Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Afternoon Cigar

Santa Damiana - #2 in as many days!

Friday, May 29, 2009

From Wednesday's Pravda

Author, Stanislav Mishin - Russian blogger who knows his history:

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system...
Then their faith in God was destroyed...
The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

Article - link.

U/T: Drudge

UPDATE 5.30: Added Stanislav's link and some more text from the article.

Stanislav Mishin's Blog: Mat Rodina. Check it out! His perspective, from Russia looking into the US, brings clarity that is rare among conservative writers and bloggers in the US.

Friday Evening Cigar

Opened a new box of Santa Damianas today.

Have a great weekend!

Karl's Weekend Reading

First, a simplified analysis tool for reviewing Obama's policies, then two articles on the Sotomayor nomination:

Bret Stephens at the WSJ writes, Obama and the Underpants Gnomes. In reference to a South Park episode where gnomes steal underwear, stockpile it with plans to resell it. The Gnomes follow a three-phase process: 1) steal underwear, 2) ??, 3) profit. Bret compares this incomplete model that relies on blind faith to several Obama initiatives:

Closing Guantanamo -
Phase One: Order Guantanamo closed. Phase Two: ? Phase Three: Close Gitmo!

Middle East Peace -
Phase One: Talk to Iran, Syria, whoever. Phase Two: ? Phase Three: Peace!

North Korea Nukes -
Phase One: Propose a "structure." . . .

Energy Policy -
Phase One: Inaugurate the era of "green" energy. Phase Two: Overturn the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Phase Three: Carbon neutrality!

Deficit -
Phase One: Approve $3.5 trillion in government stimulus, and then await the mythical Keynesian multiplier.

Detroit -
Phase One: Set a national mileage standard for passenger cars of 39 miles per gallon and force auto makers to make the kind of cars that drove them to bankruptcy in the first place.

Kimberley Strassel makes a 'compelling' case for looking beyond Sonia Sotomayer for an example of an American that overcomes significant obstacles on their way to the highest court in the land in her WSJ article, The Sotomayor Rules:

[Obama says] it is Judge Sotomayor's biography that uniquely qualifies her to sit on the nation's highest bench -- that gives her the "empathy" to rule wisely. Judge Sotomayor agrees: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn't lived that life," she said in 2001.

If so, perhaps we can expect her to join in opinions with the wise and richly experienced Clarence Thomas. That would be the same Justice Thomas who lost his father, and was raised by his mother in a rural Georgia town, in a shack without running water, until he was sent to his grandfather. The same Justice Thomas who had to work every day after school, though he was not allowed to study at the Savannah Public Library because he was black. The same Justice Thomas who became the first in his family to go to college and receive a law degree from Yale.

By the president's measure, the nation couldn't find a more empathetic referee than Justice Thomas.

Charles Krauthammer, Townhall, Sotomayor: Criticize, then Confirm:

He [Frank Ricci of Ricci v. DeStefano] placed sixth on the lieutenant's exam, which qualified him for promotion. Except that the exams were thrown out by the city, and all promotions denied, because no blacks had scored high enough to be promoted.
Sotomayor was a member of the three-member circuit court panel that upheld the dismissal of his case, thus denying Ricci his promotion.
Since the 2008 election, people have been asking what conservatism stands for. Well, if nothing else, it stands unequivocally against justice as empathy -- and unequivocally for the principle of blind justice.

Empathy is a vital virtue to be exercised in private life -- through charity, respect and lovingkindness -- and in the legislative life of a society where the consequences of any law matter greatly, which is why income taxes are progressive and safety nets built for the poor and disadvantaged.
When the hearings begin, Republicans should call Frank Ricci as their first witness. Democrats want justice rooted in empathy? Let Ricci tell his story and let the American people judge whether his promotion should have been denied because of his skin color in a procedure Sotomayor joined in calling "facially race-neutral."

Cartoons from American Thinker.


