Thursday, June 27, 2013

Congress ObamaCare supporters will leave Congress to avoid Obamacare

Congressmen and aides are considering leaving Congress before the end of the year to escape the onerous costs of ObamaCare. These are the Congresspersons who forced ObamaCare on all of us. But now they suddenly discover that it will hurt. Hurt them - that's different. (They just intended to hurt us. Actually they didn't intend to but they built a monstrosity without taking care and time to see what it would do.)

If lawmakers and staff stay until January 1, 2014 they are in the same boat as you and me. Wham! Costs go up 40% to 100%. But if they quit before that they can stay under the plans they are now under. And, being Congress, their insurance is pretty good. So many are considering leaving this year.


Via: HotAir

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Don't care about Snowden. Real concerns about the NSA programs

Ron Fornier at National Journal doesn't care about Eric Snowden. He will get his due. But focusing on him distracts us from the important questions. Are the NSA programs he revealed legal and constitutional?

• Are they effective?

• What else is the government doing to invade our privacy?

The list is much longer at National Journal.

Friday, June 21, 2013

He dared investigate Alger Hiss conviction

Allen Weinstein investigated the Alger Hiss conviction. He expected to agree with the conventional wisdom of the liberal elite - that Hiss was innocent and was railroaded by horrible people - by Joe McCarthy, Whitaker Chambers, J Edgar Hoover and Richard Nixon. But he did not: he found the evidence for Hiss's conviction as conclusive. (Hiss was convicted for perjury, but the charge was really spying, but the statute of limitations had passed for that.)

(I had the chance to ask Hiss's son about his father about ten years ago, but didn't because I had not yet read Witness by Whitake Chambers (I had started it) and I arrived at his book event too late to know for sure what he was saying.)

Weinstein wrote his findings in a 1988 book, Perjury.

Ronald Radosh celebrates a revised edition this year from Hoover Institution. Weekly Standard

McDermott demands terrorism equal by race

Honorable Jim McDermott had better start recruiting terrorists; he wants equal representation by race.

He claims it is racist to just look for those with darker skin. OK. He's blind; there are two, count them, two, light-skinned men on the screen capture of six wanted terrorists shown at Yahoo news.

Honorable Mr. Jim, there are no blacks; find some. There are no Japanese or Chinese. How about putting your face up there?

Yahoo News

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gray whale in South Puget Sound

A young gray whale was in the shallow waters of Burley Lagoon - the end if Carr Inlet, north of Gig Harbor on the west side. Whales come south of Tacoma Narrows every summer, but not very many. We drive along the spit that defines Burley Lagoon all the time. Wish we had seen it.

Jack Broom in Seattle Times

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Obama phones recieved free then sold

James O'Keete sent people to see if phone retailers would give them free Obama phones if they said they were going to sell them. Of course they did.

Daily Mail (UK)

Lifeline phones cost us taxpayers $2.19 billion in 2012. Do the people receiving them need them?

O'Keet's site is Project Veritas.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Goodbye, Barbara Walters

Years ago Barbara Walters was one of the best. But she has made herself a parody in recent years by hosting The View. She shows that she can equivocate with the worst.

Today she defended Bill Maher for saying ex-Gov. Sarah Palin's son Trig is retarded. Even as she talked about her own sister's disabilities.

Her defense of Bill at Newsbusters

… Do I think it was unfortunate that he did it? Yes, I do. Do I, do I think he realized what it was? No, I don't. I mean, I don't think he intended it to be mean-spirited."

Oh, she is so nice. He certainly was mean spirited. She gives acid tongue Bill the benefit of ignoring what he has been saying every week for years. And what he said today. Goodbye, Barbara.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Obama's FBI is not investigating IRS mistreatment

FBI Director Robert Mueller didn't know anything when he was asked by Congress about the investigation of the IRS President Obama promised. Remember? Obama said “Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it,” Obama said in a White House statement on May 15. “I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives.”

And Secretary of Justice Eric Holder promised a thorough investigation.

Thursday in Congress Mueller didn't know anything about the promised investigation. Daily Caller

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan lit into Mueller for his lack of knowledge during a House judiciary committee hearing.

“This is the most important issue in front of the country in the last six weeks, and you don’t know who the lead investigator is?” Jordan asked, sounding shocked.

“At this juncture, no I do not,” Mueller responded.

“Do you know if you’ve talked to any of the victims?” Jordan went on. “Have you talked to any of the groups that were targeted by their government? Have you met with any of the tea party groups since May 14, 2013?”

“I don’t know what the status of the interviews are by the team that’s on it,” Mueller said.

