WC Varones

Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools

Coburn vs. Kagan on Commerce Clause

Elena Kagan can't bring herself to say the government doesn't have the right to dictate what we eat. Not only does she refuse to answer, but her babbling non-answer doesn't portray an intelligent mind.

Thank you, Senator Tom Coburn, for raising the issue of the abuse of the Commerce Clause, the most popular excuse for civil liberties violations from the left.

In other Elena Kagan greatest hits, she again sounds like a moron defending the Constitutionality of book-banning.

The Great Polling Swindle: Daily Kos gets had

Some enterprising statisticians saw some fishy numbers in the Daily Kos polls and did a little digging. It turns out that Research 2000, the pollsters Kos paid to do the polling, just pocketed his money and made up the numbers.

I love statistical sleuthing like this.

Kos may or may not be an innocent victim. At a minimum, his initial selection of Research 2000 was probably influenced by them showing him poll results that aligned with his political beliefs (and perhaps their low cost -- they didn't have to employ actual pollsters!), and he apparently didn't do much vetting of the organization before hiring them.

To Kos's credit, he's handling this far more honestly and gracefully than CBS handled RatherGate, CNN handled Eason Jordan and Susan Roesgen, the Washington Post handled JournoList, etc. The MSM could take a lesson from Kos:
Sure, our friends on the Right will get to take some cheap shots, and they should take advantage of the opportunity. But ultimately, this episode validates the reason why we released the internal numbers from Research 2000 -- and why every media outlet should do the same from their pollster; without full transparency of results, this fraud would not have been uncovered. As difficult as it has been to learn that we were victims of that fraud, our commitment to accuracy and the truth is far more important than shielding ourselves from cheap shots from the Right.


UPDATE:
Research 2000 was behind the widely reported poll that painted Republicans as extremists:
* 21 percent believe the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) stole the 2008 election and 55 percent aren't sure.
* 31 percent believe Obama is a racist who hates white people and 33 percent aren't sure.
* 23 percent want their state to secede from the U.S. and 19 percent aren't sure.

The MSM fell for that one hook, line, and sinker, and used it to bash Republicans over and over.

Corruption at the DOJ: The Black Panther voter intimidation case

J. Christian Adams, a DOJ attorney who resigned in protest, speaks out.

"Monster" money-printing

Sound like the hysterical rantings of a crazed San Diego doom blogger?

Nope, it's sound advice from the Royal Bank of Scotland:
Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS, is advising clients to read the Bernanke text very closely because the Fed is soon going to have to the pull the lever on "monster" quantitative easing (QE)".

"We cannot stress enough how strongly we believe that a cliff-edge may be around the corner, for the global banking system (particularly in Europe) and for the global economy. Think the unthinkable," he said in a note to investors.

Roberts said the Fed will shift tack, resorting to the 1940s strategy of capping bond yields around 2pc by force majeure said this is the option "which I personally prefer".

Read the whole Ambrose Evans-Pritchard article. He's right on the money:
It is sobering that zero rates, QE a l'outrance, and an $800bn fiscal blitz should should have delivered so little. Just as it is sobering that Club Med bond purchases by the European Central Bank and the creation of the EU's €750bn rescue "shield" have failed to stabilize Europe's debt markets. Greek default contracts reached an all-time high of 1,125 on Friday even though the €110bn EU-IMF rescue is up and running. Are investors questioning EU solvency itself, or making a judgment on German willingness to back pledges with real money?

Clearly we are nearing the end of the "Phoney War", that phase of the global crisis when it seemed as if governments could conjure away the Great Debt. The trauma has merely been displaced from banks, auto makers, and homeowners onto the taxpayer, lifting public debt in the OECD bloc from 70pc of GDP to 100pc by next year. As the Bank for International Settlements warns, sovereign debt crises are nearing "boiling point" in half the world economy.

Fiscal largesse had its place last year. It arrested the downward spiral at a crucial moment, but that moment has passed. There is a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. The Krugman doctrine of perma-deficits is ruinous - and has in fact ruined Japan. The only plausible escape route for the West is a decade of fiscal austerity offset by helicopter drops of printed money, for as long as it takes.

And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burnin' coal
Pourin' off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you

Tea Party goes global

San Diego's own Leslie Eastman happened to be on vacation in Italy when a Tea Party broke out.

Members of the trans-Atlantic resistance movement swapped notes and tactics.

Click on over to Temple of Mut for the story and pictures.

Welcome home, Leslie!

Klansman illness could sink FrankenDodd fake financial reform bill

Not that a real financial reform bill is likely even if this one stalls, but it would at least re-open the possibility of addressing Too Big To Fail.

Ex-KKK leader and current Democratic Senator Robert Byrd's vote may be crucial to pass Frank (D - Fannie Mae) and Dodd's (D - Countrywide) fake financial reform bill.

Just like they did May 21 when the Senate passed the Dodd Permanent Too Big To Fail Bill, Wall Street bank stocks rallied Friday on word of House-Senate agreement on the bill:



UPDATE: The Klansman has died; analysts expect this to delay, not kill, the fake financial reform bill.

