Friday, May 28, 2010

BP's Live Oil Spill Cam

This is quite fascinating viewing. Right now it looks like mud is flowing out of the thing but it was oil before. It is so interesting to see nearly a mile down below the ocean in real time like this.

Watch BP Live Spillcam Feed

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Countries all over the World Try to Confiscate Miner Profits

Well we have more talk of "super taxes" on the windfall profits of mining companies.

And yet Australia may have started a trend. Government officials in Brazil -- which, with Australia is the world's most important iron ore producing country -- have said as far back as February that they're considering the taxation of commodities shipments or the hiking of royalties payments. (At the time, however, the remarks from Brazil's energy and mining minister, Edison Lobao, were interpreted as the government's way of pressuring Vale to invest more in Brazilian projects.)

Also it seems that China, India, and Chile are thinking of imposing similar taxes. Only the Canadians are going to keep their low taxes in place. What this means though is that suddenly everything that you need aluminum or steel to make are going to rise in price.

Also you will see a mass exodus out of Australia by many mining companies as well as big cuts in mine spending. I mean why would you spend billions to upgrade a copper mine in Australia if the government is simply going to confiscate double the amount of taxes you paid just a few years ago? That means a Joy Global or a Fluor will see far less profits then before. Just the talk of it has hurt the Australian Dollar.

I just don't understand how governments can look at an industry and say "you are making too much money" and just slam down the tax hammer on them. It was the same thing with the "windfall profits" BS that the Congress was peddling in 2008.

It might be tied up with "resources nationalism" where the Aussies want to keep their copper, iron ore, and gold from going overseas to fund the Chinese growth machine. Instead they want to either keep it in the ground where they can control it. It would be interesting to see the consequences of trade protectionism when it comes to natural resources.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Public Turns Against Obama in Oil Spill

Well it has been 5 weeks already and people are started to get anxious (or news fatigue is starting to set in.)

In the five weeks since an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig sent hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, Obama had largely escaped political fallout. But as BP attempts yet again to seal the leak, a new USA Today/Gallup Poll finds a majority of Americans unhappy with Obama's handling of the spill. According to the poll, 53 percent rate Obama's handling "poor" or "very poor"; 43 percent believe Obama is doing a good job.

That is a -10% rating and if it gets much worse it will by Obama's Katrina.

Yet the poll also finds that the public tends to blame others in the mess more than it blames the White House. Asked broadly about the federal government's role, 60 percent rated the response "poor." BP got the lowest marks: 73 percent of Americans gave the company's handling of the spill a "poor" rating. Still, a whopping 68 percent say BP should remain in charge of the cleanup.

I like how the public understands that BP should stay in charge of the clean up until they have exhausted all avenues of attack. I think the government needs to step in and at least help out in the clean up phase while BP can concentrate 100% capping the well. Hopefully the "ton-kill" will work.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Could the Liberals be Losing the Culture War?

It might be the last casualty of this entire economic crisis according to this.

They sense — and Woody and Friedman sense with a different reaction — that the Culture Wars are turning. It’s partly the Tea Parties, but it’s more than that. It’s the zeitgeist. The times, they are definitely a-changin’. Liberalism, as we have known it for decades, is on the defensive. With the welfare state unsustainable, it has nowhere to turn and its adherents are turning tail in every direction. They are mad and they are, in many cases, unmoored. Lifetime ideologies are beginning to crumble. Personality constructs are at risk.

I think the problems in Greece and the rest of Europe might be the last nail in the coffin of cradle-to-grave government intervention in the economy. It shows that you can't retire at 50 with an 90% pension and keep the model going hoping that some other guy pays the taxes for it. People riot and bank workers are burned to death when that happens.

One of the cornerstones of liberalism is that the government can take care of you economically. That model failed in Greece, as well as in California, and Illinois. What is worse people are actually realizing the real reason that the model is failing is that the government spends too much on worthless crap. They don't want to be be taxed any more because they know that extra money will simply be spent to prop up a union or bail-out someone that is not them.

They also see that workers unions pretty much cut unfair sweetheart deals and are bailed out if they can't pay for their largess. These unions can run auto makers into the ground, beat up black people, and terrorize the children of bankers and they are applauded by the people in charge.

