Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The First Time


Remember Your 'First Time'?

Well, this is my first time...

With video.

Please accept my apologies in advance.  For it is Halloween after all; and sometimes scary things come out at night. 

This would be one of those nights...




By way of contrast, here is what the 'First Time' is like for a woman...  With President Obama.  Grr-owlllll!



So there you have it:  Young Lena 'losing it to President Obama' for the first time.  Something which is given so freely is typically not worth too much.

But hey, that's just me. 

I must include one more video clip here as it's from one of my favorite guys (hey, knock THAT off), Steven Crowder.  He made a spoof of Lena's clip above, I haven't watched it yet, but I will.  Hey, why don't you bust open some of that nutritious Halloween Candy you have sitting in that bowl by the front door and watch it with me?

We could like, you know, hang out! 

Oh, that's not weird is it?

It'll be like our 'First Time'! 

[Note to self:  NEVER do this again because you only have one 'First Time'.]



Hey, why is he wearing 'girl clothes'?

Why am I, like, you know, uncomfortable all of a sudden?

Maybe I should post something from ESPN?  That's manly, right???

Nah, go ahead, it's okay. 

I know because I just cheated on you (for the 'First Time') and watched it all by myself.  How does THAT make you feel? 

If you like to be cheated on, by all means vote for Obama again - because he's not done sticking it to you yet. 

Hard to remember how many times he's already cheated on you now - he's such a bad boy.

Some days it's just plain hard to walk. 

But hey, that's just me.

Happy Halloween.

The Free Lunch


Once upon a time, long before I got 'all political and crazy' I wrote stories for the joy they brought me (and a few other folks who followed my blog).  I wrote the following entry three years ago as part of a series of five "Scary Stories" just prior to Halloween, 2009. 

Sometimes you need to let your skeletons out of the closet and 'let them run around a bit' before shutting them fast behind the door once more.

And sometimes, well, you might just want to change the locks on that particular closet...

Hold my hand, one's rattling through the door now. 

Don't let go.  It's going to get weird.




  

The summer day began as was the norm; the sun rose, a morning haze hung low above the buildings, and the sun illuminated every inch of the city street in front of the Comfort Inn. Stu saw a line of people moving slowly past the entrance of his hotel as he made his way from the lobby and out into the brilliance of the morning cityscape.

He had arrived late yesterday evening for this morning's job interview. Since it was scheduled for 9:30 he was running ahead of schedule. As an added bonus -- he was happy to see that downtown traffic looked pretty light. With fewer than three blocks to travel to the appointment, he'd be there in plenty of time to make the meeting, and, he hoped, to make a good first impression.

Stu paused as he stepped out onto the sidewalk and looked from his left to his right. The line of people continued to make their way down the block where they rounded the corner at the end of the building. The people walking slowly past him ranged from the decently-dressed, to people dressed rather shabbily and who were most likely homeless.

He had first seen them when the wake-up call stirred him from sleep at 7:00am this morning. No one had been outside the building when he arrived last night. Not wanting to be late for his interview he cut his way through the line, asking to be excused several times as he made his way out towards the street through the throng of people. No time to wonder about this now, he had an appointment to keep and he didn't want to miss it.

Two hours later Stu returned to the hotel. The morning's interview had gone very well. So well, in fact, that they requested that he come back at 3:00pm for a second interview. He had just enough time to grab a bite to eat for lunch, call his parents to tell them the good news, and review the materials that his prospective employers gave him this morning in preparation for the afternoon's follow-up appointment.

He called his folks, began to scan the documents he was given to review at the meeting, and realized that he was starving. But what, and where, to eat?

Stu made his way back to the lobby of the hotel and asked the guy behind the counter if there was an inexpensive restaurant or diner which he could recommend. In response the desk clerk told him "Well, in this part of town there isn't much in the way of 'inexpensive' restaurants. Here you have three options: First, you have really expensive, second, you have sort of expensive, and the third and final option, you have free."

Stu looked back at the guy wondering if had heard this last part correctly. "Did you say that there is free food available downtown? Seriously?"

The desk clerk gave him a half-hearted smile and said "Yeah, that's what I hear. A group moved into an old factory down the block and started giving food away almost two weeks ago. I don't know if it's any good or not, but as you can see, people are lining up for it on a daily basis." He then gestured to the line still visible through the glass revolving door of the front entrance. "That's where you line up."

"Is the food any GOOD" Stu asked. "You know, being FREE and all?"

"I don't know, but that line's been out there every day and it never seems to get any smaller" the desk clerk answered.

"It must be the economy" Stu told the guy.

"Yeah, it must be. Like I said, I don't know if the food is any good, but I know that the price is right" said the clerk.

Stu looked at his watch and then at the line. "Do you think I could get in and out of there in the next ninety minutes? I've got a job interview in a couple of hours and I don't want to be late."

"Hmm, I guess. The line moves pretty regularly and the factory isn't too far down around the corner, I'm guessing that you'd be okay. If not, you could always bail on the line and hit one of the trendier walk-ups out there off Main Street. You should be fine" said the clerk.

"Great, thanks for the heads-up, I'll go check it out. Hey, would you like me to bring your something back" Stu asked.

"No thanks. I've had a couple of folks check-out of the hotel and offer to bring food back to me, but they never did. I think that maybe you have to physically go there to get the food. You know, they probably won't let you take it out. Don't worry about me, I've got a bag lunch that I'll bust open around two o'clock" the clerk said.

"Okay, thanks for the tip" Stu said as he turned to leave.

"No sweat. Hey, and good luck with that interview later today!" the clerk called after him.

Stu waved back at the guy as he made his way through revolving glass doors in the front of the building as he re-entered the sunny street. Without a second thought he joined the line which was visibly shorter than it had been earlier in the day. He stood, he walked, he waited, and then he walked again. This pattern continued for about forty minutes.