The state as force multiplication for the rich

A two-minute illustration by an anarchist that quite accurately captures today's crony capitalism corruption regime.

You did recognize Goldman Sachs and BP in that diagram, didn't you?

HT: SkepticalEye

Journogate: in other news, the sun still rises in the east

Mainstream media "reporters" hate conservatives, share ideas on liberal groupthink e-mail lists before telling public what to think.

We are shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

Charles M. Blows

The New York Times has a new deranged leftist columnist with the delightfully appropriate name Charles M. Blow.

Blow's delusional rant today is how Obama's miserable approval ratings are all the Republicans' fault:

[...] Republican lawmakers latched on to the word “no” like temperamental 2-year-olds. Their strategy: dictate by stalemate. It worked.

Oh, yeah. Remember how those dictators blocked Obama's $800 billion porkulus package? Remember how they stopped the continuing bailout of AIG? Remember how they blocked the bailout of Government Motors? Remember how they blocked Timmy the Tax Cheat's indefinite unlimited bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Remember how they stopped Obama's signature program, the nationalization of the health care industry, dead in its tracks?

Who's the dictator here? Republicans have refused to go along with Obama's overwhelmingly unpopular, un-Constitutional agenda, but they haven't had the votes to be more than a minor irritant as Obama steamrolls the public.

The Blow-job continues to mis-characterize Republicans as social conservatives when in fact the party's focus has long since swung to fiscal issues. Worse, Blow then describes the Tea Party movement as pushing the Republicans further "right" (presumably still regarding social issues) rather than as being a voice of fiscal sanity in the ObamaNation madness.

The New York Times' new columnist is an embarrassment even by the New York Times' embarrassing standards.

BP TBTF

What is irony? In the case of BPTBTF I'll take definition 5 from Dictionary.com.

Bloomberg is reporting that "BP’s Demise Would Threaten U.S. Energy Security, Industry, Jobs". Do I smell an oily bailout?

What I find interesting about this first calculated shot across the taxpayer bow is that I know many people who voted for Obama purely on the "fact" that he was going to save the environment and planet Earth. He was going to be the first green President and protect us from all the evil polluting corporations.

Now under his administration, of course this has to somehow be GW's fault because no administration is actually capable of solving anything while they are in office, BP acted irresponsibly and possibly criminally in what has resulted in the worst environmental disaster in US history. And if some folks predictions are correct, this one might go down as the worst of all time as The Gulf of Mexico becomes the Gulf of oil.

So the suggestion of BP being TBTF is rich. According to this ABC report, they are one of the worst oil companies in the world as far as safety goes. If the Obama administration bails them out by protecting them from the lawsuits and from compensating the Gulf States for their role in this catastrophe, or even worse provides taxpayer money to them to stay in business, then what does that say about Obama's concern for the environment? To a logical thinker it says he doesn't give a shit. If Obama protects BP then Obama is as oil friendly, or maybe even more so, than GW ever was.

Further if the Obama administration bails out BP than what is the Obama administration saying to the oil industry? To me it's saying safety is not the most important thing, profit is. It's saying that BP's lack of safety controls to increase profit is acceptable and should be practiced because if you make a mistake than don't worry, OB got your back. It's saying that the environment doesn't matter.

BP must be held accountable for the commercial industries (fishing, tourism, etc.) they are destroying and the property and eco-damage they are causing. If Obama protects them from that, and even bails them out, after running on a campaign of greenness then that would be enormously ironic.

Trading Places

As Obama plans to let the Bush tax cuts expire, raising capital gains, dividend, and other taxes, Russia is going the other way:
Russia will scrap capital gains tax on long-term direct investment from 2011, President Dmitry Medvedev has said.

And as Obama nationalizes the auto industry, the mortgage industry, the health care industry, the student loan industry, etc., Russia is going the other way:
He also said the number of "strategic" firms, in which foreign investment is restricted and which cannot be privatised, would fall from 280 to 41.

And while Obama punishes the private sector to reward government workers, Russia actually wants private industry:
"I would welcome real investors who can build factories, something new in this country."

Where we're going is where Russia is coming from:
Also, many investors have been wary of coming to Russia because of corruption and the dominant role the state plays in Russia's business life.

Sound familiar?

The Obama Presidency in Multimedia/Picture Form

Words are overrated.







What did I miss?

Skeptical CPA puts on the Zimbabwe Ben trade

Well done, sir!

In January, I shorted the dollar by taking out an enormous fixed-rate 30-year mortgage.

Now Skeptical CPA has bested my trade on several fronts.

1) He got an even lower fixed rate than I did thanks to the global financial panic pushing Treasuries to all-time low rates.

2) He bought in Texas, where real estate is not nearly as overvalued as in California.

3) He bought in Texas, which is not facing California's fiscal and economic meltdown.

Skeptical CPA, we salute you!

Everybody hates Carly

Carly Fiorina, who's gone from failed and despised CEO of Hewlett-Packard to hanger-on of the comically disastrous campaign of ultra-RINO John McCain, is finding no love in her next soon-to-fail endeavor.

Economic Recovery?

