Saturday, October 31, 2009

Find Fury... Or Die!

Grantbridge Street has my favorite comic story of all time, illustrated by John Severin and written by the immortal Stan Lee.

See Grantbridge Street for the rest.

Mission Accomplished! Fannie Mae Loan Delinquency Rate Skyrockets 300% Over 2008

Tyler Durden paints an ugly picture for the U.S. taxpayer, courtesy Barney Frank (D-MA) and Chris Dodd (D-CT).

The [Fannie Mae] "seriously delinquent" rate has gone parabolic, increasing by roughly 5% sequentially and just under 300% YoY [year-over-year]. As mere text will simply not do this metric justice, please enjoy this chart of the dataset from Blytic. It tells you all you need to know about the Fed's containment of the housing problem.

The August seriously delinquent single-family number comprised of a 2.87% non-credit enhanced delinquencies and a very bothersome 11.52%, consisting of credit enhanced loans... The deterioration of FNM's book however did not stop it from increasing the size of its book [loans]. In September Fannie's total book of business hit $3.242 trillion, up from $3.229 trillion in August and $3.079 trillion in the prior year...

...This trend should bother you, dear taxpayer, because it is your money on the hook here, which is not only massively mismanaged by Bernanke & Co., LLC, but which sees another $80 billion of free funding every month courtesy of the dollar printing press to onboard even more toxic garbage onto your balance sheet.

Thank goodness the Stimulus kicked in and, according to the pinpoint-accurate White House, "created or saved 640,329 jobs."

Business Week's Peter Coy observes, "If this is the best a stimulus can do, we're in real trouble."

Remember the end of the movie Animal House, when ROTC frat-boy Kevin Bacon tries to calm the crowd by screaming, "Remain Calm! All is well! All is well..."?

That's the message the P.R. flacks at Goldman Squids are marketing.

So just pile into the stock market, rubes! All is well!

Linked by: InstaPundit. Thanks!

Top Ten Halloween Photos

Culled from: IZI.

Democrats Admit: Our Health Care Bill Is a Cluster****

Just read between the lines of the 2,000-page ObamaCare bill and you'll find two stark admissions. Democrats are convinced that the bill will lead to an unmitigated catastrophe.

Admission 1: After months of proclaiming the "urgent" need for health care reform, PelosiCare doesn't actually kick in for at least three (3) years.

There are two reasons for the delay.

First, it's a tacit acknowledgment that prompt implementation would destroy Obama's reelection chances in 2012.

Second, it's an outright financial scam authored by the Statist Democrats: " The CBO has scored the bill at $1.055 trillion [which] does not take into consideration that fact that the ten-year window contains ten years of revenue and only three to eight years of major payouts –- meaning that the bill will bleed red ink [in subsequent years."

Admission 2: The only Americans not required to join the national health care program are -- wait for it -- members of Congress. Democrats are so certain that their own health would be endangered that they want no part of the disastrous Rube Goldberg contraption they've created.

* * *

"ClusterCare" is a $700 billion tax hike that will bankrupt the country as certainly as night follows day. It is 2,000 pages of pure horror: a perfect read for Halloween, but completely inappropriate for children, who must ultimately pay for this disaster.

Update: Trial lawyers rejoice: ObamaCare punishes states that implement tort reform.

Linked by: Ed Driscoll and Say Anything. Thanks!

SEIU Needs Socialized Medicine To Stoke Its Underfunded Pensions

The SEIU spent $85 million on Barack Obama's campaign. Among its biggest rewards would be millions of medical civil servants (and millions of new, dues-paying members). The WSJ's September 10, 2009 op-ed ("Read the Union Health-Care Label -- Get ready for Detroit-style labor relations in our hospitals"), describes the bill opening "the door to implement forced unionization schemes" by reclassifying in-home health-care (and child-care) contractors as union members.

Why is the SEIU so desperate for socialized medicine? Put simply, union bosses appear to be underfunding their members' pensions, deliberately and systematically, while enriching their own plans. And someone has to make up the shortfall.