More evidence comes in every day that the Chrysler dealerships chosen for closing were chosen based on their owners' political donations. The silent majority of the right is still slumbering, but the legal ramifications of these targeted closings can derail Obama's preferred bankruptcy outcome. We'll see.

Doug Ross, one of the most talented bloggers on our blogroll, has been leading this story with fantastic research and analysis. Others are contributing too - and Doug links to them in his posts.

Here is a sample of Doug's analysis in the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit. The dealership in the center that will remain open is owned by RLJ, the others owned by non-Obama supporters:

RLJ's owners "are Steve Landers (long-time car dealer, 4th-generation dealer), Thomas "Mack" McLarty (former Chief of Staff for President Clinton), and Robert Johnson (founder of Black Entertainment Television and co-owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats)... McLarty campaigned for Obama in 2008, and Johnson has given countless amounts of money to Democrats over the years."

To date only one dealership whose owner contributed to Obama has shown up on the cut list. The owner gave $200 to the Obama campaign. Obviously not enough...

Here are Doug's posts so far:

May 25: RED ALERT: Did anti-Obama campaign contributions dictate which Chrysler dealers were shuttered?
May 27: Dealergate: Stats demonstrate that Chrysler Dealers likely shuttered on a partisan basis
May 28: Closing Chrysler's Dealerships: The Reader's Digest Version

Uncle Joe would be proud.

UPDATE 8:30pm: Doug's post from today: Dealergate: 40 Democrat-friendly Dealerships Become 42 After The Dust Settles; Their Competition Gutted As Well

UPDATE 6.1: More posts from May 31 that show it isn't just Obama supporters that are keeping their dealerships:
RED ALERT: Dealergate -- Quantitative Analysis Indicates Clinton Donors Rewarded By Selective Closings
Dealergate: Zero Hedge understated 'The Clinton Effect'

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday Afternoon Cigar

Rain Delay. The sprinkles started just before we could light our Romeo Y Julieta. Standing by...

Sonia Sotomayer


Ricci v. DeStefano - Reverse Racism case where Sotomayor and two other judges ruled against white firefighters who were denied promotion despite exam scores that placed them at the top. In review at the Supreme Court.

Riverkeeper v. EPA - Supreme Court overruled her 2007 decision stating the EPA could not use cost-benefit analysis to determine technology upgrades.

Merrill Lynch v. Dabit - Supreme Court overruled her 2006 decision "that a state class-action lawsuit was not pre-empted by federal law".




"Elections have consequences", so says Rush Limbaugh. We concur. Let Obama nominate who he wants. But also let the opposition expose this nominee as an anti-constitutionalist who will legislate from the bench. Let's have a nomination process to learn more about Sonia Sotomayer. We'll see if our fellow Americans pay attention.

WSJ: The 'Empathy' Nominee:

In making Sonia Sotomayor his first nominee for the Supreme Court yesterday, President Obama appears to have found the ideal match for his view that personal experience and cultural identity are the better part of judicial wisdom.

This isn't a jurisprudence that the Founders would recognize, but it is the creative view that has dominated the law schools since the 1970s and from which both the President and Judge Sotomayor emerged.

A View Over the Wall

Evan Ramstad writes in the WSJ on Friday, May 22, Gulags, Nukes and Water Slide: Citizen Spies Lift North Korea's Veil. A great piece about George Mason University's doctoral candidate Curtis Melvin's work with Google Earth to map the concentration camps and other landmarks in North Korea using Google Earth.

Melvin and others have mapped Gulags, mass-burial sites, compounds of the elites and other sites with the Google Earth tool. Many of the sites include secret sites that were found after hours of staring at the satellite images, following roads or power lines to remote locations where they then find a guard tower. Fascinating. Imagine if this had been available during the Cold War.

Below is a screenshot of concentration camp Kwan Li So 16. Notice the nuclear testing site just outside the camp's perimeter to the West.

