Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bad-ass Dora (with that girl from "Modern Family")

I thought this was great, esp. the "do you see Swiper?" part:

Friday, June 29, 2012

Official Viking Pundit prediction - You absolutely will not see another press conference by this President.    Everything will be carefully scripted and loaded onto TOTUS for delivery.
Time to buy gold - Zero Hedge: "Why the debt-dependent status quo is doomed in one chart."  "That is Greece, Spain, Italy, and eventually the entire debt-dependent global Status Quo."  Don't forget about Stockton, California, then California, then the U.S.
Just makin' stuff up - In case you missed the WashPost's Four Pinocchio award, now FactCheck says that the Obama campaign's allegation that Romney shipped jobs overseas is false.
Slouching towards a European system - Commentary: "Entitlements swallowing up Federal budget."

So the downside is: slow growth, high unemployment, expanding government, exploding debt and tiny cars.
The upside: croissants and coffee in little cups.
Binary - Weekly Standard: "This election just became about Obamacare."

Thursday, June 28, 2012

CNN hits a low then digs deeper - A couple of days after CNN reported their ratings have dropped 40% since last year, they totally blow the Supreme Court ruling today.
Also, if you could pick up that debt bill, that would be great - Hit & Run: "How Obamacare, like Medicare, royally screws young people."  Due to "community rating" young Americans will deeply subsidize Obamacare for healthcare that will be used by their elders.
Well played, Obama, well played

I just got home from work (end of quarter rush!) and I'm still digesting the Supreme Court ruling but here's the rundown as I see it:

Step #1 - Absolutely deny that the individual mandate is a tax.

Step #2 - Defend the mandate under the government's power to tax

Step #3 - Obamacare!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

All the cool kids are doing it

Well, I guess it's time to put it on the line and make a prediction about tomorrow's Obamacare ruling.  I'm not going to overthink it: the conservative justices were pretty transparent during oral arguments that they thought the Commerce clause has limits.  The individual mandate goes down 5-4.

Assume that this vote is decided first in the Court chambers.  Obamacare has so many intertwined clauses that it seems impossible the law could stand without the mandate tent-pole.  Plus, there's the germane matter that Obamacare was passed without a severability clause; under normal circumstances this means the whole law must be thrown out if one part is found unconstitutional.  Then again, the Court can rule however it chooses, so who knows?  But the justices must also know that if they let this mess stand in toto they'd just be inviting years of contentious new cases as everything unravels.  I say the whole law goes down 6-3.

One final prediction: SCOTUSBlog will have a record traffic day tomorrow.  I have spoken!

Extra - I also think the White House knows which way the ruling is leaning.

More - Another prediction: "The Internet will break and Twitter will crack under the strain."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Points for creativity - Hit & Run "North Las Vegas says deficit constitutes actual disaster."  "After five years of declining property taxes, massive layoffs and questionable spending, leaders of the blue-collar, family-oriented city outside Las Vegas declared a state of emergency, invoking a rarely used state law crafted for unforeseen disasters."  Wow, that's some serious chutzpah.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The madcap hijinks of Hollywood buffoons

Here's Matthew Continetti on Real Clear Politics "Hollywood's White House":
Obama’s reelection is the ultimate studio production, a sort of political It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World that costs millions, features a cast of thousands, and stars some of the biggest names of the day. However, like all screwball comedies, things are not going as the protagonist intends. The entertainment industry has captured Obama’s presidency, and shifted the national agenda onto terrain familiar to California and New York liberals, but unfavorable to the independent voters who will decide 2012.
Of course, there's a difference between "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" and the Left Coast liberals who heap praise and dollars upon Obama.  One is a group of California-soaked crazies who harbor a deranged obsession with getting the "big W."  The other is a movie.
What liberal media? - Anchoress: "CBS News writer goes off on NBC."  Like this: "You have worked long and hard to merit the suspicion, acrimony, mistrust and revulsion that the media-buying public increasingly heaps upon you."  Come to the blogs: we're not professionals.
The peoples' business - If it's Tuesday, it must be time for four fundraisers.  There will be two shows at the Peachtree Plaza.
Republicans: Resistance is futile!