Today I had a peculiar experience; I was searching for a specific shirt and went to a vendor in town that isn't a chain. He didn't have it but had one that's close. I purchased it for $30. I then went to another store a couple of towns over that also wasn't a chain and they did have the exact shirt I was looking for. I purchased that. I then went back to the original store and tried the return the first shirt.

The guys reaction was so apprehensive and he said 'I'll tell you what, how about I put $10 back on the card you used and you keep the shirt.' Now it wasn't savings that struck me it was his vibe. This was the owner of the store and it felt like my return was going to put him under. To beg to put $10 back on the card to still keep the sale was a first for me.

I did keep the shirt for $10 cheaper.

A history of violence

Rep. Bob Etheridge, caught on YouTube recently assaulting a student reporter, has a history of bullying children.

Arsonist Alan Greenspan returns to the scene of the crime to lecture us about fire safety

This would be a reasonable op-ed, other than the fact that it was written by the idiot who destroyed the economy.

It's behind a paywall, but don't worry. There's nothing there that hasn't been said on the WCV many times over.

UPDATE: Free version here. Nice paywall, WSJ!

Donald Kohn is delusional

"He says history will be kind to his ex-boss Alan Greenspan."

Good luck with that.

And in totally unrelated news, the dollar hit a new all-time low vs. gold today.

High school student 1, filthy rat politician 0




UPDATE: There's a full version, as well as a note on the abridged version above, here.

CalPERS, SEIU, Sovereignty, and Soviets

Given the recent post about CalPERS, now is a good time to remind WC readers that the word "Soviet" means "council" (or "Union") in Russian. Soviets were groups of workers' representatives in Russia. Basically, they were unions. They were even "unions of unions" (kinda like the AFL-CIO). The various "Soviets" steadily gained power in Russia in the early 1900's, and then they executed the 1917 Communist Revolution.

The Soviet Union was a government created by the Unions, of the Unions, and for the Unions. Now you might see why it was called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It was a "Union of Soviets", a "Union of Unions", in a way. Lenin specifically included the word "Soviet" into the very name of the nation of which he had just taken control for the purpose of honoring the contributions of the Soviets and reminding the citizens that the Soviets were a central part of the new government itself.

Now, a regular union's purpose is to protect its members from the ownership of the company they work for. That's fine and dandy. But let's ask ourselves; who are the Public Employee Unions protecting their members from? Who "owns" the U.S. government (all obvious jokes aside here)? The citizens of America, is the answer! Public Employee Unions are protecting their members from the citizens, from us! So every time the Public Employee Unions demand fulfillment of unreasonable pension promises despite a state being tens of billions of dollars in debt, they are acting in a way that is totally contrary to the interest of the people, who in theory, own and run their government and are supposed to be able to make their own laws (via our representatives). When the Public Employee Unions actively prevent the people from making their own laws (As they have in Oregon, for instance, when they refused to go along with tax cuts that the people wanted), they are blocking and nullifying the main purpose of our democratic-republic form of government! They are blocking the people from making their own laws! This is a form of tyranny, because the people no longer have the ability to decide their own destiny. See, we, the citizens are "the sovereign" of this nation, not Public Employee Unions! We have the right to write our own laws! And there is no entity that can prevent us from doing so, other than the Constitution itself, which, as the sovereign, we could amend if we wanted. We are not supposed to have to answer to a Union before we decide how we want to spend our money.

Here's another way of describing the important distinction between a regular Union and a Public Employees' Union. If a regular Union has a dispute with ownership, it can seek recourse from the highest power, which is the sovereign. The sovereign (which is the people) ultimately has the power to decide the matter, usually basing their decisions on laws they themselves passed via their representatives. But when a Public Employees' Union has a dispute, then simply because of the fact that their employer is the people themselves, the Public Employees' Union's dispute is with the sovereign itself. And when the Public Employees' Union refuses to budge, refuses to negotiate in good faith, it is damaging the sovereign itself. That is why the Public Employees' Unions represent a kind of perversion of the central, foundational purpose of our government; self-rule. There is no reason why the highest power in the land, the sovereign, should allow itself to be bullied and robbed by any other entity.

When JFK allowed public employee unions to exist, he allowed what was essentially the beginning of our own American version of "soviets". Public Employee Unions, like the SEIU, are essentially in control of vast tracts of our government, in a way that has "Sealed off" the input and decision-making power of the citizens, the rightful sovereign. Public Employee Unions are basically "Soviets", operating within our government, with agendas and goals that do not take into account the interests of the sovereign, the citizens, who happen to be their paymasters, too.