Five minutes later Stu stood in front of the restaurant. It wasn't much to look at but heck, the price was right. The single door at the front of the building was marked ENTRANCE. Above it was a large multi-colored sign. 


It reads:
blog post photo

Below this sign was a smaller one in plain block lettering: 

"Please organize into groups of 10 or less. Dining compartments have a maximum capacity of 10 persons. Groups larger than this cannot be processed."

Stu and eight others standing by arrived at the door ninety minutes before Stu needed to be at his second interview. His group consisted of a woman and her three kids, two young girls (high school age) who didn't appear to know each other, and two guys who looked like they were hiking across country. 


This latter impression was cemented in Stu's mind as they were both carrying backpacks and had well-worn hiking boots which sported unusually fluorescent yellow leather laces. They stood huddled together anxiously awaiting their Free Lunch.

Everything was going to be okay. He'd be able to eat a meal, have time to re-review the information he received this morning, and he'll be able to get back to the appointment on time, maybe even a few minutes early! The day was shifting from a just 'Good One' into an 'Excellent One'. He'd get the job, he knew it! It was all coming together for him now.

Stu felt relieved when the door opened in front of him and a well-dressed woman wearing a PETA pin stepped into the sunshine and allowed the nine of them to enter into the darker-than-expected entrance area.

"Hello, and welcome! If you've never been here before, I just want to let you know that, we have three primary dining areas here in the building. The first is our Vegetarian Room. We have a menu of Vegan delights hand-crafted by chefs from around the world. This is my FAVORITE dining hall. It's just here behind this door" the woman then pushed open the door marked VEGAN and it swung into a bright room revealing with many diners crunching produce, LOTS of produce. The room was clean and surprisingly airy given the initial impression from the reception area which they were currently standing in.

"The other two dining halls in the building are for you meat-lovers. That elevator over there will take you down a floor where high-fat, cholesterol-busting meals can be found. You can experience the wonder of 'meat', first hand. There are two halls for you to choose from there, one for 'Chicken', and the other one, 'Beef'. You'll get to both halls via the same elevator. Would anyone like to visit the Vegan room? If so, you'll need to enter through here" the thin woman said.

"I'd like to have a Vegan meal!" said one of the young girls from the rear of the group.

"Me too" said Stu. He wasn't a huge fan of 'veggies' but thought that the Vegan meal service would be faster than waiting for a beef or chicken meal from the other dining areas.

"Any one else?" the woman asked. "This is your last chance..."

"Very well then, you two come with me, you, let's see, there are one, two, three, four, five, six, ah, seven of you. You people stand over there and wait for the elevator door to open. When it does, please step in briskly as we have many more to serve today." the woman pointed over to the elevator with an unusually bony finger. "Remember, when the doors open, step in briskly!"

The woman put her thin arms around Stu and the girl and led them into the Vegan dining hall. The door behind them swung shut silently as a sound of a distant 'ding' was heard, presumably from the arriving elevator. Seconds later, Stu heard another sound. It sounded like a scream cut off mid-shriek. How could that be? Most likely it was just a wheel on a food cart squeaking as the waiters bussed fresh produce from table to table. Who'd be screaming in a nice place like this?

Stu was right, the day was an 'Excellent Day'. He returned to the job interview (early), got the job AND received a sizable pay raise over his salary. It was in fact, Stu's best-day-ever! It was also Stu's best-decision-ever to go for the Vegan Hall that day...

On the opposite side of the old factory there is a line of people waiting with dogs (lots of dogs). On the other side of the factory there is a sign which sports a single added word. It hangs over the main entrance to the building. It reads "Free Food". The word added to the sign was 'Dog'. It read, in its entirety, "Free Dog Food" (the fries on this sign are replaced by a dog bowl full of what looks like beef stew)

Pet owners from all over the area showed up daily to get a unique dog food product which everyone assumes is made on premise. It is a 'Dog Stew' with lots of meat and an abundance of fresh veggies. It smells pretty good too.

[Later that day]

Marcie grabs her gallon container of 'Dog Stew' and ladles out an equal helping between her two Cocker Spaniels' bowls. She ladles out a bit more to even out the distribution when she sees something that looks like spaghetti in the container. She lifts it out with a fork and realizes that it is too thick to be spaghetti.

She takes it to the sink, rinses it off and realizes that it is a thin strip of yellow leather approximately the diameter of a boot lace. It appears that the end of the six inch segment is shredded as if it has been ripped apart savagely. "Huh, that's odd" she thinks as she grabs a scissor and cuts the lace in two. She tosses one half into Beauty's bowl and the other into Beast's.

"Well" she says out loud to her pets, "you guys eat rawhide all the time, so why shouldn't you both share in this nice chew bit of leather 'jerky' with your meal tonight? And who says there's no such thing as a free lunch!?! Dig in kids!"


Monday, October 29, 2012

Sing the Little Children

Image Courtesy of The DC

Last week I wrote a post which used Senator Obama's own words to draw a contrast between 'then' Junior Senator Obama - 2008 to the latest iteration of the (Fundamentally Transformed) 'President' Obama - 2012. 

My favorite two lines from Senator Obama's quotes (directed to John McCain) follow here:

"If you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters.

If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things."

Yes, President Obama.  You have no fresh (untried) ideas.  Everything you've tried has gotten you the same results as when they've been tried in the past.  (a.k.a.:  Welcome Back Carter) 

You paint your opponent as someone people should run from. 

You make a big (huge?) election about small things. 

Sometimes, even, small, young, and impressionable 'things'.

Like these...

Click the video link below to listen to the youth of America raise their voices to
support President Obama (and disrespect their 'know-nothing' parents!)



