read my previous blogs on the bill and on cap & trade. This legislation will undermine our economy and by doing so our national sovereignty will be put at risk as well.  

There are many ways to improve our stewardship of the earth without destroying our country. I support cleaner cars, energy and general environmental stewardship but a balance must be established to protect both our country and our planet. Responsible citizens owe it to themselves and future generations to research the proposals being discussed and make their voices heard. We can not leave our future in the hands of politicians, lobbyists and zealot environmentalists. 

And now for a glimmer of hope………….. 

East Texas Congressman introduces bill in the House to sunset T.A.R.P. by year’s end 

(June 8, 2009)  Rep. Jeb Hensarling R-Texas, introduced a bill which sets a Dec. 31 deadline for the Treasury Department to loan remaining TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) money to banks or forfeit it. Also this week an announcement that some banks will be allowed to repay their TARP loans is expected. These banks, including JPMorgan Chase, American Express Co., BB&T Corp., U.S. Bancorp, Capital One Financial Corp. and Bank of New York Mellon Corp., have passed their stress tests clearing the way for repayment. 

Congressional Republicans have been unhappy with the way the TARP money was being used citing that the money was allocated to purchase the “toxic assets” of troubled financial institutions. However, both the Bush and Obama administrations have abused this program loaning money to the automakers and insurance companies as well as banks fueling “taxpayer ownership” of private businesses. In light of this, Republican lawmakers would like to return the unused and repaid money back to the Treasury and terminate the program.

“It’s time to terminate the TARP program,” Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, told reporters. “TARP is increasingly not being a vehicle for economic stability and taxpayer protection but is evolving into 700 billion dollar revolving slush fund that the administration can use to advance economic, social and political agenda items far and apart from what Tarp was ever designed to do.”  He also said his legislation calls for reducing the amount of the TARP program by recalling all currently unspent funds and sets a Dec. 31, 2009 deadline for the allocation of TARP funds. It also kills a provision in last year’s Emergency Economic Stabilization Act that would enable Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to renew the TARP program for two more years.

“The economy is in serious condition but we have gone past the emergency point. I fear that TARP is no longer what Congress thought it was when it passed it and I certainly do not believe it’s what the American taxpayer thought it was,” said Hensarling, who sits on the House Financial Services committee.

It appears that at least one Congressman realizes that the Federal government is not supposed to be buying up private businesses. America needs more of this kind of leadership in Congress! 

“The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Taylor, May 28, 1816

Quick Hits……. The politics and other nonsense of a world gone mad!

Today’s blog is a series of quick stories. I usually like to more fully explore an issue but at the pace things are happening I can’t write fast enough to keep up. So today I am going clean up a list of accumulating stories into quick hits. You’ll get a short overview and links to the rest of the story. 

The Federal Reserve hires a lobbyist to improve image? 

The Obama administration wants to expand the authority of the Federal Reserve but recent events have cast doubt about the role of the Fed in helping manage the bail outs and the economy. Enter Linda Robertson, a former Enron lobbyist and Clinton administration Treasury Department aide. She is expected to start at the Fed in July. She will be in charge of congressional affairs. Previously, Robertson had been considered for a senior post at the Treasury Dept. but was removed from the running because of the Obama administration’s rules against hiring lobbyists. The recent problems on Wall Street and Treasury Secretary Geithner’s desire to use the Fed as a regulatory tool to manage large business failures has left Congress questioning how much authority should be given to this independent government agency. 

A couple of points to consider; why are lobbyists okay in some jobs and not others, also why does a government entity need a lobbyist to talk to Congress for them? Read more here……

 http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aZjQKyLci1AM

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124424729195390639.html

Leading Democrats pushing back on the President over dealership closures!

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer and Reps. Chris Van Hollen and Daniel Maffei have asked other congressional lawmakers to join with them in pushing the administration to answer questions on the forced bankruptcy and reorganization of Chrysler and GM. The issue at the heart of the matter is the forced closure of so many healthy dealerships. Specifically, how will closing these dealers will make the companies more profitable. This is the second time in the last few weeks the democrat controlled congress has stood up to the President ( the first was Guantanamo) Read more here…… 

http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0609/pushback_on_chrysler_4a29bba0-af21-4dd4-9d76-c59c5aaf8f5d.html

 http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/forum/topics/please-read-this-letter-to?page=1&commentId=1970539%3AComment%3A129956&x=1#1970539Comment129956

 Ginsberg halts Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a stay of the bankruptcy proceedings just a week before the  government-backed sale of Chrysler to Fiat. Three Indiana state pension and construction funds who have secured debt in Chrysler are petitioning the Supreme Court to intervene on their behalf. They are challenging the constitutionality of the Treasury Department’s use of money from T.A.R.P. to finance Chrysler’s bankruptcy protection. They also claim the administration put less qualified stakeholders ahead of their secured debts which goes against the grain of typical bankruptcy rulings. Could this be a win for the Constitution as well as the funds… Stayed tuned, for more of the story, go to: 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105130479&ft=1&f=1017

 Unfortunately, before I could finish and post this blog the Supreme Court decided they would not take this case. This is a huge defeat for capitalism. Basically this sets a bad precedent for future bankruptcy proceedings in that it minimizes the rights of secured debtors in the process. The court ruled the plaintiffs had not met their burden of proof which seems like a cop out since the process used broke almost every rule of standard bankruptcy procedure prior to this filing. For more on the courts decision, go to… 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/feedarticle/8550281

 Another Czar…… of the Great Lakes, Seriously?

