Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Some Nice Blogosphere Navel Gazing

It's been a while since we've had some good spitting matches between journalists, blogers, conservatives and liberals, but for some reason, there's a couple of them today.

First, there's the David Frum's whining cuz he can't play with the big kids dust-up at Right Wing News. Apparently, Frum has his knickers in a twist because John Hawkins doesn't consider him a conservative and won't add him to the Blogads conservative hive. I can understand why Frum is upset; unless he's recognized as a conservative by conservatives, his credibility as such is shot. Of course, he did that to himself some time ago when he bashed Republicans for actually supporting Americans' right to not choke on Obamacare. Now, Frum has taken to complaining that it's only "the fringe" who dislike him. This is patent nonsense. I like to read Frum but only to find out what left-leaning Republicans think. As Hawkins points out, liberals love Frum, which is enough reason for any conservative to be skeptical.

The second dustup is between sock puppet Glenn Greenwald and conservative Jeffrey Goldberg. I'm less engaged on this one, mostly because I consider Mr. Sockpuppet to be too boring to read. His sycophants have invaded poor Joe Klein's space, so if you want to hear what the sockpuppet has to say, read the comments (have I used the word "sockpuppet" enough in one post?).

Quote of the Day

"Equal laws protecting equal rights; the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country." --James Madison, letter to Jacob de la Motta, 1820

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

SCOTUS: Free Association Less Important than Homosexuality

That's the gist of the high court's decision in the Christian Legal Society's case against the University of California. The case pitted the idea of freedom of religion versus a school's right to allow such organizations on campus.

The court bizarrely came down on the side of the school, saying that your First Amendment right of free association is less important than someone who doesn't adhere to your beliefs joining your organization.

But the high court ruled, 5-4, that the policy is a "reasonable and viewpoint-neutral" condition placed on becoming a recognized group, which entitles organizations to certain funding and access to campus facilities. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that the religious group is free to exclude nonadherents if it forgoes recognized status. "Hastings ... is dangling the carrot of subsidy, not wielding the stick of prohibition," Ginsburg wrote. She dismissed concerns voiced by the society that the policy would encourage "hostile takeovers" of groups like theirs by nonadherents whose aim is sabotage. "This supposition strikes us as more hypothetical than real," she wrote. "Students tend to self-sort."

If this interpretation is correct, we can expect the University of California to allow skinheads to take over college black and Hispanic student groups with impunity.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Today's "Duh" Moment: Liberal vs. Conservaitve Judicial Picks

Media Routinely Used 'Conservative' Label on Bush Nominees to Supreme Court; Obama Picks Always 'Centrist'

Is there really any doubt left about the MSM's real masters?

SCOTUS Extends 2d Amendment Right to States

Silly, isn't it, that it takes yet another court case for individuals to have the Second Amendment right the founders intended.

The Volokh Conspiracy delves into the thorny question the dissent raises: Do gun bans prevent deaths? The short answer is no.

UPDATE: And here is the stupid, kneejerk liberal response completely void of intelligent argumentation. It almost makes your brain hurt to read stuff like this.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

How Long Till Kopp the Custard Guy Is Audited?

He's no Joe the Plumber, but Kopp the Custard Guy got under Vice President BiteMe's skin yesterday.

Earlier today Joe Biden was in Wisconsin, trying to help Russ Feingold salvage his Senate run, and he stopped at a frozen custard stand. When he asked the proprietor how much the custard cost, the proprietor answered, "Nothing, just lower our taxes."

Biden goes on to call the guy a smartass, which is a funny way to talk to the guy who's paid your salary for three decades. But it's tough to be a Democrat without a little contempt for the jerks who refuse to join public sector employment and continue to toil thanklessly in the private sector.

Do you think Kopp will now find himself getting the Joe the Plumber experience?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

If Conservatism Is On The Rise...

Conservatives on the Rise

Gallup just released a new set of poll numbers showing adults are identifying themselves as conservatives in greater numbers. And these numbers are indeed informative.

42 percent of adults consider themselves conservative.
35 percent of adults consider themselves moderate.
20 percent of adults consider themselves liberal.

This is a change from 40/36/21 from the 2009 Gallup polling information and the 37/37/22 2008 Gallup polling. Far from being the fringe, conservatives have been in the plurality for the last two years, effectively doubling the liberal poll numbers, and shared the plurality with moderates in 2008 while liberals were still fewer than a quarter of the adult population.

