You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2009.

This is neat.  In New Jersey, The Empty Wallet Funeral Procession, concluding today at noon.

Via Instapundit

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Some good news for a change from satirist Scott Ott:  Obama forces GM chief out, puts Reid, Pelosi on leave

Just hours after firing General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner for mismanaging the giant firm which has thus far received $26 billion in taxpayer cash to stay afloat, President Barack Obama announced that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into similar allegations.

“We cannot give the appearance of using tax dollars to reward leaders who have done a poor job,” said Obama. “The message is clear. If you take billions from the taxpayers you answer to a new boss — the chief executive. In November, I inherited a failed banking system, a failed auto industry and a failed Congress. Americans demand action. Heads will continue to roll.”

The president said Reid and Pelosi have “overseen an unprecedented spending binge, while some of their major brands have nearly collapsed through mismanagement, malfeasance and plain old stupidity.”

“Their insurance products — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — are actually elaborate Ponzi schemes,” he said, “paying early investors with cash from later investors without creating an ongoing insurance fund. Bernie Madoff is behind bars for doing the same thing.”

The rest at the link.

Brits’ houses are surveilled for heat loss.    Their children’s lunch boxes are monitored for government-approved food.  Now their driving will be tracked.  From EU Referendum, Mother Europe Is Watching You

According to The Guardian, our puppet government is backing an EU project to install a “communication box” in new cars to track the whereabouts of drivers anywhere in Europe.

Needless to say, the scheme, known as the Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems is being sold on its ‘elf ‘n’ safety benefits, with the kindly EU officials telling us that it will significantly reduce road accidents, congestion and carbon emissions.

Behind the propaganda:

But behind the benign exterior is the true agenda – the system paves the way for national road tolling and, since the system is planned to send positional data to government control centres, it can be used for speed enforcement and other law enforcement purposes.

More at the link.

I’m sure that, whatever the results, it will be declared a great success and our power-hungry politicians will agitate for its institution here.  Beware.

They seriously need to organize some tumbrel parties.

Jon Stewart on fire, Via The Foundry

From The New York Times:

The depth of the recession and the use of taxpayer dollars to bail out companies have made it politically acceptable for overseers to tinker with employment agreements.

So federal and local governments are looking for ways to pare payouts, endangering the promises made before the financial storm to people like Wall Street traders, automobile workers and garbage collectors.

Local impact:

Across the country, Vallejo, Calif., just got permission in bankruptcy court to tear up its contracts with firefighters and other workers. In Stockton, the city manager is studying whether to follow Vallejo’s lead.

In Michigan, Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm just ordered the city of Pontiac put under emergency financial management, after it failed, among other things, to rein in the cost of police, fire and trash collection services.

In the California case the judge ruled that Federal bankruptcy law trumped state labor law.  The lesson to unions?  Negotiate now:

Vallejo’s bankruptcy is being closely watched because its problems mirror those in many communities that have promised benefits that now look unsustainable. In many places the benefits have been locked in with statutory and constitutional guarantees.

“That’s why Vallejo is so important,” said James E. Spiotto, a Chapter 9 specialist with the firm of Chapman & Cutler in Chicago. “Chapter 9 and bankruptcy is the land of broken promises.” He said unions were better off negotiating concessions now than landing in bankruptcy court and ending up with no contract at all.

In taking over the financial sector, the Obama Administration is freezing out the bankruptcy court:

The Treasury secretary, meanwhile, is working on a much broader initiative to give the federal government the power to modify the contracts of the financial institutions it takes over. The proposal raises several new issues, because it would eliminate the judicial oversight of bankruptcy proceedings and the opportunity for affected parties to challenge the changes.

The goal is to speed up reaction time to crises, said Lisa Hill Fenning, a retired bankruptcy judge who now practices at Dewey & LeBoeuf in Los Angeles. “Traditional ways of dealing with these problems are too complicated and would take too long,” Ms. Fenning said. “They’re trying to cut through red tape.”

Time is of the essence, when you’re nationalizing a country’s economy.  Obama doesn’t have all day, you know.

In New York, over CO2 regulation.  From Green Hell, WAR! Utility sues New York over CO2 regulation

Indeck Corinth L.P., which operates the Corinth Generating Station, an electric power plant in Corinth, NY, sued New York state on January 29, 2009 claiming that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Northeast U.S. is illegal.

More, including a link to the complaint, at Green Hell Blog.

Hope this is just the beginning.

Some excellent tea party tips:

Organize a clean-up crew and have them in place to keep trash picked up during and after the event.  The person who sent this idea said you don’t want to leave your event site looking like DC after the inauguration.

Might I suggest that instead of sending teabags, we encourage everyone to fax or/and mail photos of themselves holding the signs they are planning on carrying to the partys to their state senators and congressmen?  For a fax, a first page saying “Revolution is Brewing” with the date and time of the local tea party you will be attending, and for the second page the photo of you and your sign and the words “I am watching you.  I am fed up.  And I VOTE!”

Lots more at the link.

Tea Party sign artwork here.