When the SEIU ends up with the power to dictate policy, and how our money is spent, regardless of what the citizens want, we are closer to a Soviet style government system than most people might ever realize. I don't say that in a thoughtlessly inflammatory way, only as a means of comparing forms of government. When Unions actually run a government, it's reasonable to compare that government to that of the USSR. Look at the CalPERS situation, at the SEIU's recent actions in Oregan, at the proposed $50 billion bailout for SEIU-affiliated employees (for Teachers Unions, etc) that the President has asked for, and ask yourself whether the SEIU has ended up with the power to dictate policy. The only realistic answer is yes. If one understands the structure of systems, and how the elements of any given system work together towards a goal, then one can recognize the uneasy truth of the situation we, the people, have allowed to develop. We have allowed a significant part of our government become "Soviet-ized". And it's going to take an amazing effort to reverse this situation. In that respect, we are up against an enormous challenge that not many people even recognize yet as an acute problem. The SEIU has only about 2 million members, yet their political power has become gigantic. The President himself has even said that his entire life's work has been dedicated to the SEIU, and that "the SEIU's agenda is my agenda", and that he will be the one who can push the SEIU's agenda through in Washington, D.C.

The SEIU is an American-style "Soviet". And the Progressives in our government do, indeed mean for it to function that way. They just gave it a different name, in English, not Russian. And as simple as that, we don't recognize what it is. But it's role in the operation of our government is very similar to the role the Soviets (the Unions of Unions) played leading up to the Revolution. I'm not saying any Revolution is going to happen. But if the American people don't ever notice and realize how our governmental "cogs" and structures are now arranged and operating in ways that are eerily similar, in certain key respects, to that of the USSR, then there will be no need for a Revolution. It will have happened over a long period of time, and without a ripple.

Take one look around the nation and you will see that Public Employee Unions have devastated State after State with their one-sided, abusive demands of the citizens themselves. CA, IL, NY, MI. The list goes on and on. The SEIU and all of its sub-unions has been sowing the seeds of financial collapse in every state in which they've been given power (by those legislatures in most cases). And Federally, the story is the same. We are in serious financial trouble in this nation, and the SEIU is one easily identifiable entity that is working against the public interest at every turn. Therefore, we need to fight them at every turn. We need to cut off their power. We need to refuse to go along with their destructive demands. We need to reaffirm our very sovereignty and tell the SEIU that it is fully in our power to decide that we no longer want to pay for their bloated pensions, even though we might have signed some contract 15 years ago, or so. When the people decide to break public contracts that are killing their prosperity and putting generations of citizens in debt, they are well within their sovereign rights. We have a duty to act in our own self-interest. -Sic Ibid

W.C. Varones Blog welcomes its newest reader, President Barack Obama




Thanks for stopping by, Mr. President. But while you're here, don't just check out Greenspan's Body Count. You want to know what comes next, don't you? And pay attention, sir. You or your successors are going to have to choose between inflation and default.

If you think my views are seditious, you should Flag Me, Obama.

CalPERS to raid bankrupt state budget to cover fatcat employee pensions

Government of the public employee unions, by the public employee unions, and for the public employee unions.
The pension fund board does not need legislative approval to boost the state's contribution rate.

Lefty Glenn Greenwald, of Sock-Puppetry Fame, Shows Some Integrity

Remarkably, he's one of the few lefties who publicly oppose Congressmen assaulting citizens.

I say this without sarcasm or malice. We've got to support lefty bloggers when they (oh, so rarely) do the right thing.

Greenspan's Body Count: Wayne and Herminia Zickefoose

This shocking tale comes from Anaheim, California where two young boys survived attempted murder by their father.

The story is unbelievably horrible:
A wounded 3-year-old boy was found hiding outside his family's Southern California home, and his 5-year-old brother was found unhurt inside, 12 hours after their parents were fatally shot in an apparent murder-suicide, police said Monday.

The shootings happened late Sunday but weren't discovered until midmorning Monday, when a co-worker stopped by to see why the father hadn't reported to work, Anaheim Police Sgt. Tim Schmidt said.

The co-worker instructed the 5-year-old to call 911.

"He said his dad killed his mom and shot himself and he can't find his brother," Schmidt said.

When police arrived, they found the parents' bodies splayed out on lawn chairs in the backyard. From there, they followed a trail of blood leading to the wounded 3-year-old, who was hiding behind trash cans on the side of the house, Schmidt said.

"This is a horrific scene," he said.

The 3-year-old had been shot three times in the shoulder, stomach and chest. He was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center, where he underwent surgery and was in critical condition, Schmidt said.


While police are not releasing the victims' names, the owners of the house at 541 North Fairhaven Street were identified as Wayne and Herminia Zickefoose...
who bought the home in 2001 with help from a loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The couple borrowed against the house five times during the following six years, but paid off most of those loans, record show.

Most recently, the couple borrowed $462,000 from Countrywide Home Loans in January 2007, records show. They began missing mortgage payments on that loan in February 2009. They owed nearly $14,000 in back payments by May 2009, when the bank warned them it would foreclose if they didn't make their payments, records show.

The bank sent another notice in March of this year, saying the home "may be sold at a public sale" on April 1. At the time, interest and other charges added to the main loan had pushed the Zickefooses' debt on the mortgage to $491,960.18, records show.

Civil court records also show that a woman identified in one case as Hermie G. Zickefoose and in another as Herminia Zickefoose had amassed, since November 2004, more than $26,000 in debt on four credit cards issued by Chase Bank USA.
They bought the place in 2001 for a somewhat reasonable $232,000. But thanks to Greenspan's easy money bubble, they were given enough rope to hang themselves. They ended up sucking out all the equity and then some, up to almost a half million dollars in debt in a modest, working-class neighborhood.

