Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lord, make me chaste, but not yet - Opinion Journal summarizes the quandary Obama faces by calling for deficit reduction and entitlement reform, then scaring Grandma with stories of plots in "Social Security Bait and Switch."
Was this trip necessary?

I'm not sure what President Obama's goal was tonight in his "major speech" on Iraq. Was it, as Stephen Green speculated, to shore up his anti-war base? If he was going for the Commander-in-Chief imagery, his awkward posture and teleprompter-paced reading didn't project confidence.

Frankly, I was OK with most of the speech as long as it focused on the military and the mission. But when he swerved into yet another scolding on economics, my thin approval slipped into head-shaking. What was this line doing in the speech?
"We have spent over a trillion dollars at war, often financed by borrowing overseas."
This, from the man whose administration is currently borrowing 42 cents for every dollar the government spends and after the CBO reported the Iraq war has cost less than the failed stimulus package. He should have just stuck to the military theme, thanked the troops, and saved the campaign speech for a more appropriate time.

Extra - I'm not the only one who thought the pep talk for Obamanomics was out of place.

More - From Macsmind and Insty and Allahpundit.
They shoot Krugmans, don't they?

Sometimes I can't believe that little twerp has a column. Well, let's review his latest sewage.

The last time a Democrat sat in the White House, he faced a nonstop witch hunt by his political opponents. Prominent figures on the right accused Bill and Hillary Clinton of everything from drug smuggling to murder.
Don't forget about perjury and obstruction of justice.

And once Republicans took control of Congress, they subjected the Clinton administration to unrelenting harassment - at one point taking 140 hours of sworn testimony over accusations that the White House had misused its Christmas card list.
And yet the GOP-led Congress still managed to pass a federal budget (i.e. their job.)

Now it’s happening again - except that this time it’s even worse. Let’s turn the floor over to Rush Limbaugh: “Imam Hussein Obama,” he recently declared, is “probably the best anti-American president we’ve ever had.”
To get a sense of how much it matters when people like Mr. Limbaugh talk like this, bear in mind that he’s an utterly mainstream figure within the Republican Party; bear in mind, too, that unless something changes the political dynamics, Republicans will soon control at least one house of Congress. This is going to be very, very ugly.
The Limbaugh-Beck-Fox News = all Republicans is a trope so tiresome it barely warrants a response. I've never listened to Rush Limbaugh and never watched Glenn Beck. But I don't believe every single person at Beck's rally was a Republican, just as I don't believe that only Limbaugh fans oppose the Cordoba House.

So where is this rage coming from? Why is it flourishing? What will it do to America?
Take your pick, Paulie: high unemployment, a yawning trade imbalance, crummy stock market, feckless foreign policy, a health care bill nobody likes. I mean, is this a serious question?

Anyone who remembered the 1990s could have predicted something like the current political craziness. What we learned from the Clinton years is that a significant number of Americans just don’t consider government by liberals - even very moderate liberals - legitimate.
We did? I thought "Selected not elected" came later, but my memory is hazy.

Mr. Obama’s election would have enraged those people even if he were white. Of course, the fact that he isn’t, and has an alien-sounding name, adds to the rage.
There you have it: racism and xenophobia.

By the way, I’m not talking about the rage of the excluded and the dispossessed…
No, you're certainly not, since America is chock full of everyday people outside your Princeton office who are deeply concerned about the direction of the country. Krugman spares not a word for their legitimate worries about the future. Instead, he babbles on for 200+ words (snipped) about the wealthy few who oppose the statist agenda. Call it the Paris Hilton gambit.

And where, in all of this, are the responsible Republicans, leaders who will stand up and say that some partisans are going too far? Nowhere to be found.
It says something that the very people who made anti-Bushism the creamy nougat of their political ideology now want him to come back. Unless he had already, whereupon they'd be wailing about his unwanted meddling in national affairs.

So what will happen if, as expected, Republicans win control of the House? We already know part of the answer: Politico reports that they’re gearing up for a repeat performance of the 1990s, with a “wave of committee investigations” - several of them over supposed scandals that we already know are completely phony.
What, like the fruitless investigation into Bush's dismissal of the U.S. attorneys? Stop being such a crybaby, Paul. In the words of Obama, "I won." Now get ready for some hearings.

We can expect the G.O.P. to play chicken over the federal budget, too; I’d put even odds on a 1995-type government shutdown sometime over the next couple of years.
Yeah, that would be bad.

