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The government, like Soylent Green, is people

The Administration is all about growing government. But ponder this: man is fallen and depraved. And government is made up of men, some worse than others.

The video is disturbing at many levels. Thankfully the evidence was preserved.

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Sometimes, even a blind squirrel finds half an acorn

Sometimes it’s Dana Milkbag Milbank, sometimes it’s Ezra Klein.

We’re speaking, of course, of the random acts of accurate observation sometimes occurring in reliably liberal writers. In this case, Klein has seen the train wreck—and the bogusness of—Barack Obamacare:

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama relied on a standard applause line, a promise that his health-care plan would “lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.” Cue cheers — or jeers if you were a health-policy expert. For them, his vow was ridiculous. There was no time frame attached to the promise. There was no plan for realizing it. It was change no one quite believed in.

Shockingly, Klein says candidate Obama’s promises on healthcare were lies optimistic oversimplifications.

Although we applaud Klein for finding an acorn, we can’t help but wonder how he would characterize the issue had it been James Clapper who had offered the misrepresentation instead of the President.

And sadly, almost as soon as Klein has found an acorn of truth, it slips from his grasp into the fermented funk of predictable liberalism: that is, Klein—and America—needs Congress to do something for some reason to someone regarding something else stat:

[There should now be] an explosion of efforts in Congress to capitalize on this moment. We should be pushing further and faster to reform the health-care system, even as we argue about the expansion of health insurance under Obamacare. Instead, Congress is wasting the moment, doing an even worse job addressing the subject of health costs than Obama did in 2008.

Klein’s pleading is forced to ignore the fact it was the then-Democrat Congress—who had to pass it before they could read it—along with the President, who gave us the failed government leviathan called Barack Obamacare.

Ezra, next time try quitting when you’re ahead. Half a column—even a paragraph—that’s  reasonable, accurate, and understandable is far better than a longer one that isn’t.

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away

It goes without saying that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

It also seems that 911 dispatchers—well, at least one 911 dispatcher in Oregon—are cleared to make what could be easily construed as paid political pro-government/anti-“austerity” commentary:

An Oregon woman was told by a 911 dispatcher that authorities wouldn’t be able be able to help her as her ex-boyfriend broke into her place because of budget cuts.

Shocking. And soon, people will also find out the government is incapable of providing for their retirement, assuming their bad debt, providing for their health care, giving a “free” education, and beyond. No matter the size of the welfare state, there’s always more that can be done than there is money to spend it on, even with Obamanomic levels of debt and deficits.

More:

“Once again it’s unfortunate you guys don’t have any law enforcement out there,” the dispatcher said, according to Oregon Public Radio.

The dispatcher stayed on the phone with the woman for more than 10 minutes before the sexual assault took place.

Once again? How many times did the dispatcher made this speech?

And Is it possible that if the victim had a gun, things might have turned out better?

The perp was arrested after the crimes and pleaded guilty to kidnapping, sex abuse, and assault.

It would be interesting to note how big a SWAT capability the police have out there in the land of after-the-fact law enforcement (as opposed to crime prevention). Maybe small or even none, but maybe not.

Leadership is about establishing priorities (SWAT capabilities versus cops on patrol, for example) and everyone is a leader. At minimum, you lead yourself and one of your prime directives should be to keep yourself safe.

‘Confusion at the IRS’ as scandal mitigation?

The New York Times appears to be offering its media mitigation services to the Administration in an attempt to try and lessen the impact of the IRS scandal.

Why? Probably so as to allow the country to move on to more important Times’ topics like gun control, homosexual marriage, increased deficit spending, manmade global warming, and amnesty for illegals.

So here are the basic elements of the Times story: A solitary IRS “manager” provided ambiguous direction. (IRS workers don’t normally talk politics one “supervisor” said, implying apolitical thinking.) “Low-level” workers processed other 501(c)4 applications but the desk of a “lone specialist” piled up with Tea Party cases. Meanwhile, “midlevel” IRS managers had communications problems with their higher-ups. Even though 400 Tea Party/conservative group records were flagged, two-dozen “liberal-leaning” and perhaps “apolitical” organizations were also marked for this special treatment, so bias is clearly not evident. The IRS “struggled” with its growing caseload (even though the caseload surge didn’t happen until well after the targeting began). The Cincinnati office is a bit of a “backwater” and the work there is undesirable. Eventually, progress on the whole topic was made and by the way, the IRS Commissioner in place for much of this debacle was a George W. Bush appointee.