Various online references to Wayne Zickefoose state that he's a USC MBA, owner of Trojan Auto Service in Buena Park, a "theta healing practitioner," and an amateur investment writer. And while he swore off the stock market in 2008, it sounds like he got involved with something more leveraged and dangerous: "land banking."
I believe the best investment, bar none, is in pre-developed land in the path of growth of a major metropolitan city.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 139.

Wayne Zickefoose
Herminia Zickefoose
Thomas S. Piazza
Troy Fogel
Michele Fogel
Cynthia Dunn Cannon
Jocelyn Earnest
Lynda Clark
Gregory Bellows
Sallie Gist
Rayshawn Reed
Byron Reed Sr.
Byron Reed Jr.
Elisha Gist
Elijah Gist
Tiera Davidson
Christopher Oetting
Neal Jacobson
Franki Jacobson
Eric Jacobson
Joshua Jacobson
Vincenza Garcia
Bill Sparkman
Debra K. Gibbs
Otis Beckford
Carol Kennedy
Diane Ward
Edith Moreno
Diana Moreno
Scott Peters
Tom Blackmore
Kevin Daniel O'Connell
Julie Fay
Wallis Fay
Siu Fong Ng
Ernest Scherer Jr.
Charlene Abendroth
J.D. Wood
Cynthia Wood
Aubrey Wood
Dillon Wood
Betty J. Lipply
Dwight Deely
Linda Patrick
David Kellerman
Christopher Wood
Francie Billotti-Wood
Chandler Wood
Gavin Wood
Fiona Wood
Gil Weber
Gregory Graham
Randolph Graham
David Kelley
Ramona woman
Del Mar man
Wayne "Mike" Anderson
Jeffrey M. Pearson
Ervin Antonio Lupoe
Ana Lupoe
Brittney Lupoe
Jaszmin Lupoe
Jassely Lupoe
Benjamin Lupoe
Christian Lupoe
Steven L. Good
Adolf Merckle
Mike Upham
Randy Motts
Kristy Hunt
Joseph Nesheiwat
Tom Brisch
Alex Widmer
Brian Pugh
Marilyn Lewis
Sid Agrawal
Kirk Stephenson
Barry Fox
Dallas Dwayne Carter
David Hetzel
Sharron Hetzel
Cliff Kendall
Pamela Ross
Roland Gore
Mrs. Gore
Wanda Dunn
Karthik Rajaram
Subasri Rajaram
Krishna Rajaram
Ganesha Rajaram
Arjuna Rajaram
Indra Ramasesham
Joe X
Isabelle Jarka
Robert Wagner
Lt. Michael Howe
John Roberts
Palmer C. White
Dianne Pittman White
Ed Boesen
Edwin F. Rachleff
Carlene Balderrama
Troy VanderStelt
Scott M. Coles
Dawn E. Armstrong
Thomas Lizotte
Jonathon Calvin "40-Cal" Jacques
Salvador X
Lupe X
Jade X
Little Boy X
Little Girl X
Kashmir Billon
Bill McMurtry

Lisa McMurtry
James Hahn
Raymond Donaca
Deanna Donaca
[redacted]
[redacted]
Michel Veillette
Nadya Ferrari-Veillette
Marguerite Veillette
Vincent Veillette
Mia Veillette
Jacob Veillette
Maurice Pereira
Natasha Pereira
Mark Achilli
Raed Al-Farah
Andrew Kissel
Rufus Shaw Jr.
Lynn Flint Shaw
Mr. Pierce
Walter Buczynksi
Marci Buczynski
Jason Washington

Washington Post accuses Ron Paul of conflict of interest on gold standard

Apparently it's unethical to protect your family with sound money while trying to protect your country by advocating sound money.

Miserable hacks.

Death Panels come early to Arizona

... for Chandler, Arizona's Tiffany Tate:
The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System announced it would stop paying for lung transplants as of Oct. 1.

AHCCCS officials say the cuts were necessary to keep the state's form of Medicaid from operating at a deficit.

This is obvious stuff. Health care is expensive. Government health care always means rationing.

Obama creates Behavior Modification Council

Because now that the government is responsible for everybody's health care, we can't have people making unhealthy choices that would be a burden on the state!

Off to the Exercise Camp with you, fatty!


HT: ZeroHedge

I need more porkulus!

Obama to pile another $50 billion of debt on future generations to bail out the fatcat public employee unions yet again.

What does the NAACP stand for?

This goes waaaay beyond stupid and oversensitive. This is so stupid it's like signs of the apocalypse stupid. The NAACP freaks out about a space-themed Hallmark card talking about black holes. They are sure it is a racist reference to "black whores."

What's worse? Hallmark panics and pulls the cards.







AP: Obama lied, your health care plan died

Associated Press:
Over and over in the health care debate, President Barack Obama said people who like their current coverage would be able to keep it.

But an early draft of an administration regulation estimates that many employers will be forced to make changes to their health plans under the new law. In just three years, a majority of workers—51 percent—will be in plans subject to new federal requirements, according to the draft.


