AreYouLiberal.Com
17Mar/12Off

Jerry Brown’s Plan B

California Gov. Jerry Brown likes to talk about “loyalty to California.” For Brown, that means that public people should put aside their partisan interests to do what is best for the Golden State.
Last week, Brown failed his own loyalty test. He agreed to a deal to put a tax increase measure on the November ballot when he has to know that the new measure would exacerbate California’s dysfunctional finances.
Brown’s been trying to get a measure on the ballot ever since he was elected. This year, he proposed a “temporary” tax ...

17Mar/12Off

Video: Ridley Scott’s Prometheus


17Mar/12Off

Politico notices how bad Obamacare’s been.

(H/T: Instapundit) So, Politico publishes this story called “Four hard truths of health care reform – which is Politico’s way of saying ‘Obamacare has been an unmitigated disaster, but we’re going to try to spin it as well as we can anyway’ – and there’s two reasons why the tone of said story is amazing in its effrontery. The first reason is the way that it presents the aforementioned ‘hard truths’ as if they had just only now been revealed unto the populace, instead of being pretty much known all along. Don’t believe me? Take a look: below is each ‘hard truth’ Politico documents.

  • “Some people won’t get to keep the coverage they like.”

NO! Really?

  • “Costs aren’t going to go down.”

NO! Really? NO! Really?

  • “It’s just a guess that the law can pay for itself.”

NO! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really?

  • ““The more they know, the more they’ll like it” isn’t happening.”

No! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really? NO! Really?

…and that’s just me. I’m hardly unique.

Then there’s the second reason why this story is amazing in its effrontery; if Politico wants to take this disingenuous a tone over Obamacare (particularly on how much it was, and would still be, hated) then it possibly should read its own freaking archives. After all, they wrote an article about the controversy (called “Democrats guess wrong on health care“) in September.

That would be September of 2010.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Am I being fair to Politico? Depends on how you define the word. What I’m doing is treating Politico as an unofficial, but very real, partisan ally of the Democrats over Obamacare. Which is perhaps mean of me, but as I grow older I grow ever more impatient with the idea of letting people pretend to objectivity when they have no real intent in actually being objective.

17Mar/12Off

Randy Newman: ‘My Life Is Good’

A couple weeks ago
My wife and I
Took a little trip down to
Mexico
Met this young girl there
We brought her back with us
Now she lives with us
In our home
She cleans the hallway
She cleans the stairs
She cleans the living room
She wipes the baby's ass
She drives the kids to school
She does the laundry too
She wrote this song for me
Listen
Yeah

The other afternoon
My wife and I
Took a little ride into
Beverly Hills
Went to the private school
Our oldest child attends
Many famous people send their children there
This teacher says to us
"We have a problem here
This child just will not do
A thing we tell him to
And he's such a big old thing
He hurts the other children
All the games they play, he plays too rough"
I said hold it teacher
Wait a minute
Maybe my ears are clogged or somethin'
Maybe I'm not understanding
The English language
Dear, you don't seem to realize

My life is good
My life is good
My life is good, you old bag
My life

Just this evening
Some young associates of ours
Are flying in to see us from
New York City
They're gonna stay with us
A couple of weeks or so
I'm gonna take 'em to
Restaurants and everything
We're gonna get 'em some
Real good cocaine
They don't get much
Where they come from
And this one guy's wife
Is such a pretty little brown thing
That I'm liable to give her a poke or two
Whaddaya think of that?

Teacher, let me tell you a little story
Just this morning
My wife and I
Went to this sort of a hotel in the hills
That's right
The Bel-Air Hotel
Where a very good friend of ours
Happened to be staying
The name of this young man
Is Mr. Bruce Springsteen
That's right, yeah
We talked about some kind of
Woodblock or something
And this new guitar we like
And you know what he said to me
I'll tell you what he said to me
He said, "Rand, I'm tired
How would you like to be the Boss for awhile?"
Well, yeah

My life is good
My life is good

There's also a great version of this song on The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2.


17Mar/12Off

Dude, Happy Saint Paddy’s Day!

Greedy 1%

Cross-Posted: TobyToons.com (Conservative Political Cartoons)

17Mar/12Off

Insanity Break: Ruin


17Mar/12Off

Daily Links – March 17, 2012

Today is March 17th. Today is St. Patrick’s Day, in honor of the bishop and missionary who died on this date in 461. In the U.S., the first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in Boston, in 1737. The first New York City celebration of the holiday took place in 1756. The first person to get drunk and throw up on the holiday was everyone. Also on this date, in 1942, General Douglas MacArthur became Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in the Pacific theater. His corncob pipe was appointed assistant to the supreme commander. And finally, in addition to St. Patrick’s Day, today is also National Corndog Day. So there’s that. Consider this an Open Thread.

What if the Left is just one Potemkin Village after another? | Mark Tapscott
“Yet, by maintaining the fiction of independence from one and other, they appear to much of the press to be a pack of scrappy underdogs sinking their teeth into the ankles of the big-money men.”