It will be an ugly scene, and it will be dangerous, too. The 1990s were a time of peace and prosperity; this is a time of neither.
Is that why rage is "flourishing?" Never mind, rhetorical question.

In particular, we’re still suffering the after-effects of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, and we can’t afford to have a federal government paralyzed by an opposition with no interest in helping the president govern. But that’s what we’re likely to get.
Krugman acts as if Americans view this as a bug and not a feature.

If I were President Obama, I’d be doing all I could to head off this prospect, offering some major new initiatives on the economic front in particular, if only to shake up the political dynamic. But my guess is that the president will continue to play it safe, all the way into catastrophe.
Paul K has been tireless with his endless string of blog posts and columns about how the stimulus should have been bigger. I strongly urge Obama to take his advice and propose another round of stimulus spending since the last round was so awesome.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Old and busted: "unexpected." New and hot: "unprecedented." - Gallup: "GOP takes unprecedented 10-point lead on generic ballot." It's funny because Obama keeps blaming the Republicans but his numbers keep sinking. Cause and effect? You make the call.

Related - Al Hunt sez: "The Senate is in play."
Learning the special skills of a sideshow carny – In today's Boston Globe, wine store clerk Scott Moore regales us with the special training Massachusetts required him to take before he could sell tobacco products. Basically, it's "Guess your age!" and ask for I.D. Your tax dollars at work: "Smoking out the nanny state."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Emmy update - An entertaining show, so far, but "The Amazing Race" did not win Best Reality Show, which is just wrong.
Shaq attack on Harvard Yard - Today's Boston Globe has a Shaq-tastic story about how Boston's latest Celtic wandered around Cambridge - without an entourage - to meet and greet the people in his new hometown. Nice!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New York Times = Obama lickspittle - I don't know why I bother but this NY Times editorial today is embarrassing bootlicking tripe. Maybe it was written by Rahm Emanuel. In a nutshell, the Times thinks that Obama should do all the things that Obama has proposed to fix the economy. It's like reading a Daily Kos blog posting, with less profanity. There's not a single critical word aimed at the President who has hobbled this economy. Instead they simply urge Obama to use his inspirational skills to - magically! - lift the economy out of recession.

Isn't there anybody at all on the Times editorial board qualified to play devil's advocate? Any objective voice who is not a limousine liberal to provide balance? It's like a parody.
Also, they think (R) stands for "rookie" - CNN gets almost everything wrong in this graphic from the rally in Washington today. Journalism is hard. (H/T Ace)
Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman sing "Something Stupid"

Hey, why not?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Eventually, you gotta take the uniform off - I just finished watching "Inglourious Basterds." It was good. According to IMDB, the actor who played "The Bear Jew" was able to access his maniacal anger by listening to "Hannah Montana."

Des! Write that one down! All the way in 2011.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The $41K car that gets 27.3 mpg - The Truth about Cars has an interesting report about how General Motors refuses to give a mileage estimate for the Chevy Volt when it's running in gas-mode (i.e. CSM or "charge sustaining mode.") GM is waiting for some new-fangled EPA method to determine mileage, even though they can certainly make their own test and report that on the sticker. Plus, you have to wonder - given the federal government's large stake in GM - whether the EPA would be inclined to "help" with the Chevy Volt's mileage estimate to a higher number than the one found by an astute TTAC reader.
Time to get serious - Hit & Run: "Anyone who wants to cut entitlements clearly has no place on a commission devoted to fiscal responsibility."

Extra - Althouse: "Fake outrage over Alan Simpson"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Worse than "double secret probation" - More bad news for Bluto and Flounder: "ObamaCare threatens college health plans."

Time to panic yet? - Hit and Run "More scenes from the Economic Hyperpocalypse": "Let's bask in the one thing we have in surplus: bad economic news."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Enthusiasm gap in the Sunshine State - Interesting tidbit from Florida that - if true - tells quite a story about who will make it to the polls in November. According to Jim Geraghty, in the U.S. Senate matchup, more voters came out for the essentially uncontested Republican primary than came out for the genuinely competitive Democratic primary. (H/T Other McCain.)