And the SEIU appears to be one of the worst at this practice. Aside from being a major supporter of the far left Democrat agenda, it is tied to ACORN, the sleazy crew of community agitators. So the act of skirting ethical, legal and moral roadblocks wouldn't appear to be virgin territory for this lot.

The Rank Hypocrisy of the SEIU

The SEIU argues on its website that 401(K) plans are bad for workers. It claims that defined benefit funds are superior tools to assure workers' pensions. It would seem reasonable that the SEIU, then, would ensure that its 2 million members would benefit from generous, well-funded pensions.

But that is not the case -- at least for rank-and-file union members. ATR reports that:

• In 2006, the average SEIU members' pension plan was only 82% funded with assets of about $19,000 per person.
• Separate funds for employees of the SEIU were 105% funded, with about $85,000 per person.
• And funds covering SEIU officers and employees were 123% funded, holding roughly $80,000 per person.

However, only ten years earlier, in 1996, the SEIU National Industry Pension Fund possessed nearly 110% of the funds it would need for all of its pension obligations.

The Reason for the Disconnect Between Union Bosses and Members

So why are the union bosses' pension plans overfunded at 123% and the rank & file union members plans are near "endangered status" at 82%?

While the union blames market conditions, actual fund performance metrics demonstrate that this is not the case. It appears, instead, that the playing field has been tilted to reward the union bosses and union employees at the expense of the rank-and-file.

The problem exists not only in the SEIU's national plans. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealed that 13 SEIU local pension plans were less than 80% funded. Six were less than 65% funded.

For example, the Massachusetts Service Employees Pension Fund fell from nearly 110% to 70% funded in 10 years; and the SEIU 1199 Upstate Pension Fund fell from 115% to 75% since its inception in 1999.

To regain some semblance of fiscal stability, the SEIU has wagered heavily on forcing other employees to help fund its drying pension reserves. That was the motivation behind the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) ("Card Check"), a major Democrat initiative for 2009, and one on which the SEIU spent tens of millions of its members' money.

Since Card Check is in serious trouble with lawmakers, state-run health care would be a suitable alternative.

• The public option could force hospital and other health care workers into underfunded pensions, putting their retirements at risk
• The average union pension has resources to cover only 62% of what is owed to participants
• Less than one in every 160 union-represented workers is covered by a union pension with required assets
• The PBGC already supports upwards of 30,000 pension plans
• Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), the governmental pension insurer, will assume $86.7 billion in liabilities by 2015
• The PBGC limits the benefits in multi-employer plans to $13,000 a year per retiree, compared with roughly $52,000 for single-employer plans.
• In 2007, the PBGC reported a deficit of $955 million, a $216 million increase from the previous year
• In July, the PBGC agreed to take on $6.2 billion in pension liabilities from bankrupt auto supplier Delphi Corp

Socialed medicine is a Democrat payoff to union bosses, who fear what will happen when the massive pension disparity between workers and bosses becomes widely known.

State-run health care is a boondoggle, pure and simple, and it is designed to reward the SEIU. And it is equally certain that it will crush taxpayers under the weight of unfunded pension liabilities.

Linked by: The Anchoress and Marathon Pundit. Thanks!

Economic Stimulus Q&A

Dave W. sent this one in:

Sometime this year, we taxpayers may again receive an Economic Stimulus payment. This is an exciting program. I'll explain it using the Q and A format:

Q. What is an Economic Stimulus payment?
A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.

Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. Only a smidgen.

Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
A. The plan is for you to use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

Q. But isn't that stimulating the economy of China ?
A. Shut up.

Larwyn's Linx: Do They Need the Public Option?

Have a great link you'd like me to review? Drop me an email. You can also install a Larwyn's Linx blog widget..


