Archive for April, 2009

April 30, 2009

From an article on the Reason website (link: http://reason.com/news/show/133177.html)

Within a week, the storyline went from cries of “AstroTurf” to Senior White House adviser David Axelrod—Obama’s very own Karl Rove—declaring the tea parties too real for his comfort. So real that he actually pronounced them “unhealthy.” When questioned on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Axelrod said: “I think any time you have severe economic conditions there is always an element of disaffection that can mutate into something that’s unhealthy.” Unhealthy? “Well, this is a country where we value our liberties and our ability to express ourselves, and so far these are expressions.”

Call me old school, but I still live in a country where the citizens more than “value” their liberties and their ability to express opposition to government policy. These liberties define us; they bind us as a nation. They are explicitly defined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. So make fun of me. Call me a “teabagger” if you must. But now a senior White House official is suggesting that my freedom of speech and my right to peaceably assemble are “unhealthy” and are only acceptable “so far.” Will the White House grow tired of our “unhealthy” expressions and send the First Amendment packing, much like it did to former GM CEO Rick Wagoner?

Wednesday, during his “town hall” meeting at Fox High School, in honor of his first 100 Days in office, he had this to say about the Tea Party protestors who were outside the venue:

Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I’m not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we’re going to stabilize Social Security — Claire and I are working dilligently to do a thorough audit of Federal spending — but let’s not play games and pretend that the reason is because of the Recovery Act.

Okay, let’s be clear about something: we’re going to see a huge increase in people eligible to collect Social Security, thanks to the aging of the baby boomer population.  There are very limited ways of facing this situation: we can put off the retirement age from 67 to 70 or 72.  That will, at least, give us some time to set aside some funds to pay their benefits when they do retire.  Or we can raise revenue (i.e. taxes) somehow.  Those are the only options, given that we’ve exhausted our credit with foreign countries like China and Japan.

Of course, we could also encourage those who don’t actally need the money (like Joe Biden, for instance) to forego taking the money.  Given his stellar example of “I’m entitled to take it, therefore I am taking it,” I don’t hold out much hope of the administration leading by example.  Then again, that really isn’t their strong suit, is it? 

I’m pretty sure the Tea Partiers aren’t all that concerned with the healthcare “crisis” or any other crisis the administration has manufactured this week (like the Swine Flu crisis, for instance).   What we’re worried about is the profligate spending Obama’s administration is currently engaged in, at the expense of future generations.  It’s a message so simple that even the president, with his Harvard-educated, certified “big-brain” should be able to comprehend.

But personally, I have another concernm which is the implication in David Axelrod’s comments that they’ll suffer the tea party protests, for now.

But what about later? Is there going to be a point at which they decide they’ve had enough with Americans disagreeing with the Potentate-in-Chief? Will there come a day when we’re told to not congregate? Oh, I’m sure it’ll be for our own good, like so that we don’t fall down dead from Swine Flu, or somesuch.

Mr. Obama can’t accept that anyone could possibly disagree with him on anything, or that they have anything relevant or reasonable to say on the matter. Does anyone believe him when he says he’s willing to sit down with the protestors and talk about ANYTHING? I mean, first off, who does he allow to the meeting? Especially since there’s no one currently in charge of the movement. Second, given his behavior when he “sat down to talk” to Republicans regarding the Porkulous Bill or members of the financial sector about the continuing crisis, it’s pretty clear that Obama’s definition of sit down to talk really comes down to: agree to be locked in a room with me so I can browbeat you, coerce you, and tell you you won’t get your way, no matter what.

Yeah, it’s nothing more than mob-inspired strong-arm tactics, but is anyone really surprised this is how the man deals with his detractors?

I, for one, am not.

There’s no talking to Obama; there’s no hope of having a meaningful dialogue with him regarding our concerns. He’s already decided we personally don’t like him (and that’s the real reason for our displeasure, in his opinion — it hasn’t anything to with real concerns about the direction this nation is heading). As far as he’s concerned, we’re a roadblock to be pushed aside or through. And make no mistake: he will make his move soon. We won’t be allowed to continue to act against him for long…

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April 24, 2009

Admittedly, I’m suspicious by nature;  this cynicism has been a long time in coming and is based on much personal bad experience.  People lie, they let you down, or often, things simply aren’t as they seemed upon initial and even repeated examination — hidden motives are later revealed, which put matters into an entirely new light.

Which brings me to the death this week by Freddie Mac’s CFO, Kellerman.

It’s an apparent suicide, and there’ve been many reports that he was stressed at work; so stressed, in fact, that he’d been losing weight.  There were also some reports that his parents had died when he was young, and this had haunted him his entire adult life.  Forgive the cynic in me, but that last struck a particularly “off” note in my head; it sounded rather like people putting out reasons, rather than actual reasons for a suicide attempt. 

He was having congress and regulators breathing down his neck, trying to get him to put the Freddie Mac numbers into a “happier” context.  I.E., he was being encouraged by people in the administration to cover up the worst of the numbers regarding the costs of Obama’s plans to bailout bad mortgages.

When you consider that 1) Freddie Mac defaults have doubled in a months’ time and 2) over half of ALL mortgages are handled by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, we’re talking about a lot of loans going south which will need to be covered by the government.

