ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Latest from the Moonbat "Big Brother" Files - Part 1,752

Well, no piece of news is left untouched by those diligent DUers. They've found the latest attempt to trample on our civil liberties - using satellite images to reduce our ability to commit insurance fraud.

USDA Using Satellites to Monitor Farmers

WICHITA, Kan. - Satellites have monitored crop conditions around the world for decades, helping traders predict futures prices in commodities markets and governments anticipate crop shortages.

But those satellite images are now increasingly turning up in courtrooms across the nation as the Agriculture Department's Risk Management Agency cracks down on farmers involved in crop insurance fraud.


-------------

I'm not sure if this was posted but I did not see it today. I have to say, I'm feeling more and more like I am in "One Nation, Under Surveillance" This is some scary (bleep). With all these wiretaps, people being under surveillance... who really are the terrorists? Our own government?

The ironic part about this is while they are watching us to make sure we are up to no good, who's watching them?

Dap

No doubt Jefferson, Adams, & Washington are rolling over in their graves by Chimpy W. McBushitler's uncanny knack to pull the wool over the sheeple's eyes. Quelle horreur!

Note that the first sentence mentions that satellite images have been used "for decades." Also note that it's likely they're talking about pulling up these images in court proceedings, which means that while this DUer flashes back to Enemy of the State, with satellites following the movement of individuals on the street in real time, it's likely that the USDA is simply pulling up historical images of a piece of land and looking to see if there was any actual damage at the time in question. So, yeah... reducing insurance fraud through the use of available technology is certainly akin to terror. You know... because...ummm... errr.... IT'S CHIMPY W. MCBUSHITLER, DUDE!!!! *sound of bong water bubbling*

He receives some great comments, which just shows that if the Democratic Party is now listening to the DUers, Kossacks, & Co, they have a serious problem on their hands as they try to move back to reality in time for the mid-terms - all without pissing off their "base."
Dapper (183 posts)
Fri Jan-13-06 07:33 PM
Response to Original message

1. which also brings up a point...

Who gets the early information on the commodities markets (thus making the profit on which way the swing goes)???

Tell me all of the crap that's going on is really just a nightmare and I will wake up tomorrow and everything will be back to normal.

Dap


xray s (1000+ posts)
Fri Jan-13-06 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Who?

The same people who got the early info on 9/11 and sold all that airline stock short.


dapper (183 posts)
Fri Jan-13-06 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I totally forgot about that.


Has there ever been an investigation into that?

It shouldn't be too hard for the govt or SEC to track down people through their brokerage accounts. Hopefully it wasn't something swept under the carpet like everything else.

Dap


babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts)
Fri Jan-13-06 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. "who's watching them?" That's the whole point and the problem.


I'd also like to know, but will we ever?

Nice to see ya here, fellow LIer/DUer!

Good to know that the reality based community is out there, worrying about serious things - like protecting the rights of farmers to commit insurance fraud.

Frankly, I'm surprised that Rove hasn't made an appearance on the thread (although I'm sure there's some allegation that he was one of those that shorted the airline stocks before 9/11... b/c you know, it's not like the airlines weren't profitable or anything). We all know that ARC's First Law will rear it's ugly head, it's just a matter of time - and DUer comments.

I've got a new ad campaign for DU... lemme know what you think:
DemocraticUnderground - Like Free Republic in the 1990s, but with 120% more black helicopter conspiracies!
Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Blunt - State of the Big MO

And no, this isn't going to be about the Majority Leader seat in the US House. It's about the governor of Missouri - Matt Blunt:

Blunt credits GOP legislators with creating jobs, righting budget
By Matt Franck
Wednesday, Jan. 11 2006

JEFFERSON CITY

Gov. Matt Blunt used his second State of the State address Wednesday to call for measures he said will improve health care, boost property rights, provide relief from rising energy costs, and lock up child molesters.

But first, the governor joined his fellow Republicans who dominate the Capitol in a kind of victory lap.