They have been given the power to run their model and it seems that only about 30% of the people are actually supporting them. They thought Obama becoming President gave them a mandate to create a European Socialist state. Then the whole idea of the European Socialist state with their green jobs, their huge pensions, and their free health care collapsed when nobody wanted to lend them any more money.

Then you have the added humiliation that the oil spill is causing them. The idea that the all-powerful government is powerless while a private corporation is doing everything it can to fix a problem must be galling. The calls for the government "to take over" would actually make the disaster worse since they have no idea how to cap a leak a mile under the ocean. The whole idea that they need to drill a mile down was because guys like Woody Allen do not want them to drill in shallower water and mess up the view from their million dollar mansions.

All the government can do is "put the boot on the neck" of BP and hope for the best. Hated big oil is the only people that can prevent a slow motion disaster and all the "giant brains" in the White House and Congress can do is watch and pound the table. No amount of wealth redistribution or "windfall profits taxes" or even the nationalization of the oil industry will get that well capped. That is powerlessness.

Obama Militarizes the Mexican Border

I have to say it is about time we secure the border.

Obama will also request $500 million for border protection and law enforcement activities, according to lawmakers and administration officials. The moves come as chances for action on comprehensive immigration reform, Obama's long-stated goal, look increasingly small in this election year. But Obama is under pressure to do something with the issue front and center after Arizona's passage of a tough crackdown law.

I'm not sure if national guardsmen are supposed to do law enforcement activities unless we are under marital law. So I'm not sure if they will be setting up checkpoints or flying drones around to catch illegals sneaking into the country. It doesn't fit the Constitutional smell test but I guess they can swing it by saying it is to protect national security.

I can see Glenn Beck saying that these national guardsmen are going to take over law enforcement from the Arizona PD and create a communist "police state." Then they will be used for other nefarious purposes like setting up camps for conservatives or something.

I hope he doesn't take the bait because conservatives have been clamoring for this for years and Obama is giving them what they want. In fact I think 1200 isn't enough and we need to mobilize at least 5000 or more to fan out along the entire border. I mean the drug gangs are getting through along with the illegals and it is a matter of time before they simply take over a border town (or just build an out of the way compound) to use as a transshipment point. Hmm I wonder if we can have US National Guard vs. the Zetas on Spike's Deadliest Warrior show?

Federal Oil Watchdogs on Meth and watching Porn at Work?

I guess they can now apply for a job at the SEC since their porn credentials are all in order.

In a related matter, the Interior Department's acting inspector general outlined in a memo released online Tuesday that a number of inspectors with the Minerals Management Service have fraternized with oil industry employees and that MMS employees may have been under the influence of crystal methamphetamine at work. Mary L. Kendall also told Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in a report that some MMS employees viewed pornography while at work and passed it on to other employees.

Wow meth and porn that must be some kind of record for a federal agency. I wonder if the inspector that checks the blow-out protector actually had a mess of video files open when he should have been looking at the things safety record. Or maybe he confused the blow-out protector with actual blow. I guess you can finally say "these inspectors must be smoking meth" and actually be right on the money.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Neurocrine Biosciences Finds "statistically significant and clinically meaningful" results in the battle against Endometriosis

The stock doubled after hours and since this disease might afflict up to 5 - 10% of all women this is a pretty good deal.

“The Daisy PETAL study was successful, all primary and secondary efficacy endpoints were met, and provided exactly the information we need to move this program forward,” said Chris O’Brien, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Neurocrine. “We now have confirmation that the daily scales for menstrual and non-menstrual pelvic pain, developed with extensive input from the FDA and patients, function well in a clinical trial setting. These daily endpoints reflect the way women with endometriosis experience their symptoms and also demonstrate improvement with elagolix.”

The drug is used mostly to reduce pelvic pain from this disease and is a Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) receptor antagonist. I guess that means it is a specialized hormone pill since Gonadotropin is used as a fertility drug for men. What is interesting is that Manny Ramirez was suspended last year for 50 games for taking this hormone.

The drug seems pretty safe as well with only 4.4% of people dropping out of the study with the biggest side affect being nausea. Sounds like it could be a pretty good drug if it gets to market.

