Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Assortment

Woman in Virginia cited for selling farm products on her, er, farm.

Ace of Spades: still one of the funniest bloggers out there. And I mean, really funny.

Another potential Tea Party victory, this time in Texas.

Colorado Representative Ed Perlmutter: giving shameless political hacks a bad name.

Gee, I wonder what artists did before the days of taxpayer-subsidized grants? Titian, for example, “ was a mercenary who would serve the highest bidder without, it seems, sacrificing his artistic integrity.”

Hey, Chicago, your gun control laws are working so well, maybe you ought to consider formally banning Molotov cocktails, too.

Do you remember that ZZ Top song, “Jesus Just Left Chicago”? Well, now we know why He left.

Bill Clinton has been invited to provide smoke and mirrors at the Democratic National Convention this year, and Fauxcahontas will also address the big donkey pow-wow (This sounds bizarre: “In a best-case scenario for Democrats, Warren could emerge as a hit among the Walmart moms, that oft-cited demographic that could be decisive in a close election.” Walmart moms? Really? I don’t think elitist Elizabeth Warren could find the nearest Walmart in a taxi cab. This is pretty much like me saying, “in a best-case scenario, if I quit my job tomorrow, I’ll win the Mega Millions lottery the day after.” The same statistical likelihood).

Pat Austin introduces a game we all can play.

You may have built it, but the Democrats are destroying it

Repeal of the unfathomably stupid medical device excise tax was passed in the House, but is being held up in the Senate. This particularly noxious provision of ObamaCare is killing jobs and business expansion right now.

Here’s how bad this tax is: even Elizabeth Warren is against it.

One ultimately begins to wonder whether Democrats like Harry Reid really believe in anything at all. Has the Democratic Party become nothing more than a large tribal group, held together by its worship of the donkey totem and its desire to steal, rather than create, wealth? What happens when the last bank account of the last capitalist has been cleaned out? What will these carrion eaters do then?

What a serial killer of small business looks like.

Citizens vs. incumbents

As many people have pointed out, the issue is not just Republicans vs. Democrats, or right vs. left. A political class based on something like permanent incumbency, in which elected officials of both major parties gang up with special interest groups to fleece the taxpayer, is also inimical to individual freedom and initiative.

Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator talks about the citizens’ uprising in Pennsylvania.
The former Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is in jail.

He shares a cell with -- a former Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

One is a Democrat. One is a Republican.

Nothing like a bipartisan jail cell. And these two -- Democrat Bill DeWeese and Republican John Perzel -- are not the only Pennsylvania legislators to be either now in the hoosegow or on their way, fresh convictions in hand.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is in trouble. And Pennsylvania's capitalists are in open revolt.

Specifically, they are banding together under the banner of a group they are calling the Citizen's Alliance for Pennsylvania -- CAP. (CAP's website can be found here.) And CAP is now roaming the state with all the subtlety of Allied forces storming the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.

Monday, July 30, 2012

What this country really needs...

...is another bureaucracy to monitor catfish.
It’s easy to guffaw at $14 million in waste when we are running a $1.7 trillion deficit, but let’s not forget our collective (and appropriate) outrage at NPR funding which by many accounts, receives less than $4 million per year directly from the government.

But $14 million is precisely what will continue to be wasted after the House Agriculture Committee approved the Farm Bill while rejecting an amendment by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) which would have streamlined catfish inspections (yes, catfish inspections) and save taxpayers millions.

Unbelievably enough, the farm bill believes that the FDA, which already inspects catfish, needs helps from the US Department of Agriculture...
The FDA and the USDA, working side by side...

The one-dollar magazine (company)

Newsweek's latest unpaid advertisement for Obama is a cover photo of Romney alongside the title, "The Wimp Factor".

Are you lefties really sure you want to go there?





Update:The John Locke Foundation has a better idea for a magazine cover:


(H/T: Captain Heinrichs)

Funny, you don't look Republican

Marginally coherent Nancy Pelosi and liberal Democratic media gasbag Al Hunt push an old Jewish stereotype.

But it's ok, because it's for the greater good.

Monday movie

Action on the eastern front, from Cross of Iron.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday funnies

Jazz Shaw over at Hot Air has a hilarious example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Looting: it takes practice to get it right.

New, from Paco Enterprises!



Flip Wilson and the ugly baby.



Gosh, Wally, it looks like Michele Bachmann was right about Huma Abedin's ties to radical islamists

Doug Ross has assembled some inconvenient facts on the subject, not only of Huma Abedin's family, but of the lady, herself - inconvenient, that is, to selectively tolerant liberals and RINOs.

(H/T: Jill J)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rahm Emanuel: "Never let a crisis go to waste"

So, your honor, what are you going to do with this one?

Drool, Britannia

I didn't watch the opening festivities of the Olympics in London, but from what others have observed, it appears that the British seem to be very confused about their own history and culture, and are content to distract themselves with garish displays of dream-like weirdness and leftist pep-rally enthusiasm.

This is why, when I watch those old Errol Flynn costume epics, I always root (futilely, of course) for the Armada.

Update: More from Tim Blair.

When prosecutors become persecutors

George Will reports on another unhinged federal criminal case.

Poisoning democracy

The Richmond Times-Dispatch is all over the Democrats' latest "get out the vote" effort in Virginia and several other swing states. MoveOn.org is involved, so what could possibly go wrong?
[M]any of the VPC mailings have gone astray, reaching already registered voters, the deceased, family pets, convicted felons, children and non-U.S. citizens. In Virginia alone, the state Board of Elections has received about 750 complaints from Virginia residents and state registrars about the third-party mailings — the majority concerning the VPC but some from the NAACP, which also works with the center.

The Times-Dispatch was contacted by two local residents who said they received voter registration forms from the NAACP for dead relatives. In one case, the youngest son of a woman who died more than 15 years ago received a partially filled-out voter registration for his mother at her former address, where the son now resides.
I first heard about this story on Mark Levin's radio program. Levin credited a blog called Disrupt the Narrative, which has been doing some great work investigating the background of the dubious Voter Participation Center.

To lose fair and square is one thing. To have an election stolen out from under us is something else again. Kudos to Disrupt the Narrative for getting the word out about this latest potential threat to honest elections.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The self-abasement of the legacy media continues apace

We may have a free press, but certainly not an independent one.

Press coverage in the Age of Obama...

California steamin’

So, why are the escalators in the Bay Area Rapid Transit system so frequently out of service? Believe me, you don’t want to know.

H/T: Small Dead Animals

Happy Feet Friday

The great Sarah Vaughn sings “Misty”.


Sure is hot here in Fairfax, Virginia this summer

Maybe I ought to do a better job dressing for the weather. I'm thinking of picking up a dozen or so of these.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Here we go again

Per Pundit and Pundette: National Review is being sued by Michael Mann over a blog post by Mark Steyn.

Julia Gillard: Accidental money laundress?

Interesting tale of a very odd real estate transaction handled by the, er, “young and naïve” Ms. Gillard.