Reached for comment Thursday afternoon, the FBI’s Washington, D.C. press office transferred TheDC to a long-ringing phone line and eventually hung up.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Watch the wildfires on Wundermap

I was wondering about the wild fire I heard was threatening the bridge over the Royal Gorge in Colorado on Tuesday. (When I was ten years old our mother took her four boys by train roundtrip to Iowa from Kennewick, WA. She took a scenic detour on the return = a train from Denver, Colorado to Salt Lake City, Utah that followed the Arkansas River along the bottom of the Royal Gorge. The train stopped and we all got out and looked almost 1,000 feet up at the highest bridge in the world above. A local scenic train now makes the trip.)

I discovered that I can see the location and extent of a wild fire in the US in real time at Wundermap. In the upper right click on "Layers" then click "Active Fires." Then there will be a flame icon in the upper right of the map. Click it and you will see a drop-down menu of current fires. The huge fire today near Colorado Springs is called "Black Forest."


The graphic: Screen capture of Wundermap showing the "Black Forest" fire just NE of Colorado Springs the morning of June 13. It cuts off Layers and the selection of "Fires," but it shows the flame control icon at upper right. The small flame icons in and around the orange overlay are fire spots detected by satellite! Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Father's Day taken over by politics

Barred from law practice, former President Bill Clinton was named father of the year by National Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council. He joins disgraced former Democrat VP nominee John Edwards.

Clinton was barred from practicing law because he committed perjury in court. His statement in court was over his violating his marriage by having sex with Monica Lewinski.

Don't spend money on me for father's day.

WAshington Free Beacon

Inslee leadership - shut the government

Governor Jay Inslee is leading on the Washington budget. He is preparing to close the government on July 1.

He has had since the first week of January to help the Legislature sort out priorities and work together to fund what is important and find the dross to cut. But he didn't succeed.

Voters have voted over and over to make it hard to raise taxes. They are saying "don't raise taxes." And the Supreme Court said we have to raise funding for k-12, no, pre-12, education.

But the Democrats are trying every what they can to raise taxes. Why can't Inslee and the House work with the Senates? I mean, why won't they?

Seattle Times

Obamacare is working as intended

Rates are up in Maryland and way up in Ohio and Rhode Island. California claimed rates would not rise, but they were comparing today's individual rates to Obamacare group rates - apples to oranges.

But this is expected. First, insurance is required to cover more. Copays and deductibles are limited. No life-time limited. Preexisting conditions must be covered. And the young who don't see a need for insurance are forced to buy it to subsidize the expensive old. The architects of Obamacare knew rates would rise.

And if that weren't enough Obamacare adds new taxes. See below. Increases in insurance premiums were intended. It is working.


But ObamaCare also adds various taxes and fees that everyone knows will raise premium costs. Among other things, it imposes a $100 billion tax on health insurance providers that will simply get passed on to individuals and small businesses in the form of higher premiums.

Then there's the 3.5% fee the government plans to impose on insurers selling in federally run exchanges and the $20 billion hit to medical device makers that will end up coming out of consumers' pockets.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Top FDR aid Hopkins was spy for Stalin

"President Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s most powerful assistant was a “conscious Soviet agent,” according to a new book that details how Harry Hopkins and others in FDR’s administration revealed U.S. secrets — and influenced American policy — to help Josef Stalin‘s Communist dictatorship."

Huh? They didn't teach us that at West Seattle High School. Viral Read

Hopkins went so far as to alert Soviet officials about FBI surveillance that had discovered a Communist agent’s role in what proved to be the U.S.S.R.’s plan to steal atom-bomb secrets from the Manhattan Project, author Diana West explains in her new book, American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character.


“If Harry Hopkins, the top aide to President Roosevelt, was indeed a conscious agent … what does this say about Roosevelt?” West said Tuesday, describing the “implications” of Hopkins’s role in shaping FDR’s domestic and foreign policy agenda. “History as we know it completely unravels.”

The US declassified its "Verona" message archive in the 1990s. It contains secret Soviet cables that, like this, allow making eye-opening connections.

Also see Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government, by M Stanton Evans and former U.S. counter-intelligence expert Herbert Romerstein.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Remembering D Day

Today we remember those who risked their lives and those who died in the invasion of occupied France on June 6, 1944 - D Day.

Daily Mail UK has an excellent set of photos, including some current shots and a couple from movies..

The photo: Omaha Beach after it was secured. Source: Daily Mail UK.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The bridge slider

Bridge slider? Huh…? Yes. He slides bridges and we might see he technique used on the replacement for the failed bridge on I-5 in Mt Vernon, Washington.

Murray Johnson has a novel technique for replacing bridges. To replace an old bridge with a new one in the exact same location requires closing the crossing for months to years. Sometimes you can put the new bridge in a new location and keep the old one in service to minimize the disruption. But you usually prefer the existing location. Murray puts the new replacement bridge in the same location with a minimal disruption of like ten days or less. He builds the new bridge next to the old one, then demolishes the old one, then slides the new one in place.