Hubble Catches Star Eating a Planet

Now this must be one hellish world indeed.

The Hubble space telescope has discovered a planet in our galaxy in the process of being devoured by the star that it orbits, according to a paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The doomed planet, dubbed WASP-12b, has the highest known surface temperature of any planet in the Milky Way -- around 1,500 degrees Celsius (2,800 degrees Fahrenheit).

The star system is only 600 light years away and will still be around for 10 million years before it is eaten by its sun. Dispatch a science vessel at once Number One.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Some Ways to Fix Social Security

Some of these will be quite painful but I kind of advocate this one as a fix.

Modify the Social Security tax cap. Workers pay into the Social Security system on earnings up to $106,800 in 2010. About 83 percent of worker earnings were subject to Social Security payroll taxes in 2008. If all earned income above $106,800 annually were subject to Social Security contributions but did not count toward benefits, Social Security's projected deficit would be completely eliminated. If the higher income counted toward Social Security benefits, about 95 percent of the shortfall would be absolved. Other ideas: apply a new Social Security formula to earnings above the current cap or raise the amount of the income cap to apply to 90 percent of all worker earnings.

This is kind of a rob the rich thing but it would probably be the most politically palatable. I guess the cap was originally put in because rich people do not get any added benefit to Social Security so they shouldn't pay any extra into the system. I think I could stomach higher Social Security taxes as long as they do something like cut capital gains taxes or something similar.

Some Interesting Insight on How to Get rid of Kim in North Korea

I had no idea that North Korea has been set up in such a way to make almost all dissent practically impossible. Also the idea of using hunger and forced labor as a way to hold on to power if monstrous and shows how Kim certainly took Stalinist method to heart. However, there is one small glimmer of hope that capitalism can conquer all:

For all of these reasons, North Korea could not and still cannot develop the kind of dissident infrastructure that grew in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. But within this bleak picture, one institution has finally emerged that the state cannot crush: the free market. Markets now provide most of the food that North Koreans eat, and increasingly, they also deliver cell phones, radios, DVD players, and South Korean consumer goods, junk food, movies, and TV programs:

Where there is cell phones there is the seeds of a rebellion. The case-in-point is what happened in Iran. If Obama had been JFK and supported the Green Rebellion we might have had a regime change. Instead he stood on his hands and let the protesters get killed and thrown into jails. I think the US, South Korea, and China needs to start bombarding North Korea with the free market.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2012 Olympic Mascots: What the Hell are the Brits Thinking?

What are these monsters supposed to be?

They are supposed to be called Wenlock (L) and Paralympic mascot Mandeville (R.) But it appears that Wenlock is an avowed Nazi by giving us his best Hitler Salute. He might be a bit confused because he looks like he has the hand of communist rebellion emblazoned on his chest. Or maybe it is a hand holding a grenade it is hard to tell.

While Mandeville appears to have wet his pants or has conspicuously displayed his crotch for some horrible reason. Plus both of them have grotesquely staring cyclopean eyes. No wonder Obama hates Britain if this is the horror show they come up with for Olympics mascots.

I wonder what would be wrong with a cartoon lion wearing a Coldstream Guard outfit? Or maybe a bulldog with a appropriately English looking hat? Even a plate of anthropomorphous fish and chips would have been better then the Nazi cyclops and his pal the cyclops that had an "accident" in his pants.

Yankees Top the Most Valuable Team Brand List

It is the first time since Forbes has been doing this brand value deal that they have passed up Manchester United.

The Yankees brand is worth $328 million (21 percent of their $1.6 billion total team value), while we calculate the Man U name to be worth $285 million (16 percent of their $1.835 billion value). The two teams swapped spots as the Yankees saw a merchandising frenzy thanks to a 27th World Series title and the opening of their new stadium. Gross sales of World Series and Yankees championship-emblazoned products totaled $450 million last year, while the new ballpark spurred 40 percent growth in sponsorship revenue. Local TV ratings on YES Network (Forbes is a partner in a show on YES) were up 11 percent, even as most baseball teams saw ratings decline. Also helping push the Yanks to the top was a strengthening U.S. dollar, which gained 17 percent on the British pound over the 12-month period we reviewed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

HP Beats Street on Revenues and Earnings

They also raised their full year estimates as well.