H/T: Small Dead Animals

MF Global and the putrid reek of crony capitalism

Peter Schweizer wonders why Jon Corzine is still at large, and finds that our favorite DOJ scofflaw, Eric Holder, is (typically) incurious.

Chicago values

Chick-Fil-A: not acceptable.

Anti-Semitic vigilantes: Welcome!

As indicated above, the City of the Big Shoulders is turning a cold one toward the Chick-Fil-A franchise.

Hey, you don’t want to eat there, that’s perfectly ok. But here’s a friendly warning to restaurant patrons in Chicago: just be careful where you do chow down, particularly if you’re a “progressive”.

Update: The Daily Caller declares the Chick-Fil-A war over.

Update: Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston went so far as to threaten to block a building permit for Chick-Fil-A, although he has now backed off. Here's a picture of hizzoner...


Guy looks like something from a Nast cartoon about Tammany Hall.

Here's another photo of Thomas Menino, rastaman:


"That boy, I say, that boy's lower than a snake full of buckshot. Buckshot, that is."




Obama: Au contraire...

...I just love small business!

Almost as much as I love little pigs!

Also of interest:




Michael "Nanny Britches" Bloomberg could not be reached for comment

He probably came down with a case of the vapors on learning that a vendor at the Iowa State Fair - who, incidentally, is my candidate for the next face on Mt. Rushmore - will be offering [fanfare of trumpets] - double bacon corn dogs.

On another food-related issue: I don't give a damn if the owners supported the Hitler Youth or the Young Pioneers, I will never give up my delicious Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The sinkhole in Obama’s head

The president’s ignorance of economics, including the impact of fiscal and tax policy, is like a large cavity in the earth, the surrounding walls of which keep crumbling, making the hole even bigger. His cluelessness is metastasizing, and is likely to gobble up his presidency.

Peter Ferrara at The American Spectator delves into Obama’s personification of the adage that insanity (and I think this also generally applies to stupidity and ignorance) means doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
[E]conomic recovery and growth are not based on increased government spending, deficits and debt, a fallacy that Wall Street Journal senior economics writer Steve Moore has rightly labeled "tooth fairy" economics. That is because the money for such spending needs to come from somewhere, and so drains the private sector to the extent of such increased government spending, leaving no net effect at best.

What drives economic recovery and growth are incentives for increased production, as Reaganomics proved. Obama's assault on such incentives by raising virtually all federal tax rates this January 1 is why trillions are sitting on corporate and bank balance sheets, and America is suffering a capital strike and capital flight. If demand was inadequate, prices would simply fall to clear the market. The result would not be the perpetual stagnation and depression we have seen under Obamanomics.
Really, we can’t afford four more years under a man who, putting things in even the most charitable light, can best be described as a sort of not-particularly-bright presidential apprentice. And I’m hoping that the American people will firmly reject the prospect of another term of Epic Suck this November.

Update: Why is this man smiling?


Liberal fascism: all the pieces are beginning to fall into place

Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge has a brilliant short post on the confluence of Marx, Kafka and Orwell. A sample::
As Kafka divined, centralized bureaucracy has the capacity for both Orwellian obfuscation (anyone read those 1,300-page Congressional bills other than those gaming the system for their private benefit?) and systemic avarice and injustice.

The convergence boils down to this: it would be impossible to loot this much wealth if the State didn't exist to enforce the "rules" of parasitic predation. In China, the Elite's looting proceeds along somewhat different rules from the looting of Europe and the U.S., but the end result is the same in all financialized, centrally managed economies: an expansive kleptocracy best understood as the convergence of Marx, Orwell and Kafka.

Let us pray


I dunno. Divine intervention may be the only thing left.

(Photo and accompanying doomsday scenario via Zero Hedge)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

If Nanny Bloomberg and his ilk get their way, this may be our only self-defense option

“Mass. woman fights off robbers by throwing fruit at them”.
An 80-year-old woman found resourceful means to defend her family store from armed robbers Friday afternoon - she launched mangoes at them.

The suspects entered the store in New Bedford, Mass. and went for the cash register, it appears on surveillance footage. At that point, the woman picks up a box of mangoes and begins throwing them at the two men.
Now, I’m glad this ultimately worked out for the woman in question, although she did get knocked on the head by one of the robbers - with a gun, mind you.

Here are some guidelines for those grocery store employees who either (a) decide to limit themselves to fruit as a self-defense weapon, or (b) are prevented by state or local laws from possessing guns:

1) Choose fruit that is relatively small and hard. Apples and pears are fine. If you’re willing to trade off velocity for greater potential destructive impact, pineapples are the fruit of choice.

2) Work on your delivery. Think Justin Verlander throwing a 100-mile-an-hour pitch. Speed and accuracy are vital. Practice, practice, practice!

3) Unless the perps are extremely slow-footed, or perhaps confined to wheelchairs, forget about cantaloupes and watermelons; most people would have to simply lob them, giving your average perp plenty of time to take evasive action. Exception: if the shot-put was your sport in high school or college, melons may work for you; however, remember that the wind-up takes a fair amount of space, and requires precious seconds that you could be using more efficiently to execute, say, high-speed, repetitive avocado delivery.

4) Go for head shots. A well-placed, over-ripe tomato right between the eyes may blind your assailant long enough for you to make it to the exit (or, if you’re a man, to the feminine products aisle, where no one will ever think of looking for you).

5) If you have large hands, load two fruits in your throwing hand and deliver the effective “double tap”.

6) You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to defend your life – i.e., don’t be squeamish about hurting an armed assailant. You want to use the most deadly thing at your disposal. Don’t, out of a mistaken impulse of charity, reach for a nectarine, when you’ve got a glass jar full of kumquats at hand. After all, he asked for it.

Of course, if you're into tubers...

Another day at the office

As I sat in my corner office in D.C. today, my ears were assaulted by the not unusual din of a protest group marching past below my window. They were members of ACT UP, a left-wing AIDS activist group. They seemed to have it in for Romney, chanting “Mitt Romney, you’re no good/that’s why we need Robin Hood”. Several signs advocated taxing Wall Street to support AIDS research. Quite a few demonstrators were dressed in costumes suggestive of the legendary bandit of Sherwood Forest: green tunics, and little feathered hats. Interestingly, many of the “Robin Hoods” were also wearing Obama masks.

When fanaticism takes hold, the first thing to go is a sense of irony.