It must be the pending Obamacare ruling but the wailing and rending of clothes is reaching an apex.  Here's Paul "One Note" Krugman blaming all our woes on...guess who.
So what does the Fed propose doing about the situation? Almost nothing. True, last week the Fed announced some actions that would supposedly boost the economy. But I think it’s fair to say that everyone at all familiar with the situation regards these actions as pathetically inadequate — the bare minimum the Fed could do to deflect accusations that it is doing nothing at all.
Why won’t the Fed act? My guess is that it’s intimidated by those...
Wait for it......
Congressional Republicans, that it’s afraid to do anything that might be seen as providing political aid to President Obama, that is, anything that might help the economy.
That's right: the Fed, an independent entity in our government, is cowed by the Tea Party nuts.  Who knew it could be so easy to make Ben Bernanke tremble into submission?  That's GOP Power, baby!

Then there's E.J. Dionne who opens this article by hoping for an "honest and complete discussion" about Obamacare.  Three paragraphs later he's asking: "Why do these Republicans keep talking about Obamacare?"
The ACA is the victim of a vicious cycle: Obamacare polls badly. Therefore, Democrats avoid Obamacare, preferring to talk about almost anything else, while Republicans and conservatives attack it regularly. This makes Obamacare's poll ratings even worse, which only reinforces the avoidance on the liberal side.
I, for one, will be flabbergasted if the Supreme Court rejects Nancy Pelosi's thorough and analytical defense on the legality of Obamacare: "Are you serious?"  Good show.

And the cherry on top is James Fallows' great Frisco freak-out that we're in the middle of a coup d'etat.  Well, I guess the secret is out: we Republicans purposely gave the Democrats a filibuster-proof two-year grace period because we were so sure they'd screw it up.  Step #2 was to engineer the largest midterm swing in Congressional power since 1938.  Step #3 was to make sure our buddies in the Supreme Court knock down Obamacare.

Step #4 is four months away but, so far, everything's on track.
One step closer to Idiocracy (brought to you by Carl's Jr.)

NY Times: "Cities consider selling ads as economic lifelines."
After Baltimore officials made the wrenching decision to close three fire companies later this summer, the City Council initially sought to avert the cuts with a new money-raising strategy: it passed a resolution this month urging the administration to explore selling ads on the city’s fire trucks.

Cities, they like the money.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

You know what would make your special day even more special?  Me. - Hot Air: "Because nothing says "wedding present" like a donation to the Obama campaign."

Extra - Ace: "This is weird, right?"  Um, yes.  So are the dinner raffles.

More - Twitchy: "Let them eat wedding cake - #ObamaGiftRegistrySlogans."
Back from Vermont - Had a great weekend camping in Vermont although we shall not talk about my luck at horseshoes.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stuff I didn't know until we elected a Constitutional Law professor President

1.) The Commerce Clause can make you buy stuff, even if you don't want it
2.) The President can make recess appointments when Congress isn't in recess
3.) Executive privilege to protect Presidential communications extends to conversations that never occurred
4.) The President can pick and choose which laws to defend
5.) The President can craft his own legislation
6.) Conservative super-PACs must reveal donors; liberal ones, not so much
7.) The President can kill Americans without due process

Four more Pinocchios for Team Obama

This time was for the Bain attack reboot and the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler makes a joke here:
The Obama campaign fails to make its case. On just about every level, this ad is misleading, unfair and untrue, from the use of “corporate raider” to its examples of alleged outsourcing.  Simply repeating the same debunked claims won’t make them any more correct
Ha-ha!  Clearly Glenn has never heard an Obama speech.
Supreme Court decisions - It wasn't the big Obamacare ruling today but the Court handed down decisions on four cases.  The invaluable SCOTUSBlog has a review.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This JOLT fails to stimulate

