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Archive for 2009

July 12th 2009

Hiatus

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am putting Cheat-Seeking Missiles on hiatus so I can devote all my spare time to a writing project that needs to proceed in all due haste so I can wrap it up while it’s still as timely as it is now.  This was a hard decision to make since C-SM is my therapy, but I’ve got a psychiatrist’s number handy if I need it.

Please do click the RSS feed button. That way you’ll know if I lose all discipline and post something, and you’ll also find out when the big project is wrapped up, and unwrapped … all at the same time!

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July 9th 2009

Job Mob Lobs Jobs

The Obama administration told us that not only would they be very good at spending unfathomable sums of money, but they’d also be maestros at turning that cash into jobs for a job-hungry America. Like so many White House words, the Big Job Promise is turning out to be nothing more than hype-fuel for the big-government machine.

Take the $3.3 billion grant program to upgrade the nation’s electricity network. Please. When it was announced in April by Joe “Oh, It’s Just A Little Lie” Biden, he had a pretty simple – if grammatically challenged – explanation for the grant’s intent: “This is jobs – jobs.”

ABC’s Rick Klein did some digging and found:

[T]he Obama administration is now saying it will not take the potential for job creation into account in “rating” proposed projects for possible funding — after initially saying that would be a primary consideration.

In April, when the Energy Department first announced regulations for companies that wish to apply for “Smart Grid Investment Grants,” “job creation and retention” was among the explicit criteria. …

But late last month, the department quietly modified the criteria to take the job piece out. As the department explained in a June 26 set of Frequently Asked Questions:

“These criteria differ significantly from those presented within the [Notice of Intent]. First, DOE removed the criterion on the extent of jobs creation ….”

Good governance mandates that return on investment should be the criteria for selecting these projects, not jobs, so I’m not disappointed in DOE’s new direction. But I am just a wee bit disappointed that the White House has become such a den of hyperbole and deceit.

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July 9th 2009

Arguing On Thin Ice

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alin-bashers are jumping on a post in Greg Sargent’s The Plum Line that supposedly debunks one of Sarah Palin’s primary stated reasons for resigning – the burden the endless, phony, Dem-fired ethics claims are putting on the state’s budget, which is already teetering from lower oil revenues.

Here’s what she said:

Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I’ve been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations – such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters’ questions.

Every one – all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We’ve won! But it hasn’t been cheap – the State has wasted THOUSANDS of hours of YOUR time and shelled out some two million of YOUR dollars to respond to “opposition research” – that’s money NOT going to fund teachers or troopers – or safer roads. And this political absurdity, the “politics of personal destruction” … Todd and I are looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn’t cost them a dime so they’re not going to stop draining public resources – spending other peoples’ money in their game.

And here’s the dismissal of the claim by Sargent:

But David Murrow, a spokesperson for the Governor, said in an interview that much of this money was budgeted to the lawyers in advance and would have gone to them anyway, even if state lawyers hadn’t been defending against these ethics complaints.

In response to our questions, the Governor’s office provided us with a detailed breakdown of the millions Palin has claimed has gone to defending against ethics complaints. It does list roughly $1.9 million in expenditures.

But Murrow, the spokesperson, acknowledged to our reporter, Amanda Erickson, that this total was arrived at by adding up attorney hours spent on fending off complaints — based on the fixed salaries of lawyers in the governor’s office and the Department of Law. The money would have gone to the lawyers no matter what they were doing. The complaints are “just distracting them from other duties,” Murrow said.

We can assume, given the harsh spending cuts Palin has imposed since oil revenues dropped, that the state attorneys’ budget was established because there was a certain level of caseload that needed their attention. State attorneys’ case loads are not the sort of thing you can put off until another day. Draft bills and regulations have to be reviewed by a date certain to keep up with schedules that are set in law; only so many days are allotted for appeals to be filed and writs to be responded to.

Sargent doesn’t ask how the state attorneys managed to deal with that while fighting back the wave of frivolous ethics claims, and where the money came from to handle it. Such subtleties are lost on the Left as evidenced by this intro to Sargent’s post in one Leftyblog:

Far be it from me to call Sarah Palin a liar.

I kid. It’s not far or be it or from me at all. I call her a liar on a regular basis. See, Miss Personality Disorder? See how I did that? See how easy it is to tell the truth?

And off the blogger tramps into the quotes I cited above.