America’s decline will not end with the defeat of Barack Obama

It’s a good start, don’t get me wrong. But there’s so much institutional rot that has to be dealt with, the process of turning the country around is going to be a long, hard slog. David Gelernter underscores a few ominous facts:
If conservatives were serious, they would think much harder about the Culture Machine (aka the Establishment) and the ways in which Obama is typical instead of exceptional—typical of a new type of Establishment leader, the new Machine Man. We’re used to old-fashioned political (usually Democratic) machines. But those political machines compare to the modern Culture Machine like a stick of dynamite to an H-bomb. While conservatives worry about debt and taxes and huge problems abroad, the left is busy pulling the whole country out from under them. While conservatives fiddle around on the roof, robbers are rifling the house and stealing the children. Conservatives might consider climbing down and having a look. Obama is only the first of a new breed.
This is not a call for surrender, but a challenge to take up the great and noble task of rescuing the once and future America. And there’s no reason we shouldn’t embark on this mission cheerfully, and with confidence in our ultimate success. I ask you to once again consider the words of the late Auberon Waugh, which serve as the motto of Paco Enterprises:
There are countless horrible things happening all over the world and horrible people prospering, but we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible.

Oswaldo Payá, RIP

Cuban dissident, Oswaldo Payá, died in an automobile accident this past Sunday. We offer our prayers for the repose of his soul, and for the consolation of his family and friends.

Update: Of course, this being Castroite Cuba, it might not have been an accident.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blue on Blue conflict

Unions vs. Obama donors. I think I’ll buy tickets for seats in the “Plague on Both Their Houses” section.

On another front, Smitty’s right: this is a great ad. The juxtapositions are just devastating; his own words almost make Obama shrink before our very eyes, particularly compared to the clips featuring his predecessors. And Elizabeth Warren’s now-classic high-handed putdown of individual initiative sounds practically like a…well, like a war whoop.

Vanishing blogger reappears

I didn’t notice until yesterday, but “Gaius” has returned to regular posting at long-time Paco Enterprises favorite, Blue Crab Boulevard. If you have the time, stop by and tell him Paco sent you.

In fact, a visit there could save your life.

Anybody checked the names of these suspects against Tea Party web sites, yet?

Three punks kill a 62-year-old Chicago man in an exhibition of the “knock ‘em down” game.

Good thing that Chicago doesn’t permit its law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons. The victim might have shot and missed and hit a nun carrying a fruit basket to a shut-in. Besides, the cops caught the perps, so what’s the problem?

Update: Via Moonbattery...


Monday movie

The opening scenes from the brilliant Preston Sturges screwball comedy, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek.



That earlier story showing that Canadians are now richer than we are?

Not true, says Elizabeth MacDonald of Fox Business.

(H/T: Legal Insurrection)

"Fascialism"

The Classical Liberal coins a very useful new word, which he deploys to good effect in a discussion of American healthcare.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Great pitch

Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers obliterated Chi Sox Gordon Beckham's bat with a hundred-mile-an-hour pitch - on a check swing.

Sunday funnies

Net profit of Paco Enterprises may be a little off this year.

Paco Jr. got a letter in the mail from his health insurance provider which informed him that, due to ObamaCare, he was getting a partial premium refund. Enclosed was a check for...thirteen cents (hey, I just totally take back everything I said against the legislation).

A funny image, found at Fishersville Mike's:

(You didn't really think I was going to take it all back, did you?)


(H/T: The Daily Caller)

Steve Burri, with an assist from Lance, creates the perfect symbol for Washington, D.C.

Happy Pi Approximation Day!




Saturday, July 21, 2012

This blog is making me hungry!

Big Food, Big Garden, Big Life, run by our newest commenter, Marica, has, among other good things, a host of recipes, including this mouthwatering example.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Announcing the formation of the Committee to Horsewhip Brian Ross

Oh, he could just taste it, yes, indeedy! The kudos of his fellow talking airheads, the biggest scoop of the year - who knows, maybe even an Emmy Award for investigative journalism. James Holmes was the name of the mass murderer at the cinema complex in Aurora, Colorado, and, by golly, there was a James Holmes listed on a local Tea Party web site! ABC News' Brian Ross, ace reporter, had scored!

Only it was what you might call an own goal. The Tea Party Holmes wasn't the mass murderer Holmes. Interesting, though, that somebody on Ross's staff apparently made a bee line for a Tea Party web site. They're really not going to be satisfied until they pin an act of extreme violence on us.

Iowahawk, incidentally, is showing Ross no mercy on Twitter.


The world continues to be a dangerous place

Prayers for the repose of the souls of the people cruelly murdered by the gunman in Aurora, Colorado, and for their grieving friends and families. Stacy McCain has been doing some useful aggregating on this horrible story.

This is another heartbreaking lesson in the dangers of complacency. Yes, it is a terrible thing to have to face the reality that you are taking your life in your hands simply by doing something as seemingly mundane as going to a movie theater. Yet, there it is. No society is ever completely immune to the depredations of its misfits, its terrorists, its hardened criminals, and any police force large enough, and any set of laws extensive enough, to reduce such risks to zero would not be compatible with anything other than a police state. Each of us should be vigilant and prepared to deal with acts like this, which can occur anytime, anyplace. Here are some thoughts on the subject of preparedness from Brian Hoffner, via Zero Hedge.

Maybe it sounds a little paranoid, but with respect to public situations where one finds oneself surrounded by strangers, it seems appropriate to keep in mind the advice that Marine Corps Maj.-General James Mattis gave his men in Iraq: “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

Happy Feet Friday

Bob Crosby and his Bobcats perform Honky Tonk Train Blues and Gin Mill Blues on this V-Disc (audio only).


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Now who's whining?

Obama campaign claims that Romney misquoted the president by, er, quoting the president's exact words.

Update: HAW!


Gratefully pinched from the indispensable Ed Driscoll.

Why is voter ID considered such a huge imposition?

I mean, identification is required for these dozens of activities. What’s the big deal? Why, it’s almost as if the Democrats like the idea of voter fraud.

Finally, Democrats locate a shovel-ready project

Getting rid of potholes so as not to discommode the First Lady on her way to a fundraiser.

If I didn't build it, who did?

Good Romney ad.

Jimmy Stewart had a similar take in the movie, Shenandoah (see, particularly, at about the 3:04 mark).


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The number one, Grade-A, world-class, 24-karat dumbass

Ed Driscoll links to the sad story of Oh Kil-nam, who defected to...North Korea.

Uh oh!

Captain Heinrichs will never let me live this down: Canadians now richer than Americans.

Not only are they richer, but U.S. News thinks Canadians aren’t Americans (I mean, they are Americans, aren’t they? North Americans, at any rate).

Assortment (“T’row de bums out!” edition)

The guy who headed Bain Capital during the GST Steel layoffs is a major bag man for Obama.

Is President Obama afraid of his own Jobs Council?

More evidence of crony capitalism (“like a hooker dropped into a prison exercise yard”).

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: one percenter.

Obama’s Latin American policy: whistling through – or, rather, snoozing in – the graveyard.

Chuck Schumer raves.

Obama and the Democratic Senate leadership plot econocide.

Do you want an instant, $500 billion tax increase? Then Obama’s your man!

Cats wait in hope…

Are Obama and his pals really all that sleazy? You can bank on it!

“You didn’t build that!” My favorite:



Wrong way!

Somewhere within the confines of the Monroe Correction Complex in Washington state, a handful of thoughtful prisoners are probably trying to reverse engineer this incident.