In case you missed any of these pithy lyrics, here they are, just for you, in their entirety (keep a trash can next to you, just in case you feel the need to 'purge' following the reading of the text which follows):


Imagine an America
Where strip mines are fun and free
Where gays can be fixed
And sick people just die
And oil fills the sea
 

We don’t have to pay for freeways!
Our schools are good enough
Give us endless wars
On foreign shores
And lots of Chinese stuff
 

We’re the children of the future
American through and through
But something happened to our country
And we’re kinda blaming you
 

We haven’t killed all the polar bears
But it’s not for lack of trying
Big Bird is sacked
The Earth is cracked
And the atmosphere is frying
 

Congress went home early
They did their best we know
You can’t cut spending
With elections pending
Unless it’s welfare dough
 

We’re the children of the future
American through and through
But something happened to our country
And we’re kinda blaming you
 

Find a park that is still open
And take a breath of poison air
They foreclosed your place
To build a weapon in space
But you can write off your au pair
 

It’s a little awkward to tell you
But you left us holding the bag
When we look around
The place is all dumbed down
And the long term’s kind of a drag
 

We’re the children of the future
American through and through
But something happened to our country
And yeah, we’re blaming you
 

You did your best
You failed the test
 

Mom and Dad
We’re blaming you!



I find it interesting that President Obama once again turns to the children to get his message out.  He did it previously of course, but something in the back of my mind tells me that this type of 'indoctrination' was done even longer ago than this recent history stuff...

I also remember something about the President's 2012 slogan, "Forward!"?  (As of today featuring an exclamation mark (!) to illustrate how serious this election is!  Yeah, makes all the difference in the world from a marketing perspective!!!  Please notice the excessive use of "!" to let you know how important the preceding message was!!!)

Ah yes, next, listen to additional sweet and melodious voices of innocents used to promote, um, well, you decide...


 

Yes, it was a simpler time.

Back then, you could tell one's allegiance by the color of their shirt. 

Could this be why the 2012 Obama video was filmed in Black / White?

Just wondering...




Sunday, October 21, 2012

What's In a Name?

Photo:  Huffington Post, Saturday, October 20, 2012


"If you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters.

If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things.

And you know what? It's worked before, because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping and settle for what you already know.
 
I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the naysayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me; it's about you.

It's about you.

For 18 long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said, "Enough," to the politics of the past. You understand that, in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same, old politics with the same, old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us, that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.

Change happens -- change happens because the American people demand it, because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments.
...

It is that American spirit, that American promise, that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend. That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night and a promise that you make to yours, a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west, a promise that led workers to picket lines and women to reach for the ballot.

And it is that promise that, 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.
 
The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustrations of so many dreams deferred." 

--- Junior Senator Barack Obama, DNC Acceptance Speech, August 28, 2008

.
Hard to believe that the above words were spoken by Barack Obama a little more than four years ago.  The lofty goals offered, the soaring rhetoric, the man's eyes raised above the crowd to scan for any who may have been overcome with the emotion of the moment, (requiring medical assistance), a quick wave to the EMT's and... 

The 'Hope'.  The 'Change'.  The 'Scam'.

Yes it was just over four years ago.

Twenty-Eight 'dog years'.

And seemingly a 'lifetime' ago for some reading this (I fall into this particular category).

Longer, though perhaps for those people who thought that Barack Obama WAS 'the guy they've been waiting for all their lives'.  They pinned their hopes, their dreams, their very futures on the man from the Land of Lincoln.  He followed Abraham Lincoln's example and 'rode the rails' from Illinois to Washington, DC in February 2009 to stake his claim in the history of America. 

Yes, what a difference four years makes.

Fast-forward from his chilly inauguration to the present day and we find President Obama NOT pointing to HIS accomplishments, but rather, AT his opponent. 

The President's major objections to Romney:  You can't trust THIS guy, he's rich, he's successful, he's managed budgets, he's made payroll, he's got a family who supports and respects him, how can YOU possibly trust HIM?  AND, may I remind you that, he's a MORMON, and I'm a MUS..., oh never mind, no one should bring religion into this as it denigrates the office of President!  Look how far we've come so far, we can't turn BACK now!  Plus, um, I really like that jet!!!

As I type this (waiting for the High School Marching Band to wrap their drill for this evening's competition) I am shocked at how quickly this President has been able to diminish his office.  There are those who may argue, "Well yeah, what about Bush?  You know, he stunk up the place too - right?!?!?"

Yup, I get it.  There were plenty of times when I was NOT a fan of GW Bush.  If you go back to my posts from 2007 and 2008 you will find that I was critical of President Bush.  The difference is that I never believed that President Bush wanted to damage our Nation, either by 'misunderestimation' or by 'design'. 

President Obama on the other hand? 

Well, he's no George W. Bush...

Photo:  AP
The 'Obama Roll' began early in his Presidency with America's first glimpse of the new President's unique method for handling political negotiations...

Politico.com, January 23, 2009:  Obama to GOP, "I Won"
President Obama listened to Republican gripes about his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders Friday morning - but he also left no doubt about who's in charge of these negotiations. "I won," Obama noted matter-of-factly, according to sources familiar with the conversation.

...

But perhaps taking a cue from Obama’s “I won” line when Democrats were asked if they were concerned about Republicans blocking the package, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had a swift one-word answer: “No.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill was on track for passage by February 16, while Republicans continued to voice their opposition.

“We expressed our concerns about some of the spending that’s being proposed in the House bill,” House Minority Leader John Boehner said after meeting with Obama.

“How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives?” Boehner asked. “How does that stimulate the economy?”

Boehner said congressional Republicans are also concerned about the size of the package.

[Moos Note:  Something about Boehner questioning contraceptives and the 'size of the package' strikes me as funny, but that's probably just me...]


But once again, I digress.  The bottom line is that the President who coined (read on the teleprompter is more likely) 'Hope and Change' has devolved to 'NameCalling' as his primary strategy for defending his record.  I must admit, it's an interesting political strategy, last employed by myself and another kid in Third Grade when we had our 'nearly legendary' "Rank Out" contest at recess by the swing set.  To quote the President:  "I won" that particular skirmish.