Download the file from North Korea Economy Watch - here.

"Mob Rule"

"Mob Rule". The term used in a recent discussion with a gay California gentleman in his assessment of the 52% vote November in favor of Proposition 8. He was comforted by the fact that the California Supreme Court was near its decision to reverse the will of the voters and make gay marriage legal. Oops.

Who here objects to this union?

Apparently 6 of the 7 extremely liberal justices.

Another example of how factions within the Democratic party get screwed by their own. And a respite in the endless attack against the traditional family and values that made this country great.

We'll watch the protests to see which side of this issue, if any, behaves like a "mob".

We'll also encourage California gays to consider moving to one of the gay-friendly states like Howard Dean's Vermont or Susan Collin's Maine.

Couple picture from ZombieTime (with regrets & apology).

Justice picture from Drudge.

UPDATE 5.29:

Zombie attended a gay march on Tuesday in San Francisco. No mob here... Click here to see his report and pictures.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

NK Nuke Test - Our $0.02

Good for North Korea.

They have been part of the nuclear club since the Clinton years. It is their right to test their arsenal and make improvements. If only leaders in the US (both parties) shared the same values of testing the nation's ultimate deterrent.

Further, we are lucky that Obama is president as North Korea is ratcheting-up the rhetoric along with missile and nuke tests. His administration's combined incompetence and impotence in foreign affairs creates the unintended, yet ideal, environment for a North Korean collapse. Obama will not do a thing. Not by choice, but because he committed to a lower priority for N. Korea long before he took office. He must have at least one smart advisor who has made the case that nearly any effort applied to N. Korea is wasted. The only options that would work are not possible when a Democrat is in the White House.

We'll now watch the UN write another letter strenuously opposed at the nuke test, and Obama explain how he is 'deeply troubled' at the recent events. Then, if we're lucky, that will be it. Why? Reason #3.

Gordon G. Chang writes in the WSJ today, North Korea Advertises Its Nukes. He reviews the four accepted motivations for the nuke and missile tests, plus adds a new, very serious, fifth reason. We add our assessments:

1) International recognition as a nuclear state. Success.
2) Destabilize the S. Korean government. Fail. The test bolsters the South's new hardline opinions.
3) Get more foreign aid. Pending. Will Obama rush to the table and offer more aid? We suspect not.
4) Improve image among starving population. Unknown. We think they'd prefer freedom to nuke tests, but we're biased.
5) Advertise N. Korea arms to Iran, Syria, etc. Success.

We'll add three more:

6) Show fellow thug-nation-states that the International community is all talk. Success, again.
7) Show fellow thug-nation-states that N. Korea is their de-facto leader. Success.
8) Re-establish Kim's position as the leader of N. Korea. Unknown.

It has been rumored that there is a power struggle within Kim's regime. His recent stroke is one aspect, as are the roles of his two sons in the succession plans. This dissension isn't among factions that include pro-west efforts, but are instead thug-power-plays to determine who runs the concentration camps after Kim's death.

These tests show the desperation at the top levels of the North Korean regime. The US's new lack of interest led to these tests, will lead to more desperate rhetoric and actions in the near future, and will hasten the demise of the communist prison-nation.

The only important question: Will a North Korean collapse include a mushroom cloud over Seoul?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday Evening Cigar

We finished Atlass Shrugged with a CAO Brazilia.

More from Atlas Shrugged, P. 1010:

You have cried that man's sins are destroying the world and you have cursed human nature for its unwillingness to practice the virtues you demanded. Since virtues, to you, consists of sacrifice, you have demanded more sacrifices at every successive disaster. In the name of a return to morality, you have sacrificed all those evils which you held as the cause of your plight. You have sacrificed justice to mercy. You have sacrificed independence to unity. You have sacrificed reason to faith. You have sacrificed wealth to need. You have sacrificed self-esteem to self-denial. You have sacrificed happiness to duty.

