• Pinboard Links

    Flap’s Links and Comments for April 26th on 17:06

    These are my links for April 26th from 17:06 to 18:59:

    • President 2012: Why Rep Paul Ryan Could Enter the Presidential race – It’s not just Bill Kristol, gang. There’s desire at the highest ranks of the Republican Party, according to my reporting and sources, to see House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan seek the 2012 presidential nomination. Here’s why:

      1) Since Democrats are determined to hang Ryan’s bold “Path to Prosperity” budget plan around the neck of every Republican running for office in 2012, why not have its author and best salesman advocate for it directly vs. President Obama?

      2) Ryan — to borrow a favorite Simon Cowell phrase — is “current.” He’s smack in the middle of budgetary and ideological clash between Democrats and Republicans and would immediately energize conservative and Tea Party activists.

      3) Ryan is a strong national defense conservative, as well as pro-life.

      4) Ryan is from a battleground state, Wisconsin, and a battleground region, the upper Great Lakes.

      5) Ryan’s youth, vigor, likability and Jimmy Stewart persona — well, a wonky version of George Bailey — would be an immediate shorthand signal to voters that he’s a different kind of Republican. He also has a compelling life story to tell.

      6) Obama suddenly and unexpectedly to Washington insiders looks beatable — by the right candidate.


      I can easily see a Mitch Daniels/Paul Ryan ticket.

      Or a Mike Huckabee/Paul Ryan ticket

      Or going for broke: Paul Ryan/Rudy Giuliani ticket

    • We Respond to NPR’s Lighthearted Coverage of Koch Death Threats | – I am writing to raise deep concerns about a Morning Edition segment that aired on April 22 and apparently made light of death threats that had been leveled at gentleman in Iowa but that had been intended for our company.
      The item was read by hosts Mary Louise Kelly and Renee Montagne, billed as “our last word in business,” and was clearly framed as an amusing take on the news.  Kelly and Montagne made sport of the fact that a Mr. Dutch Koch shares the same surname as that of our company, even musing that he’s also been “confused with the big soda maker” – Coca-Cola, it seems.  Kelly quipped that “he does not say which cola he prefers” before cutting away to what sounds like bongo drum music.
      But there is nothing even remotely funny about a person’s life being threatened and NPR ought to be ashamed that simple fact of decency has to be pointed out. 


      More Koch Derangement Syndrome from the LEFTY NPR.

      Real funny = NOT

    • Janet Napolitano clarifies immigration program – disappoints sanctuary cities – Napolitano defended the program Monday as vital to immigration enforcement.

      "Where immigration is concerned, the federal government fundamentally sets the policy." She said communities will benefit from the tool.

      "Let's assume we have 11 million people in the country illegally," she said. If Congress can provide enough enforcement funding to remove perhaps 400,000 of them annually, she added, "How are we going to set those priorities? One big priority is who is violating criminal laws."


      The program is a good one and is a start only.

      Immigration is a federal perogative and the Obama Administration needs to do more.

  • Pinboard Links

    Flap’s Links and Comments for April 19th on 15:11

    These are my links for April 19th from 15:11 to 15:57:

    • Pay Attention to Sarah Palin! – In the two years and eight months that Sarah Palin has been a political celebrity, I've never heard a conservative complain about the media ignoring her. Not until last night. That was when Palin's web consigliere Rebecca Mansour loaded up Twitter and started tweeting at official media accounts to ask when they hadn't given more coverage to Palin's Tea Party speech in Madison this past weekend. She tag-teamed with Jim Nolte, the editor of Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood site — that's why @jimnolte is mentioned in the tweets.


      Read it all.

      Well, Sarah's stock has fallen the past few months and Mansour has to justify her existence if Palin does not seek the Presidency.

    • ‘Koch brothers’ confusion results in death threat for Iowa company – A case of mistaken identity has entangled a small family-owned Des Moines company in union protests and led to a death threat.