Why do liberals spend so much time convincing us we're losing?

Understanding the Obama Economy

From National Review:

Since the beginning of the recession (roughly January 2008), some 7.9 million jobs were lost in the private sector while 590,000 jobs were gained in the public one. And since the passage of the stimulus bill (February 2009), over 2.6 million private jobs were lost, but the government workforce grew by 400,000.

It's important to remember who pays for those government jobs. It's the millions of Americans who used to have private sector jobs and now don't.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Dave Weigel Flap and Why You Watch What You Write to Complete Strangers

The scandal du jour in the press concerning Dave Weigel has journalists--who claim superhuman strength to separate their personal biases from reporting--up in arms.

The bareboned facts of the story are this: Weigel was (past tense) a reporter supposedly covering the Republican Party. Weigel's contempt for the GOP was palpable, and some intemperate comments on the leftwing list serv Journolist prove it.

Now we're being told that e-mails to that list were and should be considered private, and that it is unfair that Weigel's nasty remarks have cost him his job. Unfortunately, I can't really have any sympathy for a guy who makes his living as a writer, specifically a writer on the internet. How anyone can correspond on computers and think it's like calling your buddy late at night is beyond me. There's nothing secret that you say in internet forums, period. And that includes wishing people dead for disagreeing with the president. Weigel likes to use the term "ratfucking" when discussing Republicans. Seems to me he's the ratfucker that's been ratfucked.

UPDATE: After reading that asshole TBogg, I have even less sympathy for David Weigel. After all, according to nutbag TBogg, an important part of journalism is digging dirt on whoever you're covering. Sadly, that dirt seems to only hit Republicans (a coincidence, I know), and Weigel's donkey pom-pons prove it. Even some on the right argue that Weigel separated his ideology from his writing, but I'm a big consistency buff, and I doubt conservative reporters who ranted about their whacko subjects (and stratagized about spinning events for the GOP) would be given the same leniency. We've seen it before, after all.

UPDATE: I suppose the real lesson here is that "off the record" is meaningless, for generals and for journalists.

Free Enterprise at the Texas Democratic Convention

Don't let Democrats fool you; they like the free enterprise system as long as it benefits themselves. Take a look:

High Court Rejects Effort to Keep Names of Petition Signers Secret

This seems about right to me. In general, transparency is necessary to keep elections free and open. The justices held open the idea that plaintiffs might be able to win on a narrower argument, namely, that, in their case, disclosing the names and addresses would leave them subject to harassment and threats.

Quote of the Day

"The dons, the bashaws, the grandees, the patricians, the sachems, the nabobs, call them by what names you please, sigh and groan and fret, and sometimes stamp and foam and curse, but all in vain. The decree is gone forth, and it cannot be recalled, that a more equal liberty than has prevailed in other parts of the earth must be established in America." --John Adams, letter to Patrick Henry, 1776

Comparing a President to Hitler Is OK...

Except when it's your guy.

And on Tuesday Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) took it to a new level as he approvingly quoted an article that likened the Obama administration's success in getting BP to set up a $20 billion escrow account to assist Gulf coast residents to something that Adolf Hitler would have done...

A perfectly reasonable comparison. One man pressures an oil company to compensate the victims of an oil spill and another is responsible for a world war and the murder of millions of people. In fact, someone owes Hitler an apology here.

I'll admit it's a ridiculous comparison, but so was all this. And somehow, I'll bet Barbara Morrill wasn't writing about how terrible those comparisons were.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

If Only Republicans Were More Like Us, Democrats Dream

You have to laugh at the Democrats. I mean, seriously. They're facing certain crushing defeat in November, so what do they do? Argue that Republicans should be more like them. I suppose when you're a loser, you really do want company.

This isn't the first article a Democrat has written "advising" Republicans to move to the left to win elections, but it is honestly becoming an annoying (not to mention stupid) line of argumentation. It seems like Democrats should be spending more time figuring out how they can win elections rather than wringing their hands that, somehow, Republicans are going to become a permanent minority because they're all a bunch of greedy racist homophobes.

The current incarnation complains about the GOP's approach to social issues, immigration and taxation. Unless Republicans start supporint abortion, gay marriage, illegal aliens and higher taxes, they're never going to win again!!1!!

What a load of B.S.

Nobody's talking social issues during the worst economy of our generation. Republicans don't need to discuss social issues to win in November. And most Americans--not just white people--agree with Republicans on illegal immigration. As for taxation, Americans don't want higher taxes, they want less spending.