Sargent is right on one score: There is one pot of attorney budget money and another set of pots for “teachers or troopers – or safer roads,” so you can’t draw a bright line connecting them, as Palin did in a bit of harmless rhetoric. But in a state like Alaska, which is struggling to fill a $1.25 billion budget shortfall, you can’t blow out one area of the budget without having impacts elsewhere.

The larger question is why weren’t the media asking questions about who was bringing these ethics claims, why they were doing it, and how they justified the costs incurred by taxpayers as a result.

It’s clear Palin saw herself as a target, and a rather costly one at that.  None of this was her doing, as the defeated ethics challenges prove. It is the fault of the hate-mongering Left, and for a small-budget state like Alaska that’s fighting deficits, expensive targets are unquestionably a burden. But, as usual, the Left is skipping along, believing themselves to be utterly blame-free.

hat-tip: memeorandum

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July 8th 2009

Just Can’t Stop That Palin Bashing

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here did Time magazine go to find such a nasty picture of Arnold and such a smug one of Sarah?  Probably not too far because their photographers are trained to shoot uncomplimentary shots of Republicans and wonderful shots of Dems.

But I digress.

The new Time is using these two photos over a lead story on its Web homepage titled, After California, which states are in the most peril? Given Palin’s proximity to that headline, you’d guess Alaska would be right up there, right?

No you wouldn’t; you’re smarter than that.  And you’re right. Alaska is mentioned, but it’s fleeting as a summer breeze in Nome.

Two of the worst-off states by that [revenue shortfall] count are Alaska and Nevada. Each of them will need to spend 30% more than what state tax officers think they’ll be collecting. And neither has a state income tax, relying on oil and tourism taxes, respectively, for most of their revenues.

While the Left has been quick to pounce on this, the fact is the state is projecting a $1.25 billion shortfall because of volatility in oil prices – decidedly downward volatility – but has reserves of $6.8 billion, so unlike California, it won’t be sending out any IOUs any time soon.  Plus, she’s doing her part to manage it, recommending cuts of $268.6 million, an additional $17 million in reductions to state departments’ budgets, and has implemented a salary freeze.

And the Time article goes on to say Nevada, Vermont, New York, New Jersey and Washington all have problems at least as bad and in some cases much worse. (Especially those states with Dem govs.)

Yet there she is, pictured with Arnold.  It’s obvious the anti-Palin media bias is alive and well.  (And it’s also obvious that editors will put readership about fairness any day.  Would you be inclined to read a story with David Patterson’s or Jim Douglas’ mug on it?)

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July 8th 2009

Greenpeace Dishonors America’s Greatest

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hree of America’s greatest presidents – no way am I counting Teddy Roosevelt in that group [thanks, Coop!] – were dishonored by Greenpeace today when the group defaced Mt. Rushmore with a banner portraying FDR wannabe Barack Obama.  The message is ludicrous:  “America Honors Leaders, Not Politicians. Stop Global Warming.”

The banner seems to imply that Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln were not leaders.  The Greenpeace idiots should be very, very glad we have First Amendment rights in this country.  I won’t dispute that Obama’s a leader; it’s just a disagreement with Greenpeace over the way he’s leading us.  I don’t believe “honor” should be ascribed to a person who is leading America towards socialism and economic ruin.

And as for stopping global warming, pshaw.  All Obama’s policies will do is make everything more expensive; they will do nothing to significantly alter the atmosphere or the globe’s climate.  His “leadership” on cap and tax is better described as “ruinship.”

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July 8th 2009

Let Government Do It – That’s The Answer

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ox News Radio on Sirius doesn’t get many paying advertisers at night when I frequently listen to it while driving home from meetings, so I get to hear a lot of public service announcements from the federal government.  Oh, joy.

One that’s running a lot nowadays features a little girl who’s afraid to go to sleep.  It turns out she’s afraid because of what happened during Hurricane Katrina, but don’t worry, the soothing voice of the announcer tells us, just bring the little girl to us, the government, where there are caring people ready to make everything all better.

What?! Isn’t that the family’s job? The pastor’s job? When did America become so trusting of the government that a parent would hand a frightened child over to a bureaucracy?  Surely they know that this is the sort of thing you should expect from government:

A multi-million pound initiative to reduce teenage pregnancies more than doubled the number of girls conceiving.

The Government-backed scheme tried to persuade teenage girls not to get pregnant by handing out condoms and teaching them about sex.

But research funded by the Department of Health shows that young women who attended the programme, at a cost of £2,500 each, were ‘significantly’ more likely to become pregnant than those on other youth programmes who were not given contraception and sex advice.

