Links for 10-28-2011

  • George Will lashes Mitt The Not-So-Bold: “Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable; he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate.”

  • Michael Quinn Sullivan lashes the RINO speaker of the Texas House, Joe Straus. Tea Party supporters worked hard to defeat Straus in the race for speaker at the beginning of the current legislative session, and came away severely disappointed in the wimpy Republican representatives who cowered before Straus. I doubt these people will be in a forgiving mood in 2012. I know I won’t be.

Links for 10-27-2011

  • The man who connects the “Fast and Furious” scandal to the White House, Kevin O’Reilly, found himself suddenly assigned to a job in Iraq. The Obama Administration informed the CBS News reporter who has been working on “Fast and Furious,” Sharyl Attkisson, that O’Reilly is unavailable. PJ Media searched the Internet and found the phone number for the office O’Reilly is occupying, and it turns out he is available, or was available until the phone number was disconnected. Odd, no?

  • James O’Keefe’s latest video targets two well-known New York University journalism professors, Jay Rosen and Clay Shirky, who lecture on how the New York Times shapes the news. There’s nothing here you wouldn’t expect, but it’s entertaining to hear it directly from them.

  • A Palestinian news agency is reporting that the U.S. agreed to sell F-16s to Egypt to facilitate the release of an Israeli-American, Ilan Grapel, who was arrested in June on espionage charges.

  • Herman Cain appears to have Michele Bachmann disease when it comes to handling his staff: they quit frequently and now they’re ratting him out to the New York Times. This doesn’t speak to good executive skills. It’s been many years since Cain was a CEO. Is he rusty?

  • ARM announced its 64-bit ARMv8 core architecture, which is targeted (for now) at server processors. Their launch partners include Applied Micro, Nvidia, and Microsoft. The fact that Applied Micro is building server processors based on the ARM architecture is not good news for Power.org.

Links for 10-26-2011

  • PJ Media is running a story that claims a “Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council” member, Mohamed Elibiary, downloaded Texas Department of Public Safety reports from a DHS database and shopped them to an unnamed liberal media outlet. Elibiary claimed the reports illustrated Islamophobia at the Texas department, which would presumably embarrass presidential candidate Rick Perry. I expect Elibiary is now in line for a promotion.

  • Fox News is reporting that an organization comprised of ex-ACORN employees called New York Communities for Change (NYCC) is raising money under false pretenses to fund the Occupy Wall Street protest. NYCC is allegedly paying people to attend the protest as well.

  • Mitt Romney was for Ohio’s public employee union bargaining reforms before he has against them, so now he’s for them again. Or something.

  • PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel launched “Breakout Labs,” which will fund research proposals that are too early stage or radical to attract VC funding or government grants.

  • HP will reportedly build server computers using processors from Austin start-up Calxeda. Calxeda is extending the latest cellular handset processor technology — multiple ARM architecture processor cores combined with low power design techniques — to the server processor market, which should result in chips that consume significantly less power than x86 server processors from Intel and AMD.

Links for 10-25-2011

  • The vote fraud that Democrats claim never happens happened in public view in San Francisco’s mayoral race. Ooops.

  • It’s interesting to read how the more-or-less-conservative media reacts to Governor Rick Perry’s flat tax plan. The editors at Investor’s Business Daily write, “Perry is taking some political risk in the service of sound policy.” They credit other Republican candidates with “bolder” plans. And then they criticize Mitt Romney’s “risk-aversion” on this topic. The editors at National Review describe Perry’s plan as a “rough draft” and place an uncomplimentary photo of Perry on their front page. Their description of his plan says, in effect, it’s hardly better than Romney’s plan and will fall short on revenue. They conclude by sniffing, “Republicans should try for something better.” No, editors at National Review, I won’t be renewing my subscription. I can obtain inside-the-beltway Republican establishment analyses such as this from altogether too many sources already.

  • Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler wrote a good summary of Mitt Romney’s failure to back Ohio Governor John Kasich’s efforts to fend off a ballot initiative that would overturn public employee union bargaining reforms. Of course this isn’t surprising since he’s Mitt “The Risk-Averse” not Mitt “The Bold.”

  • I also agree with Bryan Preston’s questioning of the plaintive cries from Hot Air, National Review, Jennifer Rubin, and even the American Spectator that Perry killed his economic message today by engaging in “birtherism.”