Revenue rose to $30.8 billion, better than the $29.8 billion that analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected. In the same quarter a year earlier, revenue was $27.4 billion.

For 2010, HP is now predicting revenue of $123.7 billion to $124.9 billion, which topped analysts' forecasts for $123.0 billion. HP's earlier prediction was for revenue of $121.5 billion to $122.5 billion.

The company now expects profit of $4.45 to $4.50 per share, excluding special items. Analysts were expecting $4.45 per share. HP's previous forecast was for $4.37 to $4.44 per share.

One thing that is interesting is that HP Services are now the most profitable part of the business even beating out their overpriced ink. Too bad it is growing at only 2% this last quarter.

Tea Party Candidate Wins Kentucky Primary

It seems that we have a new political dynasty in the making.

Paul -- the son of Texas congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul -- was projected by CNN, the Associated Press and others to be the winner about an hour after polls closed in Kentucky. He'll face either Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo or Attorney General Jack Conway in the fall. The race between those two Democrats hasn't yet been called.

He is the son of Ron Paul of the wacky-gold standard fame. It will be interesting to see if he beats the Democrat or not. Also I wonder if hated Arlen Specter will hold on to his seat or not.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tea Party Feminism?

It sure seems that way according to this:

If the Tea Party has any legitimate national leadership, it is dominated by women. Of the eight board members of the Tea Party Patriots who serve as national coordinators for the movement, six are women. Fifteen of the 25 state coordinators are women. One of the three main sponsors of the Tax Day Tea Party that launched the movement is a group called Smart Girl Politics. The site started out as a mommy blog and has turned into a mobilizing campaign that trains future activists and candidates. Despite its explosive growth over the last year, it is still operated like a feminist cooperative, with three stay-at-home moms taking turns raising babies and answering e-mails and phone calls. Spokeswoman Rebecca Wales describes it as a group made up of "a lot of mama bears worried about their families." The Tea Party, she says, is a natural home for women because "for a long time people have seen the parties as good-ole'-boy, male-run institutions. In the Tea Party, women have finally found their voice."

Yup, and they aren't marginalized or subject to the misogyny coming from the Left who are supposed to be pro-woman. I mean some of the anti-women things thrown at Hillary and Palin are truly shocking.

Muslim Woman Wins Miss USA: Countdown to Extremists Threatening Her Begins

Well it seems we have our first Muslim American as Miss USA.

Rima Fakih of Dearborn, Mich., won the pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip after strutting confidently in an orange and gold bikini, wearing a strapless white gown that resembled a wedding dress and saying health insurance should cover birth control pills.

I would be willing to bet that the same Muslim crazies that went after South Park are sharpening their "threat machine" to go after her. One unfortunate thing is that she was not able to keep "off the pole:"

Mojo In The Morning producers have been contacted by representatives of Miss Universe requesting more photographs and information regarding Miss USA Rimah Fakih's involvement in the "Stripper 101" contest. When asked if Fakih's status as Miss USA was in danger, pageant representatives would not answer.

It seems that she was fully clothed so it should be okay. I think we might have these kind of "scandals" whenever we have a new Miss Anything. I guess the Miss USA vetting is being done by the same people that vetted the White House staff.

Major Twitter Developer Leaves for BankSimple

The developer of the Twitter API is leaving the company in order to work at a new online back called BankSimple.

As he tweets today and writes on his personal blog, Payne has quit Twitter to join the social banking startup BankSimple as a co-founder. More on that in a second. First, a little bit more about Payne’s time at Twitter, and his departure.

People Drop Out of Mortgage Mod. Program in Droves

I think they are simply walking away from their homes and renting.

More than 299,000 homeowners had received permanent loan modifications as of last month, Treasury said. That's about 25 percent of the 1.2 million who started the program since its March 2009 launch. They are paying, on average, $516 less each month.

However, the number of people who started the process but failed to get their mortgages permanently modified rose dramatically in April.

To complete the program, borrowers must make at least three payments on time. About 277,000 homeowners, or 23 percent of those enrolled, have dropped out during this trial phase. That's up from about 155,000 a month earlier, or a 79 percent increase.