So there we have it… things are complicated, honest mistakes were made by a mere few who probably meant well, the IRS needs more workers, and a Bush appointee is complicit. Case closed, game over. With all that established, shouldn’t America just press on with the really important issues of the day?

The implied question is answered with a resounding Times, “Yes!”

Why? Because according to a former IRS lawyer, a “politically charged investigation might descend into a witch hunt that leaves low-level I.R.S. employees too intimidated to enforce the tax code.”

(Hmm. It looks more like the problem was that some IRS employees were not sufficiently intimidated by the law to enforce the tax code to begin with… )

And apparently, to the Times, unearthing the truth of the issue pales to the possibility of a “politically charged investigation,” even though the IRS scandal is clearly a bipartisan issue with numerous Democrats, including the President, offering their public outrage.

Meanwhile, the “politically charged” behavior of the IRS (did they display their own initiative on this or were they were merely doing the bidding of their superiors going as high up as… who knows?) is something, like Benghazi, we should move on from.

Or as Hillary might say, “What difference, at this point, does it make?!

What’s the difference between a Ponzi scheme and the federal government?

The main difference between a Ponzi scheme and the federal government is that the government can legally print and borrow money.

From Terence Jeffrey:

In fiscal 2010, according to numbers published by the Census Bureau and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), net spending by all levels of government in the United States was $5,942,988,401,000. That equaled $50,074 for each one of the 118,682,000 households in the country.

In that same year, according to the Census Bureau, the median household income was $49,445.

That means total net government spending per household ($50,074) exceeded median household income (49,445) by $629.

But things that can’t continue forever, wont, right? Right.

Since the government can print and borrow money, its scheme’s collapse is delayed from the present into the future (also known as intergenerational theft). It would certainly seem more difficult to be a Ponzi schemer than a government type as 1) it’s illegal, and 2) there’s always the challenge of adding “customers” to the fraud in order to support the schemer’s lifestyle and to pay out those who may have figured things out. It’s quite a bit more difficult to opt out of the federal government.

…between 2000 and 2010, government in this country went from spending $12,049 less than the median household income to spending $629 more.

(Sadly, the above discussion is only in reference to the federal government and doesn’t even include state, county, and municipality deficits and debt.)

In fact, the government’s ability to print and borrow means no worries… until the music stops. And when the music stops, there are either “haircuts” for those the government owes money, damaging inflation, or default.

Or all three. The American circumstance, like the Cyprus banking situation, will not end well.

A New York state of mind

I’m shocked, shocked that there are dirty pols in New York:

It’s a stunning and wide-ranging public corruption scandal.

Six highly-placed politicians are accused of using bribery to rig this year’s New York City mayoral race.

There were three distinct parts to the public corruption and bribery scandal, but in all three money flowed freely and, at times, city and state funds — your tax dollars — paid the freight…

Stunning or stunning that the perps stupid enough to commit such a crime? (Consider if you will, Elliot Spitzer, AKA Client Number Nine or his clue-bag and similarly zipper-cased replacement.)

And there’s an irony near-miss from the U.S. attorney:

“The charges we unsealed today demonstrate once again that a ‘show me the money’ culture seems to pervade every level of New York government,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

Right, Preet: show me the money only pervades every level of New York government. After all, we all know such a thing could never happen at the federal level.

We’re from the government and we’re here to help

The President just knows that if we could only get more people on “good government jobs,” all would be well in America. Others think he’s mistaken. A few recent and notable chronicles of public service:

We have GaffeMaster Flash spending $1 million a year of other people’s money just for his weekend trips.

There’s The Nanny taking along a police detail—and paying for it with other people’s money—when he vacations in Bermuda… or anywhere else. Oh, and they take their guns—and likely their Big Gulps—naturally. Do as I say and not as I do and all that.

State troopers in Texas perform a full body cavity search on a pair of women. The taxpayers are responsible for both the troopers’ salary and the subsequent lawsuit. The alleged crime driving the requirement for a full body cavity search? Throwing a cigarette out of their vehicle.

Government d-baggers in Colorado (and elsewhere) drive businesses that makes things people want out of state due to the crafting of idiotic laws (with legislatures and governors that match). Remember, Obamacare fully funds any and all libotomies.

Don’t forget EU bureaucrats going all Steve Miller, that is, they take the money and run… for re-election and/or re-appointment. (This is a story about Angela and frau Lagarde, two old people who wanted to go full retard…)

Yes, they’re here from the government, they’re glad to see you, and they’re here to help.