Throughout the first portion of his 45-minute remarks, Blunt credited Republican legislation with creating jobs, righting the state's budget, restructuring public education funding and even smoothing out hundreds of miles of roads.
Is it a "victory lap" to talk about the legislative accomplishments? Did Blunt refer to the party affiliation of each bill's sponsor? Why do I think that the Post-Dispatch doesn't like Blunt? Why is this tone in a news article?
"It may not be normal in politics, but what we have promised is what we have delivered," he said, enjoying one of the loudest ovations of the night.

Blunt said that success was built on changes to the state's workers' compensation law and other business-friendly legislation. And he credited tough but prudent budget decisions - such as cutting the Medicaid program - with creating a "small but real surplus."

Those changes were part of wide-sweeping agenda last year by Republicans, who reveled in their first control of both the Legislature and the governor's mansion in more than 80 years.

This time around, Blunt's agenda, like that of the Legislature, is relatively less ambitious.

Even so, the governor said he plans to tackle what may rank as leading pocketbook issues facing Missourians, vowing to make health care more efficient, while addressing rising energy costs.

Perhaps the most specific of those recommendations is a requirement that all motor fuel sold in the state contain at least 10 percent ethanol.

"This standard will spur even greater economic development in rural Missouri," he said. "For all of us, it will provide cleaner air, lower prices and greater independence from Middle East oil supplies."
Ahh, the ethanol position. This goes over well with the MO farmers, no? (Course, Iowa farmers LOVE these kind of statements.) Sensible policy IMO - and good politics for midwest...
Blunt provided less detail on his health care initiatives but did call for creation of a Healthcare Information Technology Task Force. He said an accompanying $25 million outlay would seek to modernize "the delivery of care, reduce administrative burdens and eliminate waste and fraud."

I believe this is similar to what Gingrich has been calling for since '94.
Blunt also called on the Legislature to address a problem he blamed on the U.S. Supreme Court. He criticized the high court for ruling that government can
condemn private property for economic development.

Last year, Blunt assigned a task force to offer recommendations on the use of eminent domain. While that group called for greater rights for property owners generally, the panel did not provide specifics on the divisive issue of what constitutes "blight."

The governor also did not mention specifics on defining blight but made it clear that he would not let the Supreme Court have the final word.

"One of government's most basic responsibilities is to respect and safeguard the rights of the people," he said. "Sadly, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision undermined those very rights."

Kelo rears its ugly head... In my little MO town, there was quite a fight recently over the potential re-development of some "blight". The voters threw a fit (and the elected officials supporting it out of office), so that was a victory for democracy. Kelo changed all that... Nice to know that Blunt has concerns.

Blunt also stood behind his controversial proposal demanding that 65 percent of
education money be spent on classroom expenses. He did so despite the fact
Republican leaders have failed to make the issue a priority this session.

Critics have attacked the plan for failing to count positions such as
counselors and nurses. Blunt said he's open to compromise on that point.

"I am open to meaningful discussion on this issue, but the bottom line is that
more dollars must be delivered to the classroom," he said.

"Controversial"? I wonder how controversial such a position would be at the ballot box? While the "critics" will point to counselors and nurses, what Blunt is truly targeting is the adminstration and bureaucracy within each school district. If schools were private enterprises, these cost centers would be lean & mean... with the largesse of local, state, & federal tax dollars, they're bloated.
Hitting on a theme that enjoys far more consensus, Blunt vowed to impose life sentences for child-sex offenders, saying such criminals likely could not be rehabilitated.

"We need to face facts," he said. "We have had little success at changing the behavior of child-sex offenders. Too many children have been permanently scarred for us not to take action to appropriately punish these evil criminals."

Blunt did not say exactly which offenses would merit a life sentence. Some prosecutors have said they are concerned that minimum sentences for lesser sex crimes could make it harder to win a guilty verdict.
[...]
Hmmmm, I wonder if the Judge Edward Cashman incident is going to push this politically viable position to the fore... We can only hope.
After the address, Democrats seized on the core assumptions of Blunt's remarks, saying that the economy has neither recovered nor improved under GOP
legislation.

Senate Minority Leader Maida Coleman, in her formal Democratic Party response,
spoke of a state saddled with high utility bills, waning health care coverage
and underfunded public schools.