Do They Need the Public Option?: Power Line
Blue Dog Dems Surprisingly Silent: Examiner
Not going down without a fight: AT

CBO: 18M Still Uninsured After Spending $1T+: LegalIns
A 1,990-Page Medical Monstrosity : Investors
New York 23: When a Nation Calls: BigGov

Dismantling America: Sowell
What's Hidden in the 1,900 Pages?: Adrienne
White House denies Ayers, Wright visited: AmPower

What Do Women Want? Nobamacare: Kesler
The Bible: 600 pages. PelosiCare: 1,900 pages: Exurban
Grayson's Remarks Drive Voters 'Nuts': Times


No Bundler Left Behind: Malkin
A gloomy economic outlook for the long term: Examiner
That was fast: Businesses to dump health plans: BlogProf

Culture of corruption: Democrats Maxine Waters, Laura Richardson under investigation: Malkin
GDP Fraud? Consumer Spending Down, Debt WayUp: BlogProf


Liberal Journalists Join Administration’s Attack on Fox News: PJM (Radosh)
Point of Order for Reuters: Snapped Shot
Blogging Alinsky's Rules for Radicals: PJM

NYT’s Zeleny Again Involved in Obama Story Scrub: BizzyBlog
Golfing: 96 hours. Afghanistan strategy sessions: 20 hours: Exurban
"Fox News' Roger Ailes makes Rahm Emanuel look like an Amish Lamaze instructor": Examiner

White House Whines About Edmunds $24,000 Clunker Claim: BizzyBlog
The beginning of Islamic no-go zones in America: Jawa
The Best Writer Since Julius Caesar?: InstaPundit

Climate & Energy

Save the Planet: Kill Cap-and-Trade: Examiner
Al Gore's Halloween Treat: CBullitt
Tesla Roadster Goes the Distance: DailyTech


How to lose a war: run it from Washington: MoneyRunner
Al Qaeda Agents Gets 8 Years in Prison: WLS TV
Israeli Colonel Refutes Damning U.N. Report: Timmerman

Honduran government caves into US pressure, agrees to Zelaya’s restitution: Fausta
Don’t Leave It to the BNP to Stand Up for Britain: PJM


Bing's new mobile site wants to be touched: CNet


Barry Potter Halloween Costume: TNOYF
Congress Repeals Ban on Perpetual Motion Machines: Cube
New Dim Party Symbol: Denny

Cleveland Tourism Commercial: Ace
'Drunk' Ewoks disrupt NBC's 'Today' show: THRfeed

Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson on Wednesday revealed that the Senate bill's excise tax on "Cadillac" plans "targets a lot of Chevy plans as well." The tax follows a formula based on the consumer price index plus 1%. But if medical costs and insurance premiums rise significantly higher than the CPI — a near sure thing — a lot more plans get taxed.

Reminiscent of the Alternative Minimum Tax, a measure to soak the rich will end up drowning Joe Sixpack. -- IBD

Friday, October 30, 2009

The 725 Horsepower Camaro!

You may want to cover the seats in plastic before test-driving this beast.

We've seen the pictures. We've seen the videos. Now we're finally going to see the Hennessey HPE700 Camaro in person when it makes its official debut at SEMA next week. There's a lot to love with Hennessey's halo musclecar, starting with the LS9 V8 from the ZR1 packing 725 horsepower and 741 lb.-ft. torque (up from the initial figures, 705 and 717 respectively).

Those numbers are good for a 0-60 time of just 3.5 seconds, and the trip back to a complete stop takes just 104 feet thanks to 15-inch Brembo brakes. Then there's the subtle Cam-Aero carbon fiber body kit that adds a front splitter, side skirts, rear bumper, and a diffuser, with the look is finished off with a set of Hennessey's three-piece, 20-inch wheels...

I tried to order the 22-inch spinners with dollar-signs, but my credit-card got rejected.

Leaked Document Shows Murtha, Rangel and Dozens of Others Are Under Congressional Investigation

A leaked Congressional document describes ongoing ethics investigations for "dozens" of House lawmakers.

Members of the House Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee had steered targeted appropriations called earmarks to clients of a now-defunct lobbying firm—PMA—and received contributions from the firm and its clients.

The names of defense subcommittee chairman John Murtha, D-Pa., and Democratic members Jim Moran of Virginia and Peter Visclosky of Indiana had previously surfaced in connection with the inquiry.

The document adds the names of Norm Dicks, D-Wash.; Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio; ranking subcommittee Republican C.W. Bill Young of Florida and Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan.

