Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Joke's on US

I hope the following jokes (?) were really spoken in primetime by the comedians they are attributed to — in any case, Thanks to Mark…
The liberals are asking us to give Obama time.
We agree — and think 25 to life would be appropriate.
— Jay Leno

America needs Obama-Care like
Nancy Pelosi needs a Halloween mask.
— Jay Leno

Q: Have you heard about McDonald's' new Obama Value Meal?
A: Order anything you like and the guy behind you has to pay for it.
— Conan O'Brian

Q: What does Barack Obama call lunch with a convicted felon?
A: A fund raiser.
— Jay Leno

Q: What's the difference between Obama's cabinet and a penitentiary?
A: One is filled with tax evaders, blackmailers, and threats to society.
The other is for housing prisoners.
— David Letterman

Q: If Nancy Pelosi and Obama were on a boat in the middle
of the ocean and it started to sink, who would be saved?
A. America.
— Fallon

Q: What's the difference between Obama and his dog, Bo?
A: Bo has papers.
— Kimmel

Q: What was the most positive result of the "Cash for clunkers" program?
A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road.
— David Letterman

Paging Captain Obvious...

Long rationalizing that Boeing aircraft sales are a subsidy Europeans plumping for their cronyistic monomania in business have to take a step back today. The WTO whose rounds of agreements they scuttled more than once came to seem like a useful instrument to them – that is, until they saw it doing what it was supposed to: resolve trade disputes:

The World Trade Organization ruled on Tuesday that the European plane maker Airbus received improper subsidies for its $13 billion A380 superjumbo jet and several other airplanes, hurting Boeing, its American rival, industry officials in the United States and Europe said.
Despite the fact that EADS/Airbus need not take any risks with its’ own revenue by not having to pay off the “loans” governments give it until a venture is profitable, the bleating about them not getting a fair shake will likely resume after a few weeks of the memory of this ruling fading away.

Think about it: a subsidized monopolist entity trying to give itself a form of ‘victim status’ as a way of bypassing the commercial challenges real businesses face.

Boeing has contended that the subsidies helped Airbus vault past it in 2003 to become the world’s largest plane maker. Boeing hopes that the ruling could help it catch up once its new 787 Dreamliner jet hits the market.

The decision was made as tensions mounted over European claims of protectionism in the Pentagon’s competition for a $35 billion to $40 billion contract for Air Force refueling tankers, the latest scrape between the companies.
Stranger still, the push for the sales deal with the United States Air Force was the clincher in a deal to produce enough of an order book and revenue to make viable the replacement of the Europeans’ military lift capacity.

Sales to USAF were to functionally subsidize EADS, Airbus, and the heavy lift capacity of the European militaries who signed up rejuvenate their aging, nearly non-existent fleets.

Nice trick, if you can keep them all bamboozled, especially since it will have the fringe benefit of artificially inflating EADS’ market share at the cost of both the American and European taxpayer.
The W.T.O. is also looking into a European complaint that Boeing has benefited improperly from subsidies from its military business. Airbus said in the statement that “resolution will finally only be found in trans-Atlantic negotiations.”
The last phrase of which should be “nuts,” because it fits their view that this is warfare with their real enemy itself, and taking pride in that foe’s unwillingness to harm them.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Comparing Hate Between the Right and the Left

Let's compare hate between the tea partiers (the right) and the left, writes Bob Parks, while Instapundit reports a shameless attack on a Democratic representative's office (thanks to Valerie and Hervé).

In any case, writes Erick Erickson (who's also written that "the Democrats are running to the nearest microphone in an effort to play the victim and generate sympathy as they try to steer poll numbers back in their direction"),
I would point out that it was the Democrats who just took over 1/6th of the American economy despite upwards of 56% of the American public being opposed. And they expect people to . . . what . . . clap?

As I said earlier today, violence is unacceptable, but none of us should be surprised — especially the left, which feeds off riots, protest, and molotov cocktail parties every time they strongly oppose something. The Weather Underground was not a Republican insurgency at the Weather Channel.

…I can’t say enough — we should beat them at the ballot box. Violence is inexcusable. But did they really think the public would just roll over when they willfully imposed the largest tax increase in America history, betrayed major Obama campaign promises, and mocked, taunted, and ridiculed the people who believe the constitution actually has meaning and value?

