Thursday, April 01, 2010

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


(Image swiped from Culture Catch, at the inspiration of Purple Avenger over at Ace's Place.)

I was outside pulling some weeds and trimming some roses, and instead of being productive and shit, instead I should have been inside glued to the TV with a big bowl of popcorn on my lap.
"...Sen. Coburn demanded that the full text of the 767 page Sanders amendment be read by the Senate clerk...."
....followed by (socialist) Bernie Sanders withdrawing his amendment, which itself is questionable (from the Malkin citation above)....
...How Sanders was able to withdraw his amendment is unclear — under the chamber’s rules it appears that a motion to withdraw would not be in order during the reading of the bill. However, the Senate Parliamentarian — in what a GOP aide called “an incredibly bizarre decision” — ruled Sanders’ request was allowable....*
And now, the SEIU--whom Zero has leaned on heavily--has backed away from his Healthcare Reform (sic).

And Drudge is reporting under the headline "Pelosi: No Health Care Deal this Year".

Those weeds aren't going to pull themselves, but that said, I hope I have enough popcorn.

* For as much fun as I'm having watching this whole thing self-destruct, there are serious issues here.
  • It is clear that Coburn and the Republicans are pulling every trick imaginable to stop this thing. Healthcare Reform (sic) has been at the top of Zero's agenda since the summer, and the more Americans know about the bill, the less they like it. Coburn delivered a shot-across-the-bow with the idea of reading into the record an amendment from a socialist that was never going to pass as a means to test his on-again/off-again threat to have the entire Healthcare Reform (sic) bill read into the record.
  • This, of course, plays right into Zero's promise to govern with "transparency" and his campaign promise to debate healthcare on CSPAN.
  • The Left and the D's have long claimed that the R's are the "Party of 'No'", and this action makes that claim more valid.
  • The R's do risk losing some cred' by slowing the Senate's business to a crawl--even if for a good reason.
  • But the D's lose cred' too by taking action through the Parliamentarian to prevent the Senate and Americans from hearing exactly what is in a bill of this import.
  • I expect the R's to attempt to get some clarification on the Paliamentarian's ruling here, if for no other reason than to preserve their ability to pull this stunt when the entire Healthcare bill comes up. But it is important to remember: Sanders pulled his amendment to stop the reading. The D's certainly will not pull their entire bill if Coburn and the R's insist that it be read. The R's still have a bullet left here.
  • But it's their last bullet, and once it's fired, it cannot be called back. If they do fire it, we should all expect that regardless of which party controls Congress, an insurgent in the Senate can stop the action by simply having everything read into the record.
The lesson here is this: Zero made a fundamental error when he said "I won". He had a chance at true bi-partisanship helping him with his agenda, but with these words, and with the remainder of his actions this year, he has shown no interest in Republican concerns, and the problems he has had all this year show because of this. Sixty seats in the Senate isn't enough. Not nearly enough.

Monday, December 14, 2009

There's just so much wrong here.....


As you see in the sidebar to the right here, I am an airline pilot.

And, maybe you haven't thought of it in the past, but occasionally law enforcement officers travel with their weapons. I'm not going to go into any details here, but there is a procedure for them to do this.

Again, you probably haven't even considered any of this, but when a law enforcement officer travels on my plane, the airline makes sure that I am notified of this. I hope this makes sense (and conversely, I hope that it wouldn't make sense if they didn't.).

Anyhoo, one of the things that sort of bothers me is the number of .gov employees who are armed. Case in point: I once had a guy from the Inspector General's office of the Department of Agriculture. This bothered me on two levels: An IG generally works with internal problems. Why would an IG employee need to be armed? And secondly, what is the Dept. of Ag. going to do with a gun anyway? Are there felony meat-packers out there?

Another case that bothered me was an EPA official. Do they envision a scenario where he'll need to shoot a polluter?

Enough of that, though.....

Courtesy of Doug Ross at Director Blue, I see that the EPA Criminal Investigation Division is in need of 40 new Glock 19s.
NAICS code 332994 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigations Division intends to award a sole source firm-fixed-price Purchase Order to Glock, Inc. under the authority of FAR Part 13, Simplified Acquisition Procedures for 40 Model G-19, 9mm frame handguns with finger grove and rail frames, Tijico night sights, extended magazine catches and 3.5lb/NY1 Trigger magazines. The Glock model G-19 is the Agency standard firearm and is the only pistol that fits our training, certified repair technician contracts, and equipment capabilities without a major change to Agency operations. Our agents are trained with the Glock pistol, and changing to another manufacturer would require transition training for each agent that could range from 1 to 3 days depending on the manufacturer. Additionally, our Agents are outfitted with holsters and magazine clips that are fitted to the Glock model firearm. Furthermore, EPA-CID has a large amount of spare parts for the Glock weapons and to retool these parts would require substantial expenditure for the Government.
I hope that the rest of the EPA (especially their armed officers) are better at their jobs than the contracting officer who requested this order. "Tijico" night sights do not exist. Trijicon night sights, on the other hand, do. Also, I'm wondering if Ms. Lynch knows what a "3.5lb/NY1 Trigger magazine" is. I know what a 3.5lb trigger is. And I know what a NY1 trigger is too. But I don't know what a "3.5lb/NY1 Trigger magazine" is, and I suspect that Ms. Lynch doesn't either. Finally, there are magazines and there are clips. There is a difference, and this contract proposal doesn't seem to know that there is.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

So, anyway.....

I'm not much of a gardener. We generally start out with the best of intentions each spring and plant a full garden. We've got a tree adjacent to our garden which puts too much shade over it, so half the garden generally doesn't grow well. And then the summer starts, and its hot, and it takes effort to keep things alive, and we lose interest. I really need to get my rototiller into the garden soon.

However, one of the biggest reasons that I don't (besides this being low on my list of priorities) is that despite the time of year and the fact that we largely ignore this section of the yard, believe it or not, we still have live plants in the garden.

More surprising is that these plants are still producing!!

There are three bell pepper plants which are at least three years old, and the peppers above came out of the garden today.

Likewise, the Sweet 100's tomato plant planted in the spring is still thriving and producing tomatoes.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Two plus Two....

A while back, I posted a link to the chart seen here. Its a scary chart, but the thing I just noticed is that it is from almost two years ago...January of 2008.

And today, I was referenced to this chart....

...which I saw via the blog, Calculated Risk. As an Arizona resident, I don't take great pride at having 3% of the nation's Option ARM risk, but man....anyone in California is in for another big hit.

As they say, Read The Whole Thing, and read the links. This ain't over. Not by a long shot.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Sarah Para Bellum...

[BTW. For some reason, this image is a bit fuzzy here. Click it for a better view.]

I am mostly a Sarah Palin fan. She was absolutely the salvation of McCain's disastrous campaign last year. The Left hates her with a passion that I cannot remember. Tina Fey's rendition of Palin was cutting, and David Letterman is just a jerk (and he's earned my turning away from him).

That said, I don't quite know how to take Palin. She lives her convictions, but I'm often not quite sure what those convictions are. Last year, she was invited/scheduled to be at the NRA convention here in Phoenix, but then decided not to appear. It appears that her treatment by the media (Couric and Gibson, but others too) has made her very controlling of how she meets them. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but in some way makes her a politician saying nothing just like all the rest of them.

Anyway, I want to like her, and think that at this point, if anyone can get the Tea Party movement to coalesce in one direction, it will be Palin, if she's willing.

h/t: A blog new to me that is a bit snarkier than I try to be, but being snarky is sometimes fun too. Pierre Legrand's Pink Flamingo Bar.