Thursday, May 06, 2010

Truth in Advertising? Not With GM

On a day when the news features an unrepentant FCC chairman declaring, in essence, that the internet will be turned into a "public utility" and subject to future regulation much as telephones and power systems have been, and when Drudge features a report of five students sent home for wearing American flag-intensive apparel on Cinco de Mayo, there's already a lot of red flags waving in the face of your typical Constitution-loving patriot.

But I choose instead to discuss truth in advertising, as in, the lack of truth in advertising from spots being aired by Government Motors and the AARP, which I think now stands for the American Association to Re-elect Progressives, for it certainly has little to do with its traditional senior citizen membership.

Let's tackle the GM ad spots. Ed Whitacre, chairman of Government Motors and a shill for the Regime, as Rush says, announced proudly (in radio and TV spots, as well as a Wall Street Journal article headlined, "The GM Bailout: Paid Back in Full") that GM has paid off its $6.7 billion in loans from the taxpayers years ahead of schedule.

Well, hot damn, you may say! It's the "Soggy Bottom Boys!" Well, not so fast. There's more to this story, and I have it thanks to columnist Shikha Dalmia writing at

The GM Bailout, let's remember, included the direct loan of $6.7 billion. It also included $42.8 billion as an equity purchase (stock) of the company by the U.S. government (60.8 percent!) and the Canadian government (11.7 percent!). Together the two governments control 72.5 percent of GM, which is why it is truly Government(s) Motors.

So the Bailout isn't paid back in full. It's not even close.

But the story gets worse. GM has yet to turn a profit under its new management, which is no big surprise. Since when has the U.S. government run anything efficiently? So where did the money come from?

From an escrow account of $13.4 billion of "working capital" that came from the federal bailout!

Now the question is why did this take place at this time. The Forbes article has the answer, which once would've been shocking but it's par-for-the-course in our Obama Nation:
Sean McAlinden, chief economist at the Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research, points out that the company has applied to the Department of Energy for $10 billion in low (5%) interest loan to retool its plants to meet the government's tougher new CAFÉ (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards. However, giving GM more taxpayer money on top of the existing bailout would have been a political disaster for the Obama administration and a PR debacle for the company. Paying back the small bailout loan makes the new -- and bigge r-- DOE loan much more feasible.

In short, GM is using government money to pay back government money to get more government money. And at a 2% lower interest rate at that. This is a nifty scheme to refinance GM's government debt--not pay it back!
Sadly, it gets worse still. By incurring more debt, GM will be farther away from the day that it turns a profit and, according to the government's plan, it will not sell its equity (stock) in GM until it is profitable and becomes a publicly traded company again.

As Dalmia puts it:
Mr. Whitacre's bailout payback ploy is a desperate attempt to win back the car-buying public deeply disgusted by the spectacle of GM rattling its tin-cup before Uncle Sam. But the fact of the matter is that the company is still deep in the hole. It might claw its way back – or it might not. But surely it's premature for its media boosters to pop open the champagne bottle without getting their story straight?
When I think of GM I think of the lemon I bought for my son to drive, a 2005 Impala that must be "burped" regularly every couple of months in order not to serially overheat. The first GM product I've owned since a wonderful 1957 Chevy that I never should have sold. Now that was a car!

I also think of my poor mother-in-law who invested heavily in GM stock a few months before the government took it over. She used the time honored "buy low, hold and sell it high" rationale to justify her action. The stock is worth less than she paid for it, substantially less. (Yes, she had professional investment advice; those boys were caught flat-footed, just as we all were.)

I think of all the dealers who lost their GM and Chrysler affiliations across the country, of the lost jobs as weird decisions were made as to who won and who lost in the dealership shuffle.

Then I multiply all this sorrow and suffering by many thousands or millions, and it makes me sad.

Then when I hear Ed Whitacre crowing about GM's accomplishments and asking for us to trust the company again, I want to vomit. This is not America. It is not freedom.

Resolved: if and when conservative-minded, freedom loving people control Congress, they should require the administration to divest itself of 100 percent of its interest in Government Motors and any other private business. Businesses should succeed or fail on their own merits. The taxpayers should not be the lenders -- or owners -- of last resort.

