Archive for March, 2010

Where’s the condemnation when the left protests?

Posted in Culture, Take back America, UGH! on March 31, 2010 by DaMook

With all the state-run media hysteria about the TEA Party, you have to wonder where they are when the left protests. This article (from Powerline.com) asks that very question.

The Democrats have tried to change the subject away from their health care debacle by claiming that conservatives are threatening violence against them. Their complaints are pathetic where they are not out-and-out lies (e.g., Clyburn and Lewis), and they have taken a lot of well-deserved criticism. It is liberals, not conservatives, who rely on ad hominem attacks, outrageous allegations and violent imagery. We talked about this on our radio show today, and several callers reminded us of a particularly sorry episode of liberal violence that, for some reason, has not gotten much attention: the 2008 Republican convention in St. Paul.

I attended the convention and remember the terrorist acts that were carried out by anti-Republican protesters very well. They threw bricks through the windows of buses, sending elderly convention delegates to the hospital. They dropped bags of sand off highway overpasses onto vehicles below. Fortunately, no one was killed.

I googled “republican convention violence” and found a small number of stories from state-run media outlets – mostly foreign press accounts. The rest of the stories come from the blogosphere.

Just take a trip down memory lane for a moment:

The next time you read or hear someone call the TEA Party violent, remind them of these facts.

Romney torpedoes presidential bid

Posted in BIG Government, Culture, Government Waste/Fraud/Abuse, Take back America on March 31, 2010 by DaMook
romney

Romney - "My chances of being nominated are exactly zero."

Unable to bite the bullet and admit FAIL, 2012 presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has all but sunk his hopes of being the republican nominee. RomneyCare (the blueprint of sorts for obamacare) has been and continues to be a spectacular FAIL (more here and here) for the state of Massachusetts (see Scott Brown victory). Yet Romney defended this massive wasteful boondoggle in response to a question after a speech at Iowa State University. (story here from the Boston Globe)

Mitt Romney offered an enthusiastic defense last night of the comprehensive health care law he helped create four years ago in Massachusetts, even as he pointed to crucial distinctions between it and a similar national program enacted last week by Democrats.

“Overall, ours is a model that works,’’ Romney said in response to a question after a speech at Iowa State University. “We solved our problem at the state level. Like it or not, it was a state solution. Why is it that President Obama is stepping in and saying ‘one size fits all’ ’’?

Obama’s signing of a federal health care law has put Romney — a possible 2012 presidential candidate — again on the defensive over the most significant achievement in his brief career in public office. The former governor, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate again for president in 2012, had labeled Obama’s bill “unhealthy for America’’ and has called for its repeal, even as conservative critics say it was modeled on Romney’s policy.

Obamacare will be toxic to democrat candidates in the next election cycle and will no doubt be a rallying point for republicans in the 2012 Presidential election. Most people will not easily forget this massive boot to the face in 2012 and Romney will be particularly tarred with the continuing disaster in Massachusetts.

Romney is a sharp, likable guy who may have had a chance in 2012 by admitting he was wrong and distancing himself from RomneyCare. He chose, instead, to voluntarily walk the plank on this. He’s toast…

Roundup of TEA Party news

Posted in BIG Government, Culture, State-run media, Take back America on March 31, 2010 by DaMook

The clueless Associated Press has this piece on our dear comrade leader’s comments on the TEA Party. While he didn’t specifically marginalize the group as a whole, he did take a swipe at the “core” of the movement as being “on the fringe.” It is a bit surprising that he moderated his comments – perhaps he does see the TEA Party as a threat after all.

President Barack Obama stepped carefully when talking for the first time about the conservative tea party movement, acknowledging it has legitimate concerns about federal reach and spending, but he contended the core of the loose anti-government network is “on the fringe.”

The latest political phenomenon, barely a year old, has leaders on both sides of the political spectrum puzzled.

The last sentence demonstrates just how clueless the AP is on this phenomenon. How could anyone be “puzzled” about the TEA Party? Simply go to one of the rallies and you’ll see exactly what it’s all about. The message has been the same since the beginning of the movement.

The president said on NBC’s “Today” show that the movement is built around a “core group” of people who question whether he is a U.S. citizen and believe he is a socialist. Beyond that, however, he said he recognizes that the movement involves people with “mainstream, legitimate concerns” about the national debt, government expansion and big spending.

“I wouldn’t paint in broad brush and say that everybody who is involved or have gone to a tea party rally or meeting are somehow on the fringe,” Obama said. “I think that there’s a broader circle around that core group of people who are legitimately concerned about the deficit, who are legitimately concerned that the federal government may be taking on too much.”

Well, he’s almost got it right. The “birthers” may show up at TEA Party events but they are a very small faction. I think most of us have realized that, even if it is true that the comrade was not born in the US, it would take a miracle to change anything. To call these people “the core” of the movement is specious. The fact of the matter is that he is a socialist and his radical ideas and policies are out of the mainstream.

It is encouraging that our dear comrade leader is showing concerns over the TEA Party and did not try to paint them as racist, extremist, hateful, violent kooks like the rest of the left has. Perhaps this signals a new direction in engaging this growing movement. Or, more likely, a new tactic in dealing with a threat.

Here is a roundup of other TEA Party news.

Movies: The Blind Side

Posted in Culture on March 30, 2010 by DaMook

Blind side poster

Last Saturday was movie night for Mrs. Mook and me. We don’t watch a lot of movies together because our tastes are so different – it’s difficult to find a movie we agree on. After looking through the offerings from our cable company, we decided on The Blind Side – and I’m very glad we did. I had read a little about this movie and understood that it was based on a true story. I love football so we got our popcorn ready and settled in.