"From one government failure to another under Gov. Blunt's administration, this
state is on a fast track to the bottom and is dragging each and every citizen
along with it," said Coleman, D-St. Louis.
Yes, that's a good response... It seems that the Dems have got the attacks on "core assumptions" down pat - even if they are based on incomplete facts. Unfortunately, they offer nothing substantive to deal with the issues being handled by Blunt.

Well, there's no doubt that our friend Brian J. is going to increase his calls for Blunt in 2008... I say he's got to have one more successful term under his belt (he's up for re-election in 2008), but he'd be a strong contender in 2012.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Samuel Alito - A Superb Supreme Court Nominee

I held off on saying anything regarding this nomination because I knew little about Samuel Alito. What I knew did not inspire me. What I knew came from the MSM.

It seemed everytime I saw Alito, or Alioto as Teddy would have it, on television he reminded me of what young folks used to call a "dweeb." He has some peculiar mannerisms that the television camera seemed to focus on. There is an odd little twitch he does. There seemed too to be a sort of prissiness about him.

You know, it's really funny, after watching the better part of two days of confirmation hearings, I saw very little of that. I am sure that it is just a coincidence those behaviors showed up so frequently on television prior to the hearings.

Then there was the membership in CAP, the Vanguard litigation and of course the "strip search of the ten year old girl" matter and much more. All of this got played like it was somehow credible. It was not the sort of thing that made me want to go out and spend a lot of energy doing my bit, insignificant though it may be, to boost this nomination.

Then I watched the hearings.

Samuel Alito has hands down one of the most facile legal minds I have ever seen. He knows the law, and more importantly, he understands its significance and how to apply it. All of this seems to be available at his fingertips. He responds to questions quickly and in depth. He shredded those senators who would try to bring him down. As was said in the movie The Untouchables, they brought knives to a gunfight.

The nominee dispatched their attacks on him with fairness and a sense of honor. He treated them with respect they did not deserve. His temperment was above reproach.

And perhaps above all, he was forthcoming. He answered the questions. Some of the questions were exceedingly stupid questions. Some of the questions were not questions at all but rather meandering pointless speeches like Biden's. Some were hysterical attacks like Teddy's (can you believe he named his dog "Splash"? But that's another story.) Some were smarmy and mean like those of the esteemed Senator from Vermont.

And through it all Samuel Alito soldiered on with knowledge, wisdom, humility and good cheer.

This guy is going to make one hell of a great Supreme Court justice.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Monday, January 09, 2006

Lileks' Screedblog

Be sure to check out Lileks' Screedblog today. Highlights are that people that worship regularly are "happier"

From the Sunday Strib editorial page (not on the web, alas) a little mini-demi edit:
Does religion make you happy and successful? Or are happy, successful people more likely to attend church? Economist Jonathan Gruber recently studied the question – measuring religious observance while controlling for socioeconomic factors such as income. He found that regular formal worship really does seem to improve a family’s economic outcomes, increased children’s chances of graduating from high school and reduce the likelihood of getting divorced or going on welfare.
Bully for them. Now here’s where it gets good. And remember, I do not come at this from a Ned Flanders perspective. I am not Ned Flanders. But I would rather have him as a neighbor than anyone else in Simpsonland.
Gruber’s findings, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, can’t quite explain the link between faith and happiness.
Understand that to some people, this is like saying they can’t quite explain the link between water and wet.

He then responds to the normal idiotic rant of the Left on the WOT and the NSA "snoopgate" as expressed in a letter to the editor in the Star-Trib.
The other joy comes from the letters to the editors, which are a daily source of insight into the things that make people shout into the great dark barn that is the editorial page. You learn things. From a fellow in Moorhead:
Those Bush apologists who have been filling your pages with the claim that the president as commander-in-chief in the war against terrorism has the right to investigate without restraint or external oversight ought to consider this thought experiment.
Rest assured that the author believes that his ideas have never been considered by the other side, and will come as a crippling blow to their self-regard. (The letter was given the title “See the Problem?” Yes! The goggles, they do nothing!)
Read the whole thing to the end, as Lileks utterly destroys this guy's argument.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Conspiracy Hits NYC


Yes, both Brian and I are in New York City this week... And let me tell you, we can just feel the love. While we're here for different reasons, we'll be keeping up the Conspiracy. No doubt the Kossacks are trying to track us down right now, concerned that the Conspiracy now stretches from the East coast to the West.

