Welcome, one and all to the most intense Nightly Read anywhere on the ‘sphere…;The BitsBlog Nightly Ramble
This is the “Ad Campaign” Edition. Well, look, I spent all that money on billboards, I’ve gotta get some return on the investment.
- Warnings: Turns out that Air France jet had warnings issued a few days before the last flight…. Bomb threat . Odd, though. Usually we hear about at least 3 or four dozen groups claiming to be responsible for the bombing. Not this time. I wonder, a little.
- How Washington Blew the GM Bankruptcy: I make no bones about the fact that I’m not a financial person. A look at my checkbook will tell you that. (And no, I won’t provide that, either) But I must say I find the Financial Times interesting reading because it’s been giving me “inside baseball” glimpses of things I’d have far less understanding of without it. They provide a case in point, today.  Interesting though, that in this case, the bottom line is right where I drew it when this whole thing began, months ago. This was not about saving the company. This was about saving the UAW. Eric Cantor comments on that, on Bloomberg yesterday:
Rep. Cantor: “The prospect for the taxpayers to make out in terms of GM and its profitability is very, very questionable. It’s not just that Washington can begin to throw money at anything and everything and expect things to turn out ok. We’ve got to have some accountability here.”So I’m troubled, Peter, by several things surrounding the GM situation Number one, you’ve got investors who put some of their life savings into this company. Frankly, many of their rights have been trampled because the White House has come in and decided who was going to be the winner and who was going to be the loser. If you see the UAW and how they came out in a much better stead than the individual bondholders, and some of the secured bondholders, that’s really not I think something that we believe that America should be about. When the White House comes in by fiat, suspends existing law, what is happening to the certainty of expectation when you are an investor? That’s very, very troubling. But on down the road, Peter, it is about accountability. How are we going to go and account for all of this?
Bloomberg’s Peter Cook: “Well let me ask you about just the President’s commitment that he doesn’t want to operate this company on a day-to-day basis going forward. Do you take the President at his word?”
Rep. Cantor: “The reports that have come out surrounding the GM situation speak to the contrary. It says that the President spoke to the folks and the government around Detroit, and have indicated that the President has committed to ensuring that GM maintain its headquarters there. The President continues to say that all the big decisions are going to be made by GM itself but come on. We’re sitting here as Congress now telling GM what kind of cars it should make. We’re sitting here directing the investment of the kind of taxpayer dollars in favor of favored political constituencies. It is very hard to imagine that Congress and the White House will be able to stay out of the business of GM. Again a very troubling, troubling sign.”
Cook: “Really quickly Congressman, I want to get your take on this Hummer sale to a Chinese firm. The Members of Congress, are they going to stand in the way of that?”
Rep. Cantor: “You’re going to have to expect that Congress is going to meddle in the management of anything having to do with GM at this point.
The groundwork has been laid. We’re very, very concerned. The government has no business running an auto firm.
(Emph is my own.) Now, I’ll say I have my problems with Cantor, but this isn’t one of them. He’s quite correct. And I’ll say again that the level of governmental involvement both in the relationships with the Unions and the cars made are exactly why the car companies are in trouble. Solving the business troubles of the big three is simple. Get government out of their hair. Let them build cars people will buy and stop trying to tax their fuel out of existence. Start drilling domestically to get fuel prices down. And so on. That’s the only viable path forward, but the Democrats are quite clear on the point they will do none of those things, thus giving lie to their claim they’re about saving American Auto companies.
- New Orleans: The Murder capital of the world: I’ll bet they won’t mention this  to folks planning a vacation, there.
- I was right, once again: In looking at the reports on the investigation into the shootings at the Army recruiting station in Little Rock, I notice that the shooter was a recent Islam convert . Funny, how they’re minimizing this point, for the most part.
Little Rock police said there was no indication Muhammad was part of a wider plot to attack the military, but terrorism experts say there are important connections between his and other homegrown terror plots in recent years, including their targets, motives and inspiration.
“The real common denominator is the ideological commitment (present) in every single case I’ve seen over the past few months and over the past few years,” said Walid Phares, director of the Future of Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
I’m also hearing that this guy has been under a watch by the FBI for some time, now , apparently having traveled to Yemen by way of a faked Somali passport. So, now, all of you who wrote feedback to tell me how this, and the case of the Murder of George Tiller are not the same… you have a chance to tell us all how they’re not. Tiller’s murder, I was told in a huff, was inspired by religion. I’ll allow it being one man’s read of religion. But how is that different from this case, and why are the comparisons I’ve repeatedly drawn less than valid? I made he suggestions and comparisons I did based on feel, alone, and the facts, as they emerge, are proving that the comparisons I made are more valid by the day. So, let’s hear it, all the leftie blogs who were raising hell about George Tiller’s death… Let’s hear you raise a similar stink about these deaths. Let’s see the fed set up protection around not only abortuaries, but around recruiting stations, too, huh? And let’s see the long string of Memeorandum links on the topic. Let’s hear it! If the motivations you were claiming over the weekend are true, why would they not apply to the Pvt Long and the other people shot in Little Rock? Explain to me how I was wrong when I suggested that one must be in the political favor of the left to garner their concern when they get murdered, and Pvt Long being military… and the left being anti-military and pro-abortion  as a rule, Pvt Long’s murder doesn’t merit the leftist outrage that George Tiller’s murder does. I await what will doubtless be a silence not heard since the dawn of the world. Do I sound angry? Good… that’s as intended. By their lack of words, ye shall know them, my friends. By the way, you may want to check Melissa’s write-up on this topic at Pajamas Media, yesterday . Top notch.