So, let's look at this one again. On every major issue of this election cycle, Americans agree with Republicans and think Democrats are wrong. And we're supposed to listen to those guys?

Is General Betray Us a Liar or Not?

Enquiring minds want to know. Back when George W. Bush charge General Petraeus with turning around the war in Iraq, Democrats of all sorts called him a liar and accused him of not doing the things he claimed.

But now, Obama's putting Petraeus in the driver's seat in Afghanistan and we're supposed to forget Hillary Clinton's language butchering accusation.

Using blunter language than any other Democrat in the last two days, Mrs. Clinton told General Petraeus that his progress report on Iraq required "a willing suspension of disbelief."

That was sooo 2007. Now, Petraeus can save Obama's a-s-s in Afghanistan. Well, maybe. But, apparently, he's the best Teh One could find to replace the last guy he said was best for the job.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

"The one who lives with integrity is righteous; his children who come after him will be happy." — Proverbs 20:7

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Obama Administration to Challenge Popular Arizona Law

And why not? It's not like this administration cares what Americans actually think about issues like immigration.

Ed Morrissey points out that the White House announced this decision to people in Ecuador before Americans. Well, that's becoming par for the course. When you have such absolute contempt for what your fellow Americans think about a variety of issues (health care, the economy, jobs, national debt, the gulf oil crisis), should it be any wonder this guy discusses domestic policy with foreigners first?

Governor Jan Brewer blasted Obama and his administration for their handling of this policy direction. I agree, but perhaps she can take comfort in it. After all, an administration this inept is unlikely to successfully walk and chew gum at the same time, let alone challenge the validity of their new immigration-enforcement law. Meanwhile, Obama will continue to pursue a policy that is even less popular than his ObamaCare bill, just in time for the midterm referendum on his first two years in office.

I can't decide if the White House is honestly this ignorant or arrogant, but then voters are still evenly split about whether Obama deserves re-election or not. My guess is that Obama is going to continue to stick his finger in the eye of the public since he expects to lose control of Congress in November. After that, he'll try governing on charisma or something. In any case, this is more government by the elites for your own good, not for what you want.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Matthew Yglesias Is Scared about the Unemployment Rate...

But doesn't offer any solutions.

It's unsurprising that leftwingers have no ideas about how to increase employment. They don't really like employers very much.

Olbermann Throws Temper Tantrum, Quits KOS

Vintage Olbermann.

Keith Olbermann announced Wednesday night that he will cease blogging for the liberal Daily Kos over a comment directed at the MSNBC host’s coverage.

Olbermann and some of his MSNBC colleagues surprised their left-leaning fans on Tuesday with eviscerating critiques of President Barack Obama’s Oval Office address on the oil spill spewing off the Gulf Coast.

“It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days,” Olbermann said of the president’s remarks, echoing similarly negative comments from fellow MSNBC hosts Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow.

One commenter on the Daily Kos, where Olbermann has frequently blogged over the years, speculated that the pattern of hosts generally sympathetic to the president bashing the administration was too consistent to be a coincidence.

“Can’t verify, of course,” the commenter began, “but a friend in the news biz tells me he got a damaging e-mail from one of his pals at NBC. Something to the effect that their anger was pre-planned because ‘beating up on the president has been good for ratings.’ I haven't checked, but I'm hearing that Olbermann slammed the speech on Twitter before it even started.”

Obviously, Olbermann is yet another TV personality not used to being criticized from both sides. But to be KO'd by a conspiracy theorist? Where has Olbermann been for the last decade? These nuts accused George W. Bush of orchestrating the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Why should Olbermann be shocked that someone sees a conspiracy for ratings? Sounds to me like he was just looking for a reason to quit blogging.

Judge Tries to Help Prop 8 Plaintiffs

If this doesn't qualify as judicial misconduct during a trial, I'm not sure what does.

Charles Cooper, the attorney defending a federal challenge to Proposition 8, came to San Francisco to deliver his closing argument on same-sex marriage Wednesday. But Chief Judge Vaughn Walker made it feel much more like a cross-examination.

Walker closely questioned Cooper about his trial presentation, including why his side called only one witness to testify about the institution of marriage. Where Cooper's counterpart, Theodore Olson of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, was able to deploy lofty rhetoric with less interruption, Cooper was stuck parrying Walker for about two hours.