Update - Hooray, Meek wins his battle! Which means Rubio will probably win the war. Also, GOP voters may have been motivated by the much-closer gubernatorial primary.
A national shrug on Obamacare - Hot Air points out that Democrats front-loaded the benefits (such as they are) in health care reform and back-loaded the taxes, hoping to get some credit before the midterm elections. So far there's no bump in popularity and the taxes are a'comin'.
Not a good career move

An inconvenient debate - Following the lead of Al Gore, Hollywood blowhard James Cameron ran away from a debate on climate change when his opponents - inconveniently! - agreed to his increasingly outlandish demands, including having a debate.

Extra - Watts Up With That: "From King of the World to Chicken of the Sea." (H/T Flopping Aces)

More - Red State: "Cameron's 'High Noon' cancelled."
Live free, with a sliced bagel, or die - Today's WSJ has a story straight from New York: if you buy a whole bagel in the Empire State it is not taxed. But if that bagel and sliced and schmeered with cream cheese, it's now a "prepared" bagel that is subject to sales tax. Yes, it's come to this.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Not biased, just helpful! - Sister Toldjah: "CNN to Obama: We'd like to offer you some midterm election advice." They're like two teenagers in love.
Dr. Lyle Evans in the house - On last night's "Mad Men," Roger angrily blurts out "Why don't we just bring Dr. Lyle Evans in here?!" Fans clogged Google with enough searches to catapult the name into the top 10 at Google Hot Trends, but it looks like it was all a clever red herring by those scamps at AMC. Well-played.
GMTA, Social Security edition

Here's Mark Halperin in Time Magazine: "Obama on Social Security: Ending Bipartisan Hopes"

In a move as predictable as Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown, Democrats are using Social Security scare tactics to gain ground before the November election.
Me, a year ago:

I suspect that the GOP is tired of playing Charlie Brown to the Democrats’ football-holding Lucy.
How come I can't get a big-shot deal at Time? It's all politics, I tell ya.
Deficits and the Iraq war - Instapundit has the chart of the day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Six schemes and stunts to solving Social Security's solvency

The New York Times featured a roundtable discussion on Social Security and invited six experts to discuss possible solutions to extend the program's long-term solvency. Curiously, I was not notified.

Monique Morrissey from the Economic Policy institute kicks off with the "LeBron James should pay more" argument. Cause, you know, he's rich! What's another million to him? As I've noted many, many times before, Social Security is a system in which Americans receive a benefit roughly proportional to the taxes paid in. It's a universal system, possibly the only one left in government and FDR set up the system with a tax/benefit cap because he knew Americans wouldn't stand for John D. Rockefeller receiving a big check every month.

Ms. Morrissey, however, seems to suggest that LeBron will get that big check: "Next year, people like Mr. James would pay slightly more than they pay now while eventually receiving slightly higher benefits." To which I respond with an eye-roll: "yeah, right." The political pressure to rob LeBron James of his enhanced benefit upon retirement would be too great for any populist politician to ignore. Call it the "Paris Hilton benefit" and you're done.

Next, Estelle James of the National Center for Policy Analysis writes that we should adopt "Chile's Way." I need to brush up on my Chile system, but it seems that it's like a 401(k) system administered by the government. Most importantly, it doesn't punish retirees for continuing to work past 65:

Chile has a public retirement system, but after retirement age - 65 for men, 60 for women - people who keep working are no longer required to contribute to a pension fund. This increases their net wages, strongly encouraging them to continue working. Since 1981, when Chile put the system in place, labor force participation rates for men ages 65 to 70 have risen 13 percentage points.
It's long been my position that Social Security was meant to help elderly workers who could no longer do the labor of the Depression era. We're not a nation of ditch diggers and washwomen anymore. The government has set up a system where (with today's life expectancies) we subsidize a third of a lifetime in retirement.

Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) panders to his constituency with "Keep up with retirees' costs." This is a non-starter, unworthy of review.

On the more serious side on the fiscal argument, Harvard professor Robert Pozen proposes "Cut benefits, but do it fairly." This plan involves progressive indexing where richer retirees would have their benefits cut because they've already saved quite enough in 401(k) or IRA plans. The obvious counter argument here is that this is the classic "Grasshopper and the Ant" moral hazard scenario. Plus – once again with feeling – it ends Social Security as a universal plan and turns it into another welfare program.

Former Treasury official Bruce Bartlett urges an increase in the retirement age in "62 is too young." Bartlett focuses on the scaling of benefits depending on the retirement age but I prefer raising the age to 70 because, once again, Americans are living so much longer than in the 1930's and manual work is not the same as 80 years ago.