We told you so!


These are the expensive mandates and rules that are reportedly pushing Qualcomm to slash its health care benefits.

Are you still loving your ObamaCare?

For more regular reporting on the ObamaCare debacle, please check out Beers with Demo. He's been much more attentive to the issue than I have.

Greenspan's Body Count: Tom Piazza

Mortgage broker Thomas Piazza was executed Sopranos-style in a Tucson Chick-fil-A.
Thomas S. Piazza, 39, was sitting in a booth at the Chick-fil-A restaurant at 4585 N. Oracle Road about 6:45 a.m. when a man walked up to the table, pulled out a handgun and shot Piazza in the head, said Sgt. Fabian Pacheco, a Tucson Police Department spokesman.

The shooter -- who is described as being a stocky white man between the ages of 40 and 50, wearing a bike helmet, dark shorts and a dark windbreaker -- walked out of the restaurant and rode away on his bicycle, heading westbound on West Auto Mall Drive, Pacheco said.

"There was no provocation, no exchange of words, nothing," Pacheco said in explaining the incident.

Police continue to search for the gunman.

Piazza, a 1993 University of Arizona graduate, was married with four children.

Police believe the killing may be related to Piazza's role in a mortgage fraud ring that ripped off not only lenders but also small investors. One of the small investors may have been out for some Arizona justice.

The Arizona Attorney General's Facebook page explains the scam in an post from July 2009:
The lawsuit, filed in Pima County Superior Court, alleges that the defendants engaged in a sophisticated system of fraud that led to the filing of foreclosure notices on more than 130 homes and caused substantial harm to investors, lenders and rent-to-own homebuyers.

“The violations alleged in this lawsuit are among the worst abuses of vulnerable consumers that I’ve seen in my time as Attorney General. These kinds of abusive practices have contributed to the mortgage meltdown that now finds Arizona ranked among the top four states in the country for foreclosures,” Goddard said. “This sort of behavior is unconscionable.”

[...]

The complaint states that the defendants participated in a scheme that used deceptive tactics to entice under-qualified, novice investors into purchasing homes and then sold them to rent-to-own buyers. However, investigators say the scheme was designed to fail because it targeted rent-to-own homebuyers with credit problems and ignored whether they could qualify to purchase the homes.

Click on over for more detail of the scam and the names of the other conspirators.

It's worth noting that the Attorney General settled the case for a pittance, and Piazza was apparently never criminally charged. Piazza may have done nothing illegal, but someone obviously lost money in Greenspan's bubble and felt wronged.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Piazza's young family. Whatever he may have done, the kids didn't deserve this. Alan Greenspan, you're a sick bastard.

Greenspan's Body Count stands at 137.

Thomas S. Piazza

Troy Fogel
Michele Fogel
Cynthia Dunn Cannon
Jocelyn Earnest
Lynda Clark
Gregory Bellows
Sallie Gist
Rayshawn Reed
Byron Reed Sr.
Byron Reed Jr.
Elisha Gist
Elijah Gist
Tiera Davidson
Christopher Oetting
Neal Jacobson
Franki Jacobson
Eric Jacobson
Joshua Jacobson
Vincenza Garcia
Bill Sparkman
Debra K. Gibbs
Otis Beckford
Carol Kennedy
Diane Ward
Edith Moreno
Diana Moreno
Scott Peters
Tom Blackmore
Kevin Daniel O'Connell
Julie Fay
Wallis Fay
Siu Fong Ng
Ernest Scherer Jr.
Charlene Abendroth
J.D. Wood
Cynthia Wood
Aubrey Wood
Dillon Wood
Betty J. Lipply
Dwight Deely
Linda Patrick
David Kellerman
Christopher Wood
Francie Billotti-Wood
Chandler Wood
Gavin Wood
Fiona Wood
Gil Weber
Gregory Graham
Randolph Graham
David Kelley
Ramona woman
Del Mar man
Wayne "Mike" Anderson
Jeffrey M. Pearson
Ervin Antonio Lupoe
Ana Lupoe
Brittney Lupoe
Jaszmin Lupoe
Jassely Lupoe
Benjamin Lupoe
Christian Lupoe
Steven L. Good
Adolf Merckle
Mike Upham
Randy Motts
Kristy Hunt
Joseph Nesheiwat
Tom Brisch
Alex Widmer
Brian Pugh
Marilyn Lewis
Sid Agrawal
Kirk Stephenson
Barry Fox
Dallas Dwayne Carter
David Hetzel
Sharron Hetzel
Cliff Kendall
Pamela Ross
Roland Gore
Mrs. Gore
Wanda Dunn
Karthik Rajaram
Subasri Rajaram
Krishna Rajaram
Ganesha Rajaram
Arjuna Rajaram
Indra Ramasesham
Joe X
Isabelle Jarka
Robert Wagner
Lt. Michael Howe
John Roberts
Palmer C. White
Dianne Pittman White
Ed Boesen
Edwin F. Rachleff
Carlene Balderrama
Troy VanderStelt
Scott M. Coles
Dawn E. Armstrong
Thomas Lizotte
Jonathon Calvin "40-Cal" Jacques
Salvador X
Lupe X
Jade X
Little Boy X
Little Girl X
Kashmir Billon
Bill McMurtry