The Labor Department has the latest Jobs Outlook and Labor Turnover report and Zero Hedge says it's "ugly."  "The BLS April JOLTS survey was released earlier and it was ugly - of particular attention was the number of "job opening" which collapsed from 3.741MM to 3.416MM, a drop of 325,000, which just happens to be the biggest decline since May 2010. ... Adding to the dire jobs picture was the New Hires number which dropped by 160,000, the biggest sequential drop since April 2011, and finally separations, which after months of increases (remember: more separations is a good thing supposedly, meaning people are confident they can find better paying jobs elsewhere), had their biggest drop by 81,000, also the most since April 2011."  Combine this with the "unexpected" rise in jobless claims last week and the double-dip recession could be a real thing.

More - James Pethokoukis: "Is the U.S. economy losing jobs again?"

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tom Daschle pens a dumb article

This guy used to be Senate majority leader?  Over a Politico, he wants to remind us that "Health insurance isn't like broccoli."  First off, he says - gee whilikers - the only difference between other entitlement programs and Obamacare is the way it's funded:
The only difference between these mandates and the insurance mandate is that Congress chose to use its constitutional taxing authority, rather than the commerce clause, to enact them.
This raises the question: Would we even be having this debate if this administration and Congress had done the same?
No.  No we wouldn't because of that single word highlighted above.  But this administration could never pass the legislation with trillions in new taxes, so they dreamed up the individual mandate to tax (mostly younger and healthier) Americans by other means.  And as we all know, some people really hate to pay taxes.

Tom quickly turns away from this dead-end argument and back to broccoli:
But back to broccoli and Congress’s authority.
The power of this simple idea has its genesis in a trite bit of logic: “the nose under the tent” argument. If we require people to purchase health insurance, the reasoning goes, with that nose under the tent, why not broccoli next?
That logic comes as close to insulting one’s intelligence as anything I can imagine.
Yes, Congress could require Americans to purchase broccoli. But who would be stupid enough to even suggest it? Does anyone actually believe that we could find 60 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House to support it?
Is this guy serious?  It's a metaphor, Tom!  A metaphor that goes right to the heart of the question of whether the Commerce Clause has any limits.  Congress is not going to compel you to buy broccoli (I can't say the same about Brawndo.)

What remains is boilerplate mish-mash about how we could have this great new system if only we're willing to give up this tiny bit of our liberty.  It's all been said and will soon be disposed by next Monday's Supreme Court ruling.
It's always the messaging, never the policy - Politico: "Robert Redford: Democrats are bad storytellers."    During the Obamacare cramdown, Obama gave like a thousand speeches across the country selling this awful legislation and yet his golden voice failed to move the needle one bit.  So when the messaging doesn't work, it must be because we're living in a country full of Kansas bitter clingers.  Comforting to think so.
Cue the "malaise" speech - Red State: "We've reached the penultimate Jimmy Carter moment of the Obama presidency."  This crazy old democracy of ours is just ungovernable.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Finally on Father's Day - This is kinda big deal: after a four-year drought, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Michigan today.  And Junior Nation cheered. Amen.
Rockin' in my Dockers

Happy Father's Day!

Sign of the times - NJ Star Ledger: "Cursive slowly scribbled out of N.J. curriculums as computer skills gain value in schools."  I guess in the future we'll all sign documents with a barcode.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Anna Wintour suggests a fine Gruyere to go with that whine - Hot Air: "Obama: Republicans haven't 'lifted a finger' for job creation."  Said the guy who hasn't passed a budget, doesn't talk to anyone in Congress, and has attended more fundraisers than the previous five Presidents combined.  He jotted down his "to-do" list and that's about it.
Americans like the stuff they like, we don't know about that other stuff - American Interest: "Cocoon alert: WaPo on Obamacare."

Friday, June 15, 2012

Where the buck stops - Mark Steyn "Earthly woes mount as Obama's rhetoric soars": "Self-pity is never an attractive quality, and in an elected head of state even less so. Obama whines that his opponents say it's all his fault. One can argue about whose fault it is, but not, as my colleagues at National Review pointed out, whose responsibility it is: It's his. He's the only president we have. And he made things worse. He increased the national debt by some 70 percent, and what do we have to show for it? No dams, no railroads, no moon shots. Just government, and bureaucracy, and regulation, unto national bankruptcy."