The Chicago boys

Michael Walsh explores the theme of Obama and the Democratic Party as a Marxist gangster combination (with some fascinating insights into Saul Alinky's friendship with Al Capone).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

John Kerry’s dry run all wet

I’ve been concentrating so intently on Obama and his inner circle recently, that I haven’t had time to give much thought to the Democratic Party’s lesser fauna, so it was with some surprise that I learned that John Kerry has apparently been hungering for the top job at State (this is actually something I probably knew, but had forgotten, along with just about everything else I used to know that was Kerry-related, including his losing bid for the presidency; sorry, but a guy has to purge his mental files of useless junk every now and then).

Anyhow, according to this article (linked by Drudge), Kerry had hoped to parlay his lobbying for the Law of the Sea Treaty into the cabinet seat currently occupied by Hillary Clinton’s ample bottom.

Nice try, Lurch, but for now, it looks like you’ll have to limit your undermining of U.S. sovereignty to your Senate votes.

"Curses! Foiled again!”

“The errand boy’s view of what business is about”

William Tucker has a splendid piece at the American Spectator that plumbs Obama’s fathomless ignorance of entrepreneurship.
What Obama really embodies is the college professor's resentment that even though he's always been the smartest guy in the room -- valedictorian of his high school, scoring over 750 on his college boards, editor of the law review -- there are still people out there much less smart who are making more money. You can see it right there on the page. "I'm always struck by [business] people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there." Ah yes, I wonder who we're talking about here? "It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there." Indeed, there are millions of people who work very hard at their jobs. But to start a business you've got to do more than work hard. You've got to create something entirely new. You've got to be sensible, you've got to be ambitious. You've got to be willing to quit your day job, run up a lot of credit card debt and maybe risk everything in order to turn your dreams into reality. It's a lot different than taking college exams.
And speaking of college exams, are we really sure that Obama did so well on those? Just askin’.

Tucker continues, torpedoing the president’s conflation of public works and private industry:
Our prosperity has been built by entrepreneurs, not by government bureaucrats. The government could pave the road in front of your house twelve times over and it wouldn't help one bit in bringing a dream to fruition. Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, is filled with magnificent boulevards that would make any city in the world envious. They just don’t have any cars driving on them or shops lining them or even people walking on them. That's what government without free enterprise gives you -- public monuments without prosperity.
Obama’s not Carter 2.0; he’s the second coming of Huey Long. Sure, he’s better educated and is slathered with a couple of coats of what passes, these days, for sophistication. But his philosophy, driven by envy and ignorance, and bolstered by the gangster’s disregard for the rule of law (as well as the gangster’s willingness to make deals with compliant members of targeted groups, for a price), dovetails nicely with Old Huey’s mixture of class-warfare rhetoric and flagrant corruption.

Richard Nixon was just a wide-eyed altar boy compared to Obama, and Lyndon Johnson the merest naïve rustic. God help us if he’s reelected; it’ll take more than a modern version of the Secret Six to undo this guy’s syndicate.

Update: Rep. Paul Ryan goes pit bull on Obama’s comments in an interview with James Pethokoukis. Some highlights:
– “The idea that these entrepreneurs owe all their success to some government bureaucrat or some centralized planner just defies reality.”

– “Every now and then, President Obama pierces the veil. He’s usually pretty coy about his ideology, but he lets the veil slip from time to time.”

– “He’s deluded himself into thinking that his so-called enemies are these crazy individualists who believe in some dog-eat-dog society when what he’s really doing is basically attacking people like entrepreneurs and stacking up a list of scapegoats to blame for his failures.”

You go, gramps!

Awesome! 71-year-old restaurant patron whips out a semi-automatic for a little social work as two robbers, one armed with a gun, attempt a stickup (don’t miss the video!)

Close.

Very close.

Law of the Sea treaty scuttled

The USA dodges another bullet in the ongoing attempts by Democrats and their UN allies to undermine American sovereignty.

"I told you guys it would never work!"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Finally, some transparency from Obama

Probably an unintentional admission on his part, but now we know, for sure, how little Obama values individual liberty and initiative, and how ignorant he is about even the most basic elements of a free economy:
If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
Read the rest of the president’s equally revealing comments, captured here by Zero Hedge (H/T: Small Dead Animals).

Obama is making the mistake of reasoning from the particular to the general. He, himself, is a gaudy butterfly that was nurtured in a cocoon of anti-American radicalism, and who benefited his entire adult life from the assistance of ideological mentors, bent on living out their totalitarian fantasies vicariously, and Democratic Party apparatchiks, who greased the skids for his rapid political advancement. In other words, he is largely the loving creation of his handlers, who smoothed his path and did practically everything but carry him in a sedan chair to his current residence on Pennsylvania Avenue. So, devoid as he is of genuine learning, real-world experience and the habit of critical thinking, Obama assumes that this is the way it works for everybody. He - in spite of his inherent greatness! - might still be ineffectually haranguing small groups of neighborhood malcontents had it not been for the small army of helping hands that shoved him up the career ladder; therefore, you (poor schlep!) must obviously need similar assistance –and, truth to tell, far more, because, let’s face it, he’s special and you’re just, you know, you.

And what greater, more lavish, hand is there than the hand of government? How can you possibly miss with Big Government propping you up? And whatever possessed you to think that you were the captain of your own destiny, rather than, at best, a midshipman hoping for future preferment on the ship of state?

“Hey, we’re all on the same team. It’s just that I’m the captain, and you, the middle class, are the equipment managers. So start picking up those towels and jock straps; that stuff isn’t going to wash itself!”

Assortment

Randy compares and contrasts.

It's true: some things, you can never get enough of.

Miss Red celebrates Bastille Day (with a little rule 5 action).

I am pleased to hear that Virginia is tying up the President's time and resources (plus, I still think he's going to lose here).

TimT whips out his trusty linguistic machete and cuts his way through a jungle of pronouns.

When Chesterton spoke about "the Democracy of the dead", I don't think this is what he had in mind.

There's nothing wrong with the Obama regime that a little message finessing won't cure.

Seriously, all Barry has left is fear-mongering and pandering.

You thought your successful business was the result of your own inspiration and hard work? C'mon, don't be so naive!.

My, grandma, what big, er, eyes you have.

Once again, let us all heave a huge sigh of relief that the 70s are long gone.

George Lopez - a "comedian" who's idea of a big joke was to dump his wife after she donated a kidney to him - doesn't seem to like Romney.

Why is President Obama doing fundraisers overseas?

I mean, really, what's up with this? Presumably, it would only be U.S. citizens abroad who would be donating, but, given the Obama campaign's "carelessness" in vetting donors, the money could be coming from anybody.

At the linked post, commenter Bill Mitchell asks some good questions:
BTW, who foots the bill for these trips? Does Obama stop by the US Embassy in Switzerand, shake a few hands then bill us for a “diplomatic trip”?

Monday movie

W.C. Fields plays ping-pong.