Study: Feds Approving Fewer Oil and Gas Leases | Heartlander
“The number of oil and gas leases granted by the federal government in the western United States declined by 44 during the first two years of the Obama administration versus the last two years of the Bush presidency, according to a new study prepared for the American Petroleum Institute (API) by EIS Solutions.”

Obama campaign film contains $25 billion error on auto bailouts | Raw Story
“But it’s not all roses for team Obama: part of the film contains a gross inaccuracy. Specifically, it claims that General Motors (GM) has fully repaid its federal bailout loan. It has not — meaning the documentary contains a $25 billion error.”

Today’s Word of the Day comes via Dictionary.com
selcouth (SEL-kooth): adjective Strange; uncommon.

17Mar/12Off

Yet Another Solyndra Weekend Doc Dump

**Written by Doug Powers

null

Friday has passed us by, which means another batch of Solyndra emails were released. Solyndra weekend email dumps have become the Saturday matinée serial cliffhangers of the 21st century, except a lot more expensive — but at least Flash Gordon’s rocket ship is now powered by algae and solar panels.

This weekend’s Solyndra dump tells the story of an administration that was considering having Solyndra execs sit in the First Lady’s box for the January 2011 State of the Union address, until a White House staffer saw the writing on the wall:

The idea of seating Solyndra officials with first lady Michelle Obama in the Capitol during the president’s nationally televised speech came up around the same time that DOE was preparing a controversial change to the company’s $535 million federal loan guarantee, which wound up increasing the risk to taxpayers.

But Daniella Gibbs Léger, director of White House message events, batted down the idea of a State of the Union invite before it could be raised among her superiors. “Can’t do Solyndra … they’ve run into some issues recently. :( ,” she wrote on Jan. 5, 2011.

So the director of White House message events knew Solyndra’s problems were not just bad, but “unhappy face emoticon” bad. It’s probably for the better… if people from Solyndra had been in the SOTU audience it might have ended up being too much for Joe Biden to handle.

It doesn’t end with that little anecdote. Writing at Hot Air, the timeline seemed odd to Ed Morrissey, considering the Department of Energy allowed Solyndra $75 million in new financing and a restructured deal after the January 2011 SOTU:

So the question raised is this: If the White House comms group and its climate czar both knew that Solyndra was an embarrassment, and so much so that the comms group nixed having Solyndra execs attend the 2011 SOTU in person, then why did Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu agree to restructure the loan less than a month later on such unfavorable terms?

This is from an ABC News report from last year about who benefited from the restructured deal — you’ve probably guessed by now:

Under terms of the bankruptcy filing, investors including Argonaut — which led a $75 million round of financing for Solyndra earlier this year — will stand in line before the federal government and other creditors.

When Solyndra announced that round of fundraising this February, it noted that the DOE had refinanced terms of the $535 million loan to extend the payment period. Under an “inter-creditor agreement” cited in the bankruptcy filing, the investors in the $75 million financing are considered first lien holders. That leaves Obama officials to confront the prospect of waiting behind private companies.

Energy officials confirmed this arrangement, saying that private investors including Kaiser would first recoup their $75 million, then the U.S. government would have a chance to recover $150 million of its investment. If any money is left, the private investors and the U.S. government would divvy up the remainder in equal shares.

What it boils down to is that Solyndra was too much of a political risk to feature their execs at a State of the Union speech, but not too much of a financial risk to put taxpayers on the hook for yet again (unfortunately in DC taxpayer money is considered a renewable resource).

How do we fix this mess? I guess we could start by replacing Steven Chu with Daniella Gibbs Léger.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

17Mar/12Off

Fella’s Favorite Feminist Flubs Federalism, Feeds Family Fallacious Foolishness

Do you guys remember my favorite feminist? I came across her again while voting for Political Junkie Mom in the Top 25 Political Moms poll. (You should go vote for PJmom too!)
This week PunditMom explains the contraception debate to her 12-year-old daughter, who asks, “Mom, why don’t you and dad like Rick Santorum?”
And the answer is — because Rick Santorum wants to ban birth control.
Which of course is completely false. And in spreading this falsehood, PunditMom does her daughter a grave disservice. (Digression — even the idea of ...

17Mar/12Off

Scribecast: Voter ID Proponents Launch Counteroffensive Against DOJ

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is currently blocking implementation of voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas. It’s the latest battle in the fight for voter integrity at the ballot box and the reason two supporters of voter ID are launching a robust defense the laws. “We believe this offensive by the Justice Department must be met with a counteroffensive,” said Ken Blackwell, Ohio’s former secretary of state. He is working on the project with Ken Klukowski, a...

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17Mar/12Off

Rachel Maddow on Yet Another Right Wing Fake Outrage

Would you believe that when I helped launch Pajamas Media, one of the goals was to create a site that would transcend left-right politics, promote environmentalism and science, and allow free discussion of ideas without ideological blinders?

