February 26, 2010

Highlights From Yesterday

Obama displaying his intelligence.

Yeah.

 

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February 25, 2010

Allow me to don my conspiracy theory hat for a bit

Hey, it's got flowers and I'm in a festive mood.

Infidelesto is questioning the recent change of heart by the Obama administration with regards to the Fort Hood attack. Apparently Janet Napolitano has decided to put on her big girl panties and call Nidal Hasan an Islamic terrorist, rather than toeing what has been the official line about the attack being the work of a lone crazy.

I don't think Napolitano is stepping away from the official line, I think the line has moved. Just last week, at the National Governors Association's Special Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety, Napolitano stated that domestic terrorism is as big a concern as international terrorism. She was followed shortly by John Brennan:

Countering violent extremism is not just a federal issue, Brennan told the governors; it's something that needs to be addressed as a nation.

The White House hosted a meeting to discuss these issues Friday, Brennan said.

"There needs to be community engagement," he said.

Let's take a moment to contemplate what "community engagement" means in this context...

Does "community engagement" mean approaching domestic Muslim leaders to promote a pro-America message?

Does "community engagement" mean pressuring mosques to stop allowing terrorists an unsupervised place to meet?

Or does "community engagement" mean the civilian national security force that Obama promised us in July 2008?

Am I conspiracy-mongering? Is the Obama administration so completely stupid that they really didn't recognize until this past week that all the Obama-infatuation in the world isn't preventing terror attacks on American soil? Or is the new attitude in the White House that the plan to increase domestic surveillance is better served by playing up the terror angle, rather than downplaying it as the administration has been doing for the past year?   I'm not sure which is worse, stupid or conniving.  How pathetic is it that I'm hoping that the administration is merely obtuse rather than actively planning to tell us, "We didn't want to have to bring in surveillance, we didn't want to have to create a civilian security force, but in light of all this domestic terrorism..."

To quote a wise dude: "I always pray the government is stupid instead of evil.  Stupid doesn't end up anywhere... evil does."

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February 19, 2010

Colofornia

That's where President Obama thought he was visiting yesterday.

Obama's appearance has convinced me of two things:

  1. Michael Bennet is, indeed, going to lose his seat. Since Obama's done such a stellar job for everyone he's campaigned for so far.
  2. Obama is like that pimply desperate boyfriend, the one who got the hot girl by pretending to be her friend, getting her drunk, and then fooling around with her while she was out of it. He's convinced that if he brings her back to the place where he first 'seduced' her, if he can just get one more everclear-and-punch cocktail into her so he can blur her judgment again, he can convince her to stay. Obama keeps coming back to Colorado thinking that if he just does things right this time, he can get back that faux-Parthenon magic from a year and a half ago.  But the hot girl is starting to realize her friends are pointing and laughing at her and she gave up her virginity to someone who can't even string together a coherent sentence.

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February 15, 2010

Shock: Banks and the US government don't give a crap

I found this to be a fairly well balanced article on the student loan debt problem.  I am in basically the same position as the woman in the article, though thankfully not at quite those heights.  I took out debt for law school.  Through a series of things that were not my fault bad life choices, I deferred until I ran out of time.  The principal amount tripled and I'm now making hellishly high payments.  My choices, my consequences and I try not to whine about it too much.  It sucks, it restricts my life choices and I try very hard not to think about how old I'll be before the loans are paid off.

I am somewhat torn about this entire situation.  It is utterly self-serving of me to want there to be student loan reform.  Would I like my interest rates dropped and principal payments lowered and the 20% default fee removed?  Hmmm.  Let me think about that for a minute.  Of course I want that to happen.  But I knew the details of the loans.  I knew the consequences of failure to pay.

I am less than persuaded by those who claim they did not know the details.  Read the fine print, people.  Having said that, the loan process is stunningly opaque.  The schools have a vested interest in getting as many people to take out as many loans as possible.  What does the school care if you can't pay it back?  They got theirs.  Getting answers to questions such as "what will my payments be?" and "how much will I  have to make to not starve in the streets?" are not easy.  So while I don't particularly have sympathy for those who claim they didn't know the terms and didn't know about the default fees, etc., I do think the process can be far more open.

People do not realize that student loans are the one debt that does not go away.  There is no discharge in bankruptcy.  There is no negotiating a lower rate.  There is no bargaining about the amount.  The default fee is usually about 20% or so the then outstanding balance.  Think about that.  A person who has demonstrated that s/he cannot pay is now slapped with another huge principal amount.  Interest then piles up on that as well.  Loan sharks think that's insane. 

What to do?  Again, from a totally self-serving position, I think it should be easier to come up with some type of workout program.  I understand that people who pay on time will be pissed about someone else not paying and then getting a lower rate.  Think about this though.  By the time that point is reached, the outstanding interest will be capitalized and will now be part of the principal.  I think that alleviates some fairness concerns.  There are supposedly limits as to how much can be garnished in order to prevent people from being pushed below the poverty line.  In reality, it is nearly impossible to get any loan servicing agency to correct an error.

I am extremely hesitant to make loans dischargeable in bankruptcy.  Even with the new bankruptcy laws, within 7-10 years that bankruptcy will fall off a credit history.  Absolutely there will be those who use that to get a free ride for law school/medical school/business school.  For that matter, I would argue that is a rational choice to make.  Not moral, mind you, but rational.

If we're going to insist that everyone go to college, then kids need to be told about the true costs.  They also need to be told that there's nothing they can do to get out of the loans.  That's only fair. 