The Blind Side is the story of Michael Oher, a poor black kid, and the well-off white family, the Tuohys, who take him into their home, and hearts. “Big Mike” was taken from his drug-addicted mother at age seven and bounced around various foster homes. His story is sadly familiar in the lowest echelons of society.

The two main characters, Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher, Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy, are outstanding. Bullock turned in a career performance which won her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role and an Academy Award for Best Actress. I also thought the supporting cast, particularly Jae Head (S.J. Tuohy), were very good as well.

There were plenty of opportunities for the producers and director John Lee Hancock to make a social statement with this film. Kudos to them for meticulously avoiding this and for telling a great story. Michael’s story needed to be told and this film does a fine job of it.

9 stars (out of 10)

Michael Oher

Michael Oher and the Tuohys

Census computers overloaded – headed for FAIL

Posted in BIG Government, Government Folly, Take back America on March 30, 2010 by DaMook

Sigh… It is estimated that the 2010 census will cost $14.5B – a 322% increase over the 2000 census. (more here) As we all know government estimates are about as reliable as 2 week weather forecasts so expect the final cost to be much more. The galling fact of the matter is that, despite all the preparation and expense, computer problems may jeopardize the results. (story here from CNSNews.com)

The Census Bureau is specifically having problems with two IT systems. One is the Paper-Based Operational Control System (PBOC), which is an computer system used to manage the information collected during field operations such as NRFU.

The second is Decennial Applicant Personnel and Payroll System (DAPPS), which is the system used to keep track of, and pay, the more than 600,000 temporary federal workers who help conduct the Census’s NFRU field operations.

Last Thursday, the Government Accountability Office released a report authored by Goldenkoff on the Census Bureau’s IT problems entitle, “Data Collection is Under Way, But Reliability of Key Information Technology Systems Remains a Risk.” The report indicated that the government has known about the problem for some time.

“The government has known about the problem for some time” – and now, at crunch time, still nothing has been done to address it. This is something they have 10 bloody years to prepare for. They have almost 6000 permanent employees (FY 2006) and an operating budget of almost $3B. (Both figures are probably higher now, but they were the latest I could find.)

Why is this not surprising? Poor planning, poor implementation, poor execution = FAIL. The bigger question is this: Why do we continue to accept this level of failure from government?

AP to Breitbart – Prove the TEA Party is not racist

Posted in State-run media, UGH! on March 29, 2010 by DaMook

Today’s WTF Moment of the Day is brought to you by state-run media tool, the Associated Press. In response to Breitbart’s reward for proof that TEA Party “mobs” shouted racial epithets at members of the Congressional Black Caucus (more here), AP political staffer Michael Blood writes that Breitbart has yet to offer proof that the TEA Party is not racist. HUH? Maybe Breitbart should also offer evidence that the world is not flat. (story here via BigJournalism.com)

This is what it has come to.  In this “news” column from the AP on the Tea Party rally in Harry Reid’s hometown of Searchlight, Nev., yesterday, the AP puts the burden of proof on Andrew Breitbart to prove that no one yelled the N-word at the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington last Sunday:

“Conservative columnist Andrew Breitbart disputed accounts that tea party activists in Washington shouted racial epithets at black members of Congress amid the health care debate, although he didn’t provide any evidence.” – AP, 12/27/10

Let’s first put aside the absence of basic logic dwelling within the idea that one can prove that something did not get said.

Exactly – just how can someone prove something was not said? Shouldn’t the burden of proof be on the Congressional Black Caucus to prove that there were racial epithets hurled at their members? After all they had not one, but two video cameras rolling during this incident and there were dozens of others recording with cameras and cell phones nearby.

In response, Breitbart has upped the ante:

He is now offering a “ransom” of $100,000 to be donated to the United Negro College Fund for anyone who can provide evidence that racial epithets were, in fact used toward the CBC that day on the mall.

Now, I wonder if Blood or the rest of the writers at the AP will demand evidence from the CBC for the accusations they have made?  Or, at the very least will they answer this question:  How does an editor let an article like this get published?

Indeed. Yet the state-run media continues to perpetuate this ugly lie.

After hiring freeze – NY hires 51,464

Posted in BIG Government, Government Folly, UGH! on March 29, 2010 by DaMook

Here is another fine example of government fiscal restraint and responsibility – brought to you by the wonderful state of New York. (story here)

Gov. David Paterson ordered a “hard” hiring freeze in state government nearly two years ago, declaring that only “absolutely essential” positions be filled.

But state officials hired 51,464 people at a cost to taxpayers of more than $1 billion in salaries, plus fringe benefits, since that decree on July 30, 2008.

The hires include sons of elected officials, a close friend of the governor’s and a slew of highly paid political appointees.

To be sure, this example was followed by numerous other states as state and local payrolls have swelled to the breaking point in our era of big government. When a “hard” hiring freeze results in the addition of over 51,000 employees in less than 2 years, you have to wonder how big the bloat would have been in the absence of such restraint.

“You must rethink your hiring practices,” Paterson told agency heads April 21, 2008, in a memo. “Only job openings absolutely essential to your agency’s operations and protecting the health and safety of New Yorkers are to be filled. Positions that do not fit this criterion must be left vacant.”

In his State of the State address Jan. 7, 2009 — six months after the hiring freeze took effect — Paterson again warned that New York was in peril.

“We must sacrifice what we want today so that we can pay for what we need tomorrow,” Paterson said.

And, he said, “Now is our moment for leadership.”

That day, the state hired 51 people, including 20 secretaries and executive assistants. The next day: 1,266 people, mostly at public colleges. The day after: 40 people

Yes, “Now is our moment for leadership” – and they certainly did show the way. The way it has always been in NY…