May 15, 2007

After Tonight’s Debate, Is This What the GOP Faithful Will Be Singing?

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:19 pm

This is the audio file of the day.

An especially talented e-mailer is responsible for the audio. The especially un-talented yours truly is responsible for the pics that appear:

You might especially like the pics at about the 2:20 – 2:35 mark.

Enjoy.

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UPDATE: Here’s a direct link to the page at YouTube.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (051507)

The last word on McDermottgate? The Wall Street Journal in a Saturday subscription-only editorial loaded with snark sure hopes so. Perhaps Mr. McDermott wishes he had cut his losses earlier (bolds are mine):

As Judge David Sentelle described Mr. McDermott in his 1999 dissent: “a public official charged with the oversight of the ethics of his colleagues willfully dealt with felons and knowingly received unlawfully obtained evidence on the chance that he might be able to use something contained therein to embarrass one of the colleagues whose ethics he was charged with policing.” Classy guy.

The Hill newspaper reports that Mr. Boehner offered to drop the suit four years ago if Mr. McDermott would admit wrongdoing, apologize and make a $10,000 donation to charity. Mr. McDermott has refused, and now faces $60,000 in damages, plus perhaps $500,000 more to cover Mr. Boehner’s legal costs.

Rather than a lawsuit, the proper remedy was censure or expulsion by the House. In the event, Mr. McDermott resigned from the Ethics Committee, which found he had violated the “spirit” of its rules but took no formal action against him. We guess he met community standards. Mr. McDermott could appeal to the Supreme Court, but we hope he concludes he’s already done enough damage.

Ending the potential for damage by throwing him out of office is obviously too much to hope for from the voters of his loony-left congressional district.

I personally won’t consider it the end until Baghdad Jim cuts Mr. Boehner a $500K check.

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Sterling Burnett at Planet Gore is surprised at the lack of coverage (HT Ohio Conservative) received by two reports (both are PDFs — here and here) that attempted to identify the costs of globaloney initiatives and who gets impacted the most.

I’m not.

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Bill Vlasic and Bryce G. Hoffman of the Detroit News dedicated over 1,500 words to a story about tensions in the Ford family over the future of the automaker, and I’m supposed to believe that this never came up. Uh huh — even though a shareholder resolution on the issue involved was on the agenda of the upcoming annual meeting.

This description of the reax at the meeting, admittedly not from an unbiased source, belies what I believe is feigned apathy by the company:

Tom Strobhar, who read the proposal at the meeting for shareholder Dr. Robert Hurley, believes other shareholders who are angry about Ford Motor Company’s financial woes listened with open ears to statements about the negative impact of the company’s support of the homosexual agenda. “Clearly, Ford has been going in the wrong direction and has had disastrous financial consequences, which set the tone of the whole meeting,” observes Strobhar.

Hurley’s resolution, the eighth of nine presented that day, received just short of the five percent of votes it did last year. But Strobhar says one difference this year was the level of attention shareholders seemed to give to the facts he mentioned during its oral presentation. As he puts it, the resolution “quieted” the meeting.

“People were very attentive,” he says. “You could have heard a pin drop at the meeting when I did my resolution. There were many angry shareholders there, and when I told the shareholders about the 700,000 people who are boycotting Ford, they paid attention.”

Strohbar elaborated in a subsequent One News Now article:

But they were also angry, according to Strobhar, and he feels that there is a backlash that could be in the works from consumer boycotting of Ford’s investment choice with its charitable dollars.

“There were many angry shareholders there,” the activist says, “and when I told the shareholders about the 700,000 people who are boycotting Ford, they paid attention.” And with more announced plant closings, he is convinced that “workers at those institutions [being shut down] would be horrified to know that Ford Motor is giving money to gay and lesbian pride events in London and [toward] building gay and lesbian centers at the expense of their jobs.”

As I’ve said before, I believe those now-708,000-plus signers and the organizations that have signed on to the boycott have, through their spheres of influence and organizational relationships, not only convinced 10% or more of the car-buying population not to buy Ford vehicles, but that those who on’t buy are many of Ford’s most potentially profitable SUV and crossover-minivan customers. Even if I’m only half-right, how can a company that is circling the drain even be thinking about alienating a significant portion of its buyer base in such an in-your-face fashion?

The best that can be said about all of this is that if Ford does somehow turn itself around, its obstinate adherence to Political Correctness and so-called “Corporate Social Responsibility” will have caused that recovery to have taken much longer and to have inflicted a lot more pain on shareholders, employees, suppliers, and communities than it should have.

Today’s ‘Read the Whole Thingers’ (051507)

Don Luskin says the near term for the economy and the markets looks very good, with troubling indicators “out there.” He also gets in deserved shots at those who are always seeing a recession just around the bend:

Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard people say a million times “the consumer is 70% of the economy” — so a month’s weak sales means a depression is right around the corner. I think not. The consumer may be 70% of the economy, but the producer is 100% of the economy. And the producer is going gangbusters.