...The Pentagon budget panel had such an allure for Kaptur—who represents a Toledo-anchored Rust Belt district—that in 2005 she gave up her party's top seat on the agriculture subcommittee to claim a rare open seat on Murtha's subcommittee. She would have become one of a dozen Appropriations subcommittee chairmen had she stayed put.

...The most prominent lawmaker under investigation, House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., has been interviewed about his personal finances, the document showed... Earlier this month, the committee announced it authorized nearly 150 subpoenas in the Rangel investigation, interviewed 34 witnesses, produced 2,100 pages of transcripts, reviewed and analyzed more than 12,000 pages of documents and held more than 30 meetings.

The Justice Department often asks the committee to suspend its work when prosecutors are looking at the same allegations. The document said this occurred in the case of Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., whose finances came under scrutiny some three years ago.

Subpoenas were authorized to the Justice Department and National Security Agency for intercepted communications in an inquiry involving Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif...

Aren't you relieved that Nancy Pelosi (D-Marxist) "drained the swamp" and eradicated the "culture of corruption" back in 2006?

The Perfect Guys to Run Health Care: Bernard Madoff Says the SEC Never Even Suspected He Was Running a Ponzi Scheme

Aren't gigantic, politically-influenced bureaucracies great? Your Honor, I would like to enter Exhibit A into evidence:

Madoff: SEC Never Thought It Was a Ponzi Scheme

Bernard Madoff was apparently convinced that it never even occurred to Securities and Exchange Commission staff he was running a Ponzi scheme, despite the agency's numerous probes of his business... Madoff says he had the impression that "it never entered the SEC's mind that it was a Ponzi scheme."

Madoff confided that he didn't bring an attorney with him when he testified in an inquiry by the SEC's enforcement division because he believed he didn't need one — and he was trying to fool the government investigators into thinking he had nothing to hide.

...Kotz's report of his investigation, made public in early September, painstakingly detailed how the agency's investigations of Madoff were bungled, with disputes among inspection staffers over the findings, lack of communication among SEC offices in various cities and repeated failures to act on credible complaints from outsiders forming a sea of red flags...

Oh, this government-run health care is going to be great!

Nude Breast Exam Aired on DC TV News: Must Be Ratings Week

From all appearances, Tim has waaay too much time on his hands; he instantly alerted us to this breaking news story:

DC station airs demo of bare breast self-exams

WASHINGTON – The ABC affiliate here is airing a two-part [Tim: two-part -- get it??] series that takes a close — and unobscured — look at breast self-exams. The series is airing during the fall "sweeps" period critical for a TV station's ad revenue, prompting concern by a parental watchdog group. But WJLA insists it's not just a naked attempt to boost the ratings.

The two segments include clinical demonstrations of self-exams, and the breasts of the two volunteers are not blurred. They were to air during the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts Thursday and Friday.

WJLA officials said the segments are providing an important service because many women don't know how to properly check their breasts...

In the interest of decorum, I won't relay Tim's advice for females in his neighborhood.

Larwyn's Linx: 10 Things Everyone Should Know About ObamaCare

Have a great link you'd like me to review? Drop me an email. You can also install a Larwyn's Linx blog widget..


CBO: 18M Uninsured After Spending $1T+: LegalIns
Critical Condition: HyScience
House ObamaCare Word Cloud: CF

Health bill: 42 studies, 214 mentions of taxes: Times
Charlie Crist's Dirty Tricks Department: Red State
Governor's Race Neck-and-Neck in NJ: PJM (Wertz)

10 Facts Everyone Should Know About ObamaCare: STACLU Malkin
Reid's Bait-and-Switch Tactics: Morris

Cali Public Schools: Homecoming Gang Rape: RSM
Open Season? Two Shot in L.A. Synagogue: PJM (Chesler)
NY-23: Worry-Warts are Worried: RSM


Democrats' Healthcare Scheme Is Pure Insanity: AT (Shiver)
Book Excerpt: Fannie, Freddie's Starring Role: BigGov
Health Care Reform Endgame Emerges: PJM (Baehr)