...and page 1082 - relevant to today perhaps?:

The wads of worthless paper money were growing heavier in the pockets of the nation, but there was less and less for that money to buy. In September, a bushel of wheat had cost eleven dollars; it had cost thirty dollars in November; it had cost one hundred in December; it was now approaching the price of two hundred - while the printing presses of the government treasury were running a race with starvation, and losing.

...and page 1125, a looter's promise:

Don't you ever again, any of you, start doubting or running or giving up! Tomorrow is here today - and what a tomorrow! With three meals a day for everyone on earth, with a car in every garage, and with electric power given free, produced by some sort of a motor the like of which we've never seen! And all you have to do is just be patient a little while longer! Patience, faith and unity - that's the recipe for progress! We must stand united among ourselves and united with the rest of the world, as a great big happy family, all working for the good of all! We have found a leader who will beat the record of our richest and busiest past! It's his love for mankind that has made him come here - to serve you, proect you and take care of you! He has heard your pleas and has answered the call of our common human duty! Every man is his brother's keeper!

blah, blah, blah...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Karl's Weekend Reading

This week's reading suggestions have to do with California's recent propositions. But first, guns!

A faceless WSJ writer(s), supposedly the editorial board, announces that the end of gun control is here. Well, what a relief! We suppose this will be our last post with the label - Gun Rights. WSJ, May 19, Democrats and Guns:

...the political cause of gun control is as dead as a mounted moose.

We envy the editorial board's new, relaxed attitude toward this issue. We won't, however, take our eye off of this ball.

California, our former home state, asked voters to approve tax increases for the greater good. Those pesky voters, even in Berkeley, couldn't bring themselves to vote YES on any of them. Ever know the answer yet could not articulate it? We felt these propositions were meaningless but couldn't bring ourselves to say why. Rush Limbaugh told us. There won't be any belt-tightening in CA. They'll threaten to cut programs voters like, which will bring the voters to the table for more taxes. Voters revolt? Just threaten to release inmates early, or cut police & fire services. As Rush said, 'But they never offer to cut the bloat that led to this mess.' Yep. That is the California we remember. And fled.

Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore write in the WSJ, Soak the Rich, Lose the Rich:

We believe there are three unintended consequences from states raising tax rates on the rich. First, some rich residents sell their homes and leave the state; second, those who stay in the state report less taxable income on their tax returns; and third, some rich people choose not to locate in a high-tax state. Since many rich people also tend to be successful business owners, jobs leave with them or they never arrive in the first place. This is why high income-tax states have such a tough time creating net new jobs for low-income residents and college graduates.
They're wrong, and New Hampshire is our favorite illustration. The Live Free or Die State has no income or sales tax, yet it has high-quality schools and excellent public services. Students in New Hampshire public schools achieve the fourth-highest test scores in the nation -- even though the state spends about $1,000 a year less per resident on state and local government than the average state and, incredibly, $5,000 less per person than New York. And on the other side of the ledger, California in 2007 had the highest-paid classroom teachers in the nation, and yet the Golden State had the second-lowest test scores.
Texas created more new jobs in 2008 than all other 49 states combined. And Texas is the only state other than Georgia and North Dakota that is cutting taxes this year.

George Will at Townhall, California's Dependency Culture:

Californians should now pay a real price, in realism about ways and means, for Schwarzenegger's wasted years. His governance-by-attention-deficit-disorder has involved flitting from one trendy irrelevance (e.g., stem cell research) to another (e.g., cooling the planet) while the state has sagged. Fittingly, he was in Washington as his shambolic legacy was being defined by Tuesday's defeat.

He was at the White House, applauding the Obama administration's imposition of severe fuel efficiency standards on a dependent automobile industry that at least has a proven aptitude for its new task of building cars Americans will not like. Standing far from Tuesday's repudiation, in the shadow of the president who may soon effectively be California's governor, Schwarzenegger was the administration's dependency agenda writ small.