At one point, Walker asked Cooper to recount the trial evidence showing that marriage is designed to encourage procreation. That's the central reason Prop 8 supporters cite as why voters have a rational basis to ban gay marriage. But as Cooper named different expert authorities, Walker interrupted.

"I don't mean to be flip," Walker said, but the people Cooper named didn't actually come to testify.

"Your honor, you don't have to have evidence of this from the authorities," Cooper said, adding that case law is enough.

"You don't have to have evidence?" Walker asked quietly.

The exchange pointed up a key fault line running through the case, in which four gay plaintiffs are seeking to have California's Prop 8 invalidated. From the beginning, Cooper and other conservative legal thinkers argued against the need for a trial, saying case law alone dooms the complaint to fail. Even Olson was skeptical of Walker's plan at first.

Case law--and the voters--support traditional marriage. Gay marriage supporters have emotion but not facts on their side, which is why they continue to argue that gay marriage is like interracial marriage. The truth is that interracial marriage discriminated against race which is strictly barred by the 14th Amendment. There's no such prescription against homosexuals, who have the same marriage rights regardless of color. The fact that they dislike the choices doesn't make it discrimination.

Have your relationship if you want it but don't force me to call it marriage. If you want people to call it marriage, then convince them of it at the ballot box, a task you haven't been able to do yet.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Even Liberals Are Turning Against Obama

Regarding Obama's oil spill speech.

From Hot Air:

Things I learned tonight from watching Keith Olbermann’s and Chris Matthews’s post-speech wrap-up: (1) Obama’s rhetoric is gassy and notably short on specifics; (2) renewable energy is much harder to develop than certain prominent Democrats would have us believe; (3) government bureaucracy may be contributing to the slow federal response in the gulf.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How Many More Stories Do We Have To Print on Obamacare's Broken Promises?

Keep Your Health Plan Under Overhaul? Probably Not, Gov't Analysis Concludes

Internal administration documents reveal that up to 51% of employers may have to relinquish their current health care coverage because of ObamaCare.

Friday, June 11, 2010

President Sensitive

President attended fundraiser during Gulf memorial service

According his official schedule, President Obama did not attend the May 25 memorial service in Jackson, Mississippi for the workers who died in the Deepwater Horizon explosion because he was en route to a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, in San Francisco.

At Thursday's White House briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked why Obama did not attend the service. The president's spokesman answered, "I'd have to look at the schedule. I don't know the answer."


That Change Isn't Working for the Moonbats, Either

Shorter Echidne: Wah, wah, wah. Why can't we tell half the voters to f*ck off?

I find it astonishing that the same people who spent years telling us that the minority had rights, too, are now complaining because the President of Us All is supposed to actually give a shit about American citizens, even those who didn't vote for him. You got 53% of the vote, moonbats. That means almost half the country didn't vote for your guy, and the elections of 2010 are shaping up to be a good face-smashing for your side because a lot of the people who did vote for your guy now aren't happy with him.

Look, you guys wanted to govern, so govern. But don't complain because the rest of us don't like what you wanted or where you want to take us. Don't cry because we resist your "change," which is destroying the economy. Don't whinge because the electorate didn't take a hard turn to the left just because they bought Obama's lies. It's still a democracy, even if you don't like it.

Immigration: Talk Like Republicans, Act Like Democrats

More of the typical political maneuvering from the Democrats at work here, this time on immigration, where Democrats have decided calling illegal immigrants "undocumented workers" hurts them with the public.

Long pilloried for being soft on illegal immigration, top Democratic officials have concluded there’s only one way they can hope to pass a comprehensive immigration bill:

Talk more like Republicans.

They’re seizing on the work of top Democratic Party operatives who, after a legislative defeat in 2007, launched a multiyear polling project to craft an enforcement-first, law-and-order, limited-compassion pitch that now defines the party’s approach to the issue.

The 12 million people who unlawfully reside the country? Call them “illegal immigrants,” not “undocumented workers,” the pollsters say.

Strip out the empathy, too. Democrats used to offer immigrants “an earned path to citizenship” so hardworking people trying to support their families could “come out of the shadows.” To voters, that sounded like a gift, the operatives concluded.

Now, Democrats emphasize that it’s “unacceptable” to allow 12 million people to live in America illegally and that the government must “require” them to register and “get right with the law.” That means three things: “Obey our laws, learn our language and pay our taxes” — or face deportation.

When do we get to call them racists?

PPP: Obama Still Wins Against GOP Candidates

It's pathetic to see polling like this, which indicate that even with Barack Obama's incompetence and corruption, he still wins in 2012 against any likely GOP candidate. IMO, this means voters would want someone new, not a retread from '08, if Republicans have any hope of unseating Teh One in 2012. The window is closing, and such a candidate needs to be found soon. It would be a tragedy for BO to win reelection because of Republican incompetence.

Do You Own Your Software or Just "License" It?

It's one of those insults to our intelligence: you go to a computer store, plunk down 30 or 40 or 200 bucks for a software package, take it home and use it for two years, and then take it to a used book store, trying to recoup a little of your expense when you're done with it, only to find out that said used book store won't resell the software. Why? Because, unbeknownst to you, you never owned the software. You just bought a license to use it. So rather than continuing a useful life as a secondary sale, your (now unwanted) software can either (a) go in the trash or (b) make new coasters for soft drinks.

This is the heart of a case before the Ninth Circuit: when do you own software and when do you merely license its use?

Most of us figure that buying software is no different from buying a book, but the software industry (successfully) argues there are big differences. For one thing, once you download software to your computer, it continues to be useable, even after the disks are long gone, unlike your copy of a book which does not. OTOH, most consumers use software much like they would use a book--until they are done with it.

There are several cases along this same line making their way through the courts, and I can't wait to hear how the Supreme Court will answer these questions, particularly as software and books merge in items like Kindles, or music and iPods.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tina Brown: Conservative Women Aren't Real Feminists

WTH is wrong with feminists? Tina Brown offers Exhibit A for why so many young women don't self-identify as feminists. If you don't fit the abortion-lovin' mold, it doesn't matter what else you believe or how many hurdles you jump, you can't be a feminists.

From Hot Air:

a friendly reminder from the editor of “The Daily Beast” that no matter how diverse the GOP becomes, the authenticity card will always be there to discredit its candidates. Four huge wins by Republican women over male opponents? Oh well: If you’re not pro-choice then you’re not a feminist, no matter how much power you may have or how hard you may have worked to get it. The irony is, of those four, the only one for whom gender became an issue was Haley, and that was only because the Carolina sleaze machine started tossing sex smears at her in desperation. Angle was the “tea-party candidate,” not the “woman tea-party candidate,” and Fiorina and Whitman are already nationally famous as CEOs. Had Will Folks and Larry Marchant left Haley alone, she would have been known as the good-government Sanford disciple. Gender wasn’t otherwise relevant in any race, except in the most superficial sense of signaling to voters that this is “something different” in a year when being something different from the usual Washington dreck is good.

No matter how diverse the GOP becomes, it's not really diverse. Black Republicans are oreos, successful women aren't "real" feminists, and Hispanic GOPers are "cocoanuts." The problem isn't the diversity of the party. The problem is that Democrats will still argue about those racist, sexist Republicans no matter who joins the party.

Shocker: ACORN Admits to Voter Fraud, Works With Democrats

For years, I've read lefty blogs which were so scared that Republicans were stealing elections. We heard about voting machines which switched your vote from Democrat to Republican. We heard about Republicans at polling places changing ballots. We heard about intimidation by police officers who asked people if they'd voted.

And yet, the same people skeered of Diebold care not a whit about voter fraud conducted in the name of Democrats. In fact, some of the same people who were complaining about Diebold have championed ACORN and decried any investigation into their practices.

With the admission today from Project Vote workers that ACORN "works" for Democrats and "deliberately promotes voter fraud," I'm wondering if the same indignant Diebold-haters will be all over ACORN now? Somehow, I think not.

Why Is This Oil Spill Cleanup Taking So Long

The short answer is: the feds.

Five weeks ago Escambia County officials requested permission from the Mobile Unified Command Center to use a sand skimmer, a device pulled behind a tractor that removes oil and tar from the top three feet of sand, to help clean up Pensacola’s beaches. County officials still haven’t heard anything back. Santa Rosa Island Authority Buck Lee told The Daily Caller why: “Escambia County sends a request to the Mobile, Ala., Unified Command Center. Then, it’s reviewed by BP, the federal government, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard. If they don’t like it, they don’t tell us anything.”

This isn't mentioning the foreign governments with expertise in oil spill cleanup who are being stiff-armed by the Obama administration. Is it any wonder that conspiracy theorists contend the White House wants the spill to cause greater pain and suffering?

It's starting to sound like a broken record, but inexperience leads to poor decisionmaking, and this president's lack of executive experience is having dire consequences for American citizens. It's not just the terrorist attempts on us (only stopped by the grace of God), the foreign policy missteps and the lack of coherent solutions. It's the lethargy with which this administration chooses to act in the face of crisis. I don't care if Barack Obama is "angry" about the spill or not. I expect him to either lead or get the hell out of the way and let the experts handle the mess.

UPDATE: From Newsbusters, the problem is that white people are skeered of an angry black man.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Finding a Job

With unemployment at nearly 10%, finding a job these days can be a daunting task. Even in Texas, where unemployment is more around 8%, the pinch is felt, if not directly, in more subtle ways.

About six months ago, my husband and I decided to get serious about paying off our debt. I decided to seek fulltime employment to this end. For the past couple of years, I've worked freelance, which was great for being home when I wanted to be, but the stability just wasn't there. So, I started looking for fulltime work.

I've never had a problem finding a job when I wanted one. I don't say that to brag, it's just a fact. I started looking somewhat aggressively in December. Over the past six months I've had many phone interviews and almost as many in-person interviews. Most of those interviews were the kind where I walked out knowing I'd nailed it. I'd answered the questions I was asked, asked relevant questions and was friendly and intelligent. But a funny thing happened after these interviews. Well, ok, it wasn't funny, it was perplexing, then fear-inducing.

I didn't get any of the jobs. Not. one.

The first time or two, I shrugged it off as just "it wasn't the right fit." But by the fourth or fifth time I'd been rejected, it became personal. I nailed that interview. Why aren't they calling me back?

Then it hit me. There was someone else out there every bit as qualified as I was (and maybe more) who had also nailed the interview (and maybe better).

And then, the more terrifying part sunk in. There were probably a lot more people as qualified all going for the same jobs. A lot more.

It's a bad economy out there. A scary economy. And the experts are saying it's not going to get better for a long time. That means a lot of people are going to be discouraged, wind up in jobs far below their capabilities or on unemployment for a loooong time.

I fortunately found a new job, but the experience has left me with a lot of empathy for those still looking, and realizing that every job could have 500 applicants.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Hispanics Drift Away From GOP

Disturbing news for Republicans in the future.

"The numbers don't lie," said Republican pollster Whit Ayres. "If Republicans don't figure out how to do better among Hispanics, they are not going to be arguing about winning back Florida in the presidential race. They are going to be talking about how not to lose Texas."

Hispanics, generally, are natural Republicans with strong conservative family values, but illegal immigration is a big black eye that drives Hispanics away.

Unemployed Need Not Apply

Disturbing job ads

a current job posting on The People Place, a job recruiting website for the telecommunications, aerospace/defense and engineering industries, an anonymous electronics company in Angleton, Texas, advertises for a "Quality Engineer." Qualifications for the job are the usual: computer skills, oral and written communication skills, light to moderate lifting. But red print at the bottom of the ad says, "Client will not consider/review anyone NOT currently employed regardless of the reason."

In a nearly identical job posting for the same position on the Benchmark Electronics website, the red print is missing. But a human resources representative for the company confirmed to HuffPost that the The People Place ad accurately reflects the company's recruitment policies.

"It's our preference that they currently be employed," he said. "We typically go after people that are happy where they are and then tell them about the opportunities here. We do get a lot of applications blindly from people who are currently unemployed -- with the economy being what it is, we've had a lot of people contact us that don't have the skill sets we want, so we try to minimize the amount of time we spent on that and try to rifle-shoot the folks we're interested in."

There are about 5.5 people looking for work for every job available, according to the latest data from the Labor Department.

Couple this with the May jobs report that showed only 31,000 private sector jobs created, and you have a disaster not just looming, but happening. The government could encourage companies to hire out of work people through tax credits and other incentives for hiring workers who have been unemployed for six months or longer, but this White House and Congress seem more interested in handouts than hand ups.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

White House Offered Romanoff 3 Jobs

The new White House jobs program just keeps getting worse. WH mouthpiece Robert Gibbs insists the Obama administration did nothing illegal, then goes on to admit Jim Messina offered Andrew Romanoff 3 jobs to get out of the race against Michael Bennet.

In a statement released early this morning, WH Press Sec. Robert Gibbs said the WH had done nothing wrong. "Andrew Romanoff applied for a position at USAID during the Presidential transition. He filed this application through the Transition on-line process. After the new administration took office, he followed up by phone with White House personnel," Gibbs said. "Jim Messina called and emailed Romanoff last September to see if he was still interested in a position at USAID, or if, as had been reported, he was running for the US Senate. ... Messina wanted to determine if it was possible to avoid a costly battle between two supporters."

As Ed Morrissey points out,
Er, isn’t that exactly the problem? If the White House has been offering people paid jobs in the administration in order to “avoid costly battles” in primaries, then that breaks the law. The allegations surrounding their dealings with Joe Sestak and Romanoff have been all along that the White House attempted to buy off primary challengers to Democratic incumbents in Senate races. Far from establishing that there has been no wrongdoing, the statement confirms the allegations.

As Ed then notes, the chances of prosecution here are minimal, but it does expose the Obama administration as a corrupt political machine, and that flies in the face of his "I'm a new kind of politician" meme. Friends are telling me that "everybody does it," and that a Bush administration official said so. I guess that argument is supposed to make it ok to break the law, but I've never understood how, precisely. I mean, we still have murders, so should we get rid of laws against it? It's a stupid argument brought up by desperate Obama-lovers, and it's going to tar all Democrats. This White House isn't just corrupt. It's incompetent.

Quote of the Day

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." --James Madison

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Whose Fault Is a Student's $97k of Debt?

According to the story, not the borrower's.

Like many middle-class families, Cortney Munna and her mother began the college selection process with a grim determination. They would do whatever they could to get Cortney into the best possible college, and they maintained a blind faith that the investment would be worth it.

Today, however, Ms. Munna, a 26-year-old graduate of New York University, has nearly $100,000 in student loan debt from her four years in college, and affording the full monthly payments would be a struggle. For much of the time since her 2005 graduation, she's been enrolled in night school, which allows her to defer loan payments.

OK, so this woman went to a college she couldn't afford and got a bunch of loans. Whose fault is it that she amassed the debt? Why, the college, of course.
It is utterly depressing that there are so many people like her facing decades of payments, limited capacity to buy a home and a debt burden that can repel potential life partners. For starters, it's a shared failure of parenting and loan underwriting.

But perhaps the biggest share lies with colleges and universities because they have the most knowledge of the financial aid process. And I would argue that they had an obligation to counsel students like Ms. Munna, who got in too far over their heads.

Sorry, Charlie. The biggest share of the blame goes to...the student who decided to go to a college she couldn't affod. Yes, yes, big pricey college can mean a great job from the get-go, but there are plenty of people with B.A.'s from less prestigious state colleges who have managed to live just fine.

I can identify with the student, but not at the undergraduate level. I went to a low-cost state school and lived at home during college, minimizing the costs. Unlike most of my friends, I graduted debt-free, having paid my own way through college by working. My parents were big believers in living within your means and borrowing only what you could afford to pay back.

But when I decided to go to law school, I took out student loans. Lots of them. And I had two kids in school and decided that I didn't really want an au pair raising them. But that left me with a gigantic student loan to repay and no way out of the debt except to die (which I wasn't planning on doing any time soon). I made a lot of the foolish choices this young woman is likely to make, such as deferment on top of deferment.

At some point, you gotta say, "STOP!" and realize you have to repay the debt. It may be slow and painful, but it must be done. Like this woman, I borrowed the money and didn't worry about how to repay it. But unlike this woman, I recognize that the problem isn't the school or the bank or the credit card. The problem was me. And the problem is her.

As most people reading this know, I'm a huge Dave Ramsey fan. But to be honest, had I remained a huge fan of my father, I would never have needed Dave Ramsey to lead me back to the same financial strategies my parents spent my formative years trying to teach me. The problem was, like so many in my generation, I accepted easy credit as a way of life and didn't want to miss out on the "fun" of spending more than I earned.

I didn't start out that way, mind you; as I said, I was debt-free at the end of college and lived a fairly miserly life throughout my 20's. But after a divorce, remarriage and the death of my mother, I really wasn't too concerned about the debt, and it took me nearly 15 years to realize that about 90% of the stress in my life (and that of my husband) was related to bills and paying them. My husband makes damn good money, but you wouldn't have known that a year ago. We've been slowly digging our way out for about 6-9 months now and things are getting better.

But being a grownup and living well below your earnings is tough, even for a middle-aged mom like me. I guess what I'm saying is that this young woman needs to knuckle down and make the hard choices now, while she's young and single, rather than waiting until she's 40-something with a spouse, kids and a mortgage to support. Those money lessons are painful, but everybody has to learn them eventually, and blaming everybody but yourself for your stupid money decisions only delays you discovering the truth about debt.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Al and Tipper Split...and It's All George W. Bush's Fault!

I wasn't going to post anything on Al and Tipper's impending divorce, largely because divorce is almost always painful and a divorce after so many years seems weirdly tragic, but the news that it was George W. Bush's fault is just over the edge to me.

Family friend Sally Quinn told CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson that Gore winning the popular vote for president but losing the electoral vote may have done the marriage irreparable harm.

"He's obviously suffered a lot," Quinn said. "He'll never get over that and neither will she."

If Al can't get over losing the election after a decade, then he needs a little more help than the average Willie Loman. Dude, you snogged your wife in front of God and everybody in a cheap vote-getting ploy and you still lost. And we're a better country for it. It's not that big a deal like, say, dropping out of law school 'cause you couldn't hack it. When a 30-something woman can squirt out two kids and still graduate from law school but you can't, now that's embarrassing.

Hypocrisy from the Left: Who Would Jesus Abort?

Coffee spewer of the day: Nancy Pelosi claims she has to craft public policy that conforms to her Catholic faith, or something, which is a weird argument to make if you are a leftwinger. I mean, I thought liberals hate letting values affect one's vote. Not that any person with 2 brain cells believes Pelosi lets her WWJD bracelet change her mind about issues like, say, partial-birth abortion.

From Hot Air:

When conservatives talk about religious values informing public policy goals, the Left shrieks about the separation of church and state and usually refers to the Right as an American Taliban. Pelosi will get a pass, however, because she uses the religious language to argue for their pet causes. It’s a good idea to capture this moment anyway, for the next time someone argues that “Christianists” are attempting a theocratic takeover of America.

We have a word for this: Democrisy.

Obama's Justice Department Quick to Launch Probe on Oil Spill, Slow to Launch Probe on Sestak Job Offer

Is it just me, or does it seem like the Obama administration is moving very fast to launch a Justice Department investigation of the gulf oil spill, but dragging its feet regarding Joe Sestak's claim that the White House offered him a job to drop out of the Senate race against Arlen Specter?

Hmm. The oil spill's been going less than 40 days and it gets an investigation. Joe Sestake first claimed the White House offered him a job in February, yet there's no investigation of what would clearly be a violation of federal law.

Nah, no conflict there, right?

Who Knew the Nazis Used Facebook?

Author Joe McGinniss is writing a book about Sarah Palin and moved in right next door to her, presumably to have some eyewitness info to add.

But now, McGinniss is complaining that the Palins haven't been "friendly" to him. I guess being bashed relentlessly by liberals for a couple of years will do that to a person, especially if you read McGinniss's previous essay on Palin. Palin's no milkshake murderer, nor is she Jeffrey MacDonald (both books by McGinniss I read and shivered through), but you don't have to be a killer to be a bit apprehensive when this guy decides to write about you.

I guess Palin's Facebook diary on McGinniss's appearance riled him a bit, so now he's taken to the Today Show to compare a writeup on Facebook with..."Nazi tactics."
Really, Joe? That's the best you can come up with? You're a fantastic writer with incredible skills and you compare a tongue-in-cheek recitation of facts and questioning of motive with Nazis? Which part of Nazi behavior is this like? Kristelnacht? Concentration camps? If McGinniss really wanted people to think his landing next door to Palin was just a coincidence and that he wanted a friendly relationship, he could start with not calling the Palins Nazis for being suspicious.

Iowahawk puts this in a much more humorous way.

UPDATE: Sarah Palin responds.

About That Socialized Medicine: Canada Set to Ration to Control Costs

Of course, this isn't going to happen under Obamacare, right?

Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada's provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system.

The rationing includes cuts to drug manufacturers and users fees, which are illegal, by the way.
"There's got to be some change to the status quo whether it happens in three years or 10 years," said Derek Burleton, senior economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank.

"We can't continually see health spending growing above and beyond the growth rate in the economy because, at some point, it means crowding out of all the other government services.

"At some stage we're going to hit a breaking point."

Seems like we've heard these arguments before in favor of Canadian-style socialized medicine.