I know, it's almost impossible to believe, if you look at the pure right wing propaganda that PJ Media constantly churns out these days. The site has turned into World Net Daily Lite -- another anti-science, anti-Obama mouthpiece for the Tea Party base, promoting conspiracy theories, climate change denial, and even creationism, and giving a voice to some of the worst liars and racists of the right, people like Robert Stacy McCain.

It's disappointing to see it, but apparently the money was better on the loony side.

Rachel Maddow highlights one of the totally ridiculous fake outrages that erupted this week, and sure enough, PJ Media was right there helping push it out to the far right base, along with Jim "Dim" Hoft and the rest of the hate-obsessed wingnut blogosphere. Sad.


17Mar/12Off

Obama Weekly Address: Lower Gas Prices By Eliminating Gov’t Subsidies to Oil Companies

**Written by Doug Powers

The Republicans have yet to choose a nominee, but we already know that Obama’s other opponent will be oil companies.

As we’re often told, President Obama doesn’t have a “silver bullet” to control gas prices. There hasn’t been a presidential gas-price reducing silver bullet since George W. Bush left office. He must have taken it with him back to Crawford. But Obama does have some ideas on how to bring the price of gas down, and of them is to end government subsidies to Big Oil:

In his weekly address to the nation Saturday, Obama sought to redirect consumers’ anger with his administration to anger with Congress for allowing companies like Exxon Mobil and Chevron to receive $4 billion from the federal government every year.

“Your member of Congress should be fighting for you. Not for big financial firms. Not for big oil companies,” Obama claimed.

“In the next few weeks, I expect Congress to vote on ending these subsidies,” he continued. “And when they do, we’re going to put every single Member of Congress on record: They can either stand up for oil companies, or they can stand up for the American people.”

I’m not advised by brilliant economists like the president is, so maybe I’m unwisely straying above my pay grade here, but if we eliminated these tax breaks to oil companies right now, might that make the price at the pump go up? “No” say Democrats, arguing that Big Oil already reaps huge profits. In that case the government should also end subsidies to Goldman Sachs and Google. If eliminating government subsidies for oil companies might make gas less expensive, why wouldn’t eliminating government subsidies for General Electric make, say, refrigerators cheaper? Wait, the latter subsidies are for “green” projects so they’re okay.

According to the CBO (PDF), there were $2.5 billion in government subsidies — that is to say “tax breaks” — for all fossil fuels in 2011. That’s roughly the same amount of money that could go down the drain on “clean energy loans.” Maybe that’s what is meant by a “balanced approach.”

(h/t Randall Hoven)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

17Mar/12Off

Five Ways Citizens United Is Making Politics Better

After the U.S. Supreme struck down a host of free
speech restrictions with its 2010 ruling in the case Citizens
United v. Federal Election Commission
, incumbent politicians,
The New York Times, a crash of tenured law professors, and
even President Barack Obama denounced the decision as a "new
weapon" for lobbyists, a "major upheaval in First Amendment law,"
and an undermining of "the influence of average Americans," not to
mention "skeptical and even sarcastic."

But as we enter the second year of the 2012 campaign, it’s
already clear that removing legal restrictions on the right to
petition the government for a redress of grievances has done about
what you would expect such a deregulation to do: allowed more
voices, issues, and ideas into a political marketplace that
nobody—except party bosses and newspapers that have lost their
monopolies—could legitimately want to restrict.

Here are just five ways Citizens United has opened up
the 2012 campaign.

View this article.


17Mar/12Off

James Madison: Father and Defender of the Constitution

George Washington has a monument; Jefferson has a memorial; and even James Buchanan has a spot in Washington, D.C., dedicated to his legacy. But there’s no slab of marble in honor of James Madison. Yesterday was James Madison’s birthday, so today let us then remember his legacy as the father of our Constitution. Madison conceived the basic outline of the Constitution before the Constitutional Convention even met. He came to the Convention steeped in the histories of ancient republics,...

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17Mar/12Off

Nick Gillespie Discusses New ADA Pool Regulations with Erin Burnett

Reason.tv editor in chief Nick
Gillespie
appeared on CNN's OutFront with Erin Burnett to
debate trial lawyer Justin Leto about new regulations requiring
private companies to install handicap lifts into pools, and whether
this regulation would help bring equality to America's disabled or
simply benefit the trial lawyers. Air Date: March 15, 2012.

Approximately 5.30 minutes.

Go to Reason.tv for HD, iPod
and audio versions of this video and subscribe to Reason.tv's Youtube channel
to receive automatic notification when new material goes live.


17Mar/12Off

Obama Disappoints on the Falkland Islands

This week in 1982, Argentine forces were probably preparing their equipment and checking plans ahead of their invasion of the Falkland Islands, to happen a couple of weeks later. Thirty years on, even after heaping cringe-worthy amounts of lavish praise on the Obama Administration during his recent visit, British Prime Minister David Cameron is still no closer to receiving explicit American support for British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. This is a shameful disregard of the Special...

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