Who’s Your Buddy?

March 14, 2012

Well, if you’re a member of the US International Longshoremen’s Association, that would be Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Yes, you heard me correctly; an American union (snort) awarded the leader of communist China the title “Best Friend of the American Worker.” China Daily reports:

ILA Vice President William McNamara said his association was honored to give the award to Premier Wen to thank China for its great contributions to creating more job opportunities for American workers.

 The award ceremony coincided with the 10th anniversary of the first direct vessel call to the Port of Boston by China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO) in February 2002.

Because on the docks of Boston, nobody does more for the longshoremen than… the Chinese? One might think that the USILA (and its parent union, the AFL-CIO) might have had second thoughts about giving an award to the head of a nation that does not allow actual trade unions. The irony, it burns!

I really didn’t think there existed an award more meaningless than the Nobel Peace Prize. But I think we’ve finally found one.

Stoutcat

H/T: WFB


Irony Alert: Papa Grizzly Faces Prosecution

August 31, 2011

Did you hear the one about the man who shot a bear in his pajamas yard?

It seems that earlier this year, Mr. Jeremy Hill of Idaho shot a young male grizzly when the bear appeared with two others in the yard where his children were playing. Mr. Hill promptly grabbed a rifle and protected his children by shooting the bear.

Since the grizzly is a protected species, Mr. Hill promptly called the state Department of Fish and Game, reporting what had happened. According to the  Spokesman Review:

Boundary County Prosecutor Jack Douglas has sent a letter to media outlets with his account of the May 8 grizzly bear shooting that has resulted in federal charges against Jeremy Hill, 33, of Porthill, Idaho.

Douglas said neither he nor the Idaho Fish ad [sic] Game Department was involved in filing charges against Hill and makes the case that Hill never should have been charged.

But suddenly, Mr. Hill finds himself facing a large fine and possible prison time for protecting his family, an action which the wildlife officials agreed was appropriate:

Boundary County commissioners … issued a news release, saying that Idaho Fish and Game officials had recommended against filing charges in the case, and that local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials had concurred.

Well then, who brought charges against Mr. Hill?

Joan Jewett, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Portland, said she couldn’t comment on the case specifically. In general, however, “we do an investigation and turn over our information and evidence to the U.S. Attorney’s office and the U.S. Attorney makes the decision on whether to prosecute or not.”

So our Department of Justice, who refuses to prosecute things like voter fraud and illegal immigration, is tackling the really hard cases like the recent dramatic Gibson Guitar raid, and prosecuting a man for protecting his family from bears. We’re in the very best of hands.

Oh, the irony of a man prosecuted by the Obama administration for behaving like Sarah Palin’s prototypical mama grizzly!

Stoutcat


GM True Lies Redux: A Time to Boycott?

April 23, 2010

In yesterday’s post about GM’s touting of their TARP payback (with interest!), I asked the following question:

“Unless GM is engaging in financial shell games of a kind that would put Bernie Madoff to shame, how is it possible for a company which posted a $4.3-billion loss for the half year after “emerging” from bankruptcy last summer,  lost $30.9 billion in 2008, and has laid off nearly 65,000 workers over the past year expect to a) build good cars that consumers want to buy, b) keep up payments to unions and union healthcare trust funds, and c) pay back their debt to American taxpayers?”

Clearly, I’m in good company, as American Thinker‘s Joseph Ashby arrived at the same “shell game bordering on fraud” conclusion (UPDATE: HotAir calls “shell game” too):

“So how did a recently bankrupt company which is still hemorrhaging money pay back a multi-billion dollar loan five years early? Could it be that the mountain of bailout cash was much more than turned out to be necessary?

“It’s hard to conclude that the repayment is anything other than a political and marketing ploy where the federal government receives “repayment” with the very same loan money handed out starting in 2008…

“Over-lending on a loan to achieve quick initial repayment (and thus inflate the loan’s perceived value), in the private economy, is called fraud. Where did GM come up with the money? It’s a question that merits asking.”

Ashby then links to FoxNews, which splashes cold water all over GM’s initial triumphant “pay-back” announcement in an article outlining Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) letter yesterday to tax-cheat Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner:

“It appears to be nothing more than an elaborate TARP money shuffle…”

“The bottom line seems to be that the TARP loans were ‘repaid’ with other TARP funds in a Treasury escrow account. The TARP loans were not repaid from money GM is earning selling cars, as GM and the administration have claimed in their speeches, press releases and television commercials.” [emphasis mine]

TARP watchdog Neil Barofsky supports Sen. Grassley’s conclusion:

“I think the one thing that a lot of people overlook with this is where they got the money to pay back the loan. And it isn’t from earnings. … It’s actually from another pool of TARP money that they’ve already received,” [Barofsky] said Wednesday. “I don’t think we should exaggerate it too much. Remember that the source of this money is just other TARP money.” 