Extra - Matt Continetti: "Obama's pity party."
No, and can we please stop pretending we can? - Hot Air: "Can we prevent a fiscal collapse without reforming entitlements?"  The "baseline scenario" is not an answer.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Michael, Sam and Fiona - Time for "Burn Notice"!  Yay!
One-trick pony

Here's First Read this morning:
In the five years since Barack Obama has become a fixture on the national stage, he has followed this script when the going gets tough: He gives a speech. .... In THIS speech, per the campaign, the president will mention (as he’s said before at some recent fundraisers) the stark contrast on the economy between the two presidential candidates, and he’ll say that this election has the chance to “break the stalemate” between the two parties on how to fix the economy and pay down the debt. Here’s the thing about Obama’s speeches, though: This appears to be his team’s only play sometimes. They’ve worked in the past, of course. But the question becomes: If you continually give a speech when your back is against the wall, does it inevitably have less of an impact?
Judging by the reaction by the media, I would say this one is a bust.  Put aside the predictive models of election results based on disposable income or consumer confidence.  There's also what I call the "living room" threshold where Americans ask themselves: "do I want this guy in my living room (on the TV) for four years?"  Obama has had consistently high personal approval ratings but in this election season he's quickly become a hectoring bore.  Gone are the "hope and change" of 2008, now it's all whining, blame-shifting, and fantasy rhetoric.

Don't worry: the Democrats are slaves to the notion that Americans are dull drones and improved "messaging" will carry the day.  So there will be blood more speeches.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The speeches will continue until morale improves

Old and busted: I'll be "held accountable" if I don't turn around the economy in three years.

New hotness: Did I say three years?  I meant eight.

Less college than country club - Via Fark, Time magazine has a photoessay on "The evolution of the college dorm."  The early days of Harvard, students (male) had to chop and transport their own firewood.  Now colleges are in an arms race to pile on amenities.
His own private reality

I caught this on Commentary: "Obama entering a world all his own"
What is fairly astonishing in all this is the utter lack of self-awareness by the president. A jolting collision is occurring between his own self-conception (Obama views himself as a world-historical figure and Great Man) and the multiple and multiplying failures of his presidency. Obama appears incapable of processing the truth or coming to grips with reality. And so he’s spinning tales day after day, including his fantastic (and thoroughly discredited) claim that “Since I’ve been president, federal spending has risen at the lowest pace in nearly 60 years.”
Is Obama really still repeating this thoroughly-debunked bunkum?  Well, according the White House web page, yes he is, as of yesterday:
Even after you factor in all the work that we did to prevent us from slipping into a depression, the pace of growth of government spending is lower under my administration than it has been in the last 50 years. 
You have to wonder about this guy.  Mickey Kaus took note of Obama's enthusiastic embrace of this "skinflint" persona:
Does Obama really not have an intuitive feeling for how much he’s been spending? That’s a little like not remembering how much sex you’re having. He’s the one doing the spending, after all. Even if he wasn’t, you’d think an ordinary BS detector would kick in.
Forget it, Mick.  It's Obamatown.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Back into the deep red - Zero Hedge: "The US 'budget surplus' miracle is over: $125 billion deficit in May."  We're well on our way towards another trillion-dollar deficit for the year.  Why did we order that steak?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Commerce secretary has seizure, foreign car

John Bryson, the Obama administration Commerce secretary seemed to have had an incident this past weekend where he hit a couple cars.  That's not funny, but this is:
Bryson, 68, was driving alone in a Lexus in San Gabriel, a community of about 40,000 northeast of Los Angeles, when he struck the rear of a vehicle that had stopped for a passing train, authorities said.
So we have a Commerce secretary who drives a Toyota and an Energy secretary who is indifferent to gas prices because he doesn't drive at all.  Who says the Obama administration is out of touch?
Looks like it's going to be an early night for me - Dang, the Devils are down 3-0 after the first period.  It's looking like the L.A. Kings are going to win their first-ever Stanley Cup championship.
This is all he does now

Ace: "Obama: I didn't come to Wisconsin because I was "too busy."

