Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wimpy...

Obama: 'Couldn't be prouder of the job' Susan Rice has done


According to TPM LiveWire, "Wednesday, President Barack Obama took the opportunity to praise United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice. 'Susan Rice is extraordinary,' Obama said in a response to a question shouted from a reporter. 'Couldn't be prouder of the job she's done.'"

Well, she did take the Benghazi heat off him.

That's some fine work there! As the brouhaha over U.S. UN Ambassador Susan Rice continued, it appears MSNBC got their Rices wrong. If you'll notice in the lower left of the screen shot below, former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice has been confused with Susan Rice.

It could happen to anyone...right?




It pays to know the right people: "According to a report from OnEarth, which cites U.N. ambassador Susan Rice’s financial-disclosure reports, the potential secretary of state nominee holds significant stakes in several Canadian oil companies and banks that would benefit enormously from the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The construction of the pipeline was blocked by the State Department earlier this year, but, if nominated and confirmed as secretary of state, Rice would be involved in the postponed approval process. Rice, whose net worth is estimated around $33 million, owns between $300,000 and $600,000 worth of stock in TransCanada, according to her 2011 financial disclosure report. TransCanada is the original developer and sole owner of the Keystone Pipeline project. The company has already started building the southern section of the pipeline, and continues to seek government approval to build the northern portion."

(h/t: NRO's The Corner)




"The American public? We could take 'em or leave 'em." - "In response to a question from reporter Major Garrett on whether the Obama administration's mishandling of Benghazi raises 'core questions of basic competency,' press secretary Jay Carney revealed that Barack Obama 'is not particularly concerned' about whether Susan Rice misled the American people."

I guess we missed the 2012 election slogan: "Re-elect me and I won't give a @#$%!"




From The Bliss Index' Econ 101 class: Remember, one of the first lessons is, "Money goes where it's treated best." The latest example - "Two-thirds of millionaires left Britain to avoid 50 [percent] tax rateAlmost two-thirds of the country’s million-pound earners disappeared from Britain after the introduction of the 50 [percent] top rate of tax, figures have disclosed." 

California, are you paying attention? (Probably not.)




In case you were wondering: Yes, the dog is edible. (Which wouldn't be the first for Mr. Obama...)



'nuf said...


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Forward?


Here comes the boom? - Dear Mr. President and Vice President: Remember when you poo-poo'd Iran's nuclear build-up? Check out this nifty little graph --

Iran Nuclear

So what does it mean? It means, "Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, according to a diagram obtained by The Associated Press." So, yeah...nothing to worry about here.

More great news from The Recovery! - "The median wealth of U.S. households is the lowest since 1969
New research found that while median wealth plummeted, the top 1 percent increased wealth by 71 percent."

Your tax dollars at work! - "Head of Fed Dept. Wasted Thousands in SUV Rental for Three Block Drive." Apparently, a big wig over at the Federal Maritime Commission spent more than $1,600 a month for a 2011 Chevy Tahoe, fully loaded with leather seats and GPS. The agency also spent up to $75 an hour for a staff member to drive the vehicle in the nation's capital -- to avoid a three block walk. (Video below.)



"California's economy remains shaky" -- Let's see...higher taxes, burdensome regulations, a lawsuit happy state...gee, ya think?



Fiscal "cliff" or "iceberg?"


Monday, November 26, 2012

O', Cyber Monday...

The long weekend is over -- welcome back to reality.



So who was he thanking? - "Yet again, President Obama’s Thanksgiving message eschewed any direct reference to thanking God, making this the fourth straight year in which the President of the United States has ignored the central message of the holiday in favor of political grandstanding."

Just a photo opp?


From NorthJersey.com: Donna Vanzant struggled through flooded streets and downed power lines two days after superstorm Sandy to reach the ravaged marina she owns in Brigantine [NJ]. Secret Service agents were combing the area when she finally arrived, and by the time the afternoon was over, she had met President Obama and shared an emotional hug with him. The following morning, the image of that embrace, [above], was published and broadcast by news outlets around the world. [The photographer] returned to Brigantine last week to see how she was doing.

All but one of the boats in her North Point Marina that were pushed as far as three blocks away by the storm surge have now been recovered, but there is much left to do. Vanzant estimates that her business losses will amount to at least $500,000, including the cost of repairing the marina. Her son Stephen, 26, took a two-week leave from the Navy to come home to help out. He has started a Facebook page called Rebuild North Point Marina to seek contributions. Vanzant has been moved by the many kindnesses she received from friends, family and customers. She heard from countless people after the photograph of her hug with the president was published, including from strangers as far away as Vietnam who wished her well.

She said she was honored to meet Obama, but she is also frustrated that she has yet to receive help from either her insurance companies or the government. "The president told me I would get immediate help," she said.

"Looking back on it, it wasted a lot of people’s time," she said of the visit.