So you have to fight for a year with the bank and maybe you will be able to pay $516 less on a home that is probably underwater? That does not sound like a good deal at all. Just walk away from the home and you might be able to pay $1000+ to rent instead. Also if you are out of work paying $516 less on a mortgage doesn't mean you still won't still lose your house.

I think the government should just pull back all of the programs and let the last gasp of foreclosures clear out the inventory once and for all. That way the banks can start again on an even footing and people can get back into the mortgage market after a period of renting.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hatoyama's Ugly-Assed Shirt

Oh man this thing seriously belongs back in the 80s with Day-Glo and L.A. Gear shoes. His approval rating has dropped a further 9 points since he sported this mess. I wonder what would be wrong with a nice suit shirt with the sleeves rolled up and no tie? That says relaxed world leader. This shirt says I not only dressed in the dark but I bought the shirt and paid for it in the dark as well.

On the Heels of Arizona's Ethnic Studies Crack-down we Have a Downside to Racial Awareness

This is quite an interesting study and that it comes out of Cal Berkley makes even more important.

Chatman attributes the low climate scores in area and ethnic studies precisely to the instruction students receive in those classes. "Students in area and ethnic studies should have learned to recognize prejudicial communication and should be more sensitive to communication that might be prejudicial," he writes. Whereas a math student might hear a remark and think nothing of it, an African American Studies student might discern prejudice and stereotyping. Does this mean that students in area and ethnic studies are more perceptive and accurate in their assessment of campus climate, or have they acquired in their classes a "warped lens" (Chatman's term) that sees social life in overdone racial categories? Chatman even draws a logical possibility that might appall area and ethnic studies instruction, that is, that the climate in those fields is a lot worse than it is in engineering classes and labs. One wonders how area and ethnic studies professors would feel if they were ordered to undergo diversity sensitivity sessions themselves to try to straighten out their problems.

I wonder if these ethnic studies programs deserve to have greater scrutiny shown toward them? I mean if the climate is so harsh there then maybe there should be a change. I know most of the social sciences at the University level is of dubious worth in the real world. I would be willing to bet that a Hispanic kid with an engineering degree will probably make 100x more than one with a Latino Studies degree. There is a good chance that he will be much more successful as a member of society as well.

Henry Louis Gates of the Beer Summit Fame Exposes Myths about the African Slave Trade

His new book must be really controversial and he will sure be made into an enemy in the "blacks need reparations" camp.

Gates argues that the role Africans played was “considerable” and included the very kingdoms in western and central Africa that are praised as examples of Africa’s historical greatness every February during “Black History Month” celebrations.

How did this African involvement in the slave trade work?

Gates references the historians John Thornton and Linda Heywood of Boston University — who estimate that 90 percent of the slaves shipped to the New World were captured and enslaved by Africans before being sold to European traders and commercial agents.

In essence, the slave trade would have been impossible on the scale it occurred without African business partners.

I read about this when I read the book Bury the Chains. Most of the white slave traders had no way of getting into the African interior without either being killed or catching a fatal disease. So they relied on their partners in West Africa. Many of those West African chiefs became fabulously wealthy due to enslaving their own fellow Africans.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Surprisingly America Approves of Arizona's Immigration Law

I find these polls quite eye-opening for the most part.

A new Pew Research Center Poll finds fully 73% of the country thinks police requesting immigration status documents is fine, while 67% think detaining someone for a status check is OK.

The poll reports that, overall, 59% approve of the law's broad provisions, while less than a third (32%) now oppose them. That is up significantly from a similar poll earlier this month.

Democrats, a large majority of whom originally opposed the law, are now....

... evenly split 45-46% approve-disapprove. The number of Democrats supporting the measure has been growing as more information spreads about its legal provisions and safeguards.

That last part really seems like a change to me. I think this is all due to the job situation. The idea of illegals doing "jobs Americans don't want to do" disappears when there are people out there who haven't had a job in 2 years. The idea of people not paying their fair share seems to not apply only to the rich. Also if you are a legal immigrant this all must be really galling as well.

Arizona Goes After Ethnic Studies

I think this might be the case of what might be a sensible bill that will again be attacked by ethnic groups.

The measure signed Tuesday prohibits classes that advocate ethnic solidarity, that are designed primarily for students of a particular race or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group.