- Obama Road Trip: So, Obama is in the Middle East, refining his ability at the tongue bath. Thing is, he may be headed for trouble here at home. The latest polls I’ve seen suggest the Muslim world has some serious problems with Joe Lunchpail . From his perspective, it’s not we that need to issuing apologies. I’m telling you, this is going to play large in 2010 and 2012… Obama isn’t making any friends on this trip outside his base here at home, and the extremists he’s legitimizing. And to what degree will he go? Well, for one thing, if you’ll recall during the election, he was quite adamant about minimizing his Muslim roots. The reason for that was simple… those anti-Muslim world polling numbers I mention are not new. His Muslim roots stood in between him and power. So, he ditched them. But I will guarantee you that we’ll see him playing them up on this trip. After this, his schedule is still pretty full; There’s a few folks in Antarctica he’s not apologized to, yet. And did you see this photo? Maybe we should start calling Obama “The BoyKing”. Works for me. (Cue Steve Martin!)
- A passing thought; Maybe we could make a deal with King Abdullah; We’ll pay his $75/bbl for oil, if he’ll KEEP Obama. It’d be far cheaper.
- Equality: Sure, Mr. President… Iran has a right to nuclear power … just like Germany had the right to large ovens. Is there anything Obama won’t try to negotiate away? Isn’t it funny how Obama seems to reserve the brute force and intimidation methods for his own country, and our traditional friends like Israel, and his hind-lick maneuver for our enemies? This is leadership? VDH thinks that the ‘serial apologies’ will stop before long as the public runs out of patience with it. I think he’s right, but I’m concerned that the damage he does until that point will be irreparable.
- And a lie: Obama infamously said we’re not a Christian country. Yet, he also says, that we’re one of the largest Muslim countries. Roger Simon at Pajamas Media points up that we’re actually the 38th largest. Anyone see a pattern developing, here?
- Clarification=Backpedaling: Sorry, Sonia… I’m not buying it. 
- Police Corruption, or corruption in general? Over at OTB, Steve Verdon goes into Radley Balko mode on a story of police corruption. Frankly, I’ve always thought that Balko was over the top on this stuff. I still think so, frankly. I’m not suggesting the position he takes, for the most part isn’t valid, but I do recall only one “One Note Samba” that was ever a hit. That said, I point Verdon to a couple happenings in my old home town. First one here , and the second, I explain in some detail:
The other story coming out of that same police department that may interest you, is with regards to another cop… A sergeant, I think. High on Coke, driving his personal vehicle, he backsides a stalled car in the middle of the outer loop (I-390) causing a pregnant woman to go into premature labor. Recognizing that he is burned toast if he sticks around, he takes off, leaves the scene of the accident, and it takes several hours for the local constabulary to admit that one of its own has been involved in the wreck. By that time of course, the DUI is legally questionable at least.At the moment, that particular case has caused an investigation into the conduct of the entire department who was on duty that night. At issue, were they covering for him? Well, no duh.
I’m annoyed, because our member time when that particular Police department was something special, as such things go.
That said, though, The question comes up; what causes all this?
It seems to me the trying to get a bad cop fired, has approximately the same chance to it as getting a bad teacher fired, or perhaps a city councilman and former mayor arrested for his crimes, (The bitch set me up!) or a congressman with cash in his freezer.
Don’t mistake my comment for making excuses for the cops in question.
But I do wonder two things. In the case of the police, I have to wonder how much of what we see here is procedure established by union -agreed upon -work -rules. Certainly, that’s the case with trying to get bad teachers fired. I wonder if agreeing to this nonsense, we’ve asked for these kind of incidents to occur.
And secondly, how much of it is bad policy set forward with the purpose of staying out of lawsuit territory?
Frankly, though, I think we’re foolish if we ignore that there’s a trend here that involves far more than just the guys in the blue uniforms. This is by no means a case of not enough law, and not enough oversight. This is a situation in all these cases of too much law, and too much power in the hands of those enforcing it. Now, folks like Balko will tell you that’s the central issue, but I think not. Consider; 20 and 40 years ago, there was less of the incidence of this kind of thing. Then again, and we were better people, then, too. Finding someone for the job of ‘policeman’ who was brave, honest, and true, was far less of a task, back in the day, because it was far less rare to find such a person in the general population. We got away with a degree of power in the hands of the police that we did, for that reason.
Those days, I fear, are passed.
- Almost there: I’ve been working on editing some of the shots I took of the local airshow. Maybe I’ll have time to finish them and put them up by the weekend. Hope so, anyway… some of ’em are pretty good.