Hmmm… maybe it’s just my cynicism talking, but this is starting to look like one of those “ripped from the headlines” episodes of Law & Order, where there’s a twist or two in store, which changes the nature of the investigation.  Now, I’m not saying I think Kellerman was murdered, but I will say that, given he was the highest ranking long-time Freddie Mac employee still with the company, he’d be the most familiar with the numbers; and should the government come out with bogus, lowball figures about how much a Freddie Mac bailout would cost the taxpayers, it’s convenient that he’s suddenly unable to come forward with the truth…

Now all this would all be wild speculation save for this: Bank of America executives are testifying that they were told they’d lose their jobs if they told investors about the bad deal they were making in buying out troubled Merrill Lynch.

 So did Kellerman kill himself, or was this murder?  I’ll leave it for you to decide…

Yet Another Reason The MSM Is Pretty Much Irrelevant

April 17, 2009

From Bob Krumm: http://www.bobkrumm.com/blog/?p=2255

“In the last few days before Wednesday, I began to hear rumblings that the virtually-0rganized Tax Day protests had finally grown to such an extent that the Republican Party wanted to jump on the bandwagon.  It was too late.  Even the head of the RNC was denied a speaking role.  This was a movement that had already grown outside the mainstream of American politics. 

“Oprah Winfrey, accustomed to giving unknown authors a portion of her prominence by featuring their works, felt compelled to jump on the Boyle bandwagon after only one song.”

The internet leads, they follow.  Dinosaurs…

Tea Parties: epic fail?

April 17, 2009

I’ve rather enjoyed watching the way the left has been spinning the tea parties.  It’s gone from “no big deal; nothing new” to “they’re being funded by Fox News and the Republican party” (yeah, right…), to now “they’re an epic fail” because they “only” had a quarter of a million protestors.

The movement started two months ago, back in mid-February, by a mommy blogger who wanted to express her outrage over Obama signing the stimulus bill.  It wasn’t inspired by Rick Santelli, in spite of popular belief and the left’s penchant for rewriting history…

The movement’s been gaining momentum ever since, with weekly tea parties in various cities across the country.  Some cities have hosted more than one tea party already, in advance of the April 15th nationwide event.

Again, in spite of liberal spin, this movement wasn’t founded or organzied by the Republican Party or Fox News, but Fox has been the only cable news network to actually cover the story as it’s been unfolding.

Gee… no wonder most of the old media is teetering on the brink of financial ruin, when they routinely dismiss news stories if they don’t fit their political agenda…

Now back to the regularly scheduled snark and rant…

Depending on whose crowd estimates you believe:

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/pjtvs-crowd-estimates-for-tea-parties-still-climbing/ this is the main article, click the internal link to see the “final” (or currently still in the process of counting) attendance numbers.

Here’s the direct link to PJTV’s current estimate, based on videos and photos sent in by their citizen reporters: http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=tea-party

If you’d rather get your estimates from another site, take your pick here:

http://northshorejournal.org/tea-party-turnout-nationwide

I’d hasten to add this: I know the 538 numbers, as well as the NRO numbers are low, based on the fact that those are only a PARTIAL count of the protest sites.  (Something like 325 or thereabouts.)  At the time the instapundit first linked to PJTV’s numbers, they were at about the same level as 538’s estimate.  While PJTV’s numbers have increased due to reports still coming in from their citizen reporters, the other sites have not changed their estimates.  It’s possible this is being done intentionally (at least on the 538 site) to low-ball the numbers in order to give the left their current talking point of the event being an epic fail, since it *only* drew a quarter of a million souls.

However, I’d maintain that when you consider — 

1) these people had to leave their home or work to protest, and do so by their own initiative (they didn’t have busses come pick them up and drop them off directly at the protest site)

2) they were not paid to protest

3) they were not funded by some deep-pocketed captialist pig like George Soros or Warren Buffet, but paid for their events out of their own pockets — which constituted paying for permits or insurance

4) managed to get this kind of turnout after only two months’ worth of organizing, mainly done over the internet

Well… you have to admit, it’s an impressive feat.  Hardly an “epic fail.” 

Well… you have to admit it, if you’re not a blind lefty…  However, if you’re married to the left’s constant rewriting of the narrative, then you can swallow that this was an epic fail.

But I’d like to pose a question to anyone on the left: weren’t you talking about sending your own counter protestors to the Tea Party event of April 15th?

You’d think, given the deep pockets you can stick your hands into, thanks to your kindly Uncle George, your vast network of contacts, your friends in the MSM and the WH, and your professional organization, already in place… you’d think with all that, you could’ve managed to mount a pretty serious counter-protest.  But what did YOU come up with?  Maybe 15 protestors against the 1700+ tea partiers in Knoxville, TN.  From what I’ve read, that’s pretty standard, in the places where you had any counter-protestors at all.  Less than one percent of the turnout of the Tea Party.

I don’t know about you, but that has “epic fail” written all over it, from where I’m sitting.  So I guess this is yet another case of liberal projection… heh.

Methinks the left is trying desperately to convince the Tea Partiers that their event was an epic fail in the hope that they won’t attempt another demonstration.  Good luck with that, guys…