Lisa McMurtry
James Hahn
Raymond Donaca
Deanna Donaca
[redacted]
[redacted]
Michel Veillette
Nadya Ferrari-Veillette
Marguerite Veillette
Vincent Veillette
Mia Veillette
Jacob Veillette
Maurice Pereira
Natasha Pereira
Mark Achilli
Raed Al-Farah
Andrew Kissel
Rufus Shaw Jr.
Lynn Flint Shaw
Mr. Pierce
Walter Buczynksi
Marci Buczynski
Jason Washington

Obama Labor Department says government workers live far better than the people who pay their salaries

Not only much better benefits and job security, but much higher pay as well!



Hope you enjoy barely scraping by so that some government bureaucrat can retire at full pay at 60 or 65!

HT: T-Dub and JDA.

How bout I pour you a nice Brita pitcher full of the Gulf of Mexico?

Republican Liberty Caucus: It's Alive!

Five years ago, I wrote off the Republican Liberty Caucus for dead.

Well, they're back, likely inspired by the Ron Paul and Tea Party movements, and they had a big night Tuesday.

28% of Americans are smoking some really good stuff

Twenty-eight percent (28%) of U.S. Voters now say the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken the week ending June 6.

BP re-enacted by cats



HT: DV

And on a more serious note, a scuba diver's video of the ecological devastation.

President of bankrupt developer whines about the banks

You know this guy is full of crap if he gets me to defend Goldman Sachs.

In an op-ed in the Salem News, Michael D. "Mick" Pattinson, president of bankrupt developer Barratt American (builder of Leucadia's Rancho Tyvek Estates -- "Come for the tiny lots, stay for the low-income housing next door"), complains that it's not fair that some people on Wall Street recognized the housing bubble and bet that it would burst, or that some banks stopped lending to overleveraged developers as the housing market cratered.

The developer industry spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress to keep the housing bubble going with tax incentives, lax lending standards, and easy credit from an alphabet soup of government and quasi-government agencies including FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Reserve. I didn't hear Mr. Pattinson complaining as he was getting rich from the funny-money-fueled bubble. In fact, Pattinson was a frequent contributor to the industry's lobbying PAC.

The housing crash was the inevitable result of the greatest asset bubble in the history of the world. Any builders who were overleveraged at the peak of the biggest bubble in history have only themselves to blame for their demise.

Pattinson's argument is equivalent to saying that Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme was a good thing, and the only problem was that investors stopped giving Madoff money to keep the Ponzi going.

Pattinson should stop trying to shift the blame to those who recognized the bubble, and apologize for the wreckage that his industry has caused the entire economy.

Tomorrow's news today: primary election results

It looks like it was a good day nationally, and a bad day in California.

Senator Blanche ObamaCare Lincoln lost her primary in Arkansas and will be retiring, and conservative candidate Sharron Angle beat establishment candidate Sue Lowden in Nevada.

In California, no good news. Carly FAILorina, a RINO McCain-wannabe, beat libertarianish Tom Campbell and Tea Party favorite Chuck DeVore. In a year when Barbara Boxer should be vulnerable, FAILorina is so widely despised even among Republicans that she will lose in a landslide.

Meg Whitman won easily and has a decent chance to beat Jerry Brown, at which point she will establish the second Schwarzenegger administration.

Prop. 14, which will eliminate third-party candidates from the general election, passed.

More bad news: RINOs Abel Maldonado and Mike Villines, who voted for the biggest state tax increase in the history of the U.S., won their primaries for higher offices.


That's how I see it playing out. Any deviation in California would be upside from here.

UPDATE:
OK, it looks like I may already be wrong on Arkansas. Let's hope I'm wrong on Prop 14 too.

UPDATE 2: Yippee!!! The vile Villines lost!

Cooperation, Goldman style

You see what happens, Larry, when you subpoena the wrong guys?

Goldman Sachs buries Fincial Crisis Inquiry Commission under 2.5 billion pages.
"We should not be forced to play 'Where's Waldo' on behalf of the American people," said Phil Angelides, the chairman of the inquiry commission, in an interview with reporters. "In our view their [Goldman Sachs] conduct has been extraordinary. They are outliers. The overwhelming number of people and institutions have complied and complied in a timely basis."


HT: T-Dub

Helen Thomas

So we have to wait until they are 89 years old, senile, and possibly had a few cocktails at lunch before the leftists in the mainstream media tell us what they really think.

UPDATE: She's gone! I don't know if that's a good thing. I like having the most vocal leftists on display to prominently show the MSM's bias.

The Great Education Scam gets widespread attention

We've been talking about the Great Education scam for a year and a half.