Al Gore in Britain

It seems Al Gore has arrived in Britain. Literally, in Biden-speak, and figuratively in reality-speak.

From Christopher Booker at The Telegraph:

As the snow of the coldest March since 1963 continues to fall, we learn that we have barely 48 hours’ worth of stored gas left to keep us warm, and that the head of our second-largest electricity company, SSE, has warned that our generating capacity has fallen so low that we can expect power cuts to begin at any time. It seems the perfect storm is upon us.

The grotesque mishandling of Britain’s energy policy by the politicians of all parties, as they chase their childish chimeras of CO2-induced global warming and windmills, has been arguably the greatest act of political irresponsibility in our history.

The source of the madness? The “wisdom” of the “settled science” of manmade global warming. And it means in Britain, you might not be able to afford to warm yourself. (Something about Taxman comes to mind…)

Within seven years this new tax will rise to £30 a ton, and by 2030 to £70 a ton, making it wholly uneconomical to generate any more electricity from the coal and gas-fired power stations that last week were still supplying two thirds of our electricity.

Since the wisdom of the politicians in Britain is insanity, the obvious lesson is you reap what you sow. And as a corollary, voters need to think carefully about why they’re sowing madness.

Ted Cruz as a way ahead?

Ted Cruz was worth waiting for.

A follow-up for Dianne Feinstein might be this: can’t every gun, at its most basic level, be used as an “assault weapon”? (Or is being classified as a hunting or target gun magically place the weapon into the non-assault column?)

bloomberg failIf ordinary citizens “don’t need” certain weapons or large-capacity magazines, why should SWAT-teams—remember, the police were once known as officers of the peace—have them, especially given their record?

(On the other hand, I suppose the ruling class could also ask the same question about why a Big Gulp needs to be big, why a case of Mountain Dew needs to have 24 cans, or why anyone should be allowed to smoke… except the President, or not follow the Michelle Obama food pyramid… except Michelle Obama and her select.)

The differentiating factor regarding guns and weapons (and even non-weapons) of all sorts is this: what does the person with the gun/weapon intend to do? Ability (having a gun or weapon or even a non-traditional weapon like a hammer) without the intent to maliciously use it means nothing. That’s why we don’t worry about the nuclear weapons and delivery systems the British and French possess.

Feinstein has no interest in writing Constitutionally compliant law just as Harry Reid had no interest in performing the essential Congressional function of drafting a federal budget (until forced to). Her strategy is either that of political theater, or more likely, political control. A political control hypothesis would be that her preferred gun control laws might be upheld by the courts, thereby justifying it. Hey, let’s throw a bunch of legislative stuff at the wall and see if any of it sticks!

The lesson here: don’t bring a low-capacity magazine (that is, a Dianne Feinstein) to a high-capacity (that is, a Ted Cruz) intellectual firefight.

Obama’s collective action: my way or the (government provided) highway

The President again showed he’s a fine reader, in fact, he’s even a Dear Reader, as shown during his inauguration speech the other day. Where he’s deficient is in defending the ideology of his speech writers when those speeches are unpacked. Case in point:

For we have always understood that when times change, so must we, that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges, that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world be acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias.

“Collective action” is, of course, the speech writer’s (and the speech reader’s) attempt to defend the intrusive arm of government. But the reality is the block quote inadvertently defends free markets. How so? The aforementioned “American soldiers” wouldn’t even had a musket unless there was a gun maker. And the gun maker wouldn’t be able to produce a product were raw materials like iron and wood made available through free markets. And the miner and woodsman would not be able to provide their materials unless a highly functional free market allowed them to specialize their efforts accordingly (and continue ad infinitum).

Or there’s this howler:

Our celebration of initiative and enterprise, our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, these are constants in our character.

OK, well those may be constants in our character—in theory—but “collective action,” the intrusive force of government, is doing its best to ablate them away. Evidence? Look at workforce participation numbers or the bank and automobile bailouts. I’m confused: do shrinking workforce numbers and bailouts fall into the “hard work” or the “personal responsibility” category?

And there’s the force of government, just under the surface, in this:

We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.

As someone once said, a goal without an action plan is just a dream. Does the President (or better, his team of speech writers) have a dream? It would seem so. But how about this for a plan: let’s make it easier for America to have more health care providers… you know, that whole supply and demand thing? Instead, the Obamaunists favor ideas that entail government market interference like reducing reimbursement rates to existent health care providers. (And the size of the deficit—which has increased massively under Obama’s watch—is an entire series of posts.)