Instapundit, again (refreshing memories):
A STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE: Leftist death threats against Bush at protests.

Then, of course, there was Craig Kilborn’s “Snipers Wanted” moment.

We don't want to be labeled the party of "no"? As it pertains to this bill, how about "hell no"?

The best reaction so far to Sunday's vote is by Bobby Jindal, who examines each of five arguments against repeal…

Timothy P Cahill, state treasurer of Massachusetts (aka "the template" for the national health-care reform legislation) adds:
If not for federal Medicaid reimbursements and commitments from Washington to prop up this plan, Massachusetts would be broke. The only reason MassCare has survived is that we have been repeatedly bailed out by the federal government. But that raises the question: Who will bail America out if we implement a similar program?

Euro-parliament Funkadelic

John Rosenthal has an article in the Weekly Standard on EUtopia’s War on the GWOT. Think of it as their own little Passive-Aggressive Jihad against their own population.

One curious feature of the SWIFTboating of using the SWIFT financial clearinghouse to monitor terrorism funding, was that a salve was sought in the proposal to negotiate an interim agreement. So servile are these governments, that they made a conscious effort to employ the very “revolutionaries” that the Islamists would castrate first:

While the German government had consented to negotiations on the agreement in July 2009, it is notable that when the completed agreement was approved by the European Council four months later, Germany abstained. As the council decision required unanimity, a German “no” would have killed the agreement then and there. But rather than bearing the onus of having torpedoed a crucial transatlantic security arrangement, the German government by its abstention simply handed off the issue to “Dany the Red,” Werner Langen, and the other “putschists” in the European parliament.
Never mind the fact that these comfortable fantasists are carrying on as if they were Paraguayan peasants, you can predict that they’ve “gone straight” with some schtick about preserving the privacy of their own terrorists, and possibly the privacy of some innocent EUvian citizens as well, even if their own governments treat them like children.

In the spirit of reinforcing the individual autonomy and free will though they seem to have no problem with sweeping up the innocent with the guilty when it comes to taking some data-hostagetaker’s word about the taxpayers he’s informing on:
Two years earlier, the German foreign intelligence service, the BND, had purchased data stolen from the Liechtenstein-based LGT Bank. The purchase led to, among other things, a televised police raid on the home of Klaus Zumwinkel, one of Germany’s best-known business executives and now its most famous tax evader. Not only did the BND pay the data thief the equivalent of $5.5 million. According to reports in the German media, it also furnished him with a new identity. One can only conclude that in the eyes of both of Germany’s leading political parties, it is good and righteous for Germany to violate a bank client’s expectation of confidentiality in the name of combating tax evasion and topping up the coffers of the German treasury, but it is bad and evil for the United States to do the same in the name of combating terrorism and saving lives.
The BND, you’ll recall, was the same failed spook outfit that was so on the take and badly infiltrated by East Germany’s Stasi that the rest of civilization had virtually no reason to let them see your phonebook.

In fact, there is likely no way of knowing how many of their own citizens the bad actors in the BND betrayed, let alone the dead in East Germany who were revealed to be western intelligence sources. Then, like now, getting in the spirit of pretending it isn’t happening includes the same kind of negligence with the safety and well-being of their own citizens. As were the motives for doing it: markets, the infantile notion that appeasement will succeed, and to a certain degree, a shared outlook founded on having the same imaginary ideological enemies.
Well, if telephone or Internet users in Germany experience the “threatening feeling of being observed,” it is likely because they really are being observed. German law enforcement authorities are able to employ wiretaps and other forms of electronic surveillance with an ease that would make their American counterparts green with envy. In 2007, nearly 1 million phone calls were monitored by police in Berlin alone. Over 1,000 Berlin residents were the targets of wiretaps. A 2003 study conducted by Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law found that wiretaps are used by law enforcement authorities some 30 times more frequently in Germany than in the United States.
Which is fine, unless a potential terrorist feels like he or she is being made uncomfortable.

Frankly, it would be funny, if only THEY got killed, but there’s a reason the name of The Hamburg Cell is so widely known.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Good On Ya, Nico

No if only our logo-branded fearless “historic” leader would listen:

So the French Government abandoned their planned Environmental Tax because Man-made Global Warming is junk science, or more appropriately a religious belief? No. It was abandoned because being a French only tax would put French industry at a disadvantage to it's European competitors. Yes. This argument does hold water but can, and should, be applied to a larger scale than Europe. Same goes for USA vs it's competitors, which is the global economy.
After having just committed trillions to the scrapheap of Socialism’s failed intentions, have no doubt that the White House will be going “full speed ahead” on Carbon capping, just as the United States is within 5 years of becoming a net exporter of fossil energy.