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February 10, 2010

More From The "Fuck The Stimulus" Files

Seriously, fuck this shit. If this is the sort of unsolicited prison goatse that comes from the Porkulus, then fuck it hard, fast, long, and freaky deaky style with the flagellum of a fucking amoeba.

Despite all the talk of green jobs, the overwhelming majority of stimulus money spent on wind power has gone to foreign companies, according to a new report by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University’s School of Communication in Washington, D.C.

Nearly $2 billion in money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been spent on wind power, funding the creation of enough new wind farms to power 2.4 million homes over the past year. But the study found that nearly 80 percent of that money has gone to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines.

Eighty. Fucking. Percent? What. The. Fuck?

Hey, I'm all for alternative fuels and shit like that, but is it too fucking much to ask a President and Congress allegedly on the side of "the working man" to fucking help American workers and manufacturers?

But that's just me.

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February 09, 2010

Leave It To The O-Bots To Listen To The Public

Especially when it comes to oil drilling and the jobs that will follow.

In April of 2009, during a discussion about offshore exploration in San Francisco, Salazar said that President Obama directed him to “to make sure that we have an open and transparent government” and that “these are not decisions that are going to be made behind closed doors.” Salazar went on to say that President Obama wanted to make sure that DOI was “maximizing the opportunity for the public to give us guidance on what it is that they want to do.”

Yet, more than four months after the comment period ended, the Department of the Interior has failed to make any public announcement about the results, even though sources have told American Solutions for months the comments show a 2-1 advantage in support of offshore drilling.

It took American Solutions almost four months and the power of the Freedom of Information Act to finally uncover indirect confirmation that, out of over 530,000 comments submitted, pro-drilling comments outnumbered anti-drilling comments by a 2-1 margin.

In an email dated October 27, 2009, Liz Birnbaum, director of the Minerals Management Service, informs other Interior officials that a preliminary tabulation of the results of the comment period had not yet gone to Secretary Salazar, adding “{so} the Secretary can honestly say in response to any questions that he’s {sic} has not yet seen the analysis of the comments – staff is still working on it. I did, however, confirm to him the 2-1 split that these guys {at American Solutions}are emphasizing.”

Yaknow, I get the feeling Obama and his crew really don not care how the people feel about oil drilling and jobs. But that's just me.

 

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February 07, 2010

Buste et Buste Reflechis en Buste et Buste

Bust and Bust Reflecting Bust and Bust
/images/thinker.jpg

In response to the Puppy Blender challenge.
Caption Contest!
edited to make sense.

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February 06, 2010

Another one bites the bus

This could get interesting.
Speculation is that Holder's about to go under the bus.
So far nobody's who gone under has really been harmed. Sure they're blamed for something, but it didn't affect their careers too much.

But Holder is big beans. If Obama blames too much on him, his livelihood could be affected.
And I wonder if he engenders the same devotion as the Clintons.
It used to amaze me that people would go to jail for them.
But the Clintons didn't throw everybody under there, they were selective about it.

Holder might just defend himself and then what happens? He could muddy the waters a lot for Obama leading to a cascade effect where Obama has to throw more people under to "fix" things.
Obama has thrown too many people under the bus for me to think the rest will fall on their swords. And if he'll roll Holder, his preacher and his mom under the bus, well, who won't he?

What happens when it's Rahm's turn? Rahm knows where the bodies are buried and he's not so pleasant to his enemies.
I know he was in the Daly machine, but he also worked for Clinton and he really is a son of a bitch.
He could probably bring down any prominent Dem politician he wants.

The next year or so could get interesting. And by "interesting" I mean fucked up. Roll President Biden around in your mind.
His handlers can't keep him off the TV if he's the president. Imagine the first press conference where he opines about how the Shah should tone it down and stop trying to develop nukular weapons.
Or the jokes about Alabama defending them when Russia invades Georgia.
Or...
Hmmm, maybe this belonged in "Funniest End of Civilization Ever"

Yeah I'm bored. What of it?

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February 04, 2010

Snowpocalypse 2: Electric Boogaloo

I've been told I should PANIC!!! so that is what I will do.

Srsly the most concise and accurate forecast evuhhh. 

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February 01, 2010

Green like Radioactive Man

With the liberal green energy push, I'm not surprised that the new suggestion from Teh Won's administration is nuclear energy.  With cap-n-tax looking like it will never see the light of day on the Senate floor, Big O has to do something new to maintain his status as Super-Green-Man; nuclear power is as good a way as any to do that, I suppose. 

He used the SOTU to talk about nuclear energy, and now wants a whole new crop of nuclear plants (that's right - crop of plants, how cheese-tastic was that, huh?):

To back that up, he is expected to seek $54 billion in additional loan guarantees for nuclear power in his 2011 budget request to Congress on Monday, according to an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the request has not been made public.

 White House officials say Obama's actions reflect his long support of nuclear power. But lawmakers from both parties say the speech reflected a new urgency and willingness to reach out to Republicans who have criticized Obama for not talking more about the role nuclear energy can play in slowing global warming.

 The 104 nuclear reactors in operation in 31 states provide only 20 percent of the nation's electricity. But they are responsible for 70 percent of the power from pollution-free sources, including wind, solar and hydroelectric dams.

 Several analyses of the climate bills passed by the House and under consideration in the Senate suggest that the U.S. will have to build many more plants in order to meet the 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050 called for in the legislation. One of those studies, by the Environmental Protection Agency, assumed 180 new reactors would come on line by 2050.

Something that is being glossed over in the MSM, however, is Obama's decision to close the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility.  It merits a whole sentence in the article I quoted above.

This may get a little long, so if you're interested, go below the fold.

more...

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