Finally, NY Times columnist Roger Lowenstein suggests we need "Plenty of young people." Sandwiched between a mountain of snark for people like me who are crazy enough to think Social Security is a bad deal for future generations (pssst! It is!) Lowenstein suggests we just need to lighten the demographic load with massive immigration:

We should also make use of a perfectly legal way to steal other societies’ young people - by legalizing undocumented immigrants and permitting more immigration. It would be a foolproof way to lessen the actuarial load. In contrast, societies that go the closed-door route (see Japan) guarantee that their own citizens will be working overtime to support Grandma and Grandpa.
That last bit is straight out of Mark Steyn's "America Alone." Steyn would be one of those demographic-crazed nutcases that Lowenstein so desperately would like dismiss if it weren't for all his inconvenient facts and statistics.

Unfortunately, nobody – even as a joke – said "Soylent Green."

Extra - In case you missed it, here's a roundup from last week.
Hey Democrats, it'd be a shame if you had a distraction right before the midterms - Hot Air: "Blagojevich on retrial: Hey maybe I'll call Rahm and Harry Reid - and Obama - to testify."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Summertime, and the livin' is easy - When is the official end to "Recovery Summer"? Labor Day? Whew.
Failure is an orphan - Opinion Journal: "Who's Obamacare's Daddy?"

Friday, August 20, 2010

Shock (poll) and WA - Freedom's Lighthouse reports that Dino Rossi leads Patty Murphy Murray in the latest Washington State poll. Uh-oh, what does this mean for "As goes Washington, so goes the nation"?

Update - Fixed spelling. Thanks reader!

More - From Strata-Sphere.
Great moments in Photoshopped advertising - Boing Boing: "Tiny kids hired as models for inflatable swimming pool photo."

This reminds me of a nifty piece of trivia: in the final scene of "Casablanca" Rick is seen walking out of an airplane hanger where mechanics are working on a plane. But since the movie was shot entirely on a sound set, the plane is actually a scaled-down model and the workers are midgets. You can look it up.

Special Viking Pundit note: Des! Did you get my last email? I think your Earthlink address is defunct. Thinking of you and good trivia.
Social Security roundup

There have been some interesting developments this week, so let's review. First of all, President Obama was in Ohio fielding questions including a fat pitch on Social Security's future. Here's how the non-partisan web site FactCheck characterized his comments in "Obama's (latest) Social Security whopper"

We find the President's claim to be mostly false.
And they flashed back to the 2008 election:

Back then, Obama waited until less than two months before Election Day to make his distorted Social Security claims. This time he’s starting earlier.
Well, desperate times and all.

Meanwhile, US News writer Brandon Greife notes: "With very little fanfare Social Security turned 75 last week. Sadly, I seriously question whether it will be around for my 75th birthday." Keith Hennessey sees a "coming Democratic split on Social Security." Forbes writes: "At 75, Social Security isn't aging well." Veronique DeRugy has a good graph showing the explosion in entitlement spending. The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House commission on the deficit is set to recommend a compromise on Social Security's fiscal future and Hit and Run wonders if the AARP is on board.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Unexpected quote of the day

Here's a comment from FireDogLake in response to news today that new jobless claims jumped unexpectedly:
"Somebody should do something."
Ha-ha, yeah somebody. But not this guy: "President Obama, first family, kick off vacation on Martha's Vineyard."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I said "MORE TEENS SUFFER FROM HEARING LOSS!" - Boston Globe: "More teens suffer from hearing loss." Cellphones and ear buds.
This is all I'm gonna say about the NYC mosque

I understand the concern and outrage of those who feel that the "Ground Zero" Cordoba House is an affront to the 3,000 Americans who died on 9/11. But we live in a land of laws and - as far as I know - the Islamic leaders purchased the plot fair-and-square and they have the right under the First Amendment to practice their religion. I'd like to believe that America is better than Saudi Arabia where they freak out over a lower case "t".

That said, I think the people of New York City might have some input on the matter and I'd like to get a more detailed accounting of exactly where the money for this multi-million dollar "culture center" is coming from.

Finally: if that Times Square bomb had gone off, we would never be having this debate. Not a chance.

Related - Washington Examiner: "Save us Dubya!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If you hated the bank bailout...

...wait until we're sending 'em $1 trillion/year in interest payments:

That's the upshot of this graph from today's Wall Street Journal article "Voters back tough steps to reduce budget deficit." If you think of the national debt as the balance on your credit card, the net interest is the minimum payment due which will be an estimated whopping $1 trillion/year in 2020 once all the Baby Boomers are on the dole.

What do we get for that trillion dollars? Not a shiny new aircraft carrier, not an army of Border Patrol officers, not even a clean new bed at the VA Hospital. We get to maintain our credit rating, backed by the "full faith" of the U.S. government. Whoopee.
Good question - Flopping Aces: "Will Republicans have the stones to put Uncle Sam in the unemployment line?"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wheels up on Air Force One - Obama flies in, sets up his teleprompter and tells the Gulf Coast "we are not going anywhere" until the clean-up job is finished...then hightails it out of there. It's called leadership, people.
There's no problem with Social Security until 2037 then - whoops! - there's a problem

I'm so tired of Enron advisors like Paul Krugman who not only insist that Social Security is in great shape but that, if you disagree with that statement, you just want to destroy the program for ideological reasons. Stephen Spruiell counters the little guy's latest in "Flimflam from the Master Himself."

Spruiell lays out the simple and undeniable fact that the way the program is structured demands large payments from the general budget: "...the money has to come from somewhere: QED, higher taxes, fewer benefits, or a combination of both." This year we're seeing the first taste of Social Security's imbalance as the program cashed in $41 billion in Treasury IOUs. Where's the rest of the money going to come from once Baby Boomers start hitting the golf links in droves? It's a question begging for real answers, not empty political rhetoric.

Extra - WashPost: "Whatever the deniers say, Social Security needs reform soon." Why "soon"? Because if we take reasonable steps like raising the retirement age to scale with life expectancy, it will give younger workers a chance to adjust accordingly. Otherwise, in 2037 or so, it's "sorry, here's an automatic 25% cut in benefits."

In other words: there's an iceberg ahead. What say we start turning the wheel now?

More - Dean's World: "That is a real crisis, and when Krugman claims otherwise he isn't merely making a bad argument, he is delusional."
Churchill and Obama - Remember that mini-controversy when Barack Obama returned the Oval Office bust of Winston Churchill back to the Brits? Welllll....he might have had a good reason. (H/T Arts & Letters)
The nanny state, again

To paraphrase WB Yeats: "What new proscription, it's hour come round at last, slouches towards San Francisco to be born?" Yes, it's the scourge of Happy Meals:
A bottled water ban? OK. No more regular Coke and Pepsi in government vending machines? All right, if we have to. But no more Happy Meals?

That's the ban that San Francisco is mulling over. Some city supervisors say the toys in McDonald's Happy Meals unfairly lure children to eat unhealthy food.
All I can say is that now that Obamacare has intertwined the health interests of all Americans, maybe this isn't such a bad idea. Clearly a complete ban on smoking must be on the table, followed by compulsory morning exercise.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Almost a staycation - Well, I just got back from a weekend camping trip. Played some miniature golf, won $4 in bingo, ate a Klondike bar. Meanwhile: "Obamas announce fifth vacation since July." Martha's Vineyard sounds like fun.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

One list I'm happy I didn't make - Right Wing Nut House: "The top 43 dumbest conservative bloggers."

I (wisely) didn't participate in the Right Wing News poll of the "worst Americans" because I knew it would bring out the lowest-common-denominator. It's absolutely silly to put Obama or Jimmy Carter upon this list when - oh, I don't know - Robert E. Lee alone is responsible for prolonging a war that killed 2% of the entire U.S. population.

I know I'm not the most popular conservative blogger by a long shot, but I'm glad to have avoided this latest nonsense.

More - From National Review.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Louis Jordan...why not?

Correcting Krugman - It's been said by somebody that you shouldn't teach a pig to sing since you just waste your time and annoy the pig. The same object lesson in futility applies to former Enron advisor Paul Krugman who never admits fault under any circumstances. That said, both Paul Ryan and Megan McArdle have pushed back against the NYT columnist. Will the little guy admit he's been incorrect and/or lying? Don't hold your breath. McArdle: "Krugman is wrong on Ryan and the CBO."
Headline of the day - Wired: "Why Google became a carrier-humping, net neutrality surrender monkey."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Revolving debt – WashPost "Social Security, the trust fund and funny money": "When Social Security's cash deficits begin running more than $100 billion a year within a decade, it's going to take a lot of money to keep the checks coming. And it sure won't be funny."