      Angry callers are mistaking Koch Brothers, a Des Moines office supply firm, with the brothers who own Koch Industries, the global energy conglomerate. Billionaires Charles and David Koch have fought Wisconsin unions, financed the tea party and opposed climate change rules.

      Dutch Koch, president of the Des Moines company, wants everyone to know he’s not one of those Koch brothers, and he’s not politically active.

      “I initially thought it was humorous to be confused with a multibillionaire,” he said, but then a death threat was left on his answering machine. Koch reported the call to the FBI, which he said traced it to a California man.


      Read it all.

      Koch Derangement Syndrome strikes again

  • Pinboard Links

    Flap’s Links and Comments for April 18th on 14:05

    These are my links for April 18th from 14:05 to 14:09:

    • Oregon Democrat David "Tiger Costume" Wu Gets A Primary Challenge – Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) officially has a Democratic challenger, as state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian announced Monday that he will run against the embattled congressman in the 1st District Democratic primary.

      "My name is Brad Avakian and I'm running to be Northwest Oregon's next Congressman," Avakian said in a statement posted on his website. "This race is about two things: what our community needs and how it can be best represented."

      Avakian has reportedly been frequently mentioned as a potential candidate against Wu. The Willamette Week reported earlier this month that Avakian hired Jake Weigler, who managed Sen. Ron Wyden's (D) 2010 reelection campaign, as his political adviser.

      "I love my current job — helping Oregon businesses succeed and protecting the rights of all Oregonians. But these are principles that my district needs an effective representative to pursue in Congress," Avakian added.

      Avakian was elected to the Oregon House in 2002 and to the Oregon Senate in 2006, according to his biography on the state's Bureau of Labor and Industries website. He was first appointed Labor Commissioner in April 2008 to fill a vacancy, and was elected to a full term in November 2008.
      Wu's strange behavior became public when the Oregonian published a report in February outlining his erratic behavior leading up to the 2010 election. Wu's staff confronted him about his behavior and urged him to get medical attention. In one strange episode, Wu emailed his staff in the middle of the night, sending photos of himself in a tiger costume for Halloween.


      And, Oregon will elect a new Congressman in 2012.

    • On Bill Rusher – By John O’Sullivan at National Review – When I came to National Review as editor in 1988, I knew Bill Rusher only slightly. We had met at a conference in South Africa twelve or so years before, and though I had enjoyed his company and conversation, I felt him to be a somewhat distant figure. He seemed a type one then encountered quite often in American conservative circles — the civil but cool and reserved gentleman. To less senior staff figures in NR he was always known respectfully as “Mr. Rusher.” I guessed he would need some knowing before we got onto first-name terms.

      I was quite wrong. He was friendly and helpful from the start; he encouraged me to take risks in changing the magazine in line with my own editorial vision; he smoothed my path socially with dinner invitations and advice on how to handle especially difficult colleagues (names on request). He was relaxed about the reshaping of the magazine he had helped WFB to shape in part because he had already mapped out his own departure from it. But I realized after a time that he also approved of most of what we were doing. About six months after Wick Allison had replaced him as publisher, Bill told a meeting that he thought the magazine was better than it had ever been. I was not so foolish as to take such praise literally, but I did draw two conclusions about Bill from it: first, that he was a very generous man, second that he was far more lively, open, and (in the good sense) progressive in his thinking than his reserved demeanor might deceptively suggest.


      Another excellent Obit for william Rusher, former Publisher of the Natioanl Review.

  • Pinboard Links

    Flap’s Links and Comments for April 18th on 06:22

    These are my links for April 18th from 06:22 to 06:53:

    • Koch Derangement syndrome: Contango Confusion – The basic problem with a site like Think Progress is that its "reporters," ill-informed, uneducated, inexperienced amateurs like Lee Fang, try to write about subjects of which they have no understanding. Worse yet, they slander the very people who do understand those topics–the people who produce products and make our economy go.