Anyone doubting the solomonic sophistication of Barack Obama need look no further than “world citizen’s” inability to even aknowledge his own nation’s needs during a recession. I’m sure he’ll continue acting like a third-rate city councilman, and try to look smart with some “Green Jobs” statement, but only his supporters who are still mooching off their spouse or parents will buy it.

-תודה, תודה לך! to Chai Gai

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Great Moments in Trans-Euvian Interpersonal Dialog

Sure, you laugh now, but wait until you try to get a driver’s license.

Two points of order

1) How stories are created.
2) How facts are created.

Reality, as always, is optional.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gauche caviar meets Godzilla

I’m still keeping my hopes up for a Taiwan-style parliamentary brawl:

Confirmation of European commission becomes free-for-all
My hopes are pinned on a tough Bulgarian fireplug with a ‘tude and a mono-brow coming in to liven things up. It also makes adding Libya in the next round of enlargement talks seem plausible.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Let’s Hope Some of that Jack Went for Hookers and Nose-Candy

So is that why it sounds like some kind of secret code when they say “I’m going to a convention”?

Senior Dutch police officers spent over 730,000 euros on trips to other countries in the last two years, newspaper AD reports today. The paper bases the item on data received from police.

Most of the trips were connected with programmes aimed at fighting the international drugs trade and human trafficking. However, the most expensive were 'teambuilding' trips for police force commanders.
I guess it’s a little like “going to Uganda”, if you know what I mean, because the politics of the natives ain’t pretty.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Live US Congressional Video Feed (Healthcare Edition)

It’s a Brave New Something or Other

EU diplomats to benefit from new intelligence hub
Filling roles and checking boxes as one seemed to be expected to, the EU is working on celebrating with stunning fanfare and admiration, the development of an Intelligence Centre to (as always,) attempt some sort of force multiplication scheme, by gathering up the product of member states’ spook outfits. The problem with the calculus is that the denominator is zero, and they just aren’t that sure what to do with a kickoff that started with a press announcement that seems to have already declared a success of the thing that doesn’t really exist, save for:
a cell of secret service agents seconded from EU capitals. The cell, headed up by a French agent, pools classified information sent in by member states and drafts occasional four-to-10-page-long reports on topics ranging from terrorism to, for example, Iran's diplomatic contacts with neighbouring countries.

A huge improvement on a rough start. Their information assets on 9-11 amounted to:
SitCen started out as "a piece of A4 paper, a telephone and a pool table," according to one anecdote. When 9/11 struck in 2001, the commission's phone lines and internet crashed due to heavy traffic, leaving it cut off and triggering the creation of the Crisis Room. "There was one TV set in the building. We were crouched round a telephone listening to the TV at the other end of the line," another EU official said
SitCen is a butch, and possibly involved-in-something way of saying “Situation Center,” with a bold, movie-like ring.

So world-beating and representative of the a font of usefulness, its current products include something you can hire a few college punks part-time to do.
SitCen also runs a round-the-clock alert desk which uses open sources, such as BBC Monitoring or photos taken by commercial satellites, and sends emails and SMSes to selected EU diplomats two or three times a day.
Speaking of bold, the forgone success has the following bold, assertive stuff going for it:
The details of the EAS' new intelligence branch are still up in the air.

It is unclear where it will be situated and who will be in charge.
But the current head of SitCen, former British diplomat William Shapcott, is the top candidate due to his friendly ties with member states' secret services.