A total of 16 per cent of those on the Young People’s Development Programme conceived compared with just 6 per cent in other programmes. (Daily Mail)

That’s what that mom with the frightened child should consider – if the rate of little girls going crazy in the general population is six percent, it’ll be 16 percent for those given over to the U.S. Department of Love & Caring.

Now let’s see … the Prez tells us we’ll be healthier if we just let government take care of our health care ….  Sure – that sounds like a great idea!

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July 8th 2009

Lying About Nothing

One good test of a truly accomplished liar is this: One who only tells big lies for a purpose is at best a mediocre liar, but one who tells irrelevant lies – especially when the world is watching – he is truly accomplished. As in Barack Obama. And Newsweek.

NRO reports on Newsweek reporting on a speech Obama gave today to the graduating class of the New Economic School in Moscow, in which he said:

I don’t know if anybody else will meet their future wife or husband in class like I did, but I’m sure you’ll all going to have wonderful careers.

The trouble is, that cute couple Barack and Michelle didn’t meet in the classroom. Yes, they both went to Harvard Law, but they did not have any classes together (she graduated in ’88, he in ’91) and didn’t meet until later, while lawyering in Chicago. It was a lie for no real purpose since he had already connected sufficiently with the students by that point.

How do you feel about having a president who would do such a thing? How can you trust him when he says cap & tax is just a jobs program, or that he won’t socialize medicine, or that he’ll fix the economy if he lies about when and where he met his wife?

And how do you feel about this report on the incident by Newsweek?

Was what Obama said wrong? Technically no, considering Obama was still going to school when he met his wife. But for those keeping close watch on Obama trivia—ie, the White House press corps—the statement did seem a wee bit off.

Technically schmecnicly. It wasn’t a wee bit off; it was a flagrant, in your face, no doubt about it lie. Not a big lie, like “I’ll govern from the middle,” but a lie nonetheless – and if the esteemed members of the White House press corps can’t call it one, it’s a clear sign that at Newsweek at least, the honeymoon is still going strong and awash in passion.

Hey, Mr. President! When did you first meet Newsweek?

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July 7th 2009

“60″

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n celebration … no, that’s not the right word … in recognition of the seating of Al Franken as the Dems’ 60th Senator, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has just released this spot:

Yeah, I know the GOP is hardly perfect and has a ton of lessons to learn, but I have to say, this message motivates me to open my wallet.

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July 7th 2009

The Left Uneasily Re-Confronts The Bush Doctrine

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ix very long paragraphs into a seven-paragraph column in Slate, Christopher Hitchens finally gets around to the big question, as if it was an intellectual breakthrough of such import it needed a hefty introduction:

Which brings me to a question that I think deserves to be asked: Did the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime, and the subsequent holding of competitive elections in which many rival Iraqi Shiite parties took part, have any germinal influence on the astonishing events in Iran?

Oh, you mean like the Bush Doctrine?  Show them a little Democracy and stand back? Hitchens hedges his bets, saying “one swallow does not make the summer,” and subheading the article (possibly by editors, not Hitchens), “Given the connections between Iraq and Iran, it’s not as unlikely as it sounds).

Unlikely? One swallow? Iraq has a Shi’ite majority and Iran is a Shi’ite country.  Iranians know what the condition of Iraqi Shi’ites was before the war, and they know their condition now.  They see elections that are fair and open being held just across the border, and they know of candidates now holding office in Iraq that would never be approved by the Mullahs to even run in Iran.

The Bush Doctrine meme has been remarkably thin in all the coverage, blogging, punditry and tweeting over the Iran elections, but it stands in the middle of the story like an 800-pound gorilla no one wants to write about. Bush’s war in Iraq so obviously led to the deep yearning for freedom in Iran that the leftist readers of Salon are howling in defensive, unsustainable protest:

Trace192 lays out the familiar diatribe:

Hundreds of thousands of American injured.. millions of innocent Iraqi civilians displaced or killed.. billions of taxpayer’s money wasted..

And there’s Hitch, still desperately grasping at straws in an attempt to justify it.

The loss of life in Iraq, while exponentially smaller than leftists predicted prior to the war, remains tragic and the Left refuses to let a single one of those deaths stand for something.

Candoxx has a disbelief of biblical proportions:

Well well well, not since the crucifixion of Jesus Christ has the extrication of one man and his sons from the planet resulted in so much, eh?

On planet Hitchens.