Obama's schedule for June 12th: six fundraisers.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Too busy for Wisconsin or Finland - Mark Steyn "Our Celebrity President": "There are monarchies and republics aplenty, but there’s only one 24/7 celebrity fundraising presidency. If it’s Tuesday, it must be Kim Cattrall, or Hootie and the Blowfish, or Laverne and Shirley, or the ShamWow guy . . . I wonder if the Queen ever marvels at the transformation of the American presidency since her time with Truman. Ah, well. If you can’t stand the klieg-light heat of Obama’s celebrity, stay out of the Beverly Wilshire kitchen."

Sorry, Mr. Prime Minister!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

College in the 21st century - George Will says it's suffering from curriculum drift while Frontline reports that it's now a full-out profit chase.
Today's tech tip - So about a month ago, my son's Samsung Evergreen got the "white screen of death."  That is, his cell phone screen was completely white all the time: during charging, start-up, and operation.  He doesn't think he dropped it but he did have it out during a rainy track meet.  Hmmm...

I checked tech support but the answers ranged from "pop out the battery" to "you're screwed."  So I swapped out the SIM card to an old cellphone and put his Evergreen aside until I could get to the AT&T store where - almost certainly - they would help me by telling me "it's busted."  But then today I turned it on and it's working fine.  I swapped back his SIM card and everything's back to normal.

My word of advice when you get the white screen problem: it may be caused by moisture in the phone.  Let it dry out for a week and try again.
The definition of insanity - Opinion Journal: "The President on growth": "The fair if depressing takeaway from Mr. Obama's press conference is that he continues to believe, despite three and a half years of failure, that more government spending is the key to faster growth and that government really doesn't need to reform. This is how you get a jobless rate above 8% for 40 months and the weakest economic recovery in 60 years."

Friday, June 08, 2012

Time for summer reruns

WashPost: "Obama suggests economic fundamentals are strong, an argument John McCain once made."  To much ridicule by the 2008 Obama campaign.  This is what happens when you go off-teleprompter.

I was home today and caught Obama's press conference and I was less-struck by his obvious gaffe than by the same-ole-same-ole feeling: "oh, that darn Congress" and "headwinds in Europe."  On that score, Victor Davis Hanson has it right: "He cannot outline a vision of economic recovery without blaming someone or something for his current problems."

Extra - Commentary: "Team Obama's third-rate performance."

More - From Q&O.

Flashback - This is from National Journal in February: "Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg is out with a must-read polling memo this morning, which offers some eye-opening advice to President Obama and his re-election team.  After testing several of the president's economic messages, he finds the argument that the economy is back on the right track polls miserably - and "produces disastrous results."

Thursday, June 07, 2012

You're gonna need a bigger chart

Legal Insurrection: "Bring bigger charts."  The CBO pretty much admits that can't calculate our future debt load if we don't make difficult choices on taxing and spending.  So, you know, that's the most likely scenario.
You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows - Interesting: citizens voted down a tax increase on a small and vilified minority then voted to curtail runaway government costs in...California.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Obamacare was more important than fixing the economy

This is a potent line of attack by the Romney campaign, combining Obama's negligence/ineptness on the economy with his much-hated legislation.  It was all about "making history" for the One.  In response, Noam Scheiber responds to Romney interpretation of his book with, well, you can't call it a contradiction:
I argue that Obama really was more focused on long-term, historically significant accomplishments than marginal, near-term differences in the pace of the recovery. On some level, Obama was prepared to accept (and I’m making up these numbers for argument’s sake) three years of painfully high unemployment with health care reform rather than 30 months of painfully high unemployment without it. And the reason is the one Summers alluded to (before disputing): Health care was simply more historically important than avoiding those extra six months of pain. 
Obama never shuts up about inheriting the worst economy since the Depression but as soon as he checked the box with his useless stimulus, it was time to set his rendezvous with history.  America would just have to "accept" the pain, lie back and think of Obama.
Our agent has been exposed - Hot Air: "Let's face it, Bill Clinton's a double-agent for the GOP."

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

CNN tries to build suspense on WI recall, fails, cuts to the Queen - Hit and Run: "CNN's squeaker looks not so squeaky."  Most everybody called the race after an hour and, as up this writing, Scott Walker is up by 15% which is way more than most polls indicated heading into this recall race.
Working hard to save exactly one job

Via White House Dossier, here's Obama's schedule for tomorrow:

9:20 am ET || Departs the White House
11:45 am PT || Arrives San Francisco
12:20 pm PT || Attends a fundraiser; Landmark Tower, San Francisco
2:15 pm PT || Delivers remarks at a fundraiser; Julia Morgan Ballroom, San Francisco, San Francisco
3:15 pm PT || Departs San Francisco
4:20 pm PT || Arrives Los Angeles
7:15 pm PT || Delivers remarks at a fundraiser; Beverly Wilshire Hotel; Beverly Hills, California
8:55 pm PT || Delivers remarks at a fundraiser; private residence; Beverly Hills, California

He's really padding that record of his.
Baby Boomers + institutional inertia = bankruptcy - Hot Air: "CBO report: U.S. debt will be two-times GDP by 2037."

Monday, June 04, 2012

"The money you pay into Social Security is not yours" - Zero Hedge says you shouldn't expect it back: "The Lie that is Social Security."
On Wisconsin! - Heard this on NPR today: the Republicans didn't have a great ground game in Wisconsin but, thanks to the intense national attention on the Scott Walker recall election, now they do.

For all your Wisconsin coverage, check out Badger State blogger Ann Althouse, who has been on top of the Walker-Barrett race for months now.

Extra - WSJ: "The Wisconsin recall stakes."

Saturday, June 02, 2012

A New Jersey native in Western Massachusetts - I've always been a Devils fan (although I rooted for the Bruins when they made the Stanley Cup Finals) but I'm definitely in the minority here.  The LA Kings goalie is Jonathan Quick who graduated from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst.  Boy, he's been good so far.

Don't mess with the Devils!
Not just Solyndra - Heritage Action: "Can President Obama name ONE clean energy success?"

Friday, June 01, 2012

Another bad number - Hey, between the unemployment rate and the stock market, let's add this one from Zero Hedge: "US debt soars by $54 billion overnight."
The sun'll come up tomorrow - Hot Air: "White House on disastrous job report: Problems won't be solved 'overnight'."  "Anyone want to try defining “overnight” for me, just so that we have a rule of thumb going forward? On Inauguration Day, I would have accepted “2009″ or even “his first two years in office” as plausible answers. Instead, five months out from election day, somehow dawn still has yet to break."

Well, I seem to recall that the original line-in-the-sand was three years.  There must be a "headwinds" proviso.
What? The hot surface ignitor? The solenoid valve? - NY Times: "Obama's 'thingamajig' offers cure for boredom if not the economy."

Extra - From Doug Ross.
Elizabeth Warren doubles-down on ridiculous

In a lengthy interview in the Boston Globe, Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren stands with a fist: "I won't deny who I am."  Oh, and by the way, I remember that I did tell Harvard and UPenn that I was Cherokee, but it had nothing to do with diversity hiring and it's just a coincidence that I stopped listing myself as a minority after getting tenure.  Because Elizabeth Warren is proud - so very proud - of her heritage.
Similarly, asked why she never raised her Native American roots with Globe reporter Noah Bierman when he met with Warren in Oklahoma City for a three-thousand word story on her upbringing, published in February, she replied softly, “Noah didn’t ask.’’
This fellow really cares about just one job - White House Dossier: "Obama to hold six fundraisers in one day."  I hope he can squeeze in a round of golf.

Extra - From Jammie Wearing Fools.