The Tucson Unified School District program offers specialized courses in African-American, Mexican-American and Native-American studies that focus on history and literature and include information about the influence of a particular ethnic group.

For example, in the Mexican-American Studies program, an American history course explores the role of Hispanics in the Vietnam War, and a literature course emphasizes Latino authors.

So in effect this class will ban a White Supremacist course (if there was such a thing) that teaches that all other races are inferior. I wonder if this ban might grow in other states as well? I mean race and class hatred should not be taught in any way what-so-ever.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

ObamaCare Could Cost $115 Billion more?

It seems that we just broke the $1 trillion mark for the price tag for ObamaCare.

President Barack Obama's new health care law could potentially add at least $115 billion more to government health care spending over the next 10 years, congressional budget referees said Tuesday.

If Congress approves all the additional spending called for in the legislation, it would push the ten-year cost of the overhaul above $1 trillion — an unofficial limit the Obama administration set early on.

The spending isn't mandatory but I will be willing to bet that it will actually be too low. This ObamaCare thing is the gift that keeps taking.

People Walking Away from the Their Homes at Record Rate

I think people need to stop all of the various plans to keep people in their homes and just let the market take its course. As more Americans in an underwater home start to realize they can just walk away and have the bank take it the more these "strategic defaults" are going to take their toll.

"Strategic" defaults accounted for at least 12 percent of all defaults in February, up from about 4 percent in mid-2007, according to a recent Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS - News) report. Analysts led by Vishwanath Tirupattur classified a default as strategic when a homeowner who hadn't previously been delinquent made an on-time mortgage payment one month; skipped payments for the next three months; and stayed current on other consumer debt of $10,000 or more.

I mean many people are just not sure why they need to stay in a negative equity McMansion and pay $5000+ a month when they could just rent a similar place for like $3000. Then they can hopefully use that $2000 savings to pay down the rest of their debt.

You also couple this with the fact that the White House and Congress keeps painting the big banks as bad guys and people just think they are "sticking it to the evil banksters that blew up the economy" when they walk away from their mortgage. I guess all that overheated anti-bank rhetoric is going to have a boomerang effect after all.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Obama Puts the XBox and the IPad on the Enemies List

I'm not quite sure what he is trying to say here.

"You're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank all that high on the truth meter," Obama said at Hampton University, Virginia.

"With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations, -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation," Obama said.

Um, how hard is it to work an Ipod? I thought this guy was supposed to be President Spock? I guess that was supposed to be a self-deprecating joke but it makes him sound like a backwards hick. Also information as a "tool of empowerment and emancipation" was shown in shining colors during Iran's abortive Green Revolution. Too bad Obama ignored the whole thing until it was too late to affect the outcome.

I do agree that critical thinking takes a nosedive due to the Internet. You never get the whole story on anything unless you dig deeper and do your own research. I guess Obama laments that the Left can't lie as effectively through the mouthpiece of the dying newspapers and network news.

I mean people would love him if not for Fox News, the bloggers, and the Tea Partiers organizing with social networking. It isn't his policies or him spending more money on more failed crap then any other President before him. Maybe Obama will think up a dirty tricks group like Nixon did to "silence the IPad and destroy the evil Xbox." Do we get to see some Obamaites sneaking into a Cupertino psychiatrist's office to dig up some dirt on Steve Jobs?

Obama's Jewish Support Plummets

I think the anti-Israel nature of the Obama Administration is finally starting to create some consequences.

The US Jews polled were asked whether they would: (a) vote to re-elect Obama, or (b) consider voting for someone else. 42% said they would vote for Obama and 46%, a plurality, preferred the second answer. 12% said they did not know or refused to answer.

In the Presidential elections of 2008, 78% of Jewish voters, or close to 8 out of 10, chose Obama. The McLaughlin poll held nearly 18 months later, in April 2010, appears to show that support is down to around 4 out of 10.

From 80% support to 40% support in just a years time. Now wait until Iran gets the bomb on Obama's watch. I guess he will "condemn in the strongest possible terms Israel provoking Iran to act in self defense." I wonder if this is the start of Jewish flight away from the Democratic party? I mean Dems have shown over and over again how they dislike Israel and do everything that they can to embarrass their leaders. The Left has a long history of backing the Palestinians over our only democratic ally in the area.