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday funnies

More baseball science: the atomic pitch.

Unimpressed.

Something always gets lost in translation: "31 Bizarre Foreign Titles for American Movies".

Exercise: it can kill you (H/T: Captain Heinrichs).

Get your "B.O. Stinks" campaign material right here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Symbols of real hope, real change

While Russians are busy ripping Lenin statues a new one, the Poles have honored two of history's most effective anti-communists with a statue of Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan.

When it comes to genuine statesmen and great leaders, I can't help feeling as if we're living among Lilliputians these days.

The Obama "Truth" Team

Tit for tat.

I'm thinking overindulgence in corn liquor, but draw your own conclusions

"The Mystery of the Hopkinsville Goblins".

Friday, July 13, 2012

Police nab felonious fun bags

Australia's "Buxom Bandit"; Smitty follows up on the story.

Happy Feet Friday

Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee. Need I say more?



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Feelin' a draft, there, Vladimir?

Via Colonel Milquetoast, a photo of Lenin's aforementioned damaged buttocks:

"Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your colon polyps!"

Update: And regarding our own Lenin Lite, the preshizzle seems to be having some trouble drawing crowds.

Heh. Second billing.

Changes, in America and abroad

Fox News Channel’s senior judicial analyst has some ominous observations about freedom in America.
Here is how you can tell that these are bad days for freedom: Does the government need your permission to violate your rights, or do you need the government's permission to exercise them? The answer is painfully obvious.

Presently in America, what are we going to do about it?
Victor Davis Hanson finds reason for hope – at least for America and Israel:
Who would have thought that a few fracking innovators in Texas would change the world’s carbon footprint far more than did Nobel laureate Al Gore — while offering a way for the U.S. to be energy-independent? Or that Angela Merkel, not the European Union, would run Europe? Or that Arabs would be overthrowing Arabs, as oil-rich Israel idly watched?

Congratulations to Professor Jacobson…

…for the continuing success of his law blog, Legal Insurrection (although his site is much, much more than just a law blog).

I was greatly amused by these lines:
External measures like blog traffic are not important to me.

No, I blog for the personal satisfaction of expressing my views to complete strangers who communicate with me using fake names.

The tragic consequences of government lawlessness

The federal government, and many state and local governments, have been taking an increasingly slack approach to enforcing immigration law. That’s why this kind of thing happens all the time (and, like the perpetrator in the story, is frequently “undocumented” by the legacy media).

The impunity with which aliens can violate the law, not only by entering the United States illegally, but in escaping deportation, undermines the value of citizenship altogether. As I’ve said before, Obama’s alienation from American culture, combined with an indiscriminate admiration for the culture of foreign, and often hostile, countries, is, indeed, leading to the transformation of America – into Austria-Hungary.

”Take my word for it, it was no picnic.”

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The last remaining socially acceptable form of racism

Lobbyists on Capitol Hill throw a “White Trash Reception”.

Meh. Sounds like a dud. Instead, why not join me across the street for the Undocumented Mexican Landscaper Fiesta? Free fajitas and advice on the proper placement of forsythia bushes!

H/T: Small Dead Animals.

Why not mechanize the corpse and stick it in a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant playing "Shortnin’" Bread” on the balalaika?

“Russians mull burying Soviet leader Lenin”.

I found this item from the story particularly hilarious:
In 2009, unidentified vandals used explosives to blow a massive hole in the buttocks of a Lenin statue in St. Petersburg, triggering outrage among communist-era pensioners.
If the Czar’s police had done that to the original back when they had him in jail, the world might have been spared a lot of heartache.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A titan of industry - or, rather, his housekeeper - solves a personnel problem


Although the city sweltered under unusually high temperatures, exacerbated by power outages caused by a series of severe thunderstorms, the Titan of Industry sat in the library of his penthouse high atop Paco Tower, sipping occasionally from a glass of ice-cold lemonade in the cool air of a building having its own electrical system, the nature of which was something of a popular mystery in the neighborhood. [Interestingly, Paco Tower had been rumored to possess a mini-nuclear power plant of illegal manufacture and installation, located in vast subterranean chambers beneath the foundation; however, two EPA investigators who checked out the story reported that there was nothing to it. In a strange and surely unrelated coincidence, the two EPA employees, although nowhere near retirement age, quit their jobs shortly thereafter and were last heard of living a life of ease in the luxurious resort community of Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic].

The T of I – more commonly known as J. Packington Paco III – busied himself in making the final edits to a prospectus for an investment that he planned to float in the near future. A cautious man - who, though he sometimes came very near to what one might call the “frontier” of the letter of the law, never quite seemed to find himself indisputably south of the border (so to speak) – J.P. was going through the document with a fine-toothed comb.

“The Peruvian-American Copper Organization is a limited liability company dedicated to the development of a copper mining operation on leased land located relatively close to the existing mining activities of Southern Copper’s Antamina property in the Andes (unaffiliated with Peruvian-American). Preliminary engineering reports indicate that copper deposits may exist on Peruvian-American’s property, which could conceivably result in the profitable extraction of copper ore at some future date. ”

J.P.’s happy dabbling in the many and varied uses of conditional verbs – which, as he was always quick to point out to budding financiers, makes all the difference between coining money and stamping license plates – was interrupted by three quick raps on the library door, followed by a pause and a knock, then two more quick raps, ending with a final pause and knock (a signal which experts in international Morse code will recognize as the dollar sign).

“Enter, Spurgeon.”

The pocket doors opened to reveal J.P.’s gentleman’s personal gentleman. With his unique bearing of what can best be described as magisterial deference, Spurgeon approached his employer.

“Begging your pardon, sir, but the itinerant painter you hired, Mr. Smith, has indicated that he will need another twenty gallons of paint for the living room.”

Although J.P. ordinarily would have received such a bulletin with complete equanimity, his gimlet eye had detected an almost microscopic upheaval in Spurgeon’s philtrum, an obvious sign that his man was in the grip of some strong emotion. The tycoon furrowed his brow.

“Spurgeon, you are troubled. What seems to be the problem?”

“Well, sir, if I may take the liberty of saying so, the painter does not strike me as being entirely deserving of the trust that you have placed in him.”

“How so?”

“You offered to let him stay on the premises for a few days to do the job, since, according to his asseveration, his apartment had become unendurable due to the power outage and the excessive heat. He has now been here for a week, and I fear that he has abused your charitable nature by extending his stay for some ulterior purpose.”

“Perhaps he’s simply being methodical.”

“He has only half finished a single room, sir, and, to be brutally frank, I find his brushwork to be decidedly amateurish. On top of that, the larder seems to have been afflicted with what I believe retail executives refer to as ‘shrinkage’”.

“Hmmm. There may be something in that. I did notice when I got up for a late night snack yesterday, that a delicious slab of Virginia ham which had been troubling my dreams had vanished from the refrigerator, along with half a sweet potato pie. Of course, I don’t mind a little sponging, but if his work is as shoddy as you say, perhaps I’d better have a talk with the fellow.”