Extra - From Hot Air.
POTUS is 12

From "The Office":

Pam: "The warehouse got a ping pong table last week. Now Jim comes down and plays with Darryl. Sometimes I bring him juice. My boyfriend is 12."
And here's today's WashPost: "The jock in chief, getting his fill of sports?"

"You must always remember that the president is about 6."

This advice was offered more than 100 years ago by a British friend of Teddy Roosevelt's. The nation has matured since then, and so has the presidency. Now the president is about 12.
Obama's extended birthday celebration was a welcome change from his brutal work schedule:

According to unofficial presidential statistician Mark Knoller of CBS News, Obama has left the White House to play basketball 16 times so far, in addition to the countless times he has played on his home court. He's shot 44 rounds of golf, gone fishing and played tennis. Total sporting-related events hosted at the White House: 45. That's about six times the number of news conferences he has held.

He's been to see the Nationals twice this year, the last time in June with Malia and Sasha to see the Nats play Obama's White Sox. Last week, he took Sasha to see the Washington Mystics of the WNBA at Verizon Center.

Obama's foes have mocked him for playing golf more often than his sports-mad predecessor, who played only 24 rounds during his entire eight-year presidency. "Obama skips Polish funeral, heads to golf course," was one Washington Times headline. Liberals who once mocked George W. Bush's "watch this drive" moment on the golf course now speak of the need for Obama to clear his head.
How much more head-clearing can the country take? Is this all just a big game to Obama, now that he can summon Lebron James to the White House for a game of one-on-one? Instead of taking some time for self-reflection, Obama and his buddy Rahm Emanuel are dreaming about opening a T-shirt stand in Hawaii.

Sweet mercy: stop playing "Madden 2011" with Drew Brees already and get to work.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Billy and Suzy and the "magic" paper - Keith Hennessey: "Understanding the Social Security Trustees report."
All those jerks won't pass my stuff - Pundit & Pundette: "Is Obama bored with his job?" Maybe it's time for a vacation.
Destined for stardom - Hot Air: "Awesome: Fed-up Jet Blue flight attendant curses out passengers, quits - then pops emergency chute and flees."

Do you know what turns this story from merely interesting to awwwe-some? He stole two beers from the galley as he made his escape. Nice! Return your seat to the upright position and get this guy his own TV show.
People won't do things that are too expensive

Fill a job: "Why I'm not hiring"
Have kids: "The Parent Trap"
Watch a Yankee game: "Yankees slash the price of top tickets"

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The new and improved Commerce Clause can save General Motors

Today's Boston Globe ran an editorial today about the high cost of the Chevy Volt and wondered if Americans will buy the $41,000 car: "Electric power, sticker shock"

But who will drive the Volt out of showrooms in late 2011? It will be $8,000 more costly than Nissan’s Leaf electric car, more than twice the price of conventional compact cars - and even more expensive than an entry-level Mercedes, BMW, or Audi. Leasing costs for the Volt are somewhat more competitive. But if General Motors wants the Volt to catch on, the purchase price must come down quickly.
And now the LA Times reports that rental car companies are planning to add Nissan Leafs (Leaves?) to their fleets:

Beginning as early as January, electric cars will be available at the nation's two largest auto rental companies.Enterprise Rent-A-Car, North America's largest car rental firm, unveiled plans last week to offer about 500 Nissan Leaf all-electric cars, initially at dealerships in Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland and Seattle.
The announcement came a few months after Hertz , the world's largest car rental company, said it planned to offer Nissan Leafs at a handful of locations in the U.S. and Europe, including New York, Washington and San Francisco, next year. A fully charged Leaf has a range of about 100 miles.
Since we've now established with Obamacare that Americans can be compelled to purchase something from a private company if it serves the government's interest, it's fairly obvious what Washington needs to do. We need to force the car-rental companies to cancel their orders to Nissan and purchase Chevy Volts. It's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Tim Riggins to the brig! - How about that season finale of "Friday Night Lights?" The Dillon Panthers get their comeuppance at the hands of Coach Taylor, the nerd-turns-hero Landry, love gained and lost. I always hear that FNL is on the verge of being cancelled but it's such a refreshing alternative from all the urban sitcoms featuring beautiful mid-20s actors sipping lattes.
The peasants are revolting

Why does the government seem so detached from ordinary Americans? It's part of the job:
Some perspective is in order: since July of 2007 when the effects of the subprime-mortgage meltdown started to reverberate throughout the financial sector, state governments have added 6,000 jobs. Local governments have shed 1,000 jobs. And the private sector has lost 7,760,000 jobs. By any measure, government workers have remained mostly insulated from the effects of the financial crisis.
The stimulus and son-of-stimulus have been largely in the form of aid to states, which just subsidize their budgets, leaving little for job creation. It looks like "Recovery Summer" has been postponed.

