I head on the news yesterday (but was away from my computer and therefore didn’t post an entry) that acting great Paul Newman has died. He will be sorely missed.
No, I’m not talking about the bailout talks. I’m in transit back from the biz conference I was attending. Be back to blogging soon.
I make a point of reading Too Conservative on a daily basis, even while traveling, but I haven’t been able to get through to the site for the past several days. When I go there, I get this:
You don’t have permission to access / on this server.
Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
That’s a server error usually indicating that the person getting this message has requested access to a file his permissions don’t qualify to view. Considering the act of putting their URL into your browser means you’re requesting access to the site’s main “index” page, that means the whole bloody site is currently considered above my security clearance. Man, that’s harsh. I’m assuming there’s some sort of server problem over there but I’ll post more if I hear more.
Via Instapundit there’s this follow-up by John Althouse Cohen to a post titled, “How Obama Lost Me.” Quick point: Obama didn’t “lose” him in terms of how he’s going to vote in November, just that the rose-colored shades have been knocked from JAC’s eyes by Obama’s words and deeds of late. The entire post’s very worthy of a read, regardless of which side of the political fence you’re on, but this particular bit really sticks in my craw:
It’s getting clearer and clearer that what has gotten him so much attention and adoration despite his inexperience is not his ideas or policies or even his life story. It’s two things: he’s black, and he can give a great speech. If you took those two things away, it’d be inconceivable that he’d be chosen over Biden, Richardson, or Dodd, let alone Hillary Clinton. I’m not complaining about the focus on his race — I think it’s really important to have the first black president.
(Emphasis mine.) Really? Then admit it: you’re a racist. And you’re proud enough of it to say so.
As a conservative, I get painted with the broad brush from liberals, leftists, and Democrats alike that my real problem with voting for Obama is that he’s black. Obama himself has, on a half-dozen occasions, accused McCain of stoking the fires of racist fear in we who support him. But JAC’s comment is hardly unique on the left and it is a categorical, dictionary definition of racist. I don’t care if Obama’s black, white, or pink with purple polka-dots – it’s the fact that he’s a leftist with a near-socialist agenda more intent on making America follow the lead of European countries and ask their permission to defend our interests that makes me think he’s unfit to be our President. I’ve maintained that position since I first heard him speak while JAC and other Obama supporters make statements like the one above and I’m the racist?
Not hardly. That the fact of Obama’s race even weighs into their decision puts the lie to their whole “we stand for equality” mantra. They’re perfectly fine with racism. So long as it’s racism they agree with. Fine. Fair enough. Admit it and drop the act of standing there so high-and-mighty, pointing down on we boorish conservatives which sneeringly spitting out the “racist” label. Get your true colors out in the open and then let’s see what the majority of Americans think on the issue.
America is at war overseas and in an economic crisis here at home. Many of her citizens believe the country is on the wrong track. It is for times such as these that men like John McCain are made, to put country first so that it can be put right in its time of need. For this reason, The Examiner endorses McCain for president and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, for vice president.
I managed to get back to the hotel in time to catch the last half of President Bush’s address with regard to the financial crisis and the proposed bailout plan. Please note that I am holding out the possibility that he addressed an item very important to me without my catching it live but I’m commenting pretty much on what I’ve heard thus far.
First things first, there’s an important concept in this bailout plan that hasn’t been really brought into the public’s eye. The overall commentary on this is that Congress is putting $700 billion into buying out assets – effectively putting the money into the pockets of the financial firms that got us all into this mess to begin with. The sense is that these companies will pocket the cash and then just keep on doing business as they were before with the assets sitting around rotting in some government office. Those assets are loans attached to real property and as those loans are paid off (or sold) money will come back to the entity that holds the loans, which would be the government. It’s an investment, not an expense. It likely won’t be near that easy but it’s not as bleak as it’s been painted, either.
However, this leads directly to the item that I think hasn’t been addressed yet. I want to know exactly how the people who did what they did to get us into this are going to be kept from doing it again. We spend $700B in taxpayer money to get these companies back on their feet and we’re just supposed to trust them to do it right this time? I don’t think so. For $700B, I’m going to need a lot more assurance that something’s been done to keep an eye on these people and a close one at that.
I’ve not had anything to say about the current financial mess that’s on everyone’s minds and in everyone’s words, lately. (The business conference I’m attending is, supposedly, aimed at techies such as myself and nearly half of the fellow-techie engineers giving the presentations have managed to work in references to this crisis during their talks.) The primary issue I have wanted addressed is a real explanation of how we got into this mess in the first place, was there something that could have/should have been done to avert it, and what – if anything – can or should be done about it now?
I’ve suspected the answer to the first part of that question. This post over at Power Line which shows a segment on Fox News tells me I was right. The bottom line is that Fannie and Freddie made the practice of issuing loans to uncreditworthy people seem safer than it should have.The banks that made those loans did so in the confidence that Fannie or Freddie would buy the paper on them, thus relieving the bank of the responsibility to weigh more carefully the credit status of the people they were loaning the cash to. When those 2 institutions turned around and sold those loans to other financial houses, they put the air of government-backed assets around the whole affair, which made the purchasing institutions more confident about the buy than they should have been.