Carol Platt Liebau at Townhall, California is Liberalism's "Canary in the Coal Mine":

How times change. Forty years ago, California’s roads and schools were the envy of the country. Now, of course, highways are jammed, and schools languish near the bottom of nationwide rankings. Hospitals are overcrowded, as are prisons. And contrary to the claims of those on the left, the problem isn’t inadequate “investment,” i.e., spending. Forty years ago, the state spent $1240 for every man, woman and child in the state, in today’s inflation-adjusted dollars. Now, it spends more than double that amount – $3200 per person – even as ordinary citizens’ quality of life has plummeted.

Merk Steyn weighs in with a blog post at NRO's The Corner, Over and Out:

Not to be too gloomy, but the country feels like it's seizing up. It's as if California and New York have burst their bodices like two corpulent gin-soaked trollops and rolled over the fruited plain to rub bellies at the Mississippi. If you're underneath, it's not going to be fun.

Victor Davis Hanson also comments in NRO's The Corner, California on the Horizon:

It is generally known that Americans want it both ways — green giddiness and plenty of oil and gas for their cars and homes; lots of government services and low taxes; a big military but spasms of isolationism. But now California is where the rubber meets the road, and we just saw the big government side of the equation dissolve. With the highest income taxes, highest sales taxes, and biggest deficits, Californians finally said "no mas," and let the cutting begin. Of course, we have expanded government to such a degree that "radical" cuts will only get us back to about 2005-sized government, and "tax cutting" in this loopy state will mean holding firm at a 9% sales tax and 10%-plus income tax. But one must begin somewhere.

Today's WSJ Opinion page, Golden (State) Opportunity:

Mr. Schwarzenegger, legislators and public-worker unions are now conspiring to roll out plan B: a federal bailout. The Governor was in Washington on Tuesday and, sounding like a Detroit auto executive, declared: "We need assistance."
But a federal bailout is an injustice to the residents of other states, especially those that run their governments responsibly. Why should taxpayers in Colorado, Virginia or Ohio pay for California's incompetence?


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday Afternoon Cigar

Rocky Patel Sun Grown.

More from Atlas Shrugged, P. 915:

What were they thinking now, the champions of need and the lechers of pity? - she wondered. What were they counting on? Those who had once simpered: "I don't want to destroy the rich, I only want to seize a little of their surplus to help the poor, just a little, they'll never miss it!" - then, later, had snapped: "The tycoons can stand being squeezed, they've amassed enough to last them for three generations" - then, later, had yelled: "Why should the people suffer while businessmen have reserves to last a year?" - now were screaming: "Why should we starve while some people have reserves to last a week?" What were they counting on? - she wondered.

We're wondering too.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Afternoon Cigar

A Camacho SLR burned in the Cincinnati sunlight this afternoon.

Obama, Notre Dame & Life, Part II

As we visited the Notre Dame campus yesterday for the Obama Commencement speech protests we wondered:

If the school is now open to a new, enlightened standard when it comes to life, will it be open to turning a blind eye towards plagiarism? If so, we'd like to get a PhD in Business with our already-written dissertation, Atlas Shrugged.

We arrived with a dead camera battery, so no cool video this time. A shame, as there was much to report. On the bright side, we shook hands with Dr. Alan Keyes, which made the 10 hour drive worth it.

Norma McCorvey, "Roe" in Roe vs. Wade, was there also. As you may know, she now regrets her role in Roe v. Wade and is now an intolerant, close-minded pro-lifer like 51% of the nation. Here is a 1-minute video of her being arrested:

Recent poll data on abortion:

UT: Graph and more info from Sweetness & Light - click here!

AllahPundit calls Obama 'child murderer' at, but still can't bring himself to call Obama a socialist... Here is a link.

We'll see if Obama's call for tolerance is heeded by... himelf... when it comes time to nominate a Souter replacement. Is it actions & words from our president, or just words?

Link to Part I: Obama, Notre Dame & Life

And last, a timeless piece from Laura Hollis on March 26 regarding Obama's visit to Notre Dame. Worth a second read!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Taboo: "Socialism"

Goodness. We keep an eye out for lefties calling shenanigans at the few of us that label Obama's policies as socialism, and we get broadsided by so-called conservatives desperate to keep the S-word out of public discourse.

We're starting a new label: Not a Socialist. Click the label at the bottom to see our previous posts on this topic.

Same culprit as last time - link to our retort - with the same non-intellectual critique: Those who speak of the word we don't speak of are "stupid". Yes, AllahPundit at the new, enlightened mainstream HotAir. Title: Stupid: RNC to pass resolution rebranding Democrats the “Democrat Socialist Party”

This time AllahPundit is responding to the RNC's recent revolt against Chairman Steele, insisting that the Obama policies be called what they are - Socialist.

It's as if he calls us "stupid" enough, we'll fall into line and stand by for our marching orders. To AllahPundit we simply say, "Wake up and smell the Socialism!"

We'd leave a comment, but HotAir revoked our account. One of our comments had the name of our cool hat - The CommieObama Rally Cap. Go figure.

Karl's Weekend Reading

George Will examines the recent Obama order to California to reverse pay cuts for the Service Employees International Union and the strong-arm tactics with Chrysler's bond holders in his Townhall article, Tincture of Lawlessness.

Such a federal ukase (the word derives from czarist Russia; how appropriate) to a [California] state legislature is a sign of the administration's dependency agenda -- maximizing the number of people and institutions dependent on the federal government. For the first time, neither sales nor property nor income taxes are the largest source of money for state and local governments. The federal government is.

Larry Elder goes to far by using the word "socialism" in his Townhall article GOP: The Way Forward. He acknowledges the disadvantages that Republicans face: Bush started the bailouts and failed big-government ideas like Social Security are liked by a majority of voters.

Americans like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And President Obama won the election, in part, by calling it a "matter of neighborliness" to tax A for the benefit of B. That this creeping socialism defies the Constitution and weakens economic growth is of little consequence to many Americans.

Republicans can regain the White House by standing on principles -- and explaining their purpose and utility.

Larry Kudlow comments on Obama's government health care plans at Townhall, Obama's 'Public' Health Plan Will Bankrupt the Nation.

So let’s be serious when evaluating President Obama’s goal of universal health care, and the idea that it’s a cost-cutter. Can’t happen. Won’t happen. Costs are going to explode.

Think of it: Can anyone name a federal program that ever cut costs for anything? Let’s not forget that the existing Medicare system is roughly $80 trillion in the hole.

And does anybody believe Obama’s new “public” health-insurance plan isn’t really a bridge to single-payer government-run health care? And does anyone think this plan won’t produce a government gatekeeper that will allocate health services and control prices and therefore crowd-out the private-insurance doctor/hospital system?

Paula Meister is the creative writer at The American Thinker this week with Barack Obama's Declaration of Dependence. Read it all!

I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, womyn, transgendered and questioning individuals deserve equal division of goods, that they are endowed by Me with certain unalienable rights, that among these are the right to abort life, servitude to the state, and the pursuit of taxpayer-supported benefits. That to secure these rights, government is instituted in Me, deriving my just powers from the consent of a Democrat Congress, ACORN, and Universal Voluntary Public Service.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Obama, Notre Dame & Life

A video retort from ND students unhappy with the university's invitation to President Obama to speak at the commencement later this month. From NDResponse:

Rally this Sunday at the campus - 12:30. Be there!

Link to

Socialized Medicine

We've kept our posts limited on the socialized medicine topic in the past. If you're an avid reader, then chances are any criticisms of government healthcare will be redundant. We want to provide new info on the communist-inspired among us.

We also, however, feel obliged to do our duty as the author of the last chapter in American history, so we will be posting on the topic when we see new information. Here is our first post with the new label: Healthcare.