      There is another level of irony here. Koch Industries is a classic example of an American company that doesn't just push paper, but actually makes products. Its business is production, not "speculation." Think Progress, on the other hand, is funded by one of the world's most successful speculators: George Soros. Soros has made billions by manipulating markets, without ever producing anything. He is the definitive speculator and market manipulator (in particular, currency markets) of the 20th century. If Soros bothered to read what his minion Lee Fang wrote, he no doubt would burst out in laughter at Fang's ignorance. But that, apparently, doesn't bother Soros. He is happy to promote ignorance as long as it advances his own selfish political interests.


      Read it all as Power Line blog fisks Lee Fang of Think Progress

    • Koch Derangement Syndrome: De-Fanging Think Progress’ Attack Dog – The name Lee Fang is far from a household name. However, from his perch at the Soros-funded think tank Center for American Progress, Fang has the dubious distinction of promulgating questionable Koch Industries political conspiracies perhaps more than any other person.

      Along the way, Fang has made a laughable number of errors in his reporting on Koch. However, he might have outdone himself with his latest piece on the Kochs' supposedly manipulative oil speculation practices. Over at Powerline, they have thoroughly dissected Fang's article and the level of ignorance exposed is breathtaking. I encourage you to read the whole Powerline post as it gets into quite a lot of detail about commodity speculation, but this addendum to the post should give you a general feel for how bad it it is:

      I wrote the book on manipulation (The Law, Economics, and Public Policy of Market Power Manipulation, Kluwer, 1996). I've also published 10 scholarly articles in economics journals and law reviews on the subject. My next book (Structural Models of Commodity Price Dynamics, Cambridge UP, forthcoming) is all about the determinants of contango, backwardation, storage, etc. Based on 25 years of scholarly research and market experience, I can say that Fang the Farcical knows not the first thing about either manipulation or commodities pricing. You would think that Soros could have found a junior assistant trader to teach Fang the basics. But then there wouldn't have been a story, would there?


      Koch DerangementSyndrome indeed

    • Card Check: California Moves To Force Unionization On Workers Via Intimidation & Coercive Tactics – In recent weeks, the California state Senate passed legislation on a party-line vote that would eliminate the secret ballot in union organizing elections for farm workers.  The legislation, SB 104 by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, would allow farm workers to form a collective bargaining union through a majority sign up – essentially instituting “card check” at the state level.  And of course, Big Labor is ecstatic, trying to portray the vote in the state Senate as a victory for workers.  But sometimes the truth just slips out and the real intentions are revealed.  A key strategist for the farm workers union in California was quoted as saying, “this is about power.”


      Read it all

  • Pinboard Links

    Flap’s Links and Comments for April 15th on 19:19

    These are my links for April 15th from 19:19 to 19:30:

    • Left-Wing Non-Disclosure Group (Co-Founded By Barack Obama) Attacking Kochs For Non-Disclosure – There's something else, though. Demos has never disclosed its donors, but one of its co-founders and original trustees was none other than the young Illinois state senator Barack Obama, who as president has been very critical of non-disclosure groups. Obama criticized the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, saying that it will invite a "new stampede of special interest money" into the political system. He also said during last year's election that "secret donors'" money could be flowing into Republican coffers. Recently, some of his own allies have started their own non-disclosure political action committees.


      Not really surprising, now is it?

    • Koch Derangement syndrome: New York Times partially corrects a non-transparent attack dog – On April 4 the New York Times carried an op-ed column by one David Callahan that read much like Soros-sponsored attacks on the Koch brothers that we’ve been seeing for some time. He wrote, in part, “Though some of their organizational ties are public, many are unknown, thanks to a provision in the tax code that allows the Koch brothers and other donors, on both the left and the right, to conceal the recipients of their largess, even as they get to write it off on their taxes.” Callahan is a senior fellow at Demos, a left-wing group that receives funding from George Soros through his Open Society Institute.


      Read it all.

      The hypocrisy on the LEFT is really beyond belief.

    • Three largest online poker sites indicted and shut down by FBI – The founders of the three largest online poker sites were indicted on Friday in what could serve as a death blow to a thriving industry.