Then, of course, three other kids beat me mercilessly on the playground to prove that sticks and stones COULD 'break my bones' but words?  Not so much. 

[Note to Mom:  I made this up, nobody every beat your #2 boy at school (sometimes being 'big' is a good thing.  You know, I come from 'Big People'...]

Tomorrow the Nation will see President Obama and Mitt Romney (and the Moderator) 'go at it' one last time.  Whether Bob Schieffer becomes the 'lightning rod' of this debate as Candy Crowley was in the last, well, we'll see. 

Questions I have:
  • Will President Obama reference Romney's "Romnesia" during the debate to Romney's face? 
  • Will the word "Binder" be used in a sentence? 
  • Will a large yellow bird have anything to do with this conversation of National Security issues? 
  • Will contraception be another pivotal National Security issue introduced by the President, or 'Women's Rights', in general? 
  • Conversely, will Romney cite actual facts about international policy and National Security to make the President look inept? 
  • Will Michelle Obama once again break with pre-approved debate guidelines and begin clapping for her husband in the unlikely chance that he puts 8 - 10 coherent words together?
  • Will Candy Crowley show up to say that she was wrong during the last debate for interjecting herself into the Libya conversation?  
  • Will Bob Schieffer end his professional Presidential Moderating career with a bang, a whimper, or a thud?

Will either of these guys change any one's mind about them, or their respective vision of the next Four Years with this last debate? 

As for myself, I don't think so. 

If you don't have an opinion on 'your guy' by now, you probably ought not be dressing yourself in the morning.  The differences between these two guys are pretty distinct.

If you don't see this, please, do us all a favor... Stay home.  For if the 2008 election taught us nothing else, it taught us that the uninformed voter is a Democrat's 'Best' constituent.

Indications are that in 2012, we're in for 'More of the Same'...


Jimmy Kimmel Video Link:  HERE

p.s.:  FREE ADVICE for President Obama - I know it's hard NOT to descend to name-calling your opponent since you have nothing much to run positively on.  But four years ago you gave America 'Hope'...  Why has all that 'Changed'?  Spend your time in the last debate talking about what you have personally DONE to increase our National Security - be positive, be assertive, most importantly, be factually correct!

p.p.s.:  NO this will not help you, but it will keep your answers much shorter than they have been in the past, and between you and me?  I've heard enough.  Since your team is averaging almost 10% more 'talk time' than Romney and Ryan's in the prior three debates, give these guys the mic a bit more, unless of course, you're afraid of what they might say?  But you're not afraid.  Are you?  That's right Mr. President Scaredy-Cat, you're not afraid of nothing, are you???  You've got a (greatly diminished in the past four years') military, don't cha?  And all I've got is this old HP laptop...

p.p.p.s.:  Please note that I have devolved to name calling.

p.p.p.p.s.:  I feel so, so, Presidential!

Friday, October 19, 2012

A123 - Easy as ABC!



This in from the 'Say it isn't So' Department in the MoosRoom:

A123 Systems becomes America's latest EV battery maker to file for bankruptcy
 

A123, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, received a $249.1 million grant from Obama’s economic stimulus package in 2009 to build a factory in Michigan and had used $132 million of that amount, according to the Energy Department.

Under Obama, the government has invested about $5 billion in the U.S. electric car industry through loans to automakers including Fisker and Tesla, grants to companies such as A123, and tax credits of as much as $7,500 for customers who buy plug- in cars.
 
...

Having been riddled with setbacks, including a major recall of faulty batteries supplied to Fisker Automotive, Michigan's favorite EV battery maker A123 Systems has filed for bankruptcy. It has also announced the sale of its main business units to rival Johnson Controls in a deal pegged at $125 million -- a sad fraction of the billion dollars it raised since it launched in 2001 (not least from government grants).
 
It seems that neither fresh lithium ion innovations nor a potential deal with Chinese investors were able to keep the company out of the red, which leaves A123 on the road to nowhere -- right behind that other DoE-sponsored hopeful, Ener1.

[Sigh]

I heard that other 'Green Companies' given money by the Obama Administration had gone 'bust' also. 

What I didn't hear was how MANY 'Busts' we've had in the past several years.

So I wondered, I 'Googled', and I gawked in disbelief... 

All things considered, I should have gone for a walk with the dogs.





October 18, 2012, The Heritage Foundation:  President Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures

So far, 36 companies that have received federal support from taxpayers have either gone bankrupt or are laying off workers and are heading for bankruptcy.

This list includes only those companies that received federal money from the Obama Administration’s Department of Energy. The amount of money indicated does not reflect how much was actually received or spent but how much was offered.

The amount also does not include other state, local, and federal tax credits and subsidies, which push the amount of money these companies have received from taxpayers even higher.
 

The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:

 1.  Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
 2.  SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
 3.  Solyndra ($535 million)*
 4.  Beacon Power ($69 million)*
 5.  AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
 6.  Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
 7.  SunPower ($1.5 billion)
 8.  First Solar ($1.46 billion)
 9.  Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
 10.EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
 11.Amonix ($5.9 million)
 12.National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
 13.Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
 14.Abound Solar ($374 million)*
 15.A123 Systems ($279 million)*
 16.Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
 17.Johnson Controls ($299 million)
 18.Schneider Electric ($86 million)
 19.Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
 20.ECOtality ($126.2 million)
 21.Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
 22.Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
 23.Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
 24.Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
 25.Range Fuels ($80 million)*
 26.Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
 27.Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
 28.LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
 29.UniSolar ($100 million)*
 30.Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
 31.GreenVolts ($500,000)
 32.Vestas ($50 million)
 33.LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
 34.Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
 35.Navistar ($10 million)
 36.Satcon ($3 million)*

*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.
 

The problem begins with the issue of government picking winners and losers in the first place. Venture capitalist firms exist for this very reason, and they choose what to invest in by looking at companies’ business models and deciding if they are worthy.

