Saturday, 27 February 2010

In Passing

What would you trade for dinosaur-powered space lasers?

What we really want from Government  Dept
In a perfect world, any defense or NASA expenditure could be justified with the words “Because it’s AWESOME! Eh? EH?”  If it makes a randomly selected 14-year-old boy drool around his braces, it gets funded.  Granted, we’d end up with an arsenal of dinosaur-powered space lasers run by ninjas and the Swedish bikini team, but at least it would have full funding.
I’d trade the entire Department of Homeland Security for dinosaur-powered space lasers any day of the week.  If I can get “ninjas and the Swedish bikini team” too, I’ll throw in the Department of Education.

And further wise words from one so young:
We ended up here because we stopped encouraging 14-year-old boys to be 14-year-old boys.
Yep. 50 years ago, we dreamed of going to the stars.  Today Our Betters dream of turning America into 1950s eastern Europe.

I prefer AWESOME.  Let’s do it FOR THE CHILDREN!

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Friday, 26 February 2010

In Passing

What happened at the summit isn’t important...

Nightly News leads with snowstorm stories  Dept
Jay Nordlinger:
This health-care summit was a bad idea for the Democrats for this reason: They have long benefited from a perception — a perception greatly abetted by the media: The Republicans don’t care about health care, they don’t know about health care, they are the Party of No.  All the ideas and caring are on the Democratic side.

It is not so, and it has never been so.  And now everybody knows it.
Everybody who watched C-SPAN, that is.  But most people don’t, and the ones who don’t will judge the Republicans by how the DSM reports the summit.

I’ll wait to see whether the Republicans manage to cut through the spin before accepting any sweeping claims about what “everybody” now knows.

Reader James Somers offers two ways to tell that the Dems lost the health care summit today:
If you look right now:

1.  It’s not the lead headline on CNN.
2.  It’s not the lead headline on the NYT.

If this had turned out the way it was supposed to, it would be leading both of those sites in 60 point font.


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Thursday, 25 February 2010

In Passing

Notice served

Got this letter today from my fuel oil vendor:

Effective March 1, 2010
Regulatory Compliance Charge

The regulatory compliance charge offsets a portion of the costs incurred by *** [company] to comply with mandatory rules and regulations imposted by Federal, State, and local governments.

The charge covers some costs [of complying with] governmental regulations related to... 1) Workplace and public safety; 2) Federal and local codes; and 3) Environmental protection. Listed below is a recent, but non-comprehensive, list of mandatory requirements affecting fuel suppliers...
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Compliance
  • Employee Training & Driver Qualifications
  • Hazardous Material Training & Certification
  • Environmental Protection / Oil Spill Regulations
  • Equipment Testing & Safety Inspections
  • Hazardous Materials Monitoring and Cleanup Funds
  • Drug Testing (annual and random)
  • Remote Control Shutdown System on Delivery Equipment
  • Department of Homeland Security Regulations (Driver Regulations)
  • Emergency Planning & Response
  • O.S.H.A. Hazardous Communication Compliance
Charge Costs
The regulatory compliance charge [will be] applied to deliveries for residential and commercial customers.

Frequently Asked Questions
Why are regulatory compliance charges becoming more common?
Today there are [more] mandatory compliance issues and charges than ever before...

Why do some energy companies have charges and others do not?
All energy companies are subject to the same regulations; however, some choose to embed these regulatory compliance costs in the price of fuel... At ****, we believe the fairest practice is to separate these charges out for your information.
What this means is that beginning next month I’m going to see a $2.82 line item on my delivery ticket.  Lovely.

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Thursday, 18 February 2010

In Passing

Coming headline: “BATFE Raids DHS”

Darn. It was here just a minute ago...  Dept
USA Today:
The nation’s Homeland Security officers lost nearly 200 guns in bowling alleys, public restrooms, unlocked cars and other unsecure areas, with some ending up in the hands of felons...

Most of the misplaced weapons — including handguns, shotguns and military rifles — were never found. Most losses occurred because officers did not properly secure firearms,” says the Homeland Security inspector general report.