      Eleven executives at PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and a number of their affiliates were charged with bank fraud and money laundering in an indictment unsealed in a Manhattan court. Two of the defendants were arrested on Friday morning in Utah and Nevada. Federal agents are searching for the others.

      Prosecutors are seeking to immediately shut down the sites and to eventually send the executives to jail and to recover $3 billion from the companies. By Friday afternoon Full Tilt Poker’s site displayed a message explaining that “this domain name has been seized by the F.B.I. pursuant to an Arrest Warrant.”

      The online gambling industry has taken off over the last decade, drawing an estimated 15 million Americans to bet online.

      In 2006 Congress passed a law curtailing online gambling. Most of the leading sites found ways to work around the law, but prosecutors allege that in doing so they broke the law.

      “These defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits,” Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement.


      Surprised that Holder and Obama actually enforced the law.

  • Pinboard Links

    Flap’s Links and Comments for April 7th on 17:48

    These are my links for April 7th from 17:48 to 17:52:

    • Prosser Vs. Kloppenberg – Wild One in Waukesha, Wisconsin – At a press conference just moments ago, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus explained how “human error” caused nearly 15,000 votes from the city of Brookfield to be excluded from early county tabulations.

      A clearly nervous Nickolaus said that she first discovered that data for Brookfield was missing when she uploaded a database of county votes  to a state system, and noticed that all rows and columns for the city contained zeros. On Wednesday, the county’s bipartisan canvassing board began reviewing those unofficial results — which didn’t contain the Brookfield numbers — with official tape totals from voting machines throughout the county. They found a discrepancy.

      “I discovered that the data that was sent to me from the city of Brookfield was not transferred to the final report that was given to the media on Tuesday night,” Nickolaus said. Heavily red Brookfield, she said, had cast 10,859 for Prosser and 3,456 for Kloppenberg, netting the incumbent over 7,000 votes and a lead that could put him beyond the legal trigger for a mandatory recount.

      Nickolaus assured reporters repeatedly that “This is not a a case of extra votes or extra ballots being found.” The canvassing process is a standard part of election results certification in the state, and its purpose is to catch errors just like this one.


      Wow, what a fortuitious error.

    • House passes funding bill that could get Senate majority – President Obama in the Box – The House of Representatives did its job, passing a funding bill to keep the government open a week and cover the Defense Department for the balance of the FY 2011. A senior Senate source told me flatly, “I am confident all members of the caucus would support House bill.” It is inconceivable to me that a few Democrats wouldn’t go along. But Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid is likely to refuse to bring it to the floor. Why? He won’t say. Well, because the president said he’d veto it. Why? He won’t say. The bill is precisely the “clean bill” he wanted.

      Obama has backed himself, and now Reid, into a corner. Are the Senate Democrats and the White House going to shut down the government for no good reason? Perhaps. What we see here is a transparent and slightly pathetic attempt by the president to take charge. Maybe he should have been paying attention for all of 2011 when the Democratic-controlled Congress didn’t do its job. Maybe he should have gotten into the negotiations sooner. But for now we’ll wait and see.


      The Senate is working on it – so wait and see.

  • Pinboard Links

    Flap’s Links and Comments for March 28th on 14:08

    These are my links for March 28th from 14:08 to 16:10:

    • Harry Reid urges GOP to ditch Tea Party – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday urged Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to ditch members of the Tea Party and cut a deal with Democrats to avert a government shutdown.

      Reid insisted it is those GOP internal divisions that are threatening to shut down the government after April 8, in less than two weeks.

      “For the sake of our economy, it’s time for mainstream Republicans to stand up to the Tea Party and rejoin Democrats at the table to negotiate a responsible solution that cuts spending while protecting jobs," he said.

      Last week Reid put $7.5 billion in discretionary cuts and $3.5 billion in mandatory savings on the table as a counteroffer to the $51 billion in additional cuts the GOP is seeking.

      This week Democrats are mulling raising the offer to $20 billion. But Democratic aides insist it is the divided GOP that must make the next move and come back to the negotiating table, not Democrats who must continue to negotiate with themselves and up their offer.