Barofsky told the Senate Finance Committee the same thing Tuesday, and said the main way for the federal government to earn money out of GM would be through “a liquidation of its ownership interest.” 

Grassley criticized this scenario in his letter. 

The taxpayers are still on the hook, and whether TARP funds are ultimately recovered depends entirely on the government’s ability to sell GM stock in the future. Treasury has merely exchanged a legal right to repayment for an uncertain hope of sharing in the future growth of GM. A debt-for-equity swap is not a repayment.”  [emphasis mine]

I’m torn, here. GM is, at best, deliberately misleading the public; at worst, the company is outright lying to us. I want to suggest a boycott of GM cars (for those who would actually consider buying a GM car in the first place), but if nobody buys their cars, they’ll never pay back the TARP money.

…Hell, they’ll never pay it back anyway. Go ahead and boycott ’em!

Stoutcat


GM’s True Lies

April 22, 2010


If you watched any television last night, you probably saw this commercial:

“We have repaid our government loan in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule.”

CEO Ed Whitacre is telling us the truth, but not the whole truth. What about the other $45 billion that American (and Canadian) taxpayers gave General Motors last year, which was originally part of that loan? Why doesn’t he mention that still-outstanding amount as he so proudly touts the payback of less than 14% of GM’s unsettled debt? When do we get that money back?

[crickets]

MarketWatch is a bit more realistic about Whitacre’s announcement:

Yet for all the fanfare, this is icing on the cake — and there’s still no cake.

The federal governments of Canada and the United States are the majority shareholders in General Motors, and will be until the carmaker issues new shares to the public. We still don’t know when that will be, and Whitacre didn’t offer any new clues.

And the Associated Press reports:

The White House pointed to GM’s repayment of the loan and Chrysler LLC’s posting of an operating profit in the first quarter of 2010 as concrete signs that the bailout of the U.S. automakers was working.

In a report, they noted the American auto industry lost more than 400,000 jobs in 2008 and analysts estimated another 1 million would have been lost had GM and Chrysler liquidated. In the past nine months, the White House said the industry has added 45,000 jobs, the strongest job growth in the industry in nearly a decade.

Sorry, but given the record the White House has in their predictions, as well as their ability to accurately account for jobs “created or saved”, I’m going to take that assertion with a huge shaker of salt (until that’s outlawed, too).

Unless GM is engaging in financial shell games of a kind that would put Bernie Madoff to shame, how is it possible for a company which posted a $4.3-billion loss for the half year after “emerging” from bankruptcy last summer,  lost $30.9 billion in 2008, and has laid off nearly 65,000 workers over the past year expect to a) build good cars that consumers want to buy, b) keep up payments to unions and union healthcare trust funds, and c) pay back their debt to American taxpayers?

Just asking.

Stoutcat

H/T: BBCW


The Hammer: Nuke Policy “Insane or Ridiculous”

April 7, 2010

 

Charles Krauthammer pinpoints the problem with Obama’s new nuclear policy:

Honestly, I think the policy is both insane and ridiculous. What’s the point in having the biggest guns if you’re going to pinky-promise never ever to use them?

The phrase “peace through superior firepower” may sound silly; may sound hackneyed; may even sound hawk-like; but the fact remains that it has stood America and her allies in good stead for over half a century.

Peace through throwing away half our guns and promising not to use the other half” doesn’t inspire confidence, nor should it. It’s a wimpy, wussy, kum-by-yah viewpoint unworthy of the United States Commander-in-Chief.  

But it sounds just exactly like something President Obama would try to implement.

Stoutcat


C-Span To Obama: Put Up Or Shut Up

January 6, 2010

C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb sent letters to leaders in the House and Senate on Dec. 30 in which he urged them to allow C-Span to cover “all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings.”  

Lamb offered to “commit the necessary resources to covering all of the sessions LIVE and in their entirety.”

In short, he called upon the President to “walk the walk” and back up a promise he’s claimed for 2 years to do just that. In January of 2008, when then-Senator Barack Obama was mired in a campaign to grab the Democratic Nomination away from Hillary Clinton, he told America that his administration make sure health care negotiations would be available to the nation on C-Span:

“That’s what I will do in bringing all parties together, not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are.” (Emphasis mine)

It was Obama himself who, during his first month in office, announced that transparency would be a touchstone of the Obama administration:

Apparently, he forgot to notify Congress of the need for transparency. Or maybe he thought they undestood that when Nancy Pelosi told the American public when she became Speaker of the House in 2006:

“The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history.”

So much for restoring integrity: To this date, none of the important discussions on this legislation have been covered on C-Span.  This, of course, has resulted in mysteries like “The New Louisiana Purchase”  where  Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu was given a $300 million “deal sweetener” (which, of course, comes out of taxpayer’s pockets) in return for her support in providing the one more vote needed to have the necessary 60 votes to end cloture and move the legislation to the next level.

Without TV coverage to worry about, others strapped on their feedbags and jumped on board the “Cloture Opportunity Express” including, Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas who played her part, followed by Ben Nelson who also sold his soul vote for an exclusion of  Medicaid costs (costs which would be then passed on to be covered by other states, resulting in double taxation for the same service).

The behavior of the Democratic Congress throughout the process BEGS for the oversight of transparency, and who better to provide that oversight than the American people? Who knows? Maybe even the Mainstream Media (MSM) might even pull their heads out of their collective backsides to actually provide coverage.  I know, I know… and some day pigs may fly. 

But least someone besides Fox is now calling out the President to walk-the-walk. 

And that’s a first.  

Stay tuned. Literally.

Also, Michelle Malkin has her usual excellent coverage on this.

Gerry Ashley


Napolitano: “The System Worked”

December 28, 2009

 

UPDATE: Oops, she was wrong. “The system failed miserably.” I still say she should be fired.

In what kind of Cloud Cuckoo Land is our Secretary of Homeland Security living?

“…[O]ne thing I’d like to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action. Within literally an hour to 90 minutes of the incident occurring, all 128 flights in the air had been notified to take some special measures in light of what had occurred on the Northwest Airlines flight.”

So the system that worked allowed a man, one whose own father reported him for extremism to our embassy, to walk right onto a plane, wearing underwear full of a deadly and volatile explosive, and then attempt to detonate that explosive. That’s the system that worked?  

We’re counting now on the incompetence of terrorists to prevent things like PETN from detonating on a plane, killing all on board and possibly killing hundreds more as flaming debris rains down on Detroit Metropolitan Airport. That’s the system that worked?

We’re supposed to hope that there are enough brave people on board plance who will tackle would-be terrorists and prevent further damage to our airplanes? That’s the system that worked? 

Pardon me while I change all my future travel plans to Amtrak.

PETN is an incredibly volatile explosive. Take a look at what approximately 8 ounces can do:

“The system worked.”

Throughtout this year, Janet Napolitano has beclowned herself. This is just her latest delusion. Fire her and replace her with someone who doesn’t have her head lodged so firmly where the sun don’t shine.

Stoutcat


New Law Needed: Stupid Law

October 22, 2009

 
Yeah, you heard me, we need one more law… The “Stupid Law”.

I learned of the need for this law years ago from a buddy who was an MP (now I guess they call ’em “PMO”) in the U. S. Marine Corps. He would routinely bust people who would leave the base, scurry into the woods across the street, and then smoke a bone. Using a starlight scope, he and others would observe and then arrest.

My friend said that every bust would be followed by the predictable accusatorial, “You’re only arresting me because I’m a guy“; or “You’re only arresting me because I’m a woman“; or “You’re only arresting me because I’m black“; or “You’re only arresting me because I’m white“; or “You’re only arresting me because I outrank you“; or “You’re only arresting me because you outrank me“… And to each asinine plea my pal would respond with the truth – “No, I’m arresting you because you’re stupid.” In his eyes, those idiots broke the “Stupid Law”. (My compadre was no stranger to the wacky weed, he was just smart enough to cover his tracks.)

So what exactly is this “Stupid Law”? Well, by way of explanation, here are a few examples. (Note: Some of the examples include description and some don’t. You figure it out…)

  • Shepard Fairey: What do you say about blatant and ongoing plagiarism? ” Oops, I pulled a Ward Churchill!
  • There’s the “Balloon Boy” parents… Stinks when you’re caught in a pathetic, immature, ridiculous, hubristic, even dangerously moronic lie.
  • Ronan Tynan and his anti-Semitism… “It was stupid of me to be so callous, and I would never want to hurt anybody’s feelings…” Umm… Ronan… You had a pretty good gig going… Best to just sing and otherwise keep your mouth shut.
  • Larry Craig:  Larry! Put down the toilet paper and leave the stall alone!
  • Bill Clinton didn’t inhale
  • Bill Clinton… Oral sex ain’t really sex
  • Fox News not being a “real” news organization
  • Trying to reason with a government who encourages people to blow themselves up.

Anyhow, you get the idea. We’re talking about a law that any common citizen who has a brain and isn’t agenda-blind can cite as a raging example of “Stupid”… My old friend was spot on: I’m not busting you because you’re smoking pot… I’m busting you because you’re stupid.

When all is said and done, the “Stupid Law” is just a repercussion of “Unthink” (“… the ability to remove facts, reason, and viable memories from the cognitive process.”)

Yup, just one more law and all will be right with the world…

Alan Speakman


Dr. Strangelove, I Presume

September 28, 2009

 

Jeremy Boreing at BigGovernment gave us a tour de force this weekend on why we should stop worrying and learn to love the bomb. He directly addressed President Obama’s speech at the United Nations and in just over a dozen paragraphs, Mr. Boreing managed to demolish a few of the Left’s most cherished notions, e.g., that nuclear weapons are evil, and that a world without nuclear weapons will be a utopia where billions of lives are no longer under threat of annhiliation.

It seems lost on the American President that he was not elected to create or perfect a world order, but to elevate the interests of the United States. He was not selected by a world assembly but by Americans, who extracted from him a sworn oath to defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign or domestic. That same Constitution calls the president the Chief Executive of the Untied States. Imagine if the chief executive of Wal-Mart attended an economic forum and suggested a willingness to make his company less successful in the interest of promoting the perceived success of his competitors. It is unlikely that he would remain CEO for long…

Boreing also tags a zinger in there about socialism:

Utopian dreams rarely have any connection to reality. The socialist ideal of transferring power and wealth from the few to the many is proven a delusion once one realizes that the method socialists use to accomplish this goal is powerful government, thus making the true reality of socialism the transfer of power and wealth from the few to the far fewer. It is the same with this pre-adolescent belief that a world without nuclear weapons would be a better or more peaceful one. In actuality, nuclear weapons have maintained the closest thing the world has ever known to global peace for over sixty years.

And on the absolute necessity for the major powers to retain their nuclear arsenals, he has this to say:

…War is no longer sustainable, but it never-the-less still exists. The reason they are not fought between the large powers, the reason they cannot be, is that the nuclear weapon makes them unwinnable. For that reason, the major powers, America, Britain, France, Russia, and China do well to maintain their weapons. They do no harm, and yet they do great, great good. They have already saved perhaps hundreds of millions of lives, and even if one is one day used surreptitiously by a terrorist organization to kill tens of thousands of people, they still will have been a net gain to society of a thousand times that number of lives saved. Why then would the President of the United States, the country that has, armed with these devices, kept so great a peace for so long, seek to eliminate them?

Mr. Boreinger makes some excellent points, and I urge you to read the whole article.

But before you despair that Obama might actually achieve such a world-changing and potentially disastrous goal, ask yourself this: Isn’t it likely that Obama’s U.N. rhetoric is yet another instance of the President’s seeming inability to close the deal on myriad initiatives he has been pushing (health care, cap and tax, closing Guantanamo Bay, etc.)?

We can only hope so, as the alternative scenario is too grim to imagine. 

Stoutcat


The Globe Teeters on the Brink

June 10, 2009

 

 Only in Massachusetts…

Another sinking ship of the vast New York Times enterprise, the Boston Globe, is having problems staying afloat these days. The Globe needs to cut $20 million annually to continue to operate. Hence, the newspaper made a proposal to their largest union, the Boston Newspaper Guild, for pay and benefits cuts, with a caveat of far worse if the proposal was voted down.

Monday evening, the Guild narrowly voted down the Globe’s proposal which would cut workers’ pay by 8.3%, eliminate 190 jobs, and cut back on some health and pension benefits. Mangement clearly stated during the process that if this cut did not go through, workers would have to take a 23% pay cut. No matter. Guild votes “No thanks.”

You can guess what happened next. The Guild voted down the smaller pay cut and cutbacks. Management, as it had said it would, imposed the 23% cut (effective this Sunday). Guild screams bloody murder; guild starts legal action to delay pay cuts; guild goes to Labor Relations Board to block cuts; guild, in fact, does everything in its power to ensure the closing of the 137-year-old newspaper and lose all jobs. Go, guild!

All this, despite the fact that the six other unions involved in Globe operations had actually voted for the 8.3% pay cut. Clearly these other unions realized that a pay cut of 8.3% is much better than a pay cut of 23%, and that having a job is better than not having a job.

So Boston will likely become yet another one-paper big city; the Herald will be laughing all the way to the bank; and the hundreds of unemployed business, advertising, and editorial workers will be scratching their heads wondering what happened. (No, not the elites, like Ellen Goodman, Joan Vennochi, Derrick Jackson, and the uber-creepy Dan Shaughnessy. They’ll have something to fall back on or something to leap to. They’ll always land on their feet.)

And “Coupe” Deval Patrick will have to add 700 newly laid-off people to the state’s unemployment rolls.

Well played, Boston Newspaper Guild. Well played, indeed.

Stoutcat