First, perspective from Mark Steyn in a recent interview with Hugh Hewitt:

...if you’re a Democrat, what it [socialized medicine] does is it changes the relationship between the citizen and the state. It alters the equation. If you provide government health care, then suddenly all the elections, they’re not thought about war and foreign policy, or even big economic questions. They’re suddenly fought about government services, and the level of government services, and that’s all they’re about, because once you get government health care, the citizens’ dependency on government as provider is so fundamentally changed that in effect, every election is fought on left wing terms. And for the Democratic Party, that is a huge, transformative advantage.

The best positioned to fight against government healthcare and to educate the American public are the private insurance companies. They've folded, as explained in today's WSJ Editorial, Signing On to an Obama 'Dream':

Yesterday a coalition of private health-system providers, seeing no exit from the administration's reform plans, signed on to the dream.
The private groups are calculating that they can better influence this year's bill if they're "partners" instead of villains. They've no doubt seen what happened to Wall Street and Chrysler bondholders. All the same, they must surely know they have made a Faustian bargain that in time will result in price controls and restrictions on care.
Democrats have now acknowledged that the managed care dream will work only if government is the one doing the managing. That is, we can only control costs with a new government entitlement. More is less.

But you can only allocate a scarce resource in two ways: market prices or brute force. In health care the brute force will come as price controls and waiting lines for rationed services. The implicit assumption in the providers' deal announced yesterday seems to be that the private companies will do the price controlling so the government won't have to do it for them.

But when the savings prove illusory, as in the past, the feds will step in and order them to do so.
The only benefit here is that it is now possible to see where this issue is headed: A new legislated entitlement for the middle class will ensure that the next great health-care argument to engulf the political system is going to be over how and when to ration care.

Conservative press responses to Obama's healthcare inspirations fall into two categories: those that identify this as an evil idea with no historical success to credit and plenty of historical support to oppose. And those that have surrendered, like the insurance companies, who are now looking at the details and negotiating small changes. We will not post from the latter group.

One wonders: Will Obama get his healthcare plan enacted before the Mexican government provides treatment for its citizens diagnosed with the H1N1 virus?

UT: Hugh Hewitt

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Saturday Night Cigar

Watched the sunset with another Rocky Patel Sun Grown.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Liberals. God Bless 'Em.

From the BBC:

An expedition team which set sail from Plymouth on a 5,000-mile carbon emission-free trip to Greenland have been rescued by an oil tanker.

UT: John Lott

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Proper Response to Communist Aggression

Notice the absence of nuance? The lack of open-mindedness to bridge the gap and resolve the differences? To bring people of different backgrounds together in harmony? Where is the outreached hand of friendship?

WSJ, May 6:

TBILISI, Georgia -- Georgian authorities said they put down an attempted mutiny at a military base outside the capital Tuesday as simmering political tensions erupted on the eve of monthlong NATO exercises in the country.

President Mikheil Saakashvili said the uprising had been a serious threat and implied it was backed by Russia, an accusation Russia's envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, called "mad."
"This was an attempt to undermine NATO exercises planned for tomorrow; it was not a coup attempt as its scale was so small," Georgian interior ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said in a telephone interview.
The exercises, which Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has criticized as "muscle flexing," will comprise war games through June 3 involving 1,300 troops from more than a dozen NATO countries. Western-leaning Georgia, which lost a five-day war with Russia over its breakaway region of South Ossetia in August, aspires to join NATO. Moscow opposes the alliance's expansion in the region.

Georgia is the front line in a war between a motivated hegemon and a leaderless West.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Vouchers Are Not Communist

There is a march today in DC at 1pm.

Obama showed his true colors when he, and his ilk in congress, cut off the privately-funded DC voucher program. Once again, the inner-city blacks, most desperate for an opportunity to prosper, vote Democrat and get screwed.