“No time like the present,” a rather oily voice announced from the doorway. J.P. and Spurgeon were startled to see that the subject of their discussion had silently slipped into the room. Far more startling was the fact that he was covering them with a pistol.

J.P. scowled. “Smith, “he said, “what is the meaning of this armed intrusion?”

“First things first, Mr. Paco. My name is not really Smith. It’s Ayers. William Ayers, late Professor of Education at the University of Illinois.”

“William Ayers? The radical activist and, if you don’t mind my saying so, rather spectacularly incompetent terrorist?”

It was now Ayers’ turn to scowl. “Incompetent?”, he growled.

“Why, yes, obviously. You dedicated your callow youth to washing the streets with the blood of capitalists, and yet, as you can see, mine is still circulating within the confines of its natural anatomical setting.”

Ayers readjusted his grip on the pistol. “I’d be more than happy to let a little of it out.”

“What do you want? Why have you gone to so much trouble to worm your way into my household?”

“Because I’m returning to the field of direct action, and that takes money – of which, I’m reliably informed, you have more than a sufficiency.” Ayer’s face abruptly took on a grim, far-away look. “I’m sick of padding around classrooms, delivering the same old lectures, attending excruciatingly boring faculty meetings, raffling off dinners hosted by Bernardine and me to raise money. The last straw was having to share one of those dinners with freakin’ Tucker Carlson and Andrew Breitbart! Sure, there’s lots of sex with juicy young co-eds in exchange for good grades, but even that palls after a while. Time is running out and I need to fulfill my destiny as a revolutionary.”

Spurgeon’s face, at this point, broke into a most unprecedented, and lupine, grin.

“Mr. Paco, the pistol in the hands of this marauder is of small caliber – a .25, unless I miss my guess – and appears to have been manufactured by Sterling Arms, a now defunct company that was much criticized for the poor quality of this very model. I am confident that I can disarm this Red bandit with only a minimal risk of harm to my own person, and that probably non-lethal.” Spurgeon took a firm step forward, the thought, as is the case with most strong-willed men, ineluctably leading to the deed.

J.P., however admirably feudal he found Spurgeon’s spirit of self-sacrifice, was nonetheless unwilling to let his man take such a dangerous chance. He gripped his arm firmly and pulled him back.

“No, Spurgeon. There is nothing here, including my own blood, that is worth the risk to your life.”

Ayers chuckled. “He’s right, Spurgeon. If you lackeys started worrying more about your own skins, and less about your beloved masters, the revolution would come much quicker.”

Spurgeon turned to J.P. and said, “Forgive the liberty, sir,” then turned to face Ayers, drawing himself up to his full, and very intimidating, height, before uttering the following broadside.

“Hierarchy and subordination, Mr. Ayers, are the natural elements of any society. In the one in which I am privileged to live, these relationships take shape through the actions of free men acting in accordance with their own interest. In the kind of society you propose, there are also different levels, but the structure is more like a food chain, the many existing to satisfy the rigid ideological cravings of a few. Mine is the society of a free people; yours is the society of a vast prison, in which you hope to be a guard, or maybe even a warden. Strange - or perhaps not so, given the sad decline in educational standards – that a professor with some pretensions to historical knowledge seems unaware of the frequency with which the wardens in revolutionary societies sometimes find themselves on the wrong side of the strong iron bars they have put in place to eliminate the liberty of their former charges. Revolutions, sir, particularly of the Marxist variety, usually turn out to be cannibalistic feasts, indeed! Are you so entirely certain that, in the event of the success of your venture, you would ultimately find yourself in command of, rather than under, the blades and tines of the cutlery? ”

Ayers, who literally had been squirming beneath the force of the unanticipated eloquence of a mere servant, began to boil with rage, and was mortified at his inability to do more than splutter, “Oh, yeah?”

J.P. guffawed, sounding vaguely like a fanfare played in the lower register on a French horn. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Verily, thou hast spoken a mouthful! Pretty feeble rebuttal, on your part, professor, I’m sorry to say. Now, let’s get down to brass tacks. It is your intention to rob me, is that it?”

“Emphatically, yes. Although your man has been dogging my heels the last few days, I managed to slip in here while he was away on an errand and discovered that you have a wall safe, hidden behind the portrait of that shifty-looking character over the fireplace. A near-relative, perchance?”

J.P. cast a reverent look at the portrait in question , the subject of which was the famous – or rather, notorious – 19th century robber baron, Jim Fisk, who, upon fleeing New York on a celebrated occasion, one step ahead of the law, was heard to remark to his confederates, “Don’t’ worry, boys, nothing’s lost, save honor.”

J.P. smiled beatifically at Ayers. “Ah, you’d like to purloin my little hoard of cash to buy the ingredients for bombs and so forth. Would it alter your plan in any way if I were to inform you that, while Spurgeon was giving his speech – and a more rousing stem-winder I have not heard in a long time, my dear fellow! – I surreptitiously fingered a button under my desk, which alerted building security? Paco Tower is now on lock-down; there is no escape.”

Ominously, Ayers merely smirked. “I suspected that I might encounter some difficulties leaving in the normal way, which is why I brought this.” He backed up to the doorway, continuing to keep J.P. and Spurgeon covered, and reached into the hall, dragging forth what appeared to be an odd sort of knapsack, which he began carefully strapping on. “Thirty stories ought to give me plenty of time.”

J.P. was astonished. “Gad, man, you don’t mean to parachute off the balcony?”

“I most certainly do, as soon as I relieve you of the contents of that safe. Open it!”

J.P. sighed, walked over to the portrait, swung it open on its hinges, and twirled the dial on the door of the safe a few times, this way and that. Opening the safe, he withdrew three thick wads of cash, and a small jewelry box, containing several large stones of remarkable clarity.

“Ok, put it all on the coffee table over here.” After J.P. had complied, Ayers picked up the rolls of currency – each of which displayed, as an outer wrapping, a hundred-dollar bill – and the gem stones.

“W-e-l-l,” Ayers said contentedly. “I hadn’t expected diamonds! The Revolution thanks you. Let’s walk out to the balcony - slowly.”

Ayers ushered the two men out of the library, down the hall, through an atrium and onto an extensive balcony, containing, most notably, J.P.’s collection of carnivorous plants.

“J.P., it’s been a pleasure! I’m sure I’ll be seeing you some day - perhaps as you mount the gallows after being sentenced by a people’s court.”

“Break a leg, Mr. Ayers.”

Ayers tucked the pistol in his back pocket, ascended the wall surrounding the balcony, and leapt over the side. J.P. and Spurgeon rushed to watch the descent.

Standing side by side, the men observed Ayers’ fall, as he rocketed toward the ground. Suddenly, a rectangular piece of fabric popped out of the parachute bag and…floated away in the hot breeze, at a right angle to the direction in which Ayers’ was heading.