 President Barack Obama has tapped Cameron Davis, the leader of a Chicago-based environmentalist group, to head up his initiative to clean up the Great Lakes. He will be responsible for implementing a restoration program expected to cost more than $20 billion. What’s next a graffiti czar to clean up graffiti in major cities? Enough already! Aren’t there civil engineering companies who could run this program on a contract basis? Or how about the Army Corp. of Engineers – after all, they built every major lake in Texas except Lake Caddo which God took care of. Some how I am sure G.E. will get the contract to do the actual clean up. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/04/obama-taps-cameron-davis_n_211315.html

 Nuclear Proliferation can wait……The U.N. seeks to immediately reduce plastic bag proliferation

 Proving their priorities are in the right place, Achim Steiner, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) said today, single-use plastic bags should be banned because of their degrading effects on the planet. Claiming the bags choke marine life he stated, they “should be banned or phased out rapidly everywhere. There is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere.”

http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0609-hance_plasticban.html

It is amazing how swiftly and decisively the U.N. can move when it’s dealing with a “major” issue like the plastic bag. Yet when a rogue nation like North Korea or Iran gives the world “the finger” ignoring U.N. resolutions and making defiant statements they struggle to come up with an “appropriate” response.

For the last few weeks North Korea has performed several missile tests, and the UN Security Council is working toward a denunciation of North Korean defiance . In other words they are drafting another “strong letter of disapproval”.

U.S. participation in the U.N. needs to be reconsidered; the organization has become a joke and an embarrassment. 

The Cow Fart Tax……. The next battle in the fight to curb global warming….. Really!

 Farting cows and other livestock are a major source of methane emissions into the atmosphere. As a result the EPA is looking for ways to address this greenhouse gas problem. So you won’t be surprised to find out that one of the ways they are considering addressing the problem is through a tax. While I am not sure how this will reduce the gases legislation to impose the tax is working its’ way through a House committee. 

According to Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-WI., the ranking member of the House Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming, if this bill becomes law it could have a devastating impact on agribusiness. In the absence of a technology based solution for livestock methane emissions the congressman said, “I don’t know if we’re supposed to develop the technology to strap a catalytic converter on the back of a cow”, since a capture and convert strategy would be a more earth friendly solution than a tax, if global warming wasn’t a myth in the first place. (Please see my 4 part series on The Waxman-Markey Climate Change Bill)

In case you are wondering about the cost of livestock farts, the EPA proposal breaks it down like this, $175 a year on every head of dairy cattle in the United States, $80 for beef cattle and $20 per head of hogs. In a recent blog I joked about a methane tax because it seemed so ridiculous, turns out we now live in theater of the absurd. If this bill passes hamburger will replace steak as a luxury item and the price of food will keep going up. Amazing how every “green” initiative has a negative effect on the price of something. President Obama may have promised income tax cuts for 95% of Americans but by the time he is done with his social reengineering, the economy will be in shambles and inflation will be through the roof. Then everyone will wish for the good old days of higher income tax. By the way vegans beware – beans are next! Read more at: 

http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2009/20090602135111.aspx 

Two female American journalists sentenced to 12 years in a North Korean labor camp 

(AP) – The families of two American journalists sentenced to 12 years in a North Korean labor prison urged its hard-line government to grant them clemency, amid hopes the U.S. government would send an envoy to negotiate their release.

“We remain hopeful that the governments of the United States and North Korea can come to an agreement that will result in the release of the (women),” said a joint statement by their families received Tuesday.

Lee, 36, and Ling — who work for former Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV — were arrested March 17 near the China-North Korea border where they were reporting about the trafficking of women. It’s unclear whether they tried to sneak into the North or if aggressive border guards crossed into Chinese territory and grabbed them, as has happened before.

The North accused the reporters of unspecified “hostile acts” and illegally entering the country, but the formal charges against them were unclear. Their trial, which was closed to foreigners, began Thursday and they were sentenced Monday to 12 years of “reform through labor.”

So far the administration has been mostly quiet on the situation other than to say they will “pursue all possible means to gain their release”. Again, the president faces another test on the world stage and so far it is another show of weakness.

Newsweek promotes Barack Obama from President to…. God?

Newsweek editor Evan Thomas commenting on President Obama’s speech in Cairo declared on MSNBC: “I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God.”

Previously, Mr. Thomas had said that Ronald Reagan was all about “America”. He then went on to point out how President Obama was above that saying, “we are above that now. We’re not just parochial, we’re not just chauvinistic, and we’re not just provincial. We stand for something … He’s going to bring all different sides together.”

See the video here:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2009/06/05/newsweek-s-evan-thomas-obama-sort-god

Okay, seriously is the media so infatuated with this President that they have lost all perspective of what journalism is about. How can Newsweek be considered a serious news magazine if their editor is running around making statements like this?

So far the President’s foreign policy has been both naïve and ineffective. He has yet to gain real cooperation from our European allies, Asia, Russia or anyone in the Middle East. When is this great coming together going to begin? My other concern is what will this great coming together cost America? Our national sovereignty is too high a price! Maybe he will prove me wrong … but for now the promotion seems premature. 

We seem to be spinning out of control on almost every front as P.J. O’Rourke once said, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”