When the government plays venture capitalist, it tends to reward companies that are connected to the policymakers themselves or because it sounds nice to “invest” in green energy.




Hey!
Looking for easy cash?

Looking for a pre-approved business plan?

Looking for a hand-out?

Well look no further than your Federal Government!!!

It's fun!  It's easy!  Unfortunately, it's a very-limited time offer!

[Free green money giveaways expire November 6, 2012.  No warrantees express or implied.  All funding delivered 'as is' in small, unmarked bills by a guy named "Lloyd" driving a Chevy Volt.  Call in now, operators are standing by!  Republicans need not apply...]

How easy is it?


Easy as A123!

Take us away Michael J.! 

Have a nice weekend folks... 

Let's be careful out there.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

"You Like Slurpee?"


DISCLAIMER:   Today's post is a 'Theme Post'

Why a 'theme post'?  Well, why not? 

Sometimes you write the blog post, sometimes the post writes itself.  For this one, I'm merely a spectator.  It'll go where it wants. 

And it wants to go...  Now.

TODAY'S THEME?



When I was a kid somebody decided it would be a good idea to put a Seven-Eleven right in the middle of my hometown.  My friends and I had never heard of a 7-11 before so being 'kids', we decided to check it out for ourselves.  We stuffed all the loose change we found in our parents' sofa cushions into our pockets, we jumped on our banana bikes, we rode like the Devil was chasing us, and we arrived at the new place 'Upstreet'.  In my town, EVERYTHING was 'Upstreet' - I'm not sure why everything was 'Upstreet', but I know there was no 'Downstreet' (although you could GO 'Down the Street', but this was a distinctly different place to go, but I digress)...   

The 7 - 11 was antiseptically clean, everything was new, and the husband and wife team hired to run it (for 16 hours a day each, apparently) had an accent when they spoke.  We did not know the origin of the accent, nor did we want to ask them where they were 'really' from.  We were kids after all, and we did what kids normally do when given the opportunity to fill in the blanks...  We gave them both personal histories (making them up as the weeks progressed) and we sought to find names fitting their make-believe persona's.

Mr. and Mrs'. accents were 'kind of, sort of' like Colonel Klink's from the 1960's era TV show, "Hogans Heroes".  So we did what any self-respecting kids would do.

We named them 'The Schnitzels'. 

We never said this to their face, of course, but we didn't ask them for their real names, we were kids, they were were adults speaking in broken English.  It was uncomfortable speaking to them because they were NOT from Long Island, and Long Island English was all WE spoke at the time. 

Okay, looking back, I'm not particularly proud of the "Mr. and Mrs. Schnitzel" thing, but we had to call them 'something', and as the only other discussed option was, "The Nazis at the 7 - 11", well, "The Schnitzels" was less offensive, so we went with it. 

In actuality, they were very nice people.  We didn't necessarily 'hang' with them, because as I said, we were just kids and they were both aged probably somewhere between 'old' and 'ancient'.  As I type this, I realize that they were probably a little younger than I am now.  (Time tends to change your perspective on 'time'...)  If Mr. and Mrs. Schnitzel are still alive they must be pushing 90+ years of age today.  I hope they've made it into their ninth decade of life, mostly because I'd like to thank them for that thing they did for me and my friends.

They were our first...   [No, don't get weird, keep reading]

The first time we went into this gleaming new convenience store wonderland, Mrs. S. looked down at me and my two friends and asked, "Boys, you like Slurpee?"

We looked from one to another and then back to the smiling lady wearing the black sweater, jeans, and glasses, "I'm sorry, what did you ask us?" I asked.

She smiled at our confused faces and asked once again, "S-l-u-r-p-e-e.  You boys want Slurpee?"  She said it more slowly, assuming, I guess that we were s-l-o-w???

"I don't know.  What is it?"  My friend Steve asked.  "Is it expensive?"

"No, I give you boys Slurpee - FREE.  Grand open special - you try, see if you like."  Before we could respond in the affirmative (or otherwise) she turned around, grabbed three cups and grasped a lever on a machine that looked something like a miniature decompression chamber.  In the clear round window on the front of the thing we could see some bright red 'stuff' being tossed around by an internal rotator arm.  She pulled the lever down and a fluorescent mixture of 'red ice' came slushing out into the cup.

"This is Cherry Slurpee," she said while placing each cup down on the counter in front of us, "See if you like - no charge, today only".

Turned out that we did like Slurpees.  We didn't care so much for the 'Brain Freeze' that we had while drinking them too quickly that first time, but the 'Slurpees' themselves?  Yes, we liked them just fine. 

My two friends, bikes at the ready for our next adventure, and three bellies full of Slurpees...  For one shining moment in our youth time stood still as we basked in the frigid after-glow of our first Primordial Slurpee experience.



The above memory hit me like a ton of bricks this afternoon as I drove in my car.  No, I didn't pass a 7 - 11 nor did I see a couple of kids laughing as they rode their bikes... I was listening to my radio.  It was a story about the numbers, '7' and '11'.  I decided to look up the rest of the story when I got home from work.

The section which follows is THAT story.

No Slurpee after-glow for me today.  Just that familiar uncomfortable feeling of brain freeze as the news of the day wormed its way into my head and multiplied as I did a bit of reading.


WeeklyStandard.com, October 18, 2012: 
The 7-Eleven Presidency
In the wake of the Treasury Department’s newly released summary of federal spending for 2012, it’s now possible to detail just how profligate the Obama years have been.  Here’s the upshot:  Under Obama, for every $7 we’ve had, we’ve spent nearly $11 (or, to be more exact, $10.95).  That’s like a family that makes $70,000 a year — and is already knee-deep in debt — blowing nearly $110,000 a year.

...