“I do not pretend to be an expert, Spurgeon, on the physics of parachuting, but that last bit struck me as being somehow not quite right.”

Another moment, and both men grimaced as they witnessed conclusive evidence that the operation of the parachute had, indeed, been “not quite right”.

Spurgeon cleared his throat. “If you’ll excuse me, sir, I will go down and collect your money and jewels right away.”

J.P. extracted a cigar from the leather case that he had removed from his jacket pocket and lit it. After a couple of meditative puffs, he said, “No, that won’t be necessary. The rolls of cash consisted of old Zimbabwe dollars – quite worthless – each roll wrapped with a single genuine c-note for verisimilitude. And the diamonds were paste. I keep those items in the safe for precisely this sort of emergency. You know, Spurgeon, I can’t imagine what went wrong with Ayers’ parachute.”

At that precise moment, J.P.’s housekeeper walked out on the terrace. A short, plump woman of about fifty, Juanita hailed from Mexico and had been sponsored for residency, and subsequently for citizenship, by J.P., personally. She shuffled up to her employer with a despondent expression on her face, and an enormous, balled up piece of fabric in her arms.

Sensing that she was near the point of crying, J.P. patted her gingerly on the arm.

“My dear Juanita, what’s wrong? You seem upset.”

“Oh, señor Paco, I make the big mistake! Since Meester Smith is staying with us, I think, maybe I should do his laundry. He don’t got no power at his home, so maybe he need clean clothes. So, I go in his bag, and I find this big silk sheet - ah, muy grande! - and I can tell it is very valuable because it is tied to the inside of the bag with cords so it won't fall out or get stolen. I had to cut the cords to get it loose, and it is such a big sheet, it barely fit in the washing machine, and when I take it out, I see the machine had torn a large hole in it. Díos mío! I didn’t know what to do, so I took an old sheet from the closet and I put it in the bag. But now, I think, Meester Smith, he will know the difference and be angry with me. I am so sorry, Meester Paco!”

J.P. smiled benevolently on his housekeeper. “There, there, Juanita. Don’t you worry about it. I can assure you that Mister Smith will never know the difference.”



Does Robert Gibbs drop bowling balls off of highway overpasses?

We don't really know, do we?

Elsewhere, Professor Reynolds has a great line that the Romney campaign should be using like a hammer against Obama's class warfare rhetoric: "we’re supposed to be more angry about what Romney has done with his own money, than about what Obama has done with ours."

Monday, July 9, 2012

Why, sure, George, you just come and get 'em

George Soros and his media hacks are pushing gun control via the UN.

Update: Meanwhile, Chicago's strict gun-control laws turning out to be less than a stellar success.

Important command


(H/T: Theo Spark and Captain Heinrichs)

Update: Mmmmm! Is that cooked goose I smell?

"Listen, you shouldn't read too much into the latest - or any other - job report (say, is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?)"


Like Clown College

Only not as funny.

(H/T: Jill J)

Monday movie

Nick Nolte and Deborah Winger in the dance scene from the romantic comedy, Cannery Row (many thanks to the commenter who brought this to my attention a few weeks ago; I think it was Mojo or Yojimbo).

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday funnies

Steve Burri has the ObamaCaretoon of the week.

Although I'm a bit of a couch potato myself, I like watching athletic events. Like stiletto heel racing in Russia.

Swampy fields a routine phone call from her mom.

Another great deal from Honest Paco's Used Cars!

Are you ready for...eyebombing?

Shoppers in the Rue Morgue.

What's really at stake this November (sideways, I'd like to add).

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Apparently, even the lap dog media can't choke down all of Obama's lies

From Yahoo News:
Undeterred by independent fact-checkers that have debunked the thrust of their claims, the Obama campaign is redoubling attacks on Mitt Romney as an "outsourcer" in a new TV ad airing in eight battleground states.
Goebbels would be so proud.

BTW, Obama's new campaign theme is "Betting on America". I'm betting on America, too, and I'm thinking that Obama is going to reprise the role of War Admiral in the latter's match race against Sea Biscuit.

And just in case you don't recollect how that came out, here it is...


Looking for a new expression

In this age of computer downloads, iPods, and a host of other high-tech programs and devices that facilitate our ability to access music, the old phrase, "sounds like a broken record", is likely to lose its currency.

Too bad, because it sure applies to the Obama administration and its unchanging approach to the steady stream of bad economic news.

What I did on my summer vacation

Well, just percolated, mostly, what with the hot temperatures and the power outage. But I also went to the indoor firing range at the NRA's national headquarters a couple of times. A great place; friendly, helpful staff, 14 lanes (I think), a decent stock of the most popular ammo.

I went Monday morning and tried out my two Uberti replicas: the Schofield top-break revolver in .44 Russian, and the 1860 Army conversion revolver in .38 spl. As is the case with the originals, the sights on these pistols are extremely "minimalist"; however, the barrel lengths (6 inches on the top-break, and 5 1/2 inches on the conversion model) are sufficient to make both weapons terrific "point and shoot" guns. The top-break was marvelously accurate, and the roar of those .44 Russian cowboy loads was pleasing to the ears (even covered up, as they were, with firing range mufflers). The conversion gun was also accurate, and naturally had less kick than the larger caliber top-break; however, the cylinder tended to stick. I'm pretty sure I had some bad ammo, though, as I noticed that some of the bullets didn't load smoothly (a little too "fat"), and it looked like the primer end of some of the bullets weren't sitting flush with the cylinder. Fortunately, this only happened a few times, and with the right-sized bullets, the gun worked perfectly.

Yesterday I took my Ruger SR40 in for a first-time tryout. Very sweet! The magazines hold 15 rounds, which is exceptionally convenient for practice. No jams, no stove-piping, just extremely reliable action every time. The slide is very heavy, and takes some muscling, but this, no doubt, helped control the recoil, making for a smooth shooting experience. Afterwards, the pistol proved to be very easy to disassemble for cleaning.

I also took my old reliable Ruger Police Service Six in for a workout. It's a .38 spl, a real stainless steel beauty, that works, and looks, as well as it did when I bought it over 20 years ago.

Shooting is, among other things, a great stress reliever. I highly recommend it.

Update: For those who may be unfamiliar with the Uberti replicas, here's the Russian top-break, and here's the 1860 Army conversion.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hey, Danish depositors, Mr. Bingley has a deal for you!

Suave and sophisticated Mr. Bingley turns international financier.

"Gad, sir, you ARE a genius!"

You know the old saying

When you're trying to get to the bottom of a crime, follow the, er, potato chip trail.

Happy Feet Friday

Count Basie, Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins mix it up in “Dickie’s Dream”.



Bonus! The same group, with Billie Holiday on vocals.