Regarding our economic predicaments...




Do you live in a "death spiral" state? - "Thinking about buying a house? Or a municipal bond? Be careful where you put your capital. Don’t put it in a state at high risk of a fiscal tailspin." 

Wanna guess which states are the worst? Here's a hint: they're "blue states." 


California Gov. Jerry Brown: killing it...

It pays to know the right people: "Obama Donors Got $21,000 in Government Money for Every $1 They Gave." There is a "recovery"...for some folks.


"What's in your wallet?"


"Lord and Savior?" Really? - Actor/comedian Jamie Foxx (at the BET Awards) praises Barack Obama...



Yes, Virginia, there is a liar: Disagreeing with Obama can ruin Christmas, says White House report.





Friday, November 23, 2012

The day after...

So, are you still thankful...or just full?




Time's a wastin', so let's jump right into the post-Thanksgiving Day bloggage...



Might these be Saddam's old toys? - Why would Czech anti-chemical warfare troops [be working] in Jordan? Foreign Policy.com's John Reed posts the following: "Czech troops are in Jordan, providing technical expertise in case Syria's massive stockpile of chemical weapons is somehow unleashed by the Assad regime, rebels, or terrorists. "We do have the traditional CBRN [chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear warfare] specialization, we have our anti-chemical units in the Gulf, in Kuwait . . .  we do have some even in Afghanistan, we do have some cooperation now with Jordan because of the danger with Syria," Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra told Killer Apps yesterday while discussing the Czech military's special role within NATO: dealing with CBRN threats. While there are reports of some of the Syrian government's advanced Russian-made SA-24 handheld surface-to-air missiles falling into rebel hands, we have yet to see evidence of Assad's chemical or biological weapons making their way out of their supposedly secure storage sites -- although there are reports of government troops moving the chem/bio weapons in an effort to keep them safe. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently told the White House that any military effort to secure Syria's chemical weapons would take tens of thousands of troops.  

So how's that "Arab Spring" workin' out for ya? The Muslim Brotherhood's mouthpiece/leader in the Land of the Pharaoh hasn't even been in power a year and he's looking more and more like a dictator who could end up being worse than the deposed former leader: "citing deadlock, Egypt’s leader seizes new power and plans Mubarak retrial." It appears that the Islamicists learned well from their Nazi friends back in the day.




Memories: In 1941, Haj Amin al-Husseini (the Muslim leader in Jerusalem) fled to Germany and met with Adolf HitlerHeinrich HimmlerJoachim Von Ribbentrop and other Nazi leaders. He wanted to persuade them to extend the Nazis’ anti-Jewish program to the Arab world.

Egypt, pt. 2: "Protests rock Egypt after Morsi seizes new powers."

Meanwhile back in the good ol' US of A...

Welcome to Katrina, Part 2: Here's a choice headline, "NYC sends health teams to post-Sandy food handouts, rubbing some wrong way," which goes with a choice story - "Bobby Eustace, an 11-year veteran with the city's fire department tells FoxNews.com that on Sunday he and his fellow firefighters from Ladder 27 in the Bronx were issued a notice of violation for not maintaining restaurant standards in a tent set up in Breezy Point, Queens, to feed victims and first responders. 'It’s just a little ridiculous. The inspector came up and asked if we were wearing hairnets. I told him, ‘We have helmets. This is a disaster area,’' Eustace told FoxNews.com. “Then he asked is we had gloves and thermometers [for food]. I said, “Yeah, we have rectal and oral. Which one do you want?’ He wasn’t amused.'” Glad to see the bureaucracies have their priorities in order.


Rules are rules!

“The more you know” - Is Hollywood aware of the fact that NBC News Vetoed Chelsea Clinton's Marriage Equality ads? "Videos prepared by former First Daughter, who supports marriage equality, would have been used in Washington state and by TheFour.com. But NBC News, where Clinton has worked for the past year, wouldn't allow it." Haters!

If you want an example of what not to do, you need look no further than California: "Anyone who thinks that President Obama's economic policies will spur strong growth should consider U-Haul rates between California and Texas. Renting a 20-foot truck one-way from San Francisco to San Antonio, for example, will cost $1,693. But the U-Haul tab to go in the opposite direction is just $983." 

Finally, if you read one article this week, read this one: "The “Hollywood Holocaust” and Other Cold War Myths." It puts things into perspective and corrects the revisionists.


Farewell...Larry Hagman...

Breaking news..."Larry Hagman, who became a TV icon with his starring roles onDallas and I Dream of Jeannie, died from complications of cancer on Friday in Dallas, Texas. "It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for," Hagman's family wrote in a statement. Hagman, who was seen as recently as this year on TNT's reboot of "Dallas," is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, actress Maj Axelsson." (h/t: Daily Beast). It was said that Romania's communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu showed "Dallas" in Romania to demonstrate how evil Capitalism was, but they loved it so much they shot Ceausescu. On a personal note, when I was in college, Mr. Hagman often frequented the bar I worked at. He was nice but kept to himself. A real gentleman...just sippin' his drink. RIP, Mr. Hagman.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving, 2012...

