October 3, 2008

Bailout: Every Time I Get Tempted to Be Open to It ….. (Update: Passed)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:20 pm

….. crap like this (“GREEN ALERT: MSM Ignores Hidden Carbon Tax Provisions in Paulson’s Bailout 2.0″) comes along.

Nope, I can’t bring myself to give in to blackmail.
______________________________________

UPDATE 1: It passed. It didn’t have to. This alternative would have worked just fine. Many people who should know better have disappointed.

I always hope I am wrong when I makes statements like this, but I fear we will rue this day 5, 10, and 20 years from now.

UPDATE 1A: Buckeye RINO has the Ohio Dishonor Roll, and those who stood firm.

UPDATE 1B: From a CNNMoney e-mail at 2:30 p.m. — “Dow turns lower, erasing 300-point rally, after passage of $700 billion bailout plan.” Majorities in the Senate and House have just been suckered.

UPDATE 2: Gut reax — Blackmailers rarely go to the well only once. They usually come back for more, often sending different representatives to collect.

UPDATE 3: Boehner’s statement, posted in spite of my disagreement —

“The passage of this flawed but necessary bill is not cause for celebration.

“The financial crisis is not a failure of the free-market system. It is a failure of a broken Washington, and a government culture that allowed executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and other firms to run amok, ultimately imperiling our nation’s economy. For years Republicans warned of this danger and advocated reform of these government-sponsored enterprises. And for years such reforms were thwarted by legislators with deep political ties to the worst offenders, putting the companies’ interests ahead of the interests of our country.

“House Republicans stood on principle throughout this process. We secured numerous reforms on behalf of American taxpayers, such as raising the FDIC insurance cap, the SEC’s change to mark-to-market rules for certain assets that have worsened the credit crisis, and an insurance program that forces Wall Street to bear a financial burden in the rescue package. Republicans also were successful in stripping from the original Paulson-Democrat bailout plan of its special-interest earmarks for trial lawyers, labor bosses, and thinly-veiled political organizations like ACORN. This significantly improved legislation is much stronger than the initial Paulson plan and protects the interests of families, seniors, small businesses, and all taxpayers.”

Even if every word of what Boehner says is true (probably) and complete (definitely not), what possible response, other than “okey-dokey,” is there to anyone who says, “Well, if you could handle $700 billion for the financial-services industry, how can you not provide $_____ (fill in the blank) for _________ (fill in the blank)?”

Lara Logan: Luscious Looter?

LaraLoganInIraqYou know how criminals often get caught because they can’t resist bragging about their exploits? What follows may be yet another example of that phenomenon.

CBS correspondent Lara Logan, who spent several years covering the Iraq War, has previously been a news subject herself as a result of her extracurricular activities.

Logan had an affair with “a married federal contractor whom she met while stationed in Iraq,” and became pregnant as a result. At the time of the linked Associated Press story, the father was “in the midst of a divorce from wife Kimberly, with whom he has a 3-year-old daughter.” Early this year, the New York Post reported that Logan “apparently courted two beaus while she was in Baghdad, and has been labeled a homewrecker ….”

Now it appears that Ms. Logan may have left Iraq with questionable “souvenirs,” according to the Post’s Page Six (the Post obtained its core information from this ERSnews.com story; bold after title is mine):

US Eye on Logan’s Iraq Loot

CBS news hottie Lara Logan could be in hot water for swiping souvenirs from the wreckage of bombed-out Baghdad.

In a video profile of the “60 Minutes” star called “Lara Logan’s Spoils of War,” mementos from Iraq and Afghanistan are shown in her Washington office.

“The prize pieces are . . . pre-Iraq invasion portraits of Saddam Hussein. In one [he's] shown in military fatigues. Logan told us she found it in pieces, in the ruins of the Olympic committee building after it was bombed,” reports Marisa Guthrie of Broadcasting & Cable, the media industry publication that produced the online piece.

“A second portrait recovered from the ruins of a shelled palace in Baghdad shows a paternal Saddam surrounded by a group of adoring children, Hovering above the scene is the disembodied head of a stern-looking elderly woman . . . which Logan says is Saddam’s mother.”

Taking such items out of the country is considered theft under a federal provision designed to protect Iraqi heritage. One former Fox News engineer has already been prosecuted and placed on probation for smuggling paintings from Iraqi palaces. Other journos have been warned.

….. A rep for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement told us the agency was looking into it. Logan refused to speak with us. A CBS News flack sniffed, “Sorry, but this one’s not worthy of a comment.”

At some point, what CBS should really be asking is whether Logan is worthy of continued employment.

In light of the above, it’s not unfair to ask how much of the “looting” that took place after Baghdad was committed by the very people who were reporting it.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

The September Employment Situation Report

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:07 am

Still catching up, but to briefly set the table:

  • ADP showed 8,000 nonfarm private jobs lost on Wednesday.
  • AP carried a “consensus” forecast of 100,000 jobs lost when the Bureau of Labor Statistics report is released today.