At least 15 of the guns ended up in the hands of gang members, criminals, drug users and teenagers...
Well, the obvious solution is for the BATFE to aggressively investigate the DHS’s poor weapons security and recordkeeping.

Thus making a start at keeping BOTH agencies out of our hair.

Via:  IP

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In Passing

Blast from the past

Well, I certainly never expected this!   Dept[1]:
Durham [NC] police arrested Duke lacrosse accuser Crystal Gale Mangum, 33, late Wednesday after she allegedly assaulted her boyfriend, set his clothes on fire in a bathtub and threatened to stab him.
Police charged her with attempted first-degree murder, five counts of arson, assault and battery, communicating threats, three counts of misdemeanor child abuse, injury to personal property, identity theft and resisting a public officer.
I expect K.C. Johnson to have something about this shortly.

Via: alexthechick
[1]  where you have to register to read the comments.  How lame is that?

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Monday, 15 February 2010

In Passing

Gone Bayh-Bayh...

So The Indianapolis Star and The Washington Post are both reporting that Indiana’s junior Senator Evan Bayh has decided to pass on a run for a third term.  I’ll probably have more to say about this, but a few points come to mind immediately:

• Hoosiers usually vote for people they like, then for party.  While liberals don’t win statewide elections, Bayh has kept his reputation “conservative enough” to remain likable to most hoosiers (while usually voting “liberal enough” to satisfy most of his party’s progressives).  Although he’s under challenge from the left (see below), under normal circumstances he’d be a shoo-in for winning the primary and for reelection.

• Hoosiers also don’t vote strategically: They’re not going to say, “I should vote against this Democrat (who I like) because I would be better off if the seat was held by a Republican.”

• Bayh has a lot of money, and his organization does a lot of polling.  While the trend hasn’t been good, the numbers I’ve seen still show the seat leaning strongly Democrat.

• The strongest Republican challengers (Rep. Mike Pence and Governor Mitch Daniels) have already said they’re not interested.

So why this decision?  Short of the pending revelation of some yet-unforseen Dark Secret, I would speculate that Bayh’s internal polling is showing that the next campaign would be, for Bayh, a difficult one, and for the Democrats nationally, disastrous.  We’re talking loss-of-both-houses disastrous, which, if true, would also explain Mike Pence’s decision to stay out of the Senate race and remain in the House (in a Republican sweep, Speaker of the House trumps junior Senator).

I would also note that Bayh’s statement, which complains about the stalemate and lack of bi-partisanship in Congress, backhandedly endorses the wisdom of the Republican strategy of refusing to provide the super-majority Democrats with political cover.  Bravo.

Meanwhile, Scott at The Hoosierpundit offers a short list of possible Democrat candidates, but in a subsequent post notes that Indiana University student (and “healthcare activist”) Tamyra D’Ippolito, who had been attempting to challenge Bayh in the primary, was (as of the 12th) only 1,000 signatures away from getting on the ballot.  Now read on:
Bayh declined reelection at the last possible minute so that no Democrat would be on the [Democrat primary] ballot for Senate in Indiana, and thus Democratic Party insiders (largely Bayh cronies) would pick who is on the ballot in November.
If Tamyra D’Ippolito is on the ballot, then that’s all she wrote.  They can’t pick anyone else. She will be their nominee, period.
The deadline for signatures is Tuesday (tomorrow), noon.  Hey, tea partiers, wanna have some fun and see a real leftist as Democrat nominee?