Friday, August 06, 2010

A sudden burst of lucidity - Megan McArdle notes that Paul Krugman makes a valid point about how the CBO scores legislation, then wonders where he's been hiding during the health care debate. The Minuteman noticed Krugman's same-ol' same ol' earlier in the day.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I think this means the unemployment numbers are going to be really bad tomorrow - Fox News: "Christina Romer, top economic adviser to Obama, to step down."

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Edged out by Connecticut - CNN has an interactive map of each state's debt per capita. Massachusetts just barely trails the Nutmeg State. And what's up with Hawaii? "States going deeper into debt."
The individual mandate is stupid, says Candidate Obama

Reason Online discusses the big MO and Obamacare's insurance requirement:

Throughout the health care debate, most polls on the subject found that the individual mandate, a key feature in the law’s nearly universal insurance scheme, was among the least popular provisions. And the fact that the electorate opposed such a provision by a significant margins had been well understood for years; as a candidate for president, Obama specifically opposed the mandate, saying,“If a mandate was the solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody buy a house.” But once in office, Obama flipped his position.
If most Americans disapprove of the health care reform now, how are they going to feel when the Obamacare taxes phase in? What a great law.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Missouri says "si" to Proposition C - The question on the Missouri ballot tonight may be largely symbolic since any challenge to Obamacare will have to work through the courts, but an overwhelming number of voters in the Show-Me state rejected the individual insurance mandate.

What will be the White House spin tomorrow? Only the crazies came out to vote? It was a meaningless temper tantrum? I think it's fair to state this plain fact: a lot of Americans really don't like this expansion of the Commerce Clause and they're going to vote both now and November.

Update - With almost 2/3rds of MO ballot reporting, the "Yes" vote leads 74.3% - 25.7%.

Extra - Background and updates from Hot Air.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Double double counting counting - Hit and Run: "Obama Administration doubles down on Obamacare double counting." It's that darn CBO again saying you can't both "save" and "spend" money.

Extra - From Vodkapundit. And this from Powerline: "If Obamacare is Constitutional, we have experienced the demise of limited government."

Related - SCOTUSblog gives a legal perspective on Judge Henry Hudson's decision to allow a Virginia lawsuit against Obamacare to go forward. I was heartened to read that the judge believed the Commerce Clause had been stretched beyond recognition - a new "watermark" as it were.
A temporary reprieve from Massachusetts casinos – Governor Patrick put his big foot down and said "no!" to slots in racetracks. You know, because they lead to addictive behavior, unlike all other forms of gambling in brightly-lit "resort" casinos.

After the construction jobs have been long gone, I look forward to all the great new businesses that spring up around casinos: pawn shops, "escort" services, gambling addiction centers, blackjack-dealer schools, flop houses, security services, etc. Hooray for jobs!
Life imitates "The Simpsons"

Judge: "I should put you away where you can't kill or maim us
"But this is L.A. and you're rich and famous!"
Who's skipping jail time and going to rehab today? Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen.
By popular demand - Just because it garners me so many comments, here's a follow-up from the Boston Globe: "Popular vote initiative draws critics."

I get the theory behind the PVI: national candidates spend all their time in swing states and ignore "solid" states like red Texas and blue Massachusetts. But it seems that the compact only shifts a candidate's campaign time to large-population states like California which would become the 800-pound gorilla in Presidential politics. I don't see why a Presidential candidate would spend more time in smaller states under PVI when California is going to be the "kingmaker" in any election.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Misty water-colored RAM of the way we were

Monty over at AoSHQ asked "What are y'all reading?" so I'll respond. I'm halfway through "Startup" by Jerry Kaplan, the former CEO of the GO Corporation. GO was trying to create a pen-based computer but it's pretty clear they were ahead of their time. To put it another way, they had a great idea but the hardware of the late-1980s just couldn't keep up:
"Cost is the other problem," Kevin [Doren] continued. "SRAM is expensive, about six hundred dollars a megabyte today."
You read right: megabyte. Makes me nostalgic for my TI-99/4A.