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Friday, April 30, 2010

As If the Oil Isn't Slick Enough

Oil is drifting toward the shore in the Gulf states.

What is the proper federal response from President Obama?

Send in the lawyers from the Justice Department.

As if there was any question about it.

Not only did it take the president eight days to determine his response level, preoccupied as he was with slamming Wall Street and the Arizona legislature, when he does respond it is with SWAT teams -- no joke -- and attorneys.

If President Bush had done that during Katrina even the GOP would have had him up on impeachment charges.

At any rate, you know that this administration's rule of thumb is that when there is a crisis situation, make sure that everyone knows that the federal lawyers are watching carefully.

That always makes for innovative and rapid action.

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Peggy Noonan Strikes Truth Again

Peggy Noonan has a great column today in the Wall Street Journal. "The Big Alienation." It's one of the best summations of the immigration policy debate I've read in a long while.

There's some great stuff about dysfunctional Washington.
It is not that no one's in control. Washington is full of people who insist they're in control and who go to great lengths to display their power. It's that no one takes responsibility and authority. Washington daily delivers to the people two stark and utterly conflicting messages: "We control everything" and "You're on your own."
She doesn't mention this but it fits the situation in the Gulf right now where it took President Obama nine days to decide to engage the federal apparatus to help British Petroleum with its problem. Obama doesn't want responsibility, just control. And he famously declares that BP "will pay all the costs."

On why Arizona had to act:
Which brings us to Arizona and its much-criticized attempt to institute a law aimed at controlling its own border with Mexico. It is doing this because the federal government won't, and because Arizonans have a crisis on their hands, areas on the border where criminal behavior flourishes, where there have been kidnappings, murders and gang violence. ...

... the larger point is that Arizona is moving forward because the government in Washington has completely abdicated its responsibility. For 10 years—at least—through two administrations, Washington deliberately did nothing to ease the crisis on the borders because politicians calculated that an air of mounting crisis would spur mounting support for what Washington thought was appropriate reform—i.e., reform that would help the Democratic and Republican parties.
And why is that, Peggy?

The American president has the power to control America's borders if he wants to, but George W. Bush and Barack Obama did not and do not want to, and for the same reason, and we all know what it is. The fastest-growing demographic in America is the Hispanic vote, and if either party cracks down on illegal immigration, it risks losing that vote for generations.

But while the Democrats worry about the prospects of the Democrats and the Republicans about the well-being of the Republicans, who worries about America?

Ms. Noonan has a simple prescription for solving the problem. First, fix the border. After that is proven, then do some small things when people have calmed down. But she fears that no one in Washington will do this. Here's why:

Because so many within it are stupid and unimaginative and don't trust the American people. Which of course the American people have noticed.

Do yourself a favor and read the entire article.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Iran's Coppertone Cops

Infrequently I will hear someone equate Christianity to Islam and will either declare that both are dangerous when they are in control of governments, or that Christianity is a much bigger threat that Islam ever thought of being. I know, I know. In print it sounds goofy, but this kind of history-deprived nonsense has caught on with many younger people today who suffer from Government Education.

The next time I hear this, I am going to have a print out in my wallet of this story:

Women With Suntans Will be Arrested, Iran Police Chief Warns

Women with suntans are violating Islamic law and will be arrested in Iran, the capital city's police chief was reported by The Daily Telegraph as saying Wednesday.

"The public expects us to act firmly and swiftly if we see any social misbehavior by women, and men, who defy our Islamic values," Brigadier Hossien Sajedinia said.

"In some areas of north Tehran we can see many suntanned women and young girls who look like walking mannequins," he continued. "We are not going to tolerate this situation and will first warn those found in this manner and then arrest and imprison them."

The warning follows recent comments made by a hard-line Iranian cleric, who claimed women dressed in revealing clothing were disturbing young men and causing earthquakes.

Young men, I fear, will always be disturbed by young women with or without tans, but they might have something there on earthquake prevention.

