Archive for March, 2010
Drug wars, corruption, gang violence, murder, kidnappings, torture–it’s all part of Mexican culture these days and it’s getting worse. Why? Well, trouble has been brewing for a very long time.
A while back, I wrote about how the border will never get closed because it is like steam from the Mexican teapot. Illegal immigration gets workers to the U.S. where there are jobs and sends money back home to Mexico where there are not jobs. But now, the U.S. economy is tanked and thousands of workers have moved back across the border to find a better landing spot at home. They aren’t finding it.
Closing the border would do much the same thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mexico suffered something night unto civil war. The fact is that Mexico needs to clean up its mess and create a place where people want to live and work and feel safe doing so. Corruption and nepotism are so rife there, though, that it’s nigh to impossible to “reform” anything.
Anyway, Michelle Malkin talks about the rancher who got killed. There will be more of this. Mexico can no longer contain their problems.
Robert Stacy McCain at the American Spectator (doing great work, by the way, subscribe to their magazine) writes about the Senate primary race in Arizona. A couple money quotes:
“Obviously, the gulf between my opponent’s rhetoric and the reality is so great it exceeds the geographic dimensions of our own Grand Canyon,” Hayworth says. “It’s more than a credibility gap, it’s a credibility canyon.… If he was really concerned about [the influence of political contributions], he certainly seems to have gotten over it very quickly.”
Whether McCain’s big money will be enough to secure his re-election, it undoubtedly gives him advantages against Hayworth, whose low-budget campaign doesn’t expect to match the incumbent dollar-for-dollar in the five months between now and the August 24 primary.
“We know we’re not going to out-raise him,” Hayworth says. “We’re not going to out-spend him.”
No way! John McCain is using big money to win an election? I thought he wanted money out of campaigns?
And then there is the recent hard tack to the right. It seems John McCain suddenly finds the border issue an important law enforcement issue:
But 2010 is not 2004, and in the intervening years, McCain led a legislative push to grant amnesty to illegal aliens — a very unpopular stance in Arizona, especially with Republican and conservative-leaning independents. (Arizona election law allows registered independents to vote in either party primary.) A Rasmussen poll last year found that Arizona voters considered immigration a more important issue than health-care reform and 65 percent said “enforcing the borders is more important than legalizing the status of those already living here.”
The immigration issue has “gotten bigger” in Arizona recently, Hayworth says, after a Cochise County rancher was found shot dead Saturday near the Mexican border, a crime that law-enforcement officials suggest was committed by illegal aliens or smugglers who have made the border an increasingly dangerous place.
“Border security is national security and it is time that we enforce the law,” Hayworth said in a press release reacting to the killing of 58-year-old Rob Krentz, whose family has owned a cattle ranch near the border for more than a century. “For thousands of Arizonans, border security is also quite literally a matter of personal security.”
I came thisclose to headlining the post “comedy gold.” What miracles hath this Hayworth primary challenge wrought!
From the man who once famously groused about conservatives’ desire to build a “goddamned fence” and then denied voting for it when pressed by Univision during the campaign, I give you John McCain — border warrior:
This is why primaries are so important. I’m guessing the reason that John McCain is finding his conservative soul is because his internal polling looks terrible.
So many of these politicians have sat in Washington, ignored American sentiment, and ignored their own constituents. There are many races where I feel less than enthusiastic about the primary challenger, but the incumbent has such a long history of betraying fiscal conservatism and self-aggrandizement, that I want them to go.
Politics should not be a lifetime sport with lush retirement package. But that’s how it goes now, in DC. Politicians get into office, get bought off by big interests, and then stay in office with the money received from those big interests. John McCain’s McCain-Feingold act made the problem even worse–but it turned out better for John McCain. The law protected incumbents.
Well, there should be no protection for incumbents. They should have to defend their positions, defend their votes and be at least marginally responsive to their constituents. I mean, at least pretend you give a damn what your voters think. Man.
The story of enslavement to freedom is inherent in the Judeo-Christian culture. During this week where emancipation–being freed from slave owners and ultimately our own limitations–is a central focus, it was fitting, then, for Iris Blue to join me. She spent months in “the hole” in a Harris County (Houston) jail. She suffered addiction to heroin. She fought wardens. And she did it all to herself, willfully, angrily and stubbornly. Her story is inspiring and I hope you’ll listen to it. We talk about child-rearing, the church, and who is Jesus?
In the second half, another, less successful religion is discussed: Global Warming. Charlie Martin, now the science editor at Pajamas Media discusses the latest happenings and the bitter clinging to a discarded belief.
Who’s More Evil? Google Or The U.S. Government? Governments Chief Information Officer Gets Exposed By Google BuzzTuesday, March 30th, 2010
It’s a tough call about who is more evil: the government or Google. In this case, it looks like their evilness canceled each other out and became a greater good!
Well, now we’ve learned that one of those who apparently got swept up in the Buzz privacy imbroglio was none other than Andrew McLaughlin, the controversial Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the Obama White House who was formerly Google’s top lobbyist.