Elsewhere (more links added 100216  †17:10 ‡23:15):
The Indianapolis Star:  Evan Bayh will not seek re-election
The Fix:  Evan Bayh won’t seek re-election, Senate majority in play?
Indiana Daily Student (via HP):  Former Sen. Coats Eyes Bayh’s Seat
Contentions:  Phony Centrists Pay the Price for ObamaCare
†Gateway Pundit:  Tamyra D'Ippolito says she has enough signatures
†Hot Air:  Indiana Dem: White House is conspiring to put Baron Hill in Bayh’s spot
‡Sissy Willis (via IP):  It’s not the people’s seat, it’s the Bayh seat!
Frank James would have preferred it’d been Dick Lugar
†Indy Democrat:  Bayh’s legacy will be mixed
Joanna:  Is you is, or is you ain’t, mah constichency?
†Tam:  In what world...?
Continuing Coverage! at Ace of Spades HQ: Le•gal In•sur•rec•tion: Ruth’s Blog:  From the Indianapolis Star...
†Nathan:  Bye bye, baby Bayh
Flopping Aces:  Breaking News...

Previously:  A little nervous, Evan?

Posted by: Old Grouch in In Passing at 19:43:21 GMT | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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Saturday, 13 February 2010

In Passing

Spread it around!

Commenter Rich Rostrom (over at Weasel’s place), on the prevention of political dynasties:

JW[1]:  I’d go further: “No one shall be eligible for election to any office of the United States, or of any state, or of any territory, or any local or municipal government under the United States or any state or territory, whose spouse, or sibling, parent, grandparent, or parent’s sibling, by blood, adoption, or marriage (including former marriages), has previously served in that office by election; all seats in any legislative assembly or adminstrative commission being considered the same office.”

This would get rid of Senators Dodd and Bayh, and about 30 Representatives.

It would have prevented Senators Lincoln Chaffee, Al Gore jr., Liz Dole, Bobby and Teddy Kennedy, and a great many others in the past (there were five Senator Bayards from Delaware).  Also Pat and Joe II Kennedy (JFK was in the House for three terms).

One thing – the previous holder has to have been elected.  Otherwise, the opposition could appoint some relative who hates you to the office for a day, and then you’re blocked.
If spreading the wealth around is such a good idea, what about spreading the political power?

[1]  ...who had proposed “a bill that would eleminate every second generation from following in their daddys’ and mommys’ footsteps in the political field.  Maybe make it every third generation”

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Friday, 12 February 2010

In Passing

One afternoon at the office

Today they came out and marked the buried fiber...

...after the snow.

(That’s the side of a 3' snowbank, at the edge of the parking lot.)

Posted by: Old Grouch in In Passing at 22:18:32 GMT | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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In Passing

Monty Python’s Global Warming

Or, what we’d be laughing at, provided the Pythons were (1) still in business, and (2) hadn’t morphed into a bunch of hidebound “progressives”.[1]

Ladies and gentlemen, scripted by AoS commenter “Merovign, Strong on His Mountain,” I give you The BBC Interview:

Interviewer:  It looks like we’re talking about fraud here.

Dr. Dingleberry:  Why, these are just mistakes, mind you mistakes that should have never got through the process. (waves hands)

Interviewer:  That’s a lot of mistakes you got there.

Dr. Dingleberry:  But if we’re not frauds, the consequences could be dire for all mankind and the spotted dick, so you have to keep giving us grant money.

Interviwer:  But your crappy predictions not only aren’t true, but they’re being shown as based on random nonsense in student papers, not actual studies.

Dr. Dingleberry:  That’s just another isolated incident...

Interviewer:  And another, which you yourself were implicated in...

Dr. Dingleberry:  I was wearing a blindfold and earmuffs at the time!  And it’s only a small part of our frau... I mean data!  So I wasn’t to blame for this IPCC nonsense!

Interviewer:  What about this glacier bullpuckey?

Dr. Dingleberry:  Yes, that’s the 9th Fundamental Mistake that I’m going to deign to admit to other people making.

Interviewer:  But he made it all up and took people’s money for it.

Dr. Dingleberry:  Yes, but we need to understand this phenomenon we’ve made up, that’s increasing and dangery.


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Thursday, 11 February 2010

In Passing

Certainly a change from pizza...

She’s a man-eater  Dept
My friend once commented that she had a vegetarian sandwich for lunch.  I asked her if it was a free-range or factory-farmed vegetarian.

She didn’t get it.

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