  • Surprise! Democrat Congressman John Murtha was dirty, just as many of us suspected.

Dept. of Genuinely Bad Ideas

Last week Bloomberg published an article describing how Bank of America (BoA) is shifting derivatives from its Merrill Lynch investment banking unit to its depository unit in response to pressure from counterparties, who are reacting to a recent Moody’s downgrade of BoA’s long-term credit. BoA doesn’t believe it needs regulatory approval to do this, and it appears to have the Federal Reserve’s support, while the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) is opposed because it would he responsible for paying off depositors in the event of a BoA failure. These types of transfers are supposed to be limited by regulations, to prevent banks from dumping risky assets on their FDIC-insured operations, but the Federal Reserve granted exemptions to several banks in 2009; many of those exemptions have expired, but BoA is operating under an active one.

All of this sounds dangerous enough, but The Daily Bail points out that U.S. taxpayers are effectively backstopping BoA’s derivatives trades and we don’t know the full extent of that exposure. In a worst case scenario, European politicians and bankers could fail to agree on how to handle the Greek sovereign debt crisis, European banks could fail, and U.S. taxpayers could be on the hook for trillions of dollars of BoA bailout money thanks to credit default swaps transferred to its depository unit. Oh, and JP Morgan appears to be engaged in the same type of transfer activity as BoA.

I’m starting the think the “audit the Fed” crowd has a point. We ought to have more visibility into what the Fed is permitting to happen here.

Links for 10-24-2011

  • In 2008 United Way donated an estimated $1.9M to Planned Parenthood. While United Way says this money didn’t pay for abortions, it did free up private donor money to pay for abortions, another instance of the “money is fungible” argument I’ve noted before.

  • Congressman Darrell Issa compared the documents he received from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in response to a subpoena regarding the Boeing case to the documents Judicial Watch received in response to a Freedom of Information Act request regarding the same case and discovered the NLRB withheld relevant information from his committee. Surprise!

  • The Los Angeles Times attacked Mitt Romney, claiming that RomneyCare offers medical care to illegal aliens above and beyond what’s required by federal law.

  • The Los Angeles Time also noted that Steve Spinner, an Obama bundler who benefitted from the Solyndra loan guarantee, is still a top tier bundler for Obama’s re-election campaign.

  • The Corner at National Review Online resorted to quoting the Austin American-Statesman in an attack on Governor Rick Perry. We’ll know they’ve gone off the deep end over there when they quote the Austin Chronicle, as Michele Bachmann’s campaign did.

  • The Republican National Committee is running a web ad that claims for every $1M Obama raises for his re-election, $6.4B is added to the national debt.

  • The U.S. recalled Ambassador to Syria Richard Ford due to threats to his personal safety, and Syria responded by recalling its ambassador to the U.S.

  • Imagine the whiny voice Mark Hamill used to deliver his “but I was going to Tosche Station to buy power converters” line from the first Star Wars movie, then read this tweet he wrote in support of the Occupy Wall Street people:

    Corporations arent people,money is not speech, end wars & tax rich. We need accountability for Wall St- Barack Obama 2012 #Occupywallstreet

    You’re welcome. I discovered this via Adam Baldwin, whom you should follow because he’ll never write whiny tweets about Occupy Wall Street — or Tosche Station.

Links for 10-21-2011

  • There’s more on the Washington Post article questioning Senator Marco Rubio’s story of the circumstances of his parents emigrating from Cuba to the U.S. Erick Erickson reports that the article’s author, Manuel Roig-Franzia, has a reputation as an apologist for Cuba’s government and as an opponent of the Catholic church. He’s also writing a book on Rubio. The Miami Herald took the Post article to task. Rubio wrote an op-ed piece for Politico that expands on the statement he issued yesterday.

  • Herman Cain tried again to clarify his position on abortion. He appears to be unwisely splitting hairs on an issue important to many Republican primary voters and caucus-goers. Katrina Trinko reports that the National Right to Life Committee believes Cain is pro-life, but that the Susan B. Anthony List isn’t so sure. The electorate may be in an anti-politician mood, but Cain is demonstrating that there are drawbacks when a candidate is not a professional politician.

  • Retired Marine Corps drill instructor and actor R. Lee Ermey kills time on an airplane flight by knitting.