Few would stand for arresting sun-tanned women in Washington, D.C., but the fact that it can happen in Iran's capital city draws a big yawn from our political and social elite, who continue to draw up their plans for eradicating Christianity's "poisonous" influence from our institutions.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Future of the Tea Party Movement

The latest Tea Party rallies have subsided yet the clamor of the Progressives embedded in the establishment goes on; the disapproving frowns and the clucking of tongues of those who “hear” “violence and hatred” whenever anyone suggests that the supreme law of the Land – the Constitution – be followed.

There is no doubt about it: the backlash to the Tea Party movement is official.

That means it’s working!

There is fear among the milquetoast middle grounders for they have discovered that the “middle ground,” once seemingly the safest turf in modern American politics, is buckling and provides no foundation for their equivocation. The Left, reveling in its congressional majorities and its presidential patron, has discovered that it can simply buy off or threaten the moderates, as it did on the ObamaCare passage. There is no more pretense of compromise, merely naked corruption. The middle grounders predictably respond as they always have. Instead of blaming their Progressive herdsmen, who are the masters of situational ethics, for their sellout, they direct their complaints at those who held fast to their principles. In effect, they are crying out, “How dare you judge me!” when in reality it is history – and God – that will judge.

There is also fear among country club, Republican establishment types who embrace a conservatism of convenience. In other words, they call themselves conservatives when it is convenient to do so, most notably at election time, but otherwise consider themselves pragmatists when it comes to legislating or wielding power. They are suspicious of principles wedded to passion, which is why they never worked up more than token enthusiasm for Ronald Reagan but could whole-heartedly support George H.W. Bush. After all, the latter was one of them. It is this mind-set that is responsible for someone like Michael Steele wondering how the GOP can infiltrate the Tea Party movement.

He was serious, but it was a laughable premise.

The beauty of the Tea Party movement is that it is essentially leaderless. No, that’s not quite right. There are leaders aplenty, but it is a “from the ground up” leadership that calls upon individuals within the movement to educate themselves and to determine their level of commitment to restore constitutional governance to the various and sundry United States.

A case could be made that the leadership of the Tea Party movement includes such heavy hitters as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, and Thomas Paine, among others. They are speaking to a new generation through their writings and the historical record. We are reading the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, Common Sense, and various biographies. We are discussing the ideas of the Founding Fathers and discovering that concepts are timeless. And sacred. We may restate their truths in modern English, but the ideas themselves cannot be improved upon.

In the Tea Party movement are disaffected Democrats, Independents and Republicans. Once they may have differed on policy but today they are united behind a desire to restore and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity (sound familiar?).

It is not necessary for the Tea Party movement to form a new political party. Several national polls show that anywhere from a quarter to a third of the American electorate consider themselves to be aligned with this movement. That is considerably more than the number of Progressives. It is also significant because the Tea Party movement is but a year old. It is growing, and it will not be stopped by innuendo campaigns whether they originate from the White House/MoveOnDotters/MSDNC or even the GOP. It is impossible to stop a movement based on Truth where the vast majority of its numbers are people of good will and peace. The Polish communist machine could not stop Solidarity, and the Obama machine isn’t nearly that effective.

Wishful thinking pundits, more comfortable with the bilateral politics of the past which favored progressivism, keep writing that the Tea Party movement will blow itself out before the November elections. Dream on! The Tea Party has already changed the political landscape of America and it’s only the beginning.

I suspect that the greatest impact will be on the Republican Party for it is the one most susceptible to restoration and change. It is the one national party where intramural debate and challenge is still acceptable, and this is where Tea Party people can make a difference … by weeding out Progressives in the primary process. That might not make Michael Steele happy, but he may be lucky to have a job come November.

Sadly the once diverse Democratic Party is very inhospitable to genuine patriots at the national level, and that renders local Democrat activism something of a long shot. What is the use of wasting time and effort on a party that won’t listen to its conservative voices? I’m sorry, Blue Dogs, but your granddad’s Democratic party is gone, replaced over time by imposters who don’t like America, or its foundational principles, much. Please spare me your campaign rhetoric of how much you love to hunt, as if that somehow excuses you on other constitutional issues. Tell me, instead, of how you will tell Nancy Pelosi to kiss your ass the next time she tries to get you to vote for something that strips Americans of their rights. And then, if you are elected, do it. In public.

No, it isn’t genteel behavior. But it is the time-tested behavior of a patriotic, freedom-loving American.

We live in perilous times when liberty is at stake. Thomas Jefferson said that when the people fear the government, there is tyranny, and when government fears the people, there is liberty. The government hasn’t had much to worry about for the last 70 or 80 years or so, and that’s not healthy for liberty. It’s time to rebalance the political equation.

That’s what the Tea Party Movement is doing. Peacefully. Loudly. With American pride.

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Is Guam at a Tipping Point?

When you put ignorant people in positions of power, you will create opportunities for inane moments like the one caught in THIS video.

Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson, he of the Democrat persuasion, naturally, worries that the addition of 8,000 U.S. Marines and their families on the island of Guam will cause it to "capsize."


Obviously disappointed to hear that this is unlikely, he then starts worrying about the coral reefs and global warming.

Rep. Johnson voted for the health care bill, and he will probably vote for a lot of other nice socialist stuff as long as the electorate permits him to follow Nancy Pelosi over Marxist Falls.

Mark Hemingway of The Washington Examiner's "Beltway Confidential" believes that Rep. Johnson's remarks are "too dumb to mock."

But calling to mind the words of Samuel Adams, Patriot of 1776 -- "If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will be in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." -- I believe our patriotic duty is to mock.



Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why Mitt Isn't It!

It's Holy Week and there is a lot to do around Oklahomily Ranch so posting has been and will continue to be very light.

But I could not resist pointing out something to those conservative voters of any persuasion who might be thinking about 2012:

Mitt Romney, Hypocrite.

It's okay to make a mistake and learn from it. Mr. Romney wants to spin his Massachusetts disaster into something that it is not. Surely the Republicans can find someone a wee bit more conservative -- and honest -- to run against the Obamination.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stupak Caves; Get Ready for a Loss

Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak just caved on the "executive order option" so it is now quite likely that the Senate version of the health care reform bill will be passed before we sleep tonight.

With all due respect to the congressman, do you trust this president to keep his promise on the executive order when he has violated so many other promises?

Do you trust the federal courts to respect an executive order even if it is issued, especially since the language of a good executive order on forbidding the public financing of abortions will conflict with the language of the health care reform legislation?

Are you willing to answer to God when a future president issues an executive order canceling this one, if indeed, it comes to pass?

Between "Catholic" lawmakers Stupak and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, who caved even without an empty promise from President Obama, I am just about ready to vomit. They may represent their districts -- then again, come election time, the voters may have other ideas -- but they do not represent traditional Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life.

For that matter, I have problems with many of the bishops who seem to have forgotten the difference between church and state on this and a few other "social justice" issues. There is no way you can justify support of this takeover of the health care system of the United States, this threat to force people to help their neighbor through the kindly ministrations of the Internal Revenue Service, the actual taking of property from people without their consent, through traditional Catholic teaching.

I realize that most readers aren't all that interested in this particular argument, and that's okay. What's important now will be the next great cause, at election time this year, to empty Congress of each and every House and Senate member who stood for this abomination. We can clean the House, every member of whom is up for election. We can go a long way toward purging the Senate, a third of whom are up for re-election.

Our elected leaders in Congress are violating the compact to heed our will. They are creating huge new taxes and entitlements by misrepresenting us. They deserve to be replaced.

We are losing today. We cannot afford to lose in the primaries and in November. May God strengthen us for the task.

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'Collapse & Wreck'

No, I'm not writing about Cloward and Piven's strategy to collapse the U.S. government. You can and should read all that HERE.

Instead, I write of a game being played by juveniles in Philadelphia -- and who knows where else -- in which a group of youngsters identifies a target, preferably some one they think is homeless, and beat the crap out of them. More details:

Two residents of Southwest Philadelphia were injured - one of them seriously - in separate, recent attacks by youth engaging in a violent game they have dubbed "Catch and Wreck," police said tonight.

Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives said tonight a 12-year-old girl has been charged with aggravated assault and related offenses in connection with an attack on a 42-year-old woman Friday night, and additional arrests are expected.