The real theme with Obama and his writers is that Americans are too stupid to decide things for themselves and too selfish to care for one another. The solution is government and ironically (to me anyway), government is made up of the same flawed human beings who are so stupid and selfish. Such is life under Obamunism, where health care provides for “free” abortions, birth control, and libotomies with the freedom of association that will allow us to all become good d-baggers.

The poor you will always have with you

(Note: derived from the Robert Rector article How Poor Is ‘Poor’?)

Yes, the poor will always be with us, and under President Obama’s leadership, in increasing numbers. And they’ll be voting.

Think about this issue as Joe Biden would: Hey, we set a new record! That’s a big flipping deal, ‘cause more is better, right?

The federal government’s welfare programs cost $927 billion in FY11 and 46.2 million Americans are now considered poor. That’s up from 36.4 in 2006.

The government definition of “poor” is based on income. In 2011, the government categorizes a family of four as being poor if their income is around $23000. However, assuming that the poor family receive an average amount of federal aid (about $9000 per person), their pre-tax buying power would shoot up to almost $60000.

Since the government counts about three percent of this aid as income, let’s round the buying power number down to $58000.

If this example is correct (and given the many “poor” with flat screens, cell phones, high-speed internet, air conditioning, automobiles, etc.), it seems to beg for a picture with the caption Poor: You’re Doing It Wrong.

One grad student versus federal regulators

Those who think just a bit more government—continued ad infinitum; like government health-care—will do the trick to fix all our ills, consider the following.

Jonathan Mayer had a hunch.

A gifted computer scientist, Mayer suspected that online advertisers might be getting around browser settings that are designed to block tracking devices known as cookies. If his instinct was right, advertisers were following people as they moved from one website to another even though their browsers were configured to prevent this sort of digital shadowing. Working long hours at his office, Mayer ran a series of clever tests in which he purchased ads that acted as sniffers for the sort of unauthorized cookies he was looking for. He hit the jackpot, unearthing one of the biggest privacy scandals of the past year: Google was secretly planting cookies on a vast number of iPhone browsers. Mayer thinks millions of iPhones were targeted by Google.

This is precisely the type of privacy violation the Federal Trade Commission aims to protect consumers from, and Google, which claims the cookies were not planted in an unethical way, now reportedly faces a fine of more than $10 million. But the FTC didn’t discover the violation. Mayer is a 25-year-old student working on law and computer science degrees at Stanford University. He shoehorned his sleuthing between classes and homework, working from an office he shares in the Gates Computer Science Building with students from New Zealand and Hong Kong. He doesn’t get paid for his work and he doesn’t get much rest.

And yet what lesson—at least in part—does Mayer himself draw?

“I don’t think it’s controversial to note that they [the FTC] seem to be understaffed,” Mayer said in a phone interview between classes. “I think that’s pretty clear.”

Regarding computer security and privacy, there is no end-game. It’s an unending war. But a Goliath-like government-led solution has to be the worst choice on the menu.

Instead, we need an army of cyber-sniper Davids like Jonathan Mayer. But despite heroic market-driven efforts like AVG, avast!, and others, I don’t think that’s where we’re trending.

Who shall bailout the bailers?

Is there any western nation out there—Canada, Germany, and Australia excluded—who doesn’t need a bailout?

And can those funding national-level bailouts (using ever-increasing amounts of newly created and self-borrowed money) continue this game forever? Despite the attractiveness of denial (“this time it’s different”), the evidence suggests things that can’t continue forever won’t.

So a question of growing significance is “Who shall bailout the bailers?”

Yet isn’t the answer obvious? Our “global leaders,” of course.

However, these are the same political, social, financial, and economic rocket scientists whose actions suggest they believe debt can be deferred indefinitely, inflated away, borrowed at costs approaching zero, or written down without serious impact. The same global leaders who can’t or won’t make the decisions that normal households do under similar circumstances every day (like choosing to live within one’s means).

These are the same global leaders who manage to equate “austerity” with government growth and “growth” with more government growth. It follows the admonition to never let a good crisis go to waste and the outcome is a continued erosion of freedom of choice and conscious, surrendered to those insiders who are wiser (market interference of all sorts, green jobs, national debt, tax policy, invented “rights,” regulation, etc.) about our own good than we are ourselves.

Debt-wise, as the U.S. is not much better off than those in crisis and since the Fed/U.S. government has long been the bailer of choice, who shall bail the Fed/U.S. government out?

Or alternatively, who will have to bear the results of their failures?