Coverage for 20 Somethings Will Drive Up Family Insurance Plans

I thought ObamaCare was going to "bend the cost curve downward." So far it is only bending things upward.

The new benefit will cost $3,380 for each dependent, raising premiums by 0.7 percent in 2011 for employer plans, according to the department's mid-range estimate. Some 1.2 million young adults are expected to sign up, more than half of whom would have been uninsured.

So each family pays $3380 extra a year to insure about 500,000 people? Of course these are the people least likely to need health insurance so this is just pure profit for the insurance companies. The more we get his with ObamaCare the more it seems like it was written by the insurance companies for the insurance companies.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Failure on the BP Rig Explained

It seems that it was a methane bubble that shot up the drill hole when they were converting the rig from an exploration rig to a production rig.

Up on the rig, the first thing workers noticed was the seawater in the drill column suddenly shooting back at them, rocketing 240 feet in the air. Then, gas surfaced. Then oil.

"What we had learned when I worked as a drill rig laborer was swoosh, boom, run," Bea said. "The swoosh is the gas, boom is the explosion and run is what you better be doing."

The gas flooded into an adjoining room with exposed ignition sources, he said.

What seems to forgotten in this whole mess is that 11 people died in that explosion. All this talk of keeping the boot on the neck of BP kind of flies in the face of those people pretty much dying in an accident probably because a part failed. It is a dangerous job bringing up oil from 3000 feet below the surface of the water at the White House needs to acknowledge the fact that 11 people died so we can drive our SUVs to the mall.

IAEA to Go After Israel

When Obama shows contempt toward Israel this is what happens.

The 35-nation IAEA board is the agency's decision making body and can refer proliferation concerns to the U.N. Security Council — as it did with Iran in 2006 after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment, a potential pathway to nuclear weapons.

A decision to keep the item would be a slap in the face not only for Israel but also for Washington and its Western allies, which support the Jewish state and view Iran as the greatest nuclear threat to the Middle East.

If the Israelis stonewall the IAEA then Iran gets all kinds of bargaining leverage. If the Israelis declare themselves a nuclear power then all of their enemies might be able to go nuclear to in their words "counter the Zionist threat." Whenever there is daylight between Washington and Jerusalem you see this kind of thing happen.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Trading Error at Fault for Market Meltdown?

Ah it seems that someone put in a $15 billion order to sell P&G stock instead of a $15 million order and that is what caused to market to implode.

"That doesn't happen unless someone made a huge mistake," a trader that declined to be identified for this story told TheStreet about the P&G trade. The same trader said the latest speculation was that Citigroup(PG) was the firm behind the wrong trade, mistakenly putting in a 15 billion sell order, instead of a 15 million one, but the company would not confirm or deny that.

This $15 billion sell order in a stock that is supposed to be a safe haven dropped the market past key technical points and this caused the robots to sell shares as well. This is why the market dropped 1000 points in a few minutes. The market was already worried about Greece and was looking for any excuse to sell off.

Now what I am wondering is if the market will climb a wall of worry or it continues to sell off. I guess it all comes down to whether the Germans are going to do about bailing Greece out. If they nix the idea and the Greeks default on their debt then we are in for a double dip recession. I think the EU should seriously think about kicking Greece out of the union to avoid further damage to the Euro.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

10 Unwritten Rules of Baseball

This is an interesting article that talks about all of the unwritten rules in baseball.

Last month, when A's pitcher Dallas Braden(notes) called out Alex Rodriguez(notes) for cutting across the Oakland Coliseum mound, the country was informed of a small slice of baseball's Code that had lain mostly dormant in recent memory.

It was only one of a litany of unwritten rules that covers major leaguers' actions, designed essentially to preserve a baseline level of respect between competitors. They constitute the moral fabric of the game.

I never heard of the cutting across the mound rule and I have been watching baseball for years. Some of the other ones on this list are pretty obscure for most people watching the game.

Send in the Black Conservatives

I guess you can point to Obama for this new resurgence in black conservatives running for office.