The mandate for the new department also remains to be written.
Look out world! Here they come!
SitCen already sends staff to visit the EU's foreign police and military missions to gather information and has a mystique due to the secretive nature of its work.
Which is stunningly unsecretive, featuring software audio-scanning features that compare favorably to the new smartphone I bought a few weeks back.
But the new EAS branch will not have undercover operatives in the field on the model of member states' intelligence agencies. "Belgium and Austria proposed this [creating an EU secret service] after Madrid. But we are still light years away from it,"
Lucky for them, Teheran isn’t a light year away, in fact, it’s in missile range.Which sure justifies a title like:>
EU diplomats to benefit from new intelligence hub
The key to which is, beside reading the newspapers, is using good information security and discipline.
Meanwhile, the best classified information is often shared through informal channels
However, eclipsing the usual amateur night antics, we find the very well practiced and professional antics of Eurotopian policiana:
"The French are worried that the EAS will be dominated by British people," one EU official said.
The familiarity of a announcement of that sort must be rather comforting in these troubled times where MEPs try to create a security organization without being able to say out loud what it’s mandate should be, in favor of the usual bland, bullshit that makes everything they do reek of a UN spouses and kids gunny-sack race.
Some EU diplomats would like it to make policy recommendations as well as analytical reports. Others are posing questions about its ethos: "Will it be used to aggressively pursue member states' national interests or for common goals, such as peace-building and crisis relief?" one EU official asked.
On the face of it, I wonder about the “some that don’t part,” and applaud them for not throwing in a ‘Climate Change’ mandate in there, as one would expect from Pavlov’s dog. Oops! Hold the phone!

Cue the marching bands

If one cares to see how things are really done in Washington/government, a fascinating (yet nauseatingly fawning) article from the New York Times:
That Mr. Obama has come this far — within a whisper of passing historic social legislation — is remarkable in itself. But the story of how he did it is not his alone. It is the story of how a struggling president partnered with a pair of experienced legislators — Ms. Pelosi and, to a lesser extent, Mr. Reid — to reach for a goal that Mr. Obama has often said had eluded his predecessors going back to Theodore Roosevelt.

Their journey over the last two months, interviews with White House aides, lawmakers, outside advisers, lobbyists and political strategists show, involved tensions, resolve, political spadework — and a little bit of luck.
The authors do not mention whether that would be "good luck" or "bad luck". How the game is played by those listening to the "voice" of the people:
The speaker, though, was determined to go ahead. “We will go through the gate,” she said at a news conference on Jan. 28. “If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed.”
As if your "voice" actually matters:
New Rasmussen Reports national telephone surveying finds that 56% of voters oppose the effort to “reduce spending on Medicare by several hundred billion dollars.” Just 33% support the idea. Those figures include 12% who Strongly Favor the Medicare cuts and 38% who are Strongly Opposed.

Perhaps more significantly, 70% of senior citizens oppose the plan to reduce spending on Medicare including 55% who are Strongly Opposed. Seniors are more likely to use the health care system and more likely to vote than younger adults.

Most voters also oppose the other big component being counted on to cover the cost of the health care plan. Just 31% favor the idea of enacting “a significant excise tax on the most expensive health insurance plans provided by employers." Fifty-four percent (54%) are opposed.

The Congressional Budget Office yesterday said that the proposed legislation would reduce the deficit, but voters are skeptical of the official government projections. Eighty-one percent (81%) believe the health care plan will cost more than projected. That’s one reason voters believe passage of the plan will increase the deficit and is likely to mean higher middle class taxes. Fifty-seven percent (57%) predict that passage of the plan will hurt the U.S. economy.

That helps to explain why 50% of voters say they’re less likely to vote to reelect a member of Congress who supports the health care bill.

While the cost of the plan causes problems for advocates of reform, 80% of voters like “an insurance exchange where people can shop for competing insurance plans.” Two-thirds (69%) favor a plan that prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to anyone with pre-existing conditions.

Sixty percent (60%) support subsidies to the poor and an expansion of Medicaid. Fifty-four percent (54%) favor requiring nearly all employers to provide health insurance coverage. Fifty-one percent (51%) of voters favor a board to carry out cost control measures for Medicare.

On the other side of the ledger, just 45% favor requiring all Americans to buy or obtain health insurance. Fifty percent (50%) are opposed.

Forty-seven percent (47%) support spending “several hundred billion dollars over the coming decade to expand coverage of the uninsured.” Fifty-one percent (51%) are opposed.

On the issue of abortion, 55% favor prohibiting “coverage of abortion by any insurance plan that receives federal government subsidies.”

Overall, before being told of the various provisions of the reform plan, 45% supported the legislation, and 52% were opposed. Those numbers are unchanged after respondents were asked about the various aspects of the legislation.
Never fear, your betters are on the case:

Oh Alcee, you more than anyone should know what happens when the rulebook is tossed and the crushing weight of government is aligned against the individual.