The theme is catching on with other bloggers and in the mainstream media. Today Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds writes an op-ed in the Washington Examiner, citing recent stories in the Washington Post and New York Times:
First -- as with the housing bubble -- cheap and readily available credit has let people borrow to finance education. They're willing to do so because of (1) consumer ignorance, as students (and, often, their parents) don't fully grasp just how harsh the impact of student loan payments will be after graduation; and (2) a belief that, whatever the cost, a college education is a necessary ticket to future prosperity.

Bubbles burst when there are no longer enough excessively optimistic and ignorant folks to fuel them. And there are signs that this is beginning to happen already.

Indeed.

On the other hand, if you can get a fixed-rate student loan, maybe you'll get lucky with a dollar collapse in a few years. That's my strategy for real estate debt, and it would apply to college debt as well. But if we're wrong and don't get a dollar collapse, college debtors are far worse off than mortgage debtors. You can walk away from a house and go bankrupt to clear other debts, but college debt is bankruptcy-proof and will be a ball and chain until your dying day.

Help a sister out

Friend of this blog JenO is doing a worthy fundraiser walk for the American Society for Suicide Prevention. With the fundraising deadline looming, she's had a tough go and needs $850 more. Let's put her over the top.

You can donate here.

Come on, with Alan Greenspan still on the loose, we need all the suicide prevention we can get. And it's tax deductible, meaning Barry O will pick up thirtysomething percent of your donation and if you're unfortunate enough to live in California, the Taxinator will pick up another 10%. That's like getting an almost 1-for-1 match!

Richard Fisher on fake financial reform, the Dirty Fed, and TBTF

Dissent within the Dirty Fed! Someone gets it on Too Big To Fail:
Big banks that took on high risks and generated unsustainable losses received a public benefit: TBTF support. As a result, more conservative banks were denied the market share that would have been theirs if mismanaged big banks had been allowed to go out of business. In essence, conservative banks faced publicly backed competition.

Let me make my sentiments clear: It is my view that, by propping up deeply troubled big banks, authorities have eroded market discipline in the financial system.

The system has become slanted not only toward bigness but also high risk. Consider regulators’ efforts to impose capital requirements on big banks. Clearly, if the central bank and regulators view any losses to big bank creditors as systemically disruptive, big bank debt will effectively reign on high in the capital structure. Big banks would love leverage even more, making regulatory attempts to mandate lower leverage in boom times all the more difficult. In this manner, high risk taking by big banks has been rewarded, and conservatism at smaller institutions has been penalized. Indeed, large banks have been so bold as to claim that the complex constructs used to avoid capital requirements are just an example of the free market’s invisible hand at work. Left unmentioned is the fact that the banking market is not at all free when big banks are not free to fail.

It is not difficult to see where this dynamic leads—to more pronounced financial cycles and repeated crises.

Ha! But common sense like this from a lone Fedster will never prevail against Wall Street lobbyists' cash with the likes of Dodd (D - Countrywide) and Frank (D - Fannie Mae) in charge.

The brighter side of Big Brother

Hey, if we didn't have all these government cameras around recording us all the time, we'd miss moments like this.



In related news, while the cops can always record you, you might be arrested for recording the cops.

American Idiot

Left Coast Rebel points out that two thirds of Americans can't name a single Supreme Court Justice.

I'd like to turn this issue on its head and ask why should the whims of Justices be so important in our lives that we should need to know their names. The Constitution set out rights of individuals and restrictions on the powers of government to meddle in our lives. I think the founders would be horrified to learn that Washington power is so all-encompassing in our daily lives that we follow every Presidential and Congressional election and every Supreme Court nomination as if our livelihoods depend on them (which they do, in Obama Nation, of course!).

Free Rent Nation

Here at the WCV, we've been advising underwater homedebtors to stop paying their mortgages for years.

May 2008:
If your loan balance exceeds your home's value, stop paying your mortgage immediately. Remember, in the Bernanke/Pelosi/McCain world, the responsible get screwed, and the reckless get rewarded. If you stop paying your mortgage, your bank will either voluntary renegotiate the terms, or Congress will force them to do it. If you keep paying on an underwater house, you're just throwing good money after bad.
October 2008:
You've already saved ten or twenty thousand dollars, and have you noticed that the bank is still not bothering you? Keep living rent-free. When the bank (or government) finally does get around to calling you, they'll be very nice and accommodative, and they'll negotiate a very nice principal reduction for you.

May 2009:
If the banks are going to delay foreclosure for at least a year due to political pressure, operational capacity, or a desire to delay loss recognition, you might as well take advantage of it, stop paying your mortgage, and live free for a year. [...] Honey, I stopped paying the mortgage! Let's go to Disney World!

June 2009:
In Bailout Nation, only the stupid honor their obligations. [...] If you still are paying your mortgage or credit card balances, look around the room. YOU are the sucker!

Today the New York Times published a story about the joys of not paying: Owners Stop Paying Mortgages, and Stop Fretting.
The average borrower in foreclosure has been delinquent for 438 days before actually being evicted, up from 251 days in January 2008, according to LPS Applied Analytics.

And Angry Future Expat has more thoughts on the subject today.

Voters' guide to California and San Diego propositions

Last week we gave our picks for the June primary ballot.

Today, our friend and local Tea Party founder Leslie Eastman gives her picks.
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