Among the many reverberations of President Obama’s election, here is one he probably never anticipated: at least 32 African-Americans are running for Congress this year as Republicans, the biggest surge since Reconstruction, according to party officials.

I think one thing the GOP should do is point to the fact that they have been champions of equal rights and that the Democrats were the party of the bigots in the South. It was Democratic filibusters that kept the Equal Rights Amendment from being voted on. Also it was the Republicans who started many of the traditionally black colleges. I also think that the GOP should push the fact that black people are not any better off financially after supporting the Democrats for 30 years.

David Obey to Retire From the Senate

I guess he just doesn't want to actually run for his seat in the Senate.

Obey won the first of 21 terms in 1969 — when a special election was held after President Richard Nixon tapped Melvin Laird to be his defense secretary. He faced a potentially bruising re-election campaign this fall, and his retirement is likely to make it easier for Republicans to pick up his seat.

Wow 21 strait terms? I guess it is time for him to exit stage left. It seems that his GOP opponent might be sitting pretty now:

Sean Duffy, 38, a Republican district attorney, is seen as the favored candidate in the GOP primary, and his candidacy has attracted the backing of Republicans in Washington as well as the party's 2008 vice president nominee, Sarah Palin, and tea party activists.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Times Square Bomber Almost Escapes

Well, we can chalk up yet another near failure of the "no-fly" list.

By the time Customs and Border Protection officials spotted Shahzad's name on the passenger list and recognized him as the bombing suspect they were looking for, he was in his seat and the plane was preparing to leave the gate. They knew to look for him because of updates to the no-fly list made earlier in the day.

At the last minute, the pilot was notified, the jetliner's door was opened and Shahzad was taken into custody.

Why doesn't the no-fly list come up when the person is paying cash for the ticket at the counter? You would think that was fairly rare and the ticket taker would raise a red flag. I have a feeling that they didn't pull this guy out of the line and wand him neither. I guess you can't eliminate human error even when the flight originates in the US.

Why People Dislike the Unions: Written By a Democrat

I had to look up the author of this article because I swear he was from the GOP but no this guy is Willie Brown a retired life-long Democrat politician.

As the private economy has faltered, we increasingly have a two-tier economy: If you're an insider, a unionized government employee, you're in good shape. Even if you don't do a very good job, you won't be fired. Even in hard times, Washington will spend billions in stimulus funds so that you don't get laid off. You won't even have to take much of a pay cut. And you can retire like an aristocrat at taxpayer expense. But if you're an outsider, trying to survive in a world of $10-an-hour jobs, competing with immigrant labor, paying for your own healthcare, forced to send your children to lousy public schools run by unfireable teachers and $100,000-a-year bureaucrats — well, good luck to you. But be sure to vote Democratic.

This has to be the entire problem that people have with unions in a nutshell. The government bails them out at the expense of everyone else. We see them cut sweetheart deals and have pensions that bankrupt their states. The government even has to take over car companies just to keep the UAW in a job.

This two-tier union system that Brown talks about might eventually become one of the deepest fault-lines in the Democratic party. The other potential fault-line is illegal immigrants versus poor American citizens who can't find work. I think the idea that jobs that Americans don't want died when people are reaching 2 years of unemployment.

British Sniper Now Holds Sniping Distance Record

Now this is one awesome feat of shooting.

Corporal of Horse Craig Harrison fired his consecutive shots from such a long distance that they took almost three seconds to reach their targets.

This was despite the 8.59mm bullets leaving the barrel of his rifle at almost three times the speed of sound.

The distance to his two targets was 8,120ft, or 1.54 miles - according to a GPS system - and about 3,000ft beyond the weapon's effective range.

I wonder what a sniper like Vasily Zaytsev could have done with a rile that could shoot nearly 1.54 miles? He could just find a hiding spot and snipe Taliban all day long and they would never know what hit them.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Greece to Be Bailed Out

Well at least we won't have a Euro-zone crisis at least until Greece runs out of this money.

Euro-region ministers agreed to a 110 billion-euro ($146 billion) rescue package for Greece to prevent a default and stop the worst crisis in the currency’s 11-year history from spreading through the rest of the bloc.

The funny part is that this is just a rounding error compared to the amount of debt the US has to roll over every few months. The Greeks are so grateful that they are rioting in the streets.