Let’s take a look at the scorecard, based on official government figures.  In fiscal year 2012 (which ended on September 30), the federal government acquired $2.449 trillion in tax revenue and other receipts.  It spent $3.538 trillion — 44 percent more than it had available to spend.  The resulting deficit was $1.089 trillion.
 

In fiscal year 2011 (see table S-1), the federal government acquired $2.303 trillion in tax revenues and other receipts.  It spent $3.603 trillion — 56 percent more than it had available to spend.  The resulting deficit was $1.3 trillion.

...

With one fiscal year of this 7-Eleven presidency still to come (regardless of the outcome on Election Day, fiscal year 2013 will belong to Obama) — and with the specter of Obamacare looming — our national debt is now over $16 trillion.  That’s more than $6 trillion higher than it was during the first presidential debate of 2008, when Obama bemoaned what he called the “orgy of spending and enormous deficits” under Bush.
 

Yet Obama — who recently showed that he apparently has no idea how big our national debt is — amazingly says of that debt, “[W]e don’t have to worry about it short-term.”  In other words, if you have $7, spend $11 — let future generations of Americans worry about it.

'Brain Freeze Nation'


This is our Nation's collective 'Brain Freeze' moment.  The moment in which we decide whether as a Nation we pay for each Slurpee delivered, or give them all away, hoping that the nice lady in the sweater has really deep pockets (and a wildly giddy sense of humor).

We need to decide to either extend the...  "Failed policies of the past" (a.k.a.:  the past four years) or to cut our loses and try something else for a while. 

I know that the President prefers that we keep giving the Slurpees away, but how many times can you get brain freeze before you begin to get permanent 'brain damage'? 

Sure, I know it's easier for the President of the United States to spend time talking about Big Bird, Mammograms with Planned Parenthood (turns out that they don't actually DO them, but why toss facts into a Presidential Campaign NOW?), and the number of Women Mitt Romney keeps in his "Binders", but aren't there larger issues to contend with than THESE?

Hey, the other night during the debate, didn't someone ask something about Libya???

I just tripped across a partial transcript of President Obama's session with Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" from today, perhaps he will discuss a few serious issues (like Libya and our assassinated citizens) with the host, and audience? 

Maybe he'll tell the truth - this time?



"The Daily Show" Excerpt, October 18, 2012:

Stewart asked: 'Is part of the investigation helping the communication between these divisions? 'Not just what happened in Benghazi, but what happened within.  Because I would say, even you would admit, it was not the optimal response, at least to the American people, as far as all of us being on the same page.'

Obama responded: 'Here's what I’ll say. If four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.'

He continued: 'We’re going to fix it. All of it. And what happens, during the course of a presidency, is that the government is a big operation and any given time something screws up.


Actually President Obama, your Presidency is not 'Optimal' for the Nation.  Perhaps the 'big operation' government is TOO BIG and needs to be whittled back a bit?  Or, perhaps you are not a 'big enough guy' to lead this 'big operation'?

Maybe  you're not ready for Prime Time?  Either this or you had 'a dozen or more too many' Brain Freezes / Slurpees. 

You know what I'm saying, right???


Too many Slurpees = Brain Damage


Monday, October 15, 2012

Rotten Tomatoes... On Tour Now!!!


You know, for a while there, I actually began to believe that politics was a sport for the rich and famous.  I believed that the voices of 'regular folks' were lost in the relentless search for power in Washington, D.C. and that these 'wee small voices' would be drowned out the the power-mad looking to cling to their last vestiges of authority by any means possible.

It is with great relief that I write the following...

I was wrong.

While I am not a supporter of President Obama (you already knew this), I am pleased to report that the 'common man' is alive and well in America.  And this man, a meager gentleman farmer from New Jersey, has expressed an interest in supporting the singular candidate who best represents his interests in Washington, D.C. 

This candidate for the common man, of COURSE, is President Barack Obama.

In the past I 'mistakenly' believed that most of President Obama's financial re-election support came from the very '1 Percenters' so vilified by his Administration.   These would include the:  Hollywood elite, Mainstream Media, wealthy economy crashers (George Soros name springs to mind), and Progressive Liberal Democrats (please do NOT call them Socialists) inside (and outside, as many of them have left in advance of the 'Financial Cliff' of January 2013) of the United States. 

My faith in 'the system' is restored, the sky is blue-er today than yesterday, and birds sing a bit more brightly as they tweet their beautiful music of freedom across our fruited plains.

Then, of course, I rubbed my eyes and re-read the online article staring up at me from my LCD display last evening...

"Step into my Tunnel of Love"

From Boston.com, October 14, 2012:  Springsteen and Clinton to Campaign for Obama

NEW YORK ­— Bruce Springsteen had said he planned to stay out of the 2012 election, but these are worrying times and the race is getting closer. So the Boss will be coming back to rally support for President Obama, his campaign announced Saturday.

Springsteen will join President Clinton at an appearance in Parma, in the swing state of Ohio, on Thursday. An Obama campaign news release said Clinton would ‘‘lay out a clear picture of the economic choice’’ Americans face in this election.

And the Boss? ‘‘His appearance will help with our get-out-the vote effort in these critical swing states, and we are thrilled with his ongoing support,’’ Jim Messina, the president’s campaign manager, said.


Gee, how could I have gotten this story so WRONG the first time I read it?  What made me think that Bruce Springsteen was a gentleman farmer and all-around 'Average Joe'?

[The monitor wavers as this morning's flashback sequence begins...]

March 12, 2012, HumanEvents.com:  Bruce Springsteen: A tax-dodging farmer

Springsteen actively campaigned for Obama in 2008, hosting free concerts that attracted tens of thousands of people in key battleground states. Springsteen’s song, “The Rising,” became a campaign staple for Obama’s speech venues and culminated in him playing for Obama’s Inauguration. And this time around, the White House plans on using the aging rocker’s new politically-motivated track, “We Take Care of Our Own,” to warm up crowds as the re-election bid kicks into high gear.
 