No matter the adversity, no matter the foe, no matter the conditions, we Americans have much to be thankful for -- Thanksgiving Day or not.

Through the years, the Thanksgiving story has evolved into more than just a recollection of Pilgrims and Native Americans sitting down to a feast. Still, it's important to remember how it first came to be.



In its first incarnation, the Pilgrims' experiment in socialism was an utter failure. It was only after they "had the humility to learn from their initial mistakes and embrace freedom" that they succeeded.

Much is said and written about Abraham Lincoln's "Proclamation of Thanksgiving," but George Washington probably contributed the most significant proclamation regarding "thanks" in the years following the Pilgrims' celebration.



Here is Washington's proclamation:

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.


Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor–and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”


Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be–That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.


and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions–to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.


Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.


Finally, whether you're eating turkey, watching football, gathered with family and friends, or guarding our liberties in some American outpost, it's important for us to remember all the bounties we've been given; we can never forget the multitude of blessings we enjoy; or the greatness of thisexceptional nation. Today is, most certainly, a day of Thanksgiving.

As we head off to our Bliss Index feast, we leave you with a bit of Thanksgiving levity: the now-infamous "WKRP in Cincinnati" Turkey Drop episode, wherein this classic line is uttered: "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Save your thanks...

...for tomorrow.

It may be slow around your workplace or neighborhood today, but there is a lot going on in our world (not everyone is getting the turkey and fixin's ready for Thanksgiving!)...

The Middle East, again... 

If you're in Israel and you're worried about incoming Hamas missiles -- yeah, there's an app for that (see video below):

 


When it comes to peace between the warring tribes, there is hope -- at least here in the U.S.: On Thanksgiving, Jews and Muslims volunteer together despite Middle East violence...

Another case of Now & Then...
Then- Reagan: “We should invest in an anti-missile defense system.” 
Media: “What a loon.”
Now-Obama: “We should invest in an anti-missile defense system.”
Media: “Brilliant!”

Meanwhile, Benghazi won't go away (much to the unhappiness of the administration).

Good riddance: "Mumbai attack gunman Qasab executed Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, the sole surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks, has been hanged in an Indian prison."


As we watch Hillary Clinton ride off into the sunset -- at least as far as being Secretary of State is concerned -- what exactly has she accomplished?  

Here at home...

You might not matter: "

Obama’s ‘Constituency Groups’ Checklist Offers No Options for Whites or Men" (see official campaign survey below)...


Because they're special: "Federal Workers to Congress: Leave Us Out of Deficit Deal"... 

Well, they are better than you:  "36 Obama aides owe $833,970 in back taxes"...






Remember when Tea Party members were arrested, tried and convicted of trying to blow up things like bridges? Yeah, me neither...

Today's Hall of Shame entry: "Woman's disrespect at Tomb of Unknowns Sparks Outrage." Too say the least...


And finally...

Looks like the L-tryptophan from the turkey kicked in a little early...





Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's been a while...

It's been a wild and woolly couple of months...hence, the long gap 'tween the last time this blog published and today.

Well, wait no more. It's the return of The Bliss Index!

Let us begin...

More than two months later, and we still haven't heard the truth from the White House...


Meanwhile, in a place called the Middle East...

Remember when Ronald Reagan proposed a missile defense system and was roundly laughed at for his "crazy and unworkable Star Wars ideas?" Yeah, about that. Over in Israel, its "Iron Dome" anti-missile system is knocking out about 90 percent of all rockets fired at its civilian populations. Not too bad. Pretty, pretty, pretty good....  



I'm crossing that Porsche off my Christmas list. No, I want this baby -- below -- from Israel (which seems to be doing its job just fine)...


In case you were wondering: this is Gaza...

And elsewhere...


Our president, practicing more of that "smart diplomacy" he promised...


Picture this! -- Your tax dollars at work!

And finally, some great news to cheer you up: Apparently, 2013 is shaping up to look a lot like 1937. Why is that bad? "In this case, “1937” means a market drop similar to the one after the re-election of another Democratic president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1936." So there's that to look forward to...

Bonus: the perfect wrap to any story or bit of blogging on the Middle East: the Clash's 1982 hit, "Rock The Casbah."



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Out of touch?


President Obama, speaking in Roanoke, VA, on Friday, actually said the following (video below):

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

Out of touch? Yeah, just a bit...

(To read the official White House transcripts of this speech/gaffe/belief, go here.)




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Joe Biden's Greatest Misses


If our veep was " articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy ," we'd title this, "Joe Biden's Greatest Hits." 