Tea parties last weekend:

Newburyport City Hall: “It looked like the politician had figured out pretty quickly which raised hands to call on”

Thanks to Instapundit

Great news!  Remember the Cape Coral, Florida, Tea Party that was canceled because local officialdom said the organizers had to get a permit and buy insurance?  It’s on!   Good job, Freedomworks.

Thanks again to Instapundit

Yesterday I posted that the TaxDayTeaParty site experienced a denial of service attack.  They’re back up.

Congress’s assault on the free market through the demonization of its participants continues.  First it was AIG executives and their legally contracted retention bonuses.  Now Congress says your doctor is the devil:  Senate Finance Chair Slams ‘Wild-West’ Insurance Market, Doctors ‘Trying to Make a Buck’

Washington (CNSNews.com) – The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said Friday that the nation’s health-care “crisis” is the fault of medical “entrepreneurs” and a “dysfunctional” medical insurance market he likened to the “Wild West.”

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said the medical insurance market is in anarchy and must be reformed this year, and he said those reforms must include a government mandate that individuals purchase insurance.

No sir.  The insurance market is like any other free market, a conglomeration of free people making free choices.

This is so deja vu.  Blow problems up to crisis proportions, target a scapegoat, play on peoples’ fears and ignorance of the facts,  then have government ride to the rescue in the form of expanded power.  I’ve seen this movie before.  Yesterday, actually.

It’s the fault of those people in the medical profession who persist in valuing their abilities and, worse, capitalizing on them:

But Baucus also blamed some of the health-care system’s woes on the fact that doctors and other medical “entrepreneurs” try to profit from their knowledge and abilities – that people in health-care are, in his words, “trying to make a buck.”

“We’re the United States, we’re not other countries,” Baucus said. “There’s entrepreneurship, creativity, there’s ‘go west, young man’ — that’s much more a part of our culture than it is in other countries and various groups; doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, (medical) equipment manufacturers — they’re providing care, but they’re also trying to make a buck.”

Who will be Congress’s next scapegoat?  I don’t know, but anyone who tries to “make a buck,” that is, make a living, should be concerned.

What Congress is trying to destroy is called the American way.  Senator Baucus makes that perfectly clear.  It’s our fault if we choose not to see it.

We’ve all heard the sometimes hysterical claims, from Green Guru Gore and others, that rising water levels are going to drown us all, because driving our SUVs will melt the polar icepack, or something.  I’ve even heard that islands are supposed to disappear because of it. Of course, these claims are the basis for increasing government control of every aspect of life and directing wealth from producers to favored constituents, or patrons, or other governments. What are friends for?

But Christopher Booker of the Telegraph calls bull.  Rise of sea levels is ‘the greatest lie ever told’

But if there is one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone else in the world it is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change. And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.

Despite fluctuations down as well as up, “the sea is not rising,” he says. “It hasn’t risen in 50 years.” If there is any rise this century it will “not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm”. And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.

He does science the old-fashioned way:

The reason why Dr Mörner, formerly a Stockholm professor, is so certain that these claims about sea level rise are 100 per cent wrong is that they are all based on computer model predictions, whereas his findings are based on “going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real world”.

Want to see how the alarmists rig the data?  One example:

One of his most shocking discoveries was why the IPCC [UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] has been able to show sea levels rising by 2.3mm a year. Until 2003, even its own satellite-based evidence showed no upward trend. But suddenly the graph tilted upwards because the IPCC’s favoured experts had drawn on the finding of a single tide-gauge in Hong Kong harbour showing a 2.3mm rise. The entire global sea-level projection was then adjusted upwards by a “corrective factor” of 2.3mm, because, as the IPCC scientists admitted, they “needed to show a trend”.

You can’t believe one word out of the climate change groupies’ mouths.

Thanks to EU Referendum

By a Brit.  In an article about the G20 conference this week, Janet Daley speaks a few home truths to the power of the mob:  G20: If capitalism is ‘overthrown’, we’ll lose our political freedom

Some of the demonstrators in this week’s G20 protest jamboree are demanding the “overthrow” of capitalism. Well, there are lots of things than can be done to “capitalism” – it can be undermined, suppressed, sabotaged, even outlawed – but it cannot be “overthrown” because in itself, it has no power.

It is the very opposite, in fact, of a tyranny. It is simply the conglomeration of all the transactions made between individual and corporate players in an open market. Some people may gain power through those transactions but that power is transient and contingent on their own financial success: they are not installed in immutable positions from which they can be forcibly removed in a coup d’etat.

The question we are wrestling with now – and which the G20 will certainly fail to resolve – is how much the bodies which actually do have power should undermine, suppress, sabotage or even outlaw the practice of capitalist exchange.

Getting to the real issue:

When we make the case for capitalism, we are defending the political principle of freedom, not arguing for one kind of rigid economic organisation over another. The debate is being hopelessly muddied by those late converts to free enterprise – politicians like Mr Brown who believe that markets should only survive if they can be made to serve Left-wing purposes.

So the idea that the arguments which will dominate the summit are purely economic is quite wrong: this is about politics. The fundamental disagreement between the United States and Europe amounts to nothing less than the question of whether the great 200 year old experiment in national democracy – government of the people, by the people, and for the people – will survive.

Read the rest of this excellent article at the link.

H/T Hot Air Headlines