In the game, a group of children between the ages of nine and 15 congregating at the Finnegan Playground at 69th Street and Grovers Avenue beat, strike and stomp adults they believe may be homeless, Walker said. He said neither victim in the two attacks was homeless.

Vincent Poppa, 73, remains hospitalized at Methodist Hospital a full week after he was hit in the back of the head with a gun, knocked unconscious and stomped by a group of four or five male youths near the playground around 9 p.m. March 13.

Poppa, who suffered a heart attack either during or shortly after the beating, was on a ventilator until Friday afternoon, Walker said.


According to Walker, Poppa, a resident of a nearby senior citizens apartment complex, was attacked when he was returning from buying soda.

When he arrived at Methodist, medical personnel found footprints on Poppa's head and sneaker marks on his body.

"They were stomping him pretty hard," Walker said.

The second assault occurred Friday at 8:30 p.m. when a large group of male and female youths surrounded Belinda Moore, 42, as she took a shortcut through the playground on her way home from a cleaning job.

She was struck with sticks, punched and hit, but Moore managed to break free and run to a nearby home where a resident called 911.

Walker said Moore had injured a knee and hurt her head. She delayed seeking medical attention to help police in their investigation.

Police Friday night arrested a 12-year-old girl who hit Moore with a stick and were expecting to arrest at least two other girls and boy in connection with the attack on Moore.

The police are continuing their investigation into the attack on Poppa. Authorities believe there may have been other attacks that have not been reported.

This next part will make your blood run cold.

Walker said police learned about the "catch and wreck" game when they brought a large group of neighborhood youths to Southwest Detectives for questioning Friday night after Moore was assaulted.

"They were all saying the same thing, laughing at us, like we didn't know what it meant," Walker said. "They said, 'It's something stupid we do for fun.'"

Police, he said, believe it's a new phenomenon.

"It's bizarre mindset these kids have developed," Walker said. "We're hoping we can nip it in the bud."

I hope so too, but I'm not encouraged when are government is promoting itself as the "one-stop solution" to all problems and thus will continue policies that fragment families and encourage dependency, which leads to young people having no good role models to emulate. We are dangerously close to "Clockwork Orange" territory here.


Prophetic Hit -- And It Didn't Take Long!

In my last post I bemoaned (bitched) that our culture has sunk so low that it will hold Wal Mart responsible for a juvenile racist remark made by a customer over a store intercom in Washington Township, N.J.

Two things this morning:

1. The arrested suspect was identified as a 16-year-old, reportedly charged with "harrassment and bias intimidation" whatever the hell that is. Want to bet he gets off with a hand slap?

2. As I collected ingredients for a hearty beef stew at my local Wal Mart, I overheard an employee being paged ... by a guy who was yelling very loudly from one of those swinging double doors that hide the stock rooms from the general public. "Telephone, Terry!" he yelled. As the worker approached, the assistant manager told him, you'll have to take it inside. They've disabled all the phones on the floor!"

Called it!

We are a long way from New Jersey but the command has been given from on high. Make sure there are no copycat crimes in a Wal Mart store, even though man-hours will be lost by employees having to "manually" page other departments, or by employees called away from their duty stations for phone calls.

Why? Because with the Gang of Progressive Thugs running our country you cannot be too careful. Your CEO might be called to testify before Congress as to your internal security workings, the state of your Diversity Training for employees, and who knows what else.

In a few years time we'll be damned lucky to find groceries on our store shelves.

Worth noting: Philly dot com's reporter could not bring herself to actually say "black people" in her lead, which is the phrase the youth had used. She corrected it to "African American." Folks, that's not journalism, that's political correctness and in this instance serves no purpose except to confuse someone who doesn't read the rest of the story. Can you imagine someone announcing politely that "all African Americans need to leave the store"?

The Gloucester County chapter of the NAACP -- the same organization that gave ex-White House communist "Green Jobs Czar" Van Jones a national award a couple of weeks ago -- has now jumped into the fray, declaring that "similar, previous incidents" have taken place at the same Wal Mart. Gee, what are they implying? That Wal Mart encourages this sort of thing?

Or would logic suggest that the 16-year-old has struck before?

Oops! Can't use logic. Forgot.

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