So does The Boss live by the same prescriptions he and Obama wish to inflict on the rest of America?
 

Consider the following.
 

In 2011, perhaps wanting some local free press, Springsteen decided to write a letter to the editor of his town’s newspaper. In response to an article about tax cuts and aid to entitlement programs, the Boss wrote in to praise the piece for being “one of the few that highlights the contradictions between a policy of large tax cuts, on the one hand, and cuts in services to those in the most dire conditions, on the other.”
 

Furthermore, Springsteen wrote, “your article shows that the cuts are eating away at the lower edges of the middle class, not just those already classified as in poverty, and are likely to continue to get worse over the next few years.” Then, with his well-honed “everyman” touch, he signed the letter along with his oh‑so-common-man-sounding town name, “Colts Neck.”
 

A year earlier, the Boss echoed similar concerns while emphasizing his support for Obama’s constant nagging to tax the rich.
 

“The biggest problem we have now is almost 10 percent unemployment, but we also have the disparity of wealth,” Springsteen told London’s Sunday Times. “You can’t have an American civilization with the kind of disparity of wealth we have. It will eat away at the country’s heart and soul and spirit.”
 

Now, all this would be just fine and dandy. But there’s one small problem with Springsteen’s anti-tax-cut posturing: the man is a first-rate tax evader.  [Moos Note:  'avoider' would be a better word - tax evasion is illegal, tax avoidance is not.]
 

Bruce Springsteen pays over $138,000 a year in taxes for his three-acre home in Colts Neck, New Jersey. He owns another 200 adjoining acres. But because he has a part-time farmer come and grow a few tomatoes (organic, of course) and has horses, his tax bill on the remaining 200 acres is just $4,639 bucks. Do the math.  By being a fake farmer, the working-class zero Springsteen is making a mint by robbing New Jersey of the antipoverty program funds he says they desperately need.
 

“I think it is unfair to our other property taxpayers that if you are a fake farmer, and that you don’t legitimately farm, that you are getting a property tax break and forcing your neighbor to pick up your tab,” said state senator Jennifer Beck. “That was not the intent of the law. It’s a violation of the public trust.” When Fox 5 New York reporter Barbara Nevins Taylor asked a lawyer for the trust that owns Springsteen’s land to comment on the Boss’s lucrative fake-farming tax breaks, predictably, the lawyer had no comment.
 

The tax loophole comes from the New Jersey’s Farmland Assessment Act of 1964. Originally the provision was created to help preserve agriculture in New Jersey. To qualify for the tax break, landowners must own at least five acres of land and produce just $500 a year in goods in order to qualify. Anyone who can meet those minimum standards can reduce their farmland tax bills by an astounding 98 percent.
 

Now, no conservative begrudges anyone—not even a die-hard Obama Zombie like Bruce Springsteen—from lowering their tax burden by taking full advantage of every tax break available to them. That’s legal and fine. But for a guy who makes hundreds of millions pretending to be a guardian of the working class, and who vocally supports Obama’s attempts to tax the rich at higher rates, to then turn around and utilize obscure tax loopholes to pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars that would otherwise go to his beloved social programs . . .


Yeah, if 'Farmer' Stringbean wants to diminish the gap between the 'haves' and 'have nots', in America, why not begin with the old adage, 'Charity begins at home'.  In this case, specifically, HIS home of 203 acres.  Taxed at the 'regular tax rate' (as the main three acres are) his tax bill should be $68,000 per acre times 203 acres = $13,804,000 per year.

$13,666,000 in tax breaks afforded by $500 worth of a tomato crop (and 'Pony Rides')?  That's a wicked good return on 'The Boss's' investment.  But once again, it's a return reserved only for the 'Wealthiest Americans' (a.k.a.:  Friends of the President).



"Killer Bees" take health care hostage

Maybe tomorrow we'll discuss 'Bee Farmers for Obama'? 

Yeah, that might be a good idea...  It's been a while since we've discussed them.

Happy Monday, remember to watch tomorrow night's debate.

Bring your own tomatoes.  Bruce's are way too expensive.



Friday, October 12, 2012

The Benghazi Shuffle

Comment courtesy of GracelessLand.wordpress.com

THE BENGHAZI SHUFFLE

You move it to the left
And you go for yourself
You move it to the right
Yeah if it takes all night
.
Now take it kinda slow
With a whole lot of soul
Don't move it too fast
Just make it last
.
You scratch just like a monkey
Yeah you do real cool
You slide it to the limbo
Yeah how low can you go?
.
Now come on baby
Don't fall down on me now
Just move it right here
To the Benghazi shuffle
.
Yeah yeah yeah to the Benghazi shuffle
Yeah yeah yeah to the Benghazi shuffle...


(With apologies to the Rolling Stones as well as the rest of America)

From Dictionary.com:   shuf·fle  [shuhf-uhl]
 


1.  to walk without lifting the feet or with clumsy steps and a shambling gait.
2.  to scrape the feet over the floor in dancing.
3.  to move clumsily (usually followed by into ): to shuffle into one's clothes.
4.  to act underhandedly or evasively with respect to a stated situation (often followed by in, into,  or out of ): to shuffle out of one's responsibilities.


The Benghazi Shuffle

On September 11, 2012, the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya was attacked and four U.S. citizens were murdered by Terrorists.  As I type this post one month later on October 11, 2012, EVERYONE knows this, right?

Well, everyone who 'had an attention span greater than a goldfish' knew that the September 11th attacks meant something other than a mere coincidence of a calendar date... 

The Heritage Foundation has put together a timeline which sums up the past month's 'Shuffle' by the Obama Administration...

Dance with them now:


The following chronological timeline excerpted from Heritage:



September 11: Protesters attack the U.S. Cairo embassy. U.S. Embassy releases statement and tweets sympathizing with Muslim protesters/attackers.