Here’s the BLS release’s first paragraph:

Nonfarm payroll employment declined by 159,000 in September, and the unemployment rate held at 6.1 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Employment continued to fall in construction, manufacturing, and retail trade, while mining and health care continued to add jobs.

As shown in the first chart below, the number of jobs actually added in September (yes, jobs were actually added in September) was way short of previous years, which is why the seasonally adjusted number in the second chart went as negative as it did:

BLSseasAndNotSeas0908

Two-word overall reax: Thanks, Hank.

Upon further reflection reax: This is a bad-news report, and what follows doesn’t change that. It is interesting, though, that the unemployment rate stayed the same while jobs were lost. That is consistent with a workforce that isn’t growing much, or even contracting, as was the case in September, even on a seasonally adjusted basis. My best guess is that this is happening because more boomers are hitting the early Social Security retirement age of 62, out-migration of illegal immigrants is continuing, and many illegals who so far have stayed have withdrawn from the workforce.

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (100308, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 8:28 am

But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • Yesterday’s NewsBusters version of this BizzyBlog Post (“Cooking with AP: Polls Radically Change Party Mix to Fabricate an Obama Trend”) is linked at Rush Limbaugh’s site at this page, which will be available until next Thursday at about 6 p.m. Limbaugh makes the huge point that Old Media reporting about polling trends is a time-dishonored  technique designed to demoralize and suppress conservative and Republican turnout. I’ve already seen a sign or two of that in the comments here. Peeps, especially after how last night’s VP debate went, get a grip.
  • Speaking of vote suppression, Ohio’s fraud-friendly Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner got slapped down (HT Michelle Malkin) by the Ohio Supremes yesterday, unanimously. Brunner attempted a blatantly partisan early-vote disqualification gambit that would have thrown out hundreds, if not thousands, of GOP-favoring ballots. Whatever happened to “intent of the voter,” Jen? Meanwhile, the “drunken rodeo” fraud in early registration combined with early voting continues.
  • I may have more on this later if I have something unique to add. I’ve read transcripts and three live blogs after-the-fact, but haven’t seen the vid yet. That said, it looks like Sarah Poise Palin wiped the floor with Joe Biden (D-Bank of America, formerly D-MBNA, happens to reside in DE).
  • Helen Thomas II, otherwise known as Maureen Dowd, was kicked off the McCain campaign plane (HT Warner Todd Huston at NewsBusters). Spare me the lefty outrage, because there was near-silence when the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza was barred from traveling with “The One” I refer to as “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH, PUNK” (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein ObambiObama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters, Previously Unaccomplished Nonsupporter of Kin)

Exit point re MoDo and McCain — hey, he’s just trying to toughen her up.

Positivity: Owner saves dog from shark’s jaws

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Islamorada, Florida:

Posted on Tue, Sep. 30, 2008

Greg LeNoir watched in horror as the shark’s mouth opened wide, chomping a large set of teeth on his beloved 14-pound dog, Jake.

Noooooo,” LeNoir shrieked, fearing the worst.

But the case of the rat terrier vs. the shark has a happy ending.

“Jake’s doing great,” LeNoir’s brother, Phillip, said Monday. “And I still can’t believe my brother jumped in the water and punched a shark.”

The saga began Friday afternoon when Greg LeNoir took Jake to the Worldwide Sportsman’s Bayside Marina pier in Islamorada for the dog’s daily swim. LeNoir said Jake is a fast and fearless swimmer, often retrieving jellyfish and soaked coconuts.

But this time, Jake, a 28-month-old dog adopted from an animal shelter, unexpectedly encountered the shark, which was about five feet long. As Jake disappeared under the water, LeNoir conquered his own fear and sprang to action.

“I clenched my fists and dove straight in with all my strength, like a battering ram,” LeNoir, 53, said Sunday, reliving the frightening ordeal. “I hit the back of the shark’s neck. It was like hitting concrete.”

Sharks are not uncommon in the marina, which is near the Islamorada Fish Co.’s open saltwater pool that attracts large tarpon.

LeNoir, a finish carpenter who lives in Islamorada, said he concluded the creature was either a bull shark or lemon shark after describing it to local fishermen and another brother, Louie, a shark-tooth collector in Orlando.

LeNoir’s wife of 17 years, Tessalee, said she wasn’t shocked by her husband’s heroics. “People know him as Dr. Doolittle,” she said. “He’s the one who climbs up a tree to save a possum.”

Lenoir added: “We have no children. Jake became our child. When I saw the shark engulf him, I thought, ‘This can’t be the end.’”

The shark let go of Jake, and the dog popped to the surface, frantically swimming the few yards to shore. LeNoir followed, paddling through a red trail of blood from the dog.

At VCA Upper Keys Animal Hospital in Islamorada, veterinarian Suzanne Sigel and emergency on-call assistant Callie Cottrell patched Jake’s wounds.

“Amazingly, he wasn’t critical,” Sigel said. “He’s one lucky dog.”

…..

Go here for the rest of the story.