Bumper sticker of the week


Thursday, July 5, 2012

From the shelves of the Paco library


On the night of December 14, 2010, an elite U.S. Border Patrol squad entered Peck Canyon in the rugged desert country of southern Arizona in search of Mexican narcotics traffickers. The sky was clear, and there was a half-moon, and before long, the squad saw armed men moving in the distance. After getting as close to them as possible, the U.S. agents shouted at them to drop their weapons. Instead, the bandits opened fire with automatic rifles. The Border Patrol agents, pursuant to standing operating procedure, fired bean-bag warning shots. At the end of the encounter, agent Brian Terry – a former Marine and top-notch law enforcement officer – was dead. It was the bloody end to a federal government gun-walking program known as Operation Fast and Furious.

It was only the beginning, however, of a massive cover-up, which last week resulted in a congressional contempt citation for Eric Holder – the first attorney general in U.S. history to have earned that particular distinction. Investigative journalist Katie Pavlich, in her well-researched and well-sourced book, Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and its Shameless Cover-up, does an outstanding job in laying out the history of this nefarious government operation, and the desperate attempts by high-level Obama administration employees to stonewall Rep. Darryl Issa’s congressional oversight committee in its relentless search for the truth.

Fast and Furious was cooked up by senior level, but highly politicized, employees of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (generally referred to as the ATF), including Bill Newell and George Gillet (both of whom had checkered histories with the agency), acting in conjunction with various U.S. attorneys led by Dennis Burke. From the beginning, the scheme struck career ATF investigators as both ludicrous and dangerous. Unlike a predecessor program that had been initiated under President George W. Bush – “Wide Receiver” – Fast and Furious involved letting straw purchasers of rifles and pistols from border gun shops traffic the guns into Mexico, with no means of actually tracking the weapons, and without the knowledge and cooperation of the Mexican government. Wide Receiver had been discontinued because the technology for tracking the guns failed (plus, the cooperation of the Mexican government was unreliable, and marred by corruption). Fast and Furious did not offer even the pretense of being able to track the guns once they were in Mexico. The only thing the ATF could do would be to trace the weapons if they turned up at crime scenes in Mexico (assuming the Mexican authorities happened to turn over the captured guns to the ATF). In other words, crimes had to be committed, people wounded or killed, for there to be even a chance of tracing the guns back to gun stores in the U.S.

Even the gun shop owners who were encouraged, and in some cases intimidated, by the ATF to participate in the operation were baffled by it. Some repeatedly called the Phoenix ATF office to express their concerns (some contacted Washington). They were invariably told that all was well, everything was going exactly as planned, keep selling.

As Pavlich points out, the program made absolutely no sense as a gun interdiction operation. Guns picked up in Mexico and turned over to ATF could be traced back to the stores that were selling them, but the stores were selling them at the ATF’s behest. No useful information was acquired concerning gun-trafficking channels in Mexico, most of the straw purchasers to whom gun stores were encouraged to sell weapons were already known to the ATF and FBI, and the drug cartels were accumulating weapons at an accelerated pace. No evidence was piling up, but the bodies sure were. In addition to Brian Terry, and a Customs agent named Jaime Zapata, between 200 and 300 Mexicans were killed with the guns that were walked into Mexico. Pavlich joins others in suggesting that Fast and Furious was intended to boost the number of weapons flowing across the border, perhaps to pad the ATF’s statistics and provide justification for the agency’s heretofore unsupported contention that 90% of the guns obtained by Mexican cartels originated in border gun shops. Or perhaps, more ominously, to spook the American public about gun violence in order to press the administration’s attack on Second Amendment rights.

Whatever the real motive behind the operation, the damage done, the government went into full cover-up mode. Testimony by ATF officials to the Oversight Committee was “withdrawn” as the evidence provided by, or with the help of, notable whistleblowers like career ATF agent Jay Dobbyns undermined the government’s defense. Attorney General Eric Holder claimed ignorance of the operation until fairly late in the day (also having to change his original testimony), until a series of emails came to light that proved he had been briefed on the program (he would claim that he hadn’t read the emails). Whistleblowers were shamelessly hounded, in open defiance of Rep. Issa’s demands that they be let alone. To this day, Holder has refused to release thousands of documents demanded by Issa. Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano is implicated by Pavlich, and there are indications that Obama, himself, knows more than he’s admitting (Holder and Napolitano paid the White House a joint visit almost immediately after Brian Terry’s death; in the log that reports visitors, the space for describing the purpose of the meeting was left blank).

Pavlich records the sordid tale in a direct, straightforward prose style that enables the reader to closely follow the story as it unfolds, and to understand the actions of the major players in the operation. Among the many interesting things included in this book are citations from Eric Holder's maddeningly obfuscatory testimony - relieved by some very elegant smack-downs by Rep. Issa. For example:
Holder: We will certainly cooperate with the investigation but I take great exception to what you just said, the notion that somehow or other this Justice Department is responsible for those deaths that you mentioned, that assertion is offensive...

Issa: What if it's accurate, Mr. Attorney General?
Katie Pavlich has superbly summarized the Fast and Furious scandal, and her book is the best guide we currently have to the web of treachery and deceit practiced by the most corrupt administration in recent memory in the blind and bloody pursuit of an ideological position at odds with the Constitution. A must read.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Not exactly Ned Kelly

Australia's Buxom Bandit: what you might call a "boob job".
The so-called “Buxom Bandit“, a busty woman intent on scoring some extra cash, struck a gas station in Australia yesterday with her assets on full display.

The woman may have made off with some dough, but she didn’t do much to quell the stereotype that women with superior mammary glands are ditzy. Not only did she not bother to conceal her face–which was totally captured on camera–she wore a glove on the hand that held her weapon but grabbed money from the till with bare fingers, meaning she probably left prints everywhere.

Power restored

The power came back on at about 2:30 this afternoon. I think the big hold-up was a large oak tree that toppled over and brought down lines on both sides of one of the main streets in our neighborhood.

Pretty big mess for northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland, but what are ya gonna do with a freak storm that lasts only a half hour, yet packs the wallop of a hurricane in the first ten minutes? All things considered, I think Dominion Resources, with the assistance of some out-of-state crews, did a good job repairing what was categorized as "catastrophic infrastructure damage".

And as I mentioned, once we got organized (thanks to the generalship of Mrs. Paco), everything was jake.

And for those who are curious, Mrs. Paco kicked my ass at gin rummy.

Update: BTW, a big welcome to first-time commenter, Marica.

Happy 4th of July!

May the spirit of liberty that led to the great event we celebrate today continue to animate our words and deeds as we approach that vitally important day of decision in November. Down with the nanarchy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Not so bad when you get used to it

Once Mrs. Paco and I got organized,things became quite manageable. The basement is cool, we have found reliable sources of ice, and have rediscovered the pleasures of Scrabble and gin rummy. The power may be out until Friday, and typing on a smart phone is an extraordinarily tedious job, so posting will continue to be light.

Thanks for your good wishes and the updates on the outside world (which appears to be continuing its headlong rush to perdition).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Paco Command Center down

The storm has knocked out power for a million people in the DC area. 100 degree temperatures to boot. Typing this on a damn smart phone. Power may be out all week. Consider this an open thread. Send ice.