Big Labor's Healthcare Motivation: BigGov
Death Panels in Health Care Bill!: Breitbart (AP)
Yep, gun sales have fallen off a cliff: BizInsider


Now They're Asking?: JOM
Obama Blasts AP for Reporting on Stimulus Failures: BlogProf
Democrat Journalist Defends Fox News: Surber

NY Times Leads Newspapers in Death Spiral: PJTV
Give a Speech, Get a Prize: JOM
Top 25 Newspapers’ Year-Over-Year Circ Drop Is ‘Largest in Decade’: BizzyBlog

Culture of Corruption: Obama U.S. Attorney nominee clams up: Malkin
About that DNC finalist - the 'Desecrated flag' video: HyScience

Video: Shep Smith apologizes for Fox’s lack of balance: Hot Air

Climate & Energy

The Catastrophic Impact of Cap-and-Trade: Zero Hedge
UN IPCC Scientist Prof.: U.S. Climate Bill Could Ruin Economy; Won't Save Climate Either: Depot


Congress needs to read McChrystal's Report: Examiner
Special Forces for Special Afghan Rescues: Times
Totalitarian Hell: In the U.K, parents banned from watching their children in playgrounds in case they're pedophiles: BlogProf

Guardian Moonbat Calls for 'Cull' of Western Children: STACLU
Aldar to build Ferrari-branded homes: Maktoob


Verizon Droid Targets iPhone: InfoWeek
Facebook awarded $711M in spam lawsuit: CNet


The Very Witching Time of Night: Doc Zero
Different Presidents, A Different Corps: YouTube
Mark of Stupidity: Daily Mail (UK)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Child Slavery

Nothing gets my dander up like someone who hurts a child. Who abuses a child. Who steals from a child.

A few months ago in Greenville, South Carolina, a man approached a mother and daughter selling Girl Scout cookies at the Bi-Lo on West Wade Hampton Boulevard.

He asked to buy a box of lemon cookies. When the mother turned around, he grabbed their cash box -- which contained $300 -- and fled.

The suspect was described as "a white male with dirty blonde hair between the ages of 25-35, approximately 5’8 and 170 pounds, wearing blue jeans, a denim coat and a baseball hat."

The little girl -- a first year Girl Scout -- was heartbroken. The suspect was never identified.

Earlier this year Idaho high school students visited Washington and carried with them a petition. The students -- fearful of massive deficit spending -- called for a balanced budget.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, President Obama's 2009 budget triples the annual deficit: the record setting figure is $1.9 trillion. His claim about cutting the deficit in half in a few years is a fairy tail -- like "slashing prices" by 50 percent the day after you’ve doubled them.

And the administration blatantly fibs, stating that tax increases will not affect 95 percent of taxpayers. New taxes on energy -- under the fraudulent "cap-and-trade" regime -- will force every business in America to raise its prices. Taxpayers will be wounded... directly and indirectly.

The President also appears close to implementing socialized medicine, a failure everywhere it's been tried -- into the Statists' plans. As for the $45 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities represented by Medicare and Medicaid? On that subject, Obama is utterly silent.

Obama and the rest of the Democrats want to tell you how much energy you can use (smart grids that can automatically shut off your air conditioner), whether you can give money to charities and which kinds of toilets you can buy.

Even ignoring his oppressive energy taxes, every dollar of Obama's new debt means that future taxes must be $1 higher in present-value terms. This translates to a discounted present-value legacy of $6.5 trillion of new, future taxes.

The tax burden each family of four can expect? $163,000. Let me repeat that: $163,000 for each and every tax-paying household in America.

Your children... my children... our grandchildren... are all slaves to the Obama budget. Because Barack Obama and his comrades in Congress are ideologues. They could care less about the economy.

They're beholden to ACORN, the SEIU, the ACLU and trial lawyers of every vintage and variety.

As subscribers to a failed ideology, Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the radical Statists are consigning our descendants to slavery. Girl Scouts. Boy Scouts. Toddlers. Infants. The unborn.

Let me be the first to apologize to your kids for not handing off a better future than we had.