September 11: U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya is attacked, Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans are killed.


September 12: Secretary Clinton and President Obama issue statements condemning both the video and the attacks.


September 12: U.S. intelligence agencies have enough evidence to conclude a terrorist attack was involved.


September 13: Press Secretary Jay Carney condemns video and violence at a news conference.


September 14: Carney denies Administration had “actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.”



September 14: The bodies of slain Americans return to Andrews Air Force Base. President Obama again blames the YouTube video.


September 16: U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appears on Sunday talk shows and says the attacks were provoked by the video, exclusively.


September 16: Libyan President Mohamed Magarief says, “no doubt that this [attack] was preplanned, predetermined.”


September 17: State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland refuses to call attacks an act of terror.


September 19: CNN reports having found Ambassador Stevens’s diary, which indicates concern about security threats in Benghazi.



September 19: Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matthew Olsen tells Congress the attack in Libya was “terrorism.”


September 20: Carney tries to back up Olsen, says it was “self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.”


September 20: Obama refuses to call attack terrorism, citing insufficient information.


September 21: Secretary of State Clinton, at meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister, says, “What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.”


September 25: On ABC’s “The View,” Obama says, “we don’t have all of the information yet so we are still gathering.”


September 25: To the U.N. assembly, Obama blames “A crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.”


September 26: Libya’s Magarief on the “Today” show says, “It was a preplanned act of terrorism directed against American citizens.”


September 26: Published reports show U.S. Intel agencies and the Obama Administration knew within 24 hours that al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist were involved.


September 27: Innocence of Muslims filmmaker Mark Basseley Youseff (aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula) is arrested and denied bail on the charges of “probation violation.”


September 28: Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr., issues a statement backing the Obama Administration’s changing story about the Libyan attack. Says facts are evolving.


October 2: Carney declines to  comment on reported requests from diplomats in Libya for additional security, citing the State Department’s internal investigation.


October 10:  "(State) Department officials were asked about the administration’s initial—and since retracted—explanation linking the violence to protests over an American-made anti-Muslim video circulating on the Internet. One official responded, ‘That was not our conclusion.’ He called it a question for ‘others’ to answer, without specifying.” 


During the Democratic National Convention supporters of the Obama Administration cheered 21 times as it was announced that President Obama "killed Bin Laden".  (And lest we forget, he also saved General Motors, then he gave it to the Unions to be eaten alive...)  


I've had a couple of questions bouncing around in the back of my head since Charlotte's DNC Love Fest: 

  • Did the repetitive narrative during this event (backslapping the President on the 'killing of Bin Laden') contribute to Al Qaeda's desire to 'do something' in response?
  • Did the Obama Administration's laser-like focus on this 'once-virtually-unknown' video cause additional attacks at other embassies around the world by inciting more radical Islamists to commit additional acts of violence?
  • Did the Administration put the filmmaker, actors, and other participants of this video in the public eye to get the heat off the Administration?
  • Did the Obama Administration know that these people would be receiving death threats as a result of their 'outting' by the government and Media?
  • Did you know in 2012 you can be put in jail for making a 'really bad film', even if it only appears on YouTube? 
  • Did the Obama Administration consider the safety of private citizens related to this film, or was the Administration just 'too busy' covering their own 'exposed parts' that they weren't really concerned with other-people's-problems?

This evening I will watch the Vice Presidential debate between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden.  Will the Moderator from ABC News ask about Libya, dead Americans, the cover-up, and the Administration's Benghazi Shuffle?

Will Joe Biden answer the questions many of us want to know which all begin with a single word, "Why"?

"Why did you lie to us?"
"Why wasn't the embassy (or all embassies for that matter) secure on 9/11?"
"Why did you blame a Terrorist attack on a film no one saw?"
"Why haven't you given answers to the families of those left behind?"

Yesterday, on October 10, 2012, CNN's Anderson Cooper spoke with Pat Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, who died in the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack said the following:

Speaking to Anderson Cooper on CNN last night, she told how she cried on Obama's shoulder and how: 'Everyone of them, all the big shots over there told me - they promised me, they promised me that they would tell me what happened.
 

'I told them, please don't give me any baloney that comes through with this political stuff.
 

'I don't want political stuff. You can keep your political, just tell me the truth - what happened.
 

'And I still don't know. In fact, today I just heard something more that he died of smoke inhalation.
 

'I look at TV and I see bloody hand prints on walls, thinking: 'My God, is that my son's? I don't know if he was shot. I don't know - I don't know.
 

'They haven't told me anything. They are still studying it. And the things that they are telling me are just outright lies.'

She said: 'He was my only child. And he was good, he was good at what he did, he'd loved it.
 

'I begged them to tell me what happened.'
 

'I said I want to know all the details, all of the details no matter what it is, and I'll make up my own mind on it.'
 

'No one, not one person has ever, ever gotten back to me other than media people and the gaming people [her son was an avid computer game player].
 

Asked who told her she would be contacted, she replied: 'Obama told me. Hillary promised me. Joe Biden - Joe Biden is a pleasure. He was a real sweetheart.'

Time will tell if Mrs. Smith ever gets the answers she's looking for.  I hope that she does.  I also hope that the facts surrounding her son's death are not as gristly as the results from the ambassador's autopsy. 

Several days after the attack I saw Hillary Clinton on Television discussing photos released online that showed men 'carrying the Ambassador in an effort to seek medical assistance' for him.  Later it was revealed that Ambassador Stevens was already dead in the photos and the ghoulish procession his body took through the streets of Benghazi was a post-mortem victory lap for his assassins.

Here's a question for any of you still reading this:  If this administration will LIE so blatantly to us about issues which we / and they know to be untrue...  What else are they, or HAVE they, been lying about?

The United States has not had an ambassador murdered by Terrorists since 1979 when Jimmy Carter was President.

Welcome back Carter.



  Now go away.