The ISM surveys of both the manufacturing and services sectors show that business has picked up briskly. And this week’s jobless claims, below 300,000, show that the labor market is nice and tight. People are making money. People will spend that money. It will be fine.

And corporate earnings have been booming — no, surging! Consensus earnings estimates for the coming year — the expectations that form equity valuations — have been rising at a nearly 16% annualized rate over the last month.

….. The economy’s going to keep on growing and stocks are going to keep on floating higher. That’s the way things naturally work unless something interferes to stop them. And while there are threats on the distant horizon, for the time being nothing’s getting in the way of growth.

….. The good news is that, so far, more than six months since the election that swept the Democrats to power, they’ve done essentially nothing. None of the horrible antigrowth economic policies they campaigned on have been implemented.

….. The other big threat to growth is the Fed.

….. Eventually the Fed is going to raise rates. Inflation’s not going away, and the economy isn’t going to be weak enough to force the Fed to lower rates. When the rate hikes start, we’ll be at a point of real risk — because if history is any guide, once it gets started the Fed isn’t very good at stopping.

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What did politicians do to change the economics of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) to the point of their becoming a viable lighting alternative in many situations? Of course, nothing. Now that they are, Paul Jacob bemoans the trend towards forcing their use — and outlawing the incandescent light. How is it that even good ideas morph into top-down freedom-inhibiting mandates once they become politically correct?

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The story of arrested spy Leandro Aragoncillo is covered in detail at Information Week. It leaves you wonder how much more of it might be going on.

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Mary Grabar is an up-and-coming columnist worth checking out. Her “Sarkozy and Me” riff on Sunday holds nothing back. She rips the New York Times for its “objective” front-page headline and story on the French election (“Sarkozy Wins the Chance to Prove His Critics Wrong”), including an “interesting” game of translation word play the world press has played (bold is mine; a few para breaks added by me):

This harsh assessment emerges in part from Nicolas Sarkozy’s reference to youths in the Paris suburbs, who are prone to setting cars ablaze, racaille, which has been translated as “scum” by the New York Times (but as “riff-raff,” according to my dictionary).

Oh, the insensitivity!

New York Times approval or not, the French people, especially blue-collar workers and women, elected a man who called rioters something other than the liberal-approved terms, “disadvantaged,” “downtrodden,” “underprivileged”—or, perhaps, pyromania-impulse-control-challenged.

Personally, as someone who grew up with rioters all around me in Rochester, New York, in the 1960s and 1970s, I think even “scum” is much too weak a term to apply to those who joyfully destroy private property and beat up innocent people. I thought this when I was seven, when they beat up Otto, the man who lived in the apartment above his corner store. With saintly patience this middle-aged man picked out the penny candy that I carefully selected for the nickel I had earned for walking the kindergartner to school—my first paid employment.

I haven’t changed my mind about those rioters. And I would still call those who ran down the halls of my high school smashing glass and beating up teachers worse than scum. My French lesson that day was interrupted by being locked in the classroom, hearing the principal over the p.a., and then stepping over broken glass and blood, as I rushed home terrified. And I won’t tell you what I think of the rioters who beat up to near death Reginald Denny, the truck driver who happened to drive onto the wrong street after the Rodney King verdict.

What’s worse than the rioters are the defenders and jury who let the rioters go virtually unpunished. Or my teachers who used rioting as an opportunity for more “racial dialogue” in the place of the things I should have been studying in high school, like Latin or philosophy.

….. It may take the son of an Eastern European immigrant to get these spoiled children of the West on the right track. Sarkozy’s support was strong among blue-collar workers, probably the best hope for the future of the West. I hope he cracks down hard on rioters and keeps children safe from the hoodlums promoting the cause of the spoiled Marxists. I hope he bodes well for the 2008 elections here in the U.S.

So I raise a toast. It will be good to drink French wine again.

The Times and its affiliate, the International Herald Tribune, just looooove to use the word “polarizing” to describe almost anyone to the right of center. But apparently Sarkozy is especially threatening. According to Roger Cohen in the IHT, he is “a personality almost as polarizing as George W. Bush.”

Positivity: 13 Year-Old’s ‘Novel’ Achievement

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From the Miami Herald (HT DailyGood e-mail):

Posted on Sat, May. 05, 2007

Nancy Yi Fan was too young to know she was breaking every rule in the book when she e-mailed her first manuscript directly to the president and CEO of HarperCollins.

”I was being quite bold thinking I had nothing to lose,” says Nancy, now an eighth-grader. ‘I thought, `Maybe she will give me some advice.’ ”

Instead the CEO, Jane Friedman, gave her a contract, passing Fan’s allegorical story about warring avian factions and their quest for peace to her children’s division, which published Swordbird (HarperCollins, $15.99, ages 8-12) this spring.

Now, Fan, 13, is seeing her name on The New York Times bestseller list.

Go here for the rest of the story