McLaughlin works in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and is in charge of all Internet policy for the Administration. The two key components of OSTP’s mission are the creation of an “Open and Transparent Democracy”, and ironically, “Safeguarding the Privacy of Every American” by … “holding businesses accountable for violations of personal privacy.” (More on this in a moment.)
McLaughlin’s Buzz profile (which he quickly made private after his contacts were exposed) is enlightening to say the least. It includes a treasure trove of movers and shakers in high-tech, Internet public policy, and venture capital circles.
But it includes much, much more. At least 28 of the folks Google Buzz pulled from McLaughlin’s Gmail contact list are employed by…Google! And, as you can see from the screenshots below (captured before he made his contact lists private) McLaughlin’s Gmail appears to include a “who’s who” of Google senior lobbyists and lawyers from across the globe:
This story should disturb everyone and surprise no one.
Every totalitarian government have those complicit with their aims. With a statist in charge, Google has found a natural partner in their ownership desires.
In this case, the government got bit by the Google bug. They’ll refine their methods. This kind of information sharing is only good as long as it’s your privacy being violated.
Related from Money: How Google plays the angles in Washington. You don’t say?
In unsurprising news today, a leftist whack-job gets arrested for threatening to kill Representative Eric Cantor. Jammie Wearing Fool has the best post on this and says:
Funny how there hasn’t been a single arrest resulting from any of the alleged acts of violence against Democrats of late but here we have a real incident resulting in an arrest.
He’s a loon. Here’s his video via Michelle Malkin:
There’s some confusion about whether the LeBoon in the videos is LeBoon “senior” or “junior” (or even whether a “Norman LeBoon Jr.” exists) and it’s not clear whether the “Norman LeBoon” of Philadelphia listed in the campaign finance disclosure database that JWF links is the same one charged by the FBI. But point about the double standards taken.
In any case, this dude seems certifiably loony and dangerous — no matter which political candidates he may or may not have supported. Glad the FBI took it seriously. Period.
From the Press Release:
Today, a two-count complaint and warrant was filed charging Norman Leboon with threatening to kill United States Congressman Eric Cantor and his family, and threatening to kill Congressman Eric Cantor, who is an official of the United States, announced United States Attorney Michael L. Levy and FBI Special Agent in Charge Jan Fedarcyk. As set forth in the affidavit to the complaint and warrant, in or about late March, 2010, Leboon created and then transmitted a YouTube video to Google over the internet, in which he threatened to kill Congressman Cantor and his family. No harm came to the Congressman or his family as a result of Leboon’s threats.
“The Department of Justice takes threats against government officials seriously, especially threats to kill or injure others,” said Levy. “Whether the reason for the threat is personal or political, threats are not protected by the First Amendment and are crimes.”
Crazy pants. Now, let’s see the left spin this yarn.
Today, Jonathan Strong of the Daily Caller headlines with an article titled “High flyer: RNC Chairman Steele suggested buying private jet with GOP funds”. He asserts the following:
Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.
Someone with knowledge of the RNC meeting with Jonathan Strong responded:
“We are investigating the expenditure in question. The story willfully and erroneously suggests that the expenditure in question was one belonging to the Chairman. This was a reimbursement made to a non-committee staffer. The Chairman was never at the location in question, he had no knowledge of the expenditure, nor does he find the use of committee funds at such a location at all acceptable. Good reporting would make that distinction crystal clear. The committee has requested that the monies be returned to the committee and that the story be corrected so that it is accurate.”
In addition, the source vehemently denies many of the elements included in the story, including whether Chairman Steele declined interview requests, details around flights, etc.
The interesting thing about this piece? It’s written by a supposedly right-leaning web magazine [Full disclosure: I have written an editorial for Daily Caller.] Why would the Daily Caller writer want to portray the Chairman as having been to a strip club when it’s not the case? A damaging investigative piece of journalism should be tight and accurate.
It almost seems as if the right-leaning Webzine is trying to gain credibility with liberal news outlets and is willing to do so on the backs of their own ideological brethren. Or maybe they’re in the hip pocket of a conservative who doesn’t like Chairman Steele. Either way, this story may be another example of the right carelessly destroying their own.
No doubt, more details will be forthcoming.
Andrew and Melissa contemplate whether Obama has a chance in 2012, the consequences of health care reform, his humiliating evening with Karl Rove and Benjamin Netanyahu’s humiliating evening with the President.
Listen here. Do it now.
There’s a Muslim Militia?
Mike Lackomar, of Michiganmilitia.com, said both The Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia and the Michiganmilitia.com were not a part of the raid.
Lackomar said he heard from other militia members that the FBI targeted the Hutaree after its members made threats of violence against Islamic organizations.
“Last night and into today the FBI conducted a raid against homes belonging to the Hutaree. They are a religious cult. They are not part of our militia community,” he said.
Lackomar said he was told there were five arrests Saturday and another five early Sunday. The FBI declined to comment.