Former FED chairman Greenspan warned of this very occurance 3 years ago and his warning sounds like a prophecy today. He hit it squarely on the mark. Republicans in Congress proposed legislation that would have put more oversight on both Fannie and Freddie, something they obviously needed badly. Every Republican in the Senate voted to bring the bill to the floor; every Democrat voted against. As a result, the bill never made it to an up-or-down vote for passage and died off.
Go watch the report yourself and hear all the details.
With all of the buzz going on about the Chevy Volt it was only a matter of time before the rest of Detroit got in on the action. Chrysler lifted the veil on 3 new electric vehicles today, the products of their 2007 ENVI program.
In 2007, Chrysler announced the launch of a program called ENVI aimed at developing electric cars, but other than a few nonrunning concepts displayed at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, not much information on the project had leaked out since. Now, in a move aimed at cheering up the company’s employees and stealing the spotlight from the recently introduced Chevy Volt, Chrysler is showing its hand to the world.
In spite of the remaining questions about how a mass influx of electric vehicles will affect the nation’s power grid, I think this is wonderful news. The choice of vehicle frames developed shows that Chrysler is going all in on the concept, too. The Dodge EV is a 2-seater sports car designed for fast acceleration and exhilarating driving. (The fact that it looks nearly identical to the Tesla Roadster is, I’m sure, purely coincidental.) While the concept of such a car is intriguing, it’s pretty much useless to a family with kids. That’s why the other 2 Chrysler vehicles are of such interest to me.
For the family, the Chrysler EV is a reengineered Town and Country minivan that Chrysler claims will be able to travel 40 miles on electric power alone. Similar to the Volt, it also carries a small gasoline engine on board that can charge the batteries and extend the range of the vehicle to up to 400 miles, at an average of 50 miles per gallon.
The Jeep EV is a four-door Wrangler Unlimited that uses the same gas-electric power combination as the minivan, but with four electric motors — one for each wheel — that give it the kind of off-road capability buyers have come to expect from the brand.
We’ve had a Pontiac Montana minivan for 8 years now and I really can’t imagine not having that car for the various long-distance trips we do. It’s been a great car but she’s starting to show her age. The Town & Country minivan mentioned here would be fantastic to have as a replacement for that car. My wife tends to drive that one because her commute is 1) shorter than mine and 2) she works in a fixed location Monday thru Friday. A 40-mile range would handle her daily driving needs easily and the range extension motor would still permit trips of the length we take on occasion. So long as they didn’t really dumb down the car when they converted her to all electric, I’m most definitely interested!
There’s been bad news aplenty but there are bright spots like these, too. I’m glad to see it.
Democrats have decided to allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week, conceding defeat in a months-long battle with the White House and Republicans set off by $4 a gallon gasoline prices this summer.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., told reporters Tuesday that a provision continuing the moratorium will be dropped this year from a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running after Congress recesses for the election.
Republicans have made lifting the ban a key campaign issue after gasoline prices spiked this summer and public opinion turned in favor of more drilling. President Bush lifted an executive ban on offshore drilling in July.
“If true, this capitulation by Democrats following months of Republican pressure is a big victory for Americans struggling with record gasoline prices,” said House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio.
With oil prices being what they have been and the fact that we ship billions overseas paying for energy resources, we cannot afford to let our domestic reserves lie fallow any longer. The economy needs the help this will provide and I’m damned glad to hear this news.
Assuming they’re telling the truth, of course. We’ll see.
When NYC Mayor Bloomberg went on his little undercover, unauthorized “sting” operation a couple of years ago, he met with a cold welcome here in the Old Dominion. As a result of his frankly illegal investigation, Virginia signed into law specific language that will result in State charges for the next crazy jackass that tries the same trick. Attempting another angle on things, Bloomberg directed NYC to file lawsuits against several out-of-state gun shops alleging that their business practices made it too easy for people to buy guns on behalf of crooks. While all the rest of those gun dealers had settled already, Bob Moates Sport Shop of Midlothian, VA had not. Until now, anyway.
A Virginia gun store has agreed to change some sales practices to resolve a lawsuit filed by the City of New York.
The Bob Moates Sport Shop of Midlothian, Va., was one of 27 out-of-state gun stores sued by the city in 2006.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg claimed the shops were making it too easy for people to buy guns on behalf of criminals.
Moates was one of the last holdouts in the case. Most had already settled.
Each side is claiming victory.
Really? Let’s see about that settlement, shall we? The shop has agreed to install a better security camera setup and get a computer for the purpose of keeping better track of “gun tracing information.” They’re also buying gear to help spot fake ID’s. In other words, they’ve agreed to install or upgrade systems that both enhance their ability to do business and which most of us already assumed they had in operation. And, for the cherry on top, New York City is paying for the camera system and the computer.
So, let me get this straight: the citizens of New York had their Mayor’s office and his legal team involved in an out-of-state lawsuit since 2006 and the result of that is that their tax dollars get to buy a camera system and a computer system to be installed in a gun store in Virginia for the purposes of allowing said gun store to continue doing the business they were doing before the lawsuit was filed. And this is to be considered a victory for the people of New York.
Well, hell’s bells, Mr. Mayor. If that’s all you wanted, you should’ve just said so! I’m sure every gun store in Virginia would be happy to install improved cameras and computer systems with you paying the bill. Make that offer and I’m sure your phone will just be ringing off the hook with Virginia gun dealers lining up to sign on.
NYC should remember this at their next opportunity to elect a mayor. And make sure this clown doesn’t get himself elected Governor or something.