      Harry Reid is going senile.

      Cut the damn budet, Dingy Harry – end of story

    • Is Media Matters breaking the law in its ‘war’ on Fox News? – Media Matters, the George Soros-backed legion of liberal agit-prop shock troops based in the nation's capital, has declared war on Fox News, and in the process quite possibly stepped across the line of legality.

      David Brock, MM's founder, was quoted Saturday by Politico promising that his organization is mounting "guerrila warfare and sabotage" against Fox News, which he said "is not a news organization. It is the de facto leader of the GOP, and it is long past time that it is treated as such by the media, elected officials and the public.”

      To that end, Brock told Politico that MM will “focus on [News Corp. CEO Rupert] Murdoch and trying to disrupt his commercial interests …" Murdoch is the founder of Fox News and a media titan with newspaper, broadcast, Internet and other media countries around the world.

      There is nothing in the Politico article to suggest that Brock, who was paid just under $300,000 in 2009, according to the group's most recently available tax return, plans to ask the IRS to change his organization's tax status as a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt educational foundation.

      Being a C3 puts MM in the non-profit, non-commercial sector, and it also bars the organzation from participating in partisan political activity. This new, more aggressive stance, however, appears to run directly counter to the government's requirements for maintaining a C3 tax status.

      Since Brock classifies Fox News as the "leader" of the Republican Party, by his own description he is involving his organization in a partisan battle. High-priced K Street lawyers can probably find a federal judge or a sympathetic IRS bureaucrat willing to either look the other way or accept some sort of MM rationale such as that it is merely providing educational information about a partisan group.

      But in the IRS application for 501(C)(3) tax-exempt educational foundation status, Section VIII, Question I asks the applicant: "Do you support or oppose candidates in political campaigns in any way?" (Emphasis added).

      Under Brock's definition of Fox News, it appears he is setting MM on a course of actively opposing all Republican candidates. Brandon Kiser at The Right Sphere blog argues that this new statement of MM's mission means it must change its tax status.


      Read it all.

      I don't think Media Matters is to impressed with the media exposure of their "WAR on Fox News." Probably neither are Rupert Murdoch's numerous law firms that are more than likely preparing lawsuits.

    • The battle to define Charles and David Koch – The LEFT Exposed – When it comes to the suddenly infamous Koch brothers, there’s one thing the conservative Weekly Standard and liberal filmmaker Robert Greenwald can agree on: The Kochs, Charles and David, have been a boon to the American political left.

      “For progressives confused at the heated opposition to their do-gooder agenda, the Kochs became convenient scapegoats,” asserts the Weekly Standard’s Matthew Continetti this week in a long cover story defending the Kochs. Liberals in the media have “ascribed every bad thing under the sun to the brothers and their checkbooks. Pollution, the Tea Party, global warming denial—the Kochs were responsible,” Continetti writes, asserting that in recent months “whenever you turned on MSNBC or clicked on the Huffington Post you’d see the Kochs described in terms more applicable to Lex Luthor and General Zod.”


      Read it all.

      Fancy that: A George Soros funded "War" against the Koch Brothers = some grassroots outrage…. RIGHT

  • Pinboard Links

    Flap’s Links and Comments for March 28th on 09:30

    These are my links for March 28th from 09:30 to 13:45:

  • Pinboard Links

    Flap’s Links and Comments for March 28th on 09:23

    These are my links for March 28th from 09:23 to 09:27:

    • Bioenergy Crop Company Plants Its Flag in India – Super Green Biofuels Inc., which aims to make fuel from the inedible seed of the Jatropha plant, says it is expanding its operation into India.

      Better known as SG Biofuels, the company has amassed a huge library of DNA and genome information about Jatropha, so it can design hybrid seeds to best fit the land, sun and growing patterns of different areas.

      “Our expansion into India marks a significant milestone for the company as we continue to expand our commercialization efforts,” SG Biofuels Chief Executive Officer Kirk Haney said. “Our ability to quickly develop and scale productive Jatropha plantations using elite, high performing material will play a significant role in providing energy security and economic development while reducing greenhouse emissions.”

      SG recruited Subhas Pattnaik as director of operations for the market. Pattnaik formerly led operations for Mission NewEnergy Limited in India, where he managed the rollout and operations of the largest Jatropha plantation acreage in the world, spanning more than 200,000 acres, 124,000 farmers and five provinces, said a March 7 SG news release announcing the company’s expansion into India.

      According to a report by the Office of Scientific & Technical Information of the U.S. Department of Energy, the shortage of reliable, inexpensive and sustainable energy is a key factor in keeping India and Brazil at poverty levels higher than necessary. Both areas are also potentially prime Jatropha growing areas.


      Read it all

      Another example of American companies expanding into other countries bringing technology to produce clean energy.

    • Koch Membrane Systems: Filtering the world’s water is a growth business – When the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo needed to cleanse large volumes of waste water, it turned to Koch Membrane Systems Inc. in Wilmington — a company that is finding a growing market for its filtration technologies in places where development is running up against water supplies.

      Last year, for the first time, water and waste-water systems accounted for more than half of Koch Membrane’s sales.

      In Brazil, Koch’s polymer membranes are at the heart of a $150 million water reuse project that is one of the largest such projects in the Southern Hemisphere.

      Koch was selected by Aquapolo Ambiental SA, a joint venture of Foz do Brasil, the environmental engineering company of Odebrecht SA, a construction and engineering group in Brazil, and Sao Paulo’s state water and sewer company.

      The facility now under construction will filter up to 265 gallons per second of waste water from a sewage treatment plant.

      The water will be used by local industrial customers, who will be able to draw less from the drinking water system — saving enough drinking water to supply about 600,000 residents.

      Koch Membrane also sells filtration systems in China, Egypt, India, and Singapore; it expects water filtration to be at least 75 percent of its business by 2015.


      Read it all.

      American business cleaning up the environment – fancy that.

      Yet, the LEFT demonizes the Koch Brothers. How ridiculous is that?

  • Pinboard Links

    Flap’s Links and Comments for March 27th on 17:45

    These are my links for March 27th from 17:45 to 19:17:

    • Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in Trouble? – Like Ann Coulter, Higgins worries that Walker isn’t doing enough to get his message across. … What would that require?

      1) Pointing out the growing disparity between cushy union contracts and the working situation of average American taxpayers. Horror stories are useful here;

       2) Noting that eliminating government workers’ ”collective bargaining rights” doesn’t mean taking away employee’s free speech rights, or the right to have an organization that advocates for them. It means taking away specific, monopoly-like special privileges granted to unions during the New Deal and Great Society years (including the right to be the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for workers, a requirement that employers bargain “in good faith”–whatever that means–and for many government workers the automatic deduction of dues from paychecks).

      3) Pointing out that government unions aren’t like private unions, in that there aren’t any profits in the government to redistribute, union work rules tend to reinforce government’s inherent tendencies toward inefficiency, governments don’t have to stay competitive, the threat of a legal or illegal strike is close to blackmail, and unlike in private industry workers get to try to choose and then buy off the bosses who negotiate with them by donating money and manpower to campaigns.


      Read it all.

      I don't think so.

      When the television ads start – when the elections count – voters will understand these points and if they vote Walker et. al. out of office, they do so at their own peril.

    • The Paranoid Style in Liberal Politics – The left’s obsession with the Koch brothers – David Koch’s secretary told him the news. This was in February, during the rowdy standoff between Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and demonstrators backing 14 Democratic legislators who’d fled to Illinois rather than vote on a bill weakening public employee unions. Koch’s secretary said that an editor for a left-wing website, the Buffalo Beast, had telephoned the governor posing as David Koch and recorded the conversation. And Walker had fallen for it! He’d had a 20-minute conversation with this bozo, not once questioning the caller’s identity. But then how could Walker have known? Sure, David Koch was a billionaire whose company had donated to his campaign. But Koch (pronounced “Coke”) had never talked to Walker in his life.


      Read it all