One of the Hutaree members called a Michigan militia leader for assistance Saturday after federal agents had already began their raid, Lackomar said, but the militia member — who is of Islamic decent and had heard about the threats — declined to offer help. That Michigan militia leader is now working with federal officials to provide information on the Hutaree member for the investigation, Lackomar said Sunday.
“They are more of survivalist group and in an emergency they withdraw and stand their ground. They are actively training to be alongside Jesus,” he said.
Sources from the Michigan militia community said one of the FBI raids took place Saturday during a wake for a Hutaree member who had died of natural causes. A Hutaree leader was arrested during the wake while at the same time agents were conducting raids at other locations.
There were three arrests total. But the meme that is out there is “Christian Militias” planning attacks on Muslims.
There’s not enough information out there yet, but even the basics of this story are bothersome.
So Fausta asks about this study about manly men versus more feminine men. The feminine man she brought up was one of my faves: Orlando Bloom. She contrasted Orlando with Sean Connery. Ew. Connery strikes me as an ornery axxhole–just not very nice. Now Orlando? Well, the research talks about strong jaws and brow lines. Orlando actually has both–he’s just long and lanky and more manicured. He is also a vegetarian–which, I admit is a downside. Is he a girly man?
I’m thinking back to Paul Newman as a younger man. He was hotness until the day he died. Pure yum. He raced cars. He walked like a badass. He had the smirk. But he didn’t strike me as jerk. Cool Hand Luke….manly, right? Or what about Clint Eastwood at all ages? Or Johnny Cash? Manly, hot, badness.
And, as a woman, are you gonna get a certain type based on how they look? I mean, does the square jaw, broad face, dense muscles get you a worse kind of man…like Sandra Bullock‘s Jesse James? But Tiger Woods isn’t all that broad-faced guy…so no guarantees. And what about John Edwards? He’s the classic fem guy…I wouldn’t count on a feminine face.
Women like what they like. In the Western world, it might not mean survival but it might mean satisfaction.
There’s no easy answer to erasing a staggering trillion-plus dollar deficit in a federal budget, but you’ve got to start somewhere — and Obama’s looking at the nation’s wireless carriers as cash cows just waiting to be milked. The President’s proposed budget for 2010 calls for an increase in spectrum license user fees from $50 million to $200 million, with further increases to $550 million over the course of the next decade, all of which would be on top of the billions carriers have already shelled out in spectrum auctions. A good way to bring in some extra cash? Yeah, probably, but considering that carriers will be more than happy to pass the increases on to consumers, let’s just be straight: it’s a tax.
And now, we read of worries about hyper-inflation. Now, why would that happen? When businesses are trapped, losing revenue, losing buyers, but having increased tax burdens, what is their choice? They have to increase prices and CUT STAFF.
Often, salaries are the biggest part of overhead. The Obama administration has no business experience. Hates businesses, especially, it seems, the small business person, but must increase government revenue to pay for all their social programs.
What happens then, though, is that people stop paying taxes. They either can’t afford it or feel that the taxes are harmful and a burden. And government revenues further decline.
About the hyper-inflation:
One can’t argue, however, with the fear this run of outsized state spending has inspired among global investors.
They worry that Western governments might not be able to someday erase those mounting deficits, which have caused U.S. federal debt to approach 100 per cent of GDP – its highest level since the years immediately following the end of World War II.
The jitters account for the weakened U.S. dollar and a slumping euro. It is hardly a surprise that Greece, fiscally mismanaged for a decade, would someday face default. What is alarming is that Athens’ belated acknowledgement of its fiscal crisis immediately triggered fears that a raft of other economies – including Spain, Portugal, Ireland and perhaps even Britain – would follow suit. How else to explain the 307 per cent jump in gold prices since 2000 to a current $1,140 per ounce, for a commodity used principally as a hedge against global ruin?
Well. I don’t know. For their to be hyper-inflation, there has to be buyers, right? The problem is that their aren’t buyers right now. And there probably shouldn’t be. Americans and Westerners around the world need to get their personal debt in hand and get reacquainted with things like quality and extending use. That won’t help the economy in the short term, but it will help the nation in the long term.
Maxed Out Mama says the recession isn’t over. That seems self-evident to me. Why the Democrats tout a recovering economy in the face of the increased job losses, decline in home sales, increase in gas prices and mild inflation baffles me.
Will electing the Republicans in November help? One commenter over there rightly notes that many people in the US are simply holding because Obama and the Democrats have created such an unstable environment. That’s certainly true. I still don’t think it’s enough. It might help.
Anyway, the Democrat solution is tax and spend. It’s not much of a solution. You, the consumer, will pay many ways: direct VAT tax, increased income tax at the state and federal level (Maxed Out Mama also notes that the states and federal government are fighting over the same money), and then carry-through taxes as businesses try to recoup earnings from their increased tax burden. Did I mention that the buyer is already stressed and out of work?
Bottom line: The economy is still a mess and Democrat policies are making it worse.