;-)

Right now I'm watching the Alito hearing and I can't believe that Leahy is going after Alito this strongly in this opening. It displays that he's clearly already made up his mind about Alito, regardless of what Alito says. Before Alito even has a chance to open his mouth, Leahy has called Alito a lap-dog for Bush, said that he's disappointed that Alito has a white penis, and has attacked him on a variety of other fronts.

While I have no doubt that Alito will win any debate with Leahy, it's interesting that Leahy is showing his hand so early. Why not bring these issues up in the heat of questioning? If I were Leahy or Schumer, I would be overly gracious in my opening and then hit hard with my questions. But perhaps they fear his ability to respond to these charges, so they'll just unleash in their openings.

Leahy: "I have not decided how I will vote on this nomination."

Does anyone really believe that given his opening statement?

Be sure to check out Bench Memos throughout this week.

And check out this flash animation... heh

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Ayman Zawahiri (D - Al Qaeda)

Why is it that so much of what Zawahiri said in a recent video tape could've been lifted from speeches by Howard Dean, John Murtha, Cynthia McKinney, or any number of university professors from around the country?

"Bush, you must admit that you have been defeated in Iraq and that you are being defeated in Afghanistan and that you will soon be defeated in Palestine," Zawahiri said, according to a translation of his statement by the Washington-based SITE Institute.

Zawahiri, an Egyptian who is al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant, warned Americans that "as long as you do not deal with Muslim nations with understanding and respect, you will still go from one disaster to another. And your calamity will not end, unless you leave our lands and stop stealing our resources and stop supporting the bad rulers in our countries."
I mean, if you subsitute first person (we) for Zawahiri's second person ("you") in the quoted passages, it sounds an awful lot like the Moonbat lefties from International ANSWER, Code Pink, the International Action Center / Worldwide Workers Party, and the DNC. It has all the usual relativism, calls for understanding, colonialist and anti-corporate messages, etc.

Perhaps Dean & Co just view Zawahiri as disadvantaged voters and have sent them an outreach package containing their greatest hits?

More likely is that Zawahiri, being more media savvy than the Democrats, have seized upon their rhetoric - in effect attempting to "prove" that the Murthites calling for immediate withdrawal are correct.

Check out Jeff Goldstein's analysis here, which starts out mocking a Moonbat lefty that's cheering Zawahiri on and then goes into a deeper analysis of how the Dems are undermining our effort. By calling for the withdrawal of troops due to our "inability to win in Iraq" instead of calling for the withdrawal now that elections have successfully occurred, the Dems purposefully opted to weaken the position of the US in the WOT. Now that Zawahiri is echoing those sentiments, the Moonbats are seizing on it as proof of their position.
Then today, we find that Left Coaster actually enjoys that the US Commander in Chief in a time of war is supposedly being “played like a violin” by al Qaeda—that those who have vowed to kill us and who slaughter civilians on a whim have supposedly outmaneuvered the President and the military in Iraq, the proof being that Zawahiri appears to be following the Democratic-narrative that any withdraw of troops should be seen as a defeat for the US, an acknowledgment that we are losing the war, and are so succumbing to pressure both from the insurgents and the Democratic party leadership (who, on this particular issue, seem to be on the very same page).

Of course, this is a rhetorical ploy—another instance of an attempt to have perception trump reality—as the Democrat leadership (led by their military hero poster child, Jack Murtha) rushed around in advance of the latest elections (and in anticipation of the likely strong voter turnout) demanding a draw down of US troops on the patently false assertion that the war in Iraq was being lost, even while they knew such a draw down was inevitable (and was tied to a position of strength, and to conditions on the ground, rather than some arbitrary time table).

Simple Question: Why is it that the Dems and the Left want to weaken the US and benefit Al Qaeda?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler