A New Kronies Action Figure

October 13th, 2014

Evidently I missed the new Kronies action figure when it dropped in September:

LinkSwarm for October 10, 2014

October 10th, 2014

Another Friday, another LinkSwarm. I think i may have to stop watch Houston Texans games for the sake of my health…

  • The American MSM may be reluctant to tell the truth about Obama’s many manifest failures, but UK’s Telegraph isn’t.
  • Most Americans see Obama as a failure.
  • I’m shocked, shocked to discover that the IRS is auditing the producer of an anti-ObamaCare movie.
  • One in five Americans will have medical bills in collections this year. Thanks, ObamaCare!
  • How do you know your foreign policy sucks? When even Jimmy Carter is dissing it. And he’s right!
  • Even Piers Morgan calls Obama’s governance as marked by “lethargy and complacency.”
  • Why Harry Reid is attacking Koch: Big money Democratic donors will spend more in North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa than all RNC spending across the country combined.
  • Democrats 2014 = Republicans 2006.
  • Democrats pull out all the stops to save Kay Hagen’s North Carolina senate seat. If she wins, I’m sure her family will appreciate the opportunity for more graft in the coming years…
  • Michael Barone says that trends, with so many Democratic incumbents still polling below 45%, indicate the Harry Reid-controlled Senate is still toast. “Rewind back five years: The Obama Democrats expected their major policies to be popular. They expected that most voters would be grateful for the stimulus package, for Obamacare, for raising the tax rate on high earners. They aren’t.”
  • Obama slams billionaires while attending while attending fundraiser at the home of billionaire Rich Richman. Yes, that’s his real name. If I put that in a novel, editors would reject the symbolism as too heavy-handed…
  • Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Grimes won’t even admit to voting for Obama.
  • While the New York Times has gotten around to talking abut American children dying from Enterovirus D68, they’re still refusing to talk about how Obama’s illegal alien influx might have helped bring it here. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Michael Totten reports from SE Asia: “Sweden is more socialist than Vietnam.” Except for the stupid propaganda loudspeakers…
  • Philadelphia’s deeply indebted public school system actually cancels it’s contract with the teacher’s union. “The move, in which the Philadelphia School Reform Commission invokes emergency powers, comes after the teachers’ union spent more than a year resisting concessions that the commission was seeking even though rising personnel costs have crippled the budget.” How crippling? “The schools’ budget projects spending $44,100 a year in benefits for every $68,700 in wages earned by the average teacher.”
  • NYC School therapist helps handicapped student launch successful Kickstarter. Reward? 30 day suspension.
  • John Kerry spent Wednesday consulting with allies on ISIS and Ebola. Ha, just kidding! He toured a wind turbine.
  • Islamic State supporters threaten to behead U.S. soldiers in Iraq. And by “soldiers” I mean “elementary school children” and by “Iraq” I mean “Rhode Island.”
  • Remember when Bill Clinton ginned up an “epidemic” over a dozen random church burnings? Boko Haram has torched 185.
  • Brett Easton Ellis on Generation Wuss.
  • Iranian professor jailed for associating with “known Zionists.” Like Noam Chomsky. To Islamists, not even an actual hatred of Israel is enough to remove the taint of your Jewishness…
  • “That’s 21st-century U.S. politics in miniature: a half-assed listicle penned by a half-bright celebrity and published by a gang of abortion profiteers.”
  • Top aide to Al Sharpton and boyfriend of top De Blasio adviser in trouble with the law? Inconceivable!
  • An inside view of feminist groupthink and #GamerGate from a former social justice warrior.
  • Random meme pic I made:

  • Random Twitter exchange with Michael Quinn Sullivan:

  • BattleSwarm extends best wishes for a speedy recovery to Borepatch, who wiped out on his motorcycle to the tune of “7 broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and a bruised lung.” Ouch…
  • Texas vs. California Roundup for October 9, 2014

    October 9th, 2014

    Another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • If Stockton bankruptcy judge’s ruling is upheld, a lot of California cities could actually start working for citizens again, rather than public employee unions.
  • There are plenty of lessons to be learned from Stockton’s bankruptcy. Too bad Stockton’s officials seem unwilling to learn them:

    Pension contributions for public-safety workers now amount to 41 percent of payroll. That would put the total cost of salary, health benefits, and pensions at about $120,000 annually for a fifth-year officer…The long saga of Stockton’s decline dramatizes the inefficiency and illogic of union-dominated, monopolistic, government-labor markets.

  • But letting cities escape their crushing public sector union pension burdens doesn’t sit well with California’s looter class. Solution: propose eliminating Chapter 9 bankruptcy. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • According to the September labor report, California did manage to add 313,900 jobs between August 2013 and August 2014. But Texas added 395,200. (Hat tip: WILLisms Twitter feed.)
  • California legislature decides that students don’t need any of that stinking due process.
  • Hey, remember those “temporary” tax hikes Jerry Brown got voters to approve? Guess what?
  • California’s roads are among the worst in the country.
  • Someone should tell that to the city of Stanton, California, which reached for tax hikes rather than cutting the pay of unionized workers.
  • How San Jose reformed their finances using transparency. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • How California browbeat Toyota over closing a money-losing plant.
  • The California-based manufacturing facility of Colorado-based Boulder Electric Vehicle shuts down after receiving a $3 million grant from the California Energy Commission.
  • How California’s for-profit Thomas Jefferson Law School got itself into serious financial trouble through excessive dependence on loans (both the student type and the tax-exempt bond type).
  • Americans don’t want their state to secede so much as they want to kick California out of the union. (Hat tip: Karl Rehn of KRTraining.)
  • A look at PSAT participation rates in Texas. (Also via WILLisms.)
  • Californian Trip Hawkins, of EA, Apple and 3DO fame, filed for bankruptcy in 2011. This year, the 9th circuit ruled that a profligate life style (for certain values of “profligate”), does not, in fact, constitute a “willful” attempt to avoid bankruptcy. Mr. Hawkins seemed to be living well, but not necessarily living large
  • California owner of Akron, Ohio mall abandoned since 2008 declares bankruptcy. And since it’s the Halloween season, and abandoned malls are wonderfully creepy places, here’s a pic:

  • Reminder: Mark Udall is a Gun Grabber

    October 8th, 2014

    After his fellow Democrats went down in flames during the recall election, Colorado’s incumbent Senator would probably prefer you forget his own support for gun control,. After all, his own campaign website is silent on the issue, and his Senate website includes the usual insincere blather about supporting the Second Amendment.

    Now is a good time to remind voters that Udall has been significantly to the left of even his fellow democratic senators in pushing for gun control:

    Colorado’s Mark Udall indicated support for two key proposals of President Obama’s legislative package to reduce gun violence, taking a stand slightly to the left of his fellow Senate Democrats who also are up for re-election in 2014.

    The Colorado Democrat told Denver’s FOX affiliate last month he supports a renewal of the assault-weapons bans that lapsed in 2004.

    After Obama rolled out his legislative proposals and signed executive orders Wednesday, Udall released a statement that indicates he also supports a ban on magazine clips of more than 10 bullets.

    In other words, Udall favors, at the national level, the same legislation that drove Magpul out of the state.

    Udall also engages in the deliberately deceptive labeling of modern sporting rifles (AR-15, etc.) as “military-grade weapons”.

    Further signs of his gun-grabbing bona fides is the fact that Udall is receiving lots of money from out-of-state gun control groups. Udall has also been endorsed by the latest incarnation of Bloomberg’s anti-gun group.

    All of which goes a long way toward explaining why Udall received a D from the NRAPVF.

    Any Colorado supporter of the Second Amendment should vote for Cory Gardner over Udall in November.

    Who Is Joe Biden?

    October 7th, 2014

    Jimmy Kimmel asks random passersby on Hollywood Boulevard who Joe Biden is. Ignorance ensues.

    Kay Hagan’s Family Dips Their Beaks Into The Stimulus Trough

    October 7th, 2014

    It’s no longer a surprise when Democratic cronies rake in the benefits from pork programs created by Democratic Senators and Representatives. After all, giving out taxpayer money to connected interest groups is pretty much the Democratic Party’s business model. However, the family of North Carolina’s Democratic Senator Kay Hagan has taken it to the next level:

    Sen. Kay Hagan’s husband and son created a solar energy contracting company in August 2010, and then, using $250,644 in federal stimulus grant funds, her husband hired that same company to install solar panels at a building he owns.

    Public records show that Green State Power was formed seven weeks before JDC Manufacturing — a company owned in part by Greensboro attorney Charles “Chip” Hagan III, Sen. Hagan’s husband — received the stimulus grant for the solar project at a 300,000-square-foot facility in Reidsville, N.C.

    A story in late September on the Washington, D.C.-based website Politico revealed that JDC Manufacturing received “nearly $390,000 in federal grants for energy projects and tax credits created by the 2009 stimulus law, according to public records and information provided by the company.”

    The story reported that JDC “was one of 27 in North Carolina to be awarded funds for energy-efficient projects, to the tune of about $250,000. The company received the money in 2011, after the first phase of the project was completed in late 2010.”

    And need less to say, Kay Hagan vited in favor of the pork-laden stimulus her family so richly benefited from.

    From a purely amoral viewpoint, you have to admire the brazen efficiency of sucking down the maximum amount of taxpayer subsidies at every stag of the project pipeline. It’s like The Human Centipede of recycled graft…

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    Why Mary Landrieu Sucks

    October 6th, 2014

    (I was trying to think of a more clever headline, but let’s just go with the obvious, shall we?)

    One of the last, best hopes for Obama and Harry Reid to keep control of the senate is Louisiana incumbent Mary Landrieu hanging on to one of the last Democratic seats in the south.

    Let’s discuss just the highlights of why Louisianans should vote for Rep. Bill Cassidy over Landrieu. The latest polls show Casserly up, but at under 50%. (And remember that the Democrat’s ground game surprised a lot of pollsters in 2012.)

    ObamaCare

    Remember how Mary Landrieu was one of the deciding votes for ObamaCare in the senate?

    Now she’s making all sorts of noises about protecting Louisiana citizens from the effects of the law she passed. Gee, maybe shouldn’t have bragged about how she didn’t need to read the bill:

    Contrary to popular belief and what FOX News said, people here read the bills. For 40 years we read the bills. But we did not have to read the bills; all we had to do was look at the faces of kids dying of cancer who had no way to get cured… I don’t need to read a bill. I listen to my constituents. That is what this is about.

    Somehow I doubt she’s going to listen to those whose policies were canceled, or whose prices doubled or tripled, thanks to ObamaCare. Maybe that’s why 59% of Louisianans oppose ObamaCare, and more than half disapprove of Landrieu’s performance.

    And Landrieu says she would vote for ObamaCare again. Maybe that’s why the National Federation of Independent Business has endorsed Cassidy. (More on Landrieu’s ObamaCare support here.)

    Poor Second Amendment Record

    Landrieu got a D from the NRA-PVF on her gun rights voting record. Despite crowing about her Second Amendment support, she has voted for several gun control measures. While not as hostile to Second Amendment rights as Nancy Pelosi or Andrew Cuomo, she’s betrayed gun rights enough for Louisiana gun owners to be leery of her.

    No less than Michelle Obama said that re-electing Landrieu was critical for gun control efforts. And remember: When push comes to shove, there’s no such thing as a pro-gun Democrat. I guarantee you that Mary Landrieu is no more “pro-gun” than Bart Stupak was pro-life.

    Ignoring Louisiana

    Mary Landrieu doesn’t actually live in Louisiana:

    In Washington, Sen. Mary Landrieu lives in a stately, $2.5 million brick manse she and her husband built on Capitol Hill.

    Here in Louisiana, however, the Democrat does not have a home of her own. She is registered to vote at a large bungalow in New Orleans that her parents have lived in for many decades, according to a Washington Post review of Landrieu’s federal financial disclosures and local property and voting records.

    On a statement of candidacy Landrieu filed with the Federal Election Commission in January, she listed her Capitol Hill home as her address.

    It takes a special kind of stupid to put your D.C. mansion down as your home address.

    Finally, for a hard-hitting look at how Mary Landrieu has ignored her constituents, take a look at this ad:

    Reminder: Louisiana has system whereby the top two candidates will go to a runoff on December 6. Unless Bill Cassidy is able to win outright in November (which seems doubtful at this point), he’s going to need help in the runoff. And if the control of the senate hangs in the balance, you know Democrats will pull out all the stops to keep Harry Reid in power…

    LinkSwarm for Friday, October 3, 2014

    October 3rd, 2014

    Here’s your Friday LinkSwarm of semi-random linkage goodness:

  • ObamaCare’s war on women: higher premiums, cancelled plans, fewer options.
  • ObamaCare has already cost $73 billion and counting.
  • And the Healthcare.Gov website cost 2.5 times what the Obama Administration told us.
  • The inequality police are worried that we are living in a new Gilded Age. We should be so lucky: Between 1880 and 1890, the number of employed Americans increased by more than 13 percent, and wages increased by almost 50 percent. I am going to go out on a limb and predict that the Barack Obama years will not match that record; the share of employed Americans is lower today than it was when he took office, and household income is down. Grover Cleveland is looking like a genius in comparison.

  • The middle class is poorer today than it was in 1989. Thanks, Obama! (Hat tip: Instapundit).
  • World Health Organization refuses to approve experimental drugs for Ebola patients. Because they might get sick…
  • CDC chief thinks a ban on travelers from Ebola-infected countries would be “wrong.” Wrong for who? People who won’t get infected?
  • Real Salon or parody Salon? “The problem with ‘Ebola’: The troubling, xenophobic language of disease.”
  • And if Ebola wasn’t bad enough, Enterovirus D68 has been found in four people who died.
  • And that Enterovirus D68 outbreak may be related to Obama’s decision not to deport illegal aliens.
  • Even 60% of Democrats think Obama is a wuss when it comes to ISIS.
  • U.S. troops fighting in the warkinetic overseas contingency engagement against ISIS are not eligible for campaign medals.
  • NRA’s Political victory Fund has released their ranking of candidates. That’s the one for Texas, but you can select all the other states as well.
  • Liberals are hypocrites when it comes to big bucks “dark money” fundraising.
  • The places where our self-appointed elites congregate are turning into precisely the places where actual voters are getting thinner and thinner on the ground.”
  • Despite what radical feminists would have you believe, sex crimes on campus are going down, not up.
  • Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott: voting fraud is real.
  • Appeals court finds Texas abortion laws constitutional.
  • “‘He’s from Texas, honey,’ I yelled at the television, startling the cats, ‘That’s not “armed”, that’s “dressed”, you island-dwelling herbivore! Jesus, you cud-chewing Eloi, how do you people open packages? With your teeth, like an animal?” For a bonus, try to work “cud-chewing Eloi” into your next conversation… (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • More domestic violence in the MSM than the NFL: ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC and the New York Times.
  • Bill Maher goes after liberals being soft on Islam. “Saudi women can’t vote or drive or hold a job or leave the house without a man. Overwhelming majorities in every Muslim country say a wife is always obliged to obey her husband. That all seems like a bigger issue than an evangelical Christian bakery refusing to make gay wedding cakes. ”
  • What happens when you bail out of an SR-71 at Mach 3 and 78,000 feet.
  • Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, but something about this film has “suck” written all over it…
  • Two words: Homemade flamethrower.

  • A Quick Look At Texas Migration Patterns

    October 2nd, 2014

    Will Franklin of WILLisms put up an interesting link on his Twitter feed: A PDF of Texas relocation data from the Texas Association of Realtors.

    There’s lots of interesting information to be gleaned:

    The 2014 Texas Relocation Report shows that Texas continues to be a national leader in relocation activity and a sought- after location for households moving out of state.

    According to the report, Texas gained more out-of-state residents than any other state in 2013, with 584,034 people moving to Texas from out of state. A majority of these residents originated from California (66,318), followed by Florida (32,619), Oklahoma (29,169), Louisiana (29,042), and Illinois (28,900).

    Texas ranked third in the nation for number of residents moving out of state in 2013 (409,977), coming in behind California (581,689) and Florida (423,995) and topping New York (401,440), and Illinois (304,674). Like with incoming residents, a majority of the residents who moved out of state moved to California (32,290), followed by Oklahoma (27,391), Florida (24,226), Colorado (23,490), and Louisiana (21,747).

    Overall, Texas had a net gain of out-of-state residents in 2013, with 138,057 more people moving into Texas than Texas residents moving out of state in 2013.

    So roughly twice as many people moved from California to Texas as vice versa.

    Other nuggets from the report:

  • Both Harris and Dallas counties had net negative outflows, though their surrounding counties more than made up for it in population growth.
  • Williamson county had the third largest net population inflow, with Hays fourth, behind Denton and Brazos counties, but well ahead of Travis. Indeed, Williamson’s population growth was three times that of Travis.
  • Despite that, Travis got more out-of-state migration inflow than Williamson, which I take to mean that Travis got more Californians and Williamson got more Texans fleeing The People’s Republic of Austin.
  • If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the report, it actually says most of Williamson’s in-state inflow came from Travis, but numbers of people moving from Williamson to Travis are so low they’re not even in the the top five. Indeed, more people moved to Walker County (home to Huntsville) than to Travis.
  • What does this mean politically? As Ace of Spades noted in their ginormous .PNG, conservative areas of the state are gaining population, while liberal strongholds are losing ground. The two largest liberal counties (Bexar and Travis) to gain population were outpaced by population growth in conservative Denton County alone.

    Conclusion: Despite Democrats talking up demographic shifts, don’t expect Texas to turn blue anytime soon…

    Texas vs. California: Hispanic Edition

    October 1st, 2014

    I don’t know how I missed this Mike Gonzalez editorial in the Dallas Morning News from early September, but it’s well worth your attention. It goes into some detail on how Texas Hispanics are radically outperforming California Hispanics.

    The relative advantage that Hispanic Texans have in key cultural indicators is strongly related to the state’s dynamic economic growth and small government. But because Texas’ smaller government has allowed civil society to grow organically, there is a strong cultural background that must be considered.

    In fact, when factoring in both economic and cultural factors, one can say that California and Texas stand for two completely different faces of the Hispanic experience in America or, more to the point, the Mexican-American experience. The question is whether the two states will continue to lead two different Mexican-American subcultures in the future, or whether one approach will come to be the dominant one nationwide.

    Let’s first look at the statistics, starting with one of the most important ones: unemployment. In 2013, Texas’ Hispanic population boasted an unemployment rate of 6.9 percent. That was more than 2 percentage points lower than the national Hispanic average (9.1 percent). More important, it was better than the overall national average of 7.4 percent and only six-tenths of a percent higher than Texas’ overall rate (6.3 percent).

    Meanwhile, California’s Hispanics lagged across the aboard. Their unemployment rate of 10.2 percent underperformed all the national averages and was 1.3 percentage points higher than California’s overall unemployment rate of 8.9 percent.

    One thing that may account for the lower Hispanic unemployment in Texas is that Hispanics in the Lone Star State are much more entrepreneurial than those in the Golden State. Texas’ rate of Hispanic-owned businesses as a percentage of the Hispanic population is 57 percent, whereas California’s is 45 percent.

    Texas Hispanics also do better when it comes to social statistics than do their California counterparts:

    Hispanics in Texas are 10 percent more likely to be married than those in California (47 percent to 43 percent), and close to 20 percent less likely never to have been married (36.9 percent to 43.5 percent), one-third more likely to have served in the military (4.1 percent to 2.8 percent), and one-third as likely to have received Supplemental Security Income public assistance (2.4 percent to 6.2 percent).

    One of the most eye-popping statistics I have come across is that Hispanics in Texas are much more likely to live in an owner-occupied home than those in California (56.8 percent to 42.9 percent).

    Education? Same thing:

    The educational gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanic white students is much smaller in Texas than in California, where it is statistically significantly higher than it is in the rest of the nation.

    The fourth-grade mathematics gap for Texas was 20 points, below the national average; in California it was 28 points. For the eighth grade, the Texas gap was 24, compared with California’s 33. In reading comprehension, the fourth-grade Texas gap was 22 and California’s was 31, and for eighth-graders, Texas’s gap was 22 and California’s was 28.

    The difference in welfare recipients between Texas and California is dramatic:

    With 12 percent of the total U.S. population, California has 34 percent of the welfare caseload, for an overrepresentation of 238 percent. Or, to put it another way, though only 1 of 8 Americans lives in California, 1 in 3 welfare recipients lives in California.

    California’s 34 percent is not just the highest; the state is the only one in double digits. New York, which has the second-largest percentage of active welfare cases in the country, has a comparatively miserly 7 percent of the nation’s caseload.
    By contrast, Texas, with 8 percent of the U.S. population, has only 3 percent of the U.S. welfare caseload, for an underrepresentation rate of 35 percent.

    Read the whole thing.