William McGurn at the WSJ wrote about today's DC rally in yesterday's Opinion page:

Tomorrow afternoon at 1 o'clock in Washington, we'll learn if anything has changed. Two groups -- D.C. Children First and D.C. Parents for School Choice -- are holding a rally at Freedom Plaza, just across from the offices of the city government. As their flier explains, "D.C. families deserve the same kind of choices that the Mayor, City Council Members, and Federal leaders with children have."

The precipitate cause of this rally is the Democrats' passage of an amendment tucked into the omnibus spending bill. Sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.), the amendment effectively ended the Opportunity Scholarship Program, a lifeline now used by more than 1,700 schoolchildren to escape one of America's most miserable public school systems. Rally organizers say that the silence from local leaders was a big reason the Democratic Congress felt free to kill off the program.

We wish the protesters luck, and wish we could be there to join them.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cinco de Mayo Cigar

We celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a swine-flu-free Rocky Patel.

Another paragraph from Atlas Shrugged, P. 619:

"Because we didn't work hard enough?"
"Because we worked too hard - and charged too little."
"What do you mean?"
"We never demanded the one payment that the world owed us - and we let our best reward go to the worst of men. The error was made centuries ago ... by every man who fed the world and received no thanks in return. You don't know what is right any longer? Dagny, this in not a battle of material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

UPDATE 5.6 7:30AM:

WSJ Headline - Page 1: Brokers Abandon Wall Street

Paragraph 1:

The number of brokers bolting from Wall Street is on the rise amid slumping markets and diminishing fees, a trend that could augur lasting changes in the way individuals invest.

Nothing to see here...

Monday, May 04, 2009


The CIFTA Treaty: Inter-American Convention Against The Illicit Manufacturing Of And Trafficking In Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, And Other Related Materials.

STRESSING the need, in peace processes and post-conflict situations, to achieve effective control of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials in order to prevent their entry into the illicit market;

Here is a link to the full Treaty.

Very disturbing to those with an education in world history. Is this treaty a page out of the last chapter in the book on Freedom?

Lou Dobbs explains:

UT: John Lott & Breitbart

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Saturday Afternoon Cigar

A Rocky Patel Sun Grown was Sun Burned this afternoon...

We are still reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. NEVER have we read a book that better captures our frustrations with the envy crowd of America's liberals progressives communists. We're glad this is a 1000-page book because we don't want it to end. Below are some great lines from this week's readings:

P. 412 - Is money the root of evil?

Let me give you a clue to men's character: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.
Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on Earth and need means to deal with one another - their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.

P. 414 - The difference of America:

If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose - because it contains all the others - the fact that they were the people who created the phrase 'to make money'. No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity - to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words 'to make money' hold the essence of human morality.

P. 533 - From the looters' perspective as to the economic crisis and their instinct to control industry from DC:

But it is their own fault. It's their lack of social spirit. They [those who produce] refuse to recognize that production is not a private choice, but a public duty. They have no right to fail, no matter what conditions happen to come up. They've got to go on producing. It's a social imperative. A man's work is not a personal matter, it's a social matter. There's no such thing as a personal matter - or a personal life. That's what we've got to force them to learn.

Karl's Weekend Reading

Is it us, or did you notice our fellow conservatives didn't excel this week in their columns and articles? I suspect they are back on their heels with all the recent news: Arlen Spector joins the envy party, Chrysler is nationalized and then passed on to the UAW for ownership, Obama announces Souter's resignation, Obama terrorizing New York City with a Scareforce One fly-over, and the entire Obama administration voting Present on the Swine Flu. We have a stack of 20 articles from this week sitting here on our desk, and not one rises to our standard for our Weekend Reading post.

So, here is a link to the best blog post of the week. Doug Ross shares a note from a former Navy man who offers new details on the Pirate shootings. It appears any credit to Obama for the rescue is unwarranted. Let the record show that we were gracious with our praise and suppressed our initial doubts.