"Extreme bridge engineering" - it is his term, not mine!

Wall Street Journal

Sen. Dodd and Barney Frank make it harder for poor to get health care

But… but their intentions were good. Sen. Dick Durbin wanted to help all of us, so he put on limit on bank fees for using ATMs and debit purchases (and it's popular) in the massive Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. But… he didn't intend to… but in so doing he made it harder for the lower income people to get Obamacare.

Megan McArdle discovered it. Daily Beast

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Good trade news - Pacific Alliance

Pacific Alliance - Pacific Rim countries in North and South America are bringing down trade barriers and working together. They don't need a grand alliance showcasing the most powerful politicians on the planet. The staple is bilateral agreements, that is, agreements of two countries. And by bilateral agreements not requiring visas for travel between the countries - Visa Alianza del Pacífico.

Fausta's Blog

My favorite webcams

My favorite webcams: The Space Needle in Seattle

- Seattle Times

Mt Vernon, WA, Skagit bridge repair and detours. The temporary repair reopened about June 20.



Mt. St. Helens from Johnston Rige - This generates a warning message. Select either standard or high-def, then you see a larger window.

- US Forest Service

St. Mary, Glacier National Park


Yellowstone live video at Old Faithful Upper Basin. The camera direction changes, because there is a lot to see in this small area.


Hawaii Volcanos NP - maintenance now


Grand Canyon, Arizona


Big Sky Fishing's maintained directory of Montana web cams (and a few others)


Greenland - Icebergs in fjord at Hotel Arctic
- Hotel Arctic Via Watts Up With That "Good news from Greenland."


Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Villa Peñasco - Looking down along the beach on Pacific Ocean. Playa Grande resort is the prominent orange complex of buildings. Slow-fram video.

Villa Bellissima - Another view with Pacific beach on the right, Land's End is the last rock.

Thailand - Time zone difference makes these interesting when most of the others go dark.

Chaweng Beach on Ko Samui Island - Poppies Hotel (but very small image)

Cho Phraya River in Bangkok - Live

This is for my own daily convenience. Updated 7/17/13.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Nebraska pre-schooler's name banned by public school

Wisdom of school administrators is nearing absolute zero in Grand Island, Nebraska. They have banned a three-year-old's signed name. Banned his name!? Yes. Because of their absolute ban on firearms. His name? He signs it with pointing fore finger and you can't get that past these - there must be a word - fools.

1011 in Nebraska

Hunter Spanjer says his name with a certain special hand gesture, but at just three and a half years old, he may have to change it.

"He's deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy," explained Hunter's father, Brian Spanjer.

Grand Island's "Weapons in Schools" Board Policy 8470 forbids "any instrument...that looks like a weapon," But a three year-old's hands?

"Anybody that I have talked to thinks this is absolutely ridiculous. This is not threatening in any way," said Hunter's grandmother Janet Logue.

"It's a symbol. It's an actual sign, a registered sign, through S.E.E.," Brian Spanjer said.

S.E.E. stands for Signing Exact English, Hunter's sign language. Hunter's name gesture is modified with crossed-fingers to show it is uniquely his own.

"We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child," said Jack Sheard, Grand Island Public Schools spokesperson.

No. The solution is to fire Jack Sheard and everyone above him in the administration of the public schools in Grand Island. Fools.

Resignations for Florida ballot fraud

A Democrat Florida Congressman fired his chief of staff and other staff members after his chief of staff was accused of being in charge of submitting thousands of fraudulent absentee ballot applications. Congressman Joe Garcia of Miami fired Jeffrey Garcia (no relation). Jeffrey Garcia also worked on the defeat of Congressman Allan West. West lost by less than 2,000 votes and said there was vote fraud.

Miami Herald

Hot Air

The defense will include "but these requests were flagged and not accepted." But how many others got through?

And why did you submit fraudulent ballot applications?

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Words to avoid so US government won't spy on you

'Pork,' 'cloud,' 'team' and 'Mexico' !? Don't us these or you might be followed by Obama's agents.

DailyMail (UK)

Released under a freedom of information request, the information sheds new light on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet searching for domestic and external threats.

The words are included in the department's 2011 'Analyst's Desktop Binder' used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify 'media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities'.

Department chiefs were forced to release the manual following a House hearing over documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit which revealed how analysts monitor social networks and media organisations for comments that 'reflect adversely' on the government.

However they insisted the practice was aimed not at policing the internet for disparaging remarks about the government and signs of general dissent, but to provide awareness of any potential threats.

But we have seen that they consider Americans talking about their government to be a threat.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Obama Friday info dump

Obama's people release this on Friday, knowing that little attention will be paid.

The IRS is spinning about frivolous expenses at a (needed?) conference.

The Hill - including dance video. This is your government.