Philadelphia Steve is so sure of his worldview that he doesn’t want to be bothered by being asked to think about any opposing view. He’ll just remain 100% sure of himself about everything, despite history, despite events:

Do the Neocons ever give up their attempts to justify Bush’s bungled, incompetent, wasteful invasoin and occupation of Iraq?

No.

And they never will.

The only question is why Slate, or anyone else, continues to waste space on people who have been 100% wrong on everything.

why?

Sir Real turns logic on its head, seeing a democracy (of sorts) ruled by Shi’ites as a threat to Iraq just like that big bad Sunni Saddam was:

On the one hand, it’s self-evident that people’s experiences (with, say, a brand spankin’ new neighboring government) color their perceptions.

On the other hand, are you effing kidding me?

You could, AT BEST, argue that the Iranian people are willing to demonstrate because they no longer have to fear Saddam on the border. (The Iran-Iraq war killed 188k+ Iranian men and boys- not the kind of thing you want to re-occur by, say, destabilizing your current government). But to imply that Iraq is some sort of democracy showroom, and that the events of June ’09 are the Iranians just itchin’ to buy is deeply self-serving, especially on the part of those who cheerleading led us there in the first place.

Geopolitics as dominoes- Stupid then (RIP McNamara), Stupid now.

And of course there’s always the leftist who can’t put together a thought without profanity, like the commenter blahblahblah, who’s so jaded, so cool to it all, so above it, so blithely unbothered that he/she actually comments as if thinking in poems; obscene poems to be sure, but poems nonetheless:

Every f****** Iranian you know
believed in the lie that was Moussavi’s lie
which he enunciated at a press conference before the g**d*** returns came in
when he declared that he was the winner of the election,
when in fact every lucid fact and number
before and after the election nationwide spoke otherwise.
So why the f*** should I care about your f***** friends,
when you’ve all become just a bunch of wishful thinking lying b******.

Give me change or a revolution based on the f****** truth
and not the hopeful lies with which you peddle so dearly hateful sir.
Good f****** grief.

I’ll leave out the obscenity, since it’s just not needed: Good grief.

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July 6th 2009

Crazifornia: Zero Intelligence In Concord Schools

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chool days, school days, good old Golden Rule days. Remember that? Oh, how far we have slid down the slope to craziness here in California, the state where the book pictured here is a perpetual best-seller. Today’s lesson comes from the Conta Costa county town of Concord, where the 9th grade math class was just a bit short of Golden Rule behavior:

The ninth-grade students threw things around the room. Shortly after Christmas, students told the Times, someone exploded Play-Doh in the microwave, resulting in a smoke-filled classroom that teacher Michael Huang refused to air out. In other classes Huang taught, they said, students lit trash can fires and smoked cigarettes or even marijuana. (Source)

So, come May, after Huang failed to get his classroom under control – perhaps because the kids just couldn’t understand his thick Taiwanese accent, who knows? – a fifteen-year-old student, referred to in the news articles as Allison Moore’s daughter, videotaped a raging paper ball fight and a friend anonymously sent it to the assistant principle in a plea for discipline so she might, you know, learn something in school.  Seems resonable enough. Except not here.

A friend of Moore’s anonymously sent the video to Dick Nicoll, interim superintendent of the Mt. Diablo school district. The following week, the school suspended Moore’s daughter for two days after she admitted she had taped the class without permission, a violation of the state Education Code.

Confronted with this particular bit of lunacy, the school did not admit an error and provide a lesson in maturity to its students; oh no, anything but that!

Principal Gary Swanson said he could not discuss the suspension. He disputed Moore’s claims, saying students received “appropriate consequences.” Student Services Director Margot Tobias upheld the suspension, and Moore has appealed to the assistant superintendent.

“She may have felt that her purpose was valid,” Tobias wrote about the taping, “but as a result the privacy rights of all involved were violated.”

Privacy rights?! Does the “privacy rights” of disruptive and undisciplined students now supercede any right of a good student to expect having the opportunity to learn?  Apparently not.

Sadly, this story is hardly one limited to California. Across our nation, students are taught by administrations life lessons they will carry with them for a long time: Avoid blame, cover up, avoid making hard decisions, forget morality.

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With Obama winning the presidency by seven percent, we can't blame the media. Their laudatory coverage and refusal to extensively probe into Obama's background and [lack of] experience was at best responsible for five percent of his vote, the pundits tell us. Here is a compilation of over 100 significant instances of pro-Obama/anti-McCain bias during the 2008 campaign.

For all 'Media Bias 2008' – Click Here

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