Alas, he possesses none of those attributes. 

So The Bliss Index presents the following compilation. 

Enjoy....


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Detroit's last gasp?


As if the once-proud city's problems weren't bad enough...

Today, another nail was pounded into the coffin of The Motor City.


Detroit, which has moved beyond ruin a long time ago, is now on the brink of utter ruin.

Today, the city that put America -- and the world -- on wheels announced that they're so far behind on their bills that they're going to shut off their own electricity.



According to a Bloomberg story, "Detroit, whose 139 square miles contain 60 percent fewer residents than in 1950, will try to nudge them into a smaller living space by eliminating almost half its streetlights. As it is, 40 percent of the 88,000 streetlights are broken and the city, whose finances are to be overseen by an appointed board, can’t afford to fix them. Mayor Dave Bing’s plan would create an authority to borrow $160 million to upgrade and reduce the number of streetlights to 46,000. Maintenance would be contracted out, saving the city $10 million a year."

There's a word for all this: depressing.





Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Getting our money's worth?


The latest from the Gaffe-inator (aka: VP Joe Biden): "You Pay Me A Lot Of Money."

For whatever it's worth, Mr. Biden says he's still “Middle Class Joe.”

“I’m the kid from Scranton who just climbed out of a coal mine with a lunch bucket in his hand,” he adds.

Joe Biden: God's gift to comedy...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Inflated...



For those folks looking for a laugh (or a bad history lesson), check out this video from the conservative PAC, American Crossroads.

It would be hilarious...if it wasn't so sad.



Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's all fun and games -- until someone gets fired...



'GSA Again Under Fire, Now Over Video Spoof'

Two House committees said Thursday they are investigating wasteful spending by the General Services Administration, following an inspector general's report criticizing a lavish conference in October 2010 in Las Vegas.

The Oversight and Government Reform Committee also released a six-minute video (below) that was reportedly shown at an awards ceremony at the conference in which a GSA employee is applauded and named "commissioner for the day" for rapping about what he would do if he were head of the agency.

Earlier this week, the White House accepted GSA chief Martha Johnson's resignation after she dismissed two deputies and suspended other career employees over the conference, which cost $820,000.

Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa's office issued the following press release regarding a video they uncovered of a General Services Administration (GSA) employee bragging about lavish taypayer funded perks he enjoyed while working there.

===================

Federal Worker “American Idle” Uncovered:

Winning Video Skit from Taxpayer Funded Luxury Las Vegas GSA Convention

Video featuring Federal Employees jokes about never being under Inspector General Investigation, Lavish GSA Spending

The video clips below are from the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) October 2010 Western Region Conference in Las Vegas, NV. It was played on Thursday, October 28, 2010 at the “Capstone Dinner Event.”

Obama better prepare, when I’m Commissioner.
I’d have a road show like [Acting Regional GSA Administrator Jeffrey] Neely, every time you see me rolling on 20s yeah, in my GOV.
Spend BA 61
all on fun.
ATF can’t touch GS-15 guns!
Cause I buy everything your field office can’t afford.
Every GS-5 would get a top hat award.
Donate my vacation, love to the nation,
I’ll never be under OIG investigation.

In congratulating the winner at the conference, Deputy Commissioner of the Public Building Service David Foley presents an award and jokes about the previous night’s lavish “party that was held in the commissioner’s suite,” having to respond to congressional oversight, and Obama Administration efforts to restrict executive pay. 
GSA Administrator Martha Johnson later resigned after the GSA Inspector General presented findings of abuse and waste of taxpayer dollars at the conference.

===========

UPDATE

GSA has issued a statement condemning the video that was released earlier today by Issa’s office, showing GSA employees joking about the 2010 conference.

“This video is another example of the complete lack of judgment exhibited during the 2010 Western Regions Conference. Our agency continues to be appalled by this indefensible behavior, and we are taking every step possible to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.” - GSA Spokesman




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Return of the Gaffe-inator!



Vice President Joe Biden: the gift of comedy (that keeps on giving)!

While addressing voters in Iowa on the campaign trail, Biden mistakenly referred to Scott Community College President Dr. Theresa Paper as "Dr. Pepper."

Good thing he's a "heartbeat away from the presidency," right?

Late add/Biden bonus: In Biden's speech, he said that Mitt Romney is "consistently wrong."



Friday, March 23, 2012

Obama on Solyndra - then and now



My, how things change.

At the nation’s largest solar energy plant Wednesday, President Obama doubled down on his commitment to government subsidies for clean energy technology and green jobs — and deflected blame for instances when those investments have failed.

“Are you doing your ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy right if that’s what we have to show for it — Solyndra?” asked Kai Ryssdal, host of “Marketplace” on American Public Media, in an interview with Obama.

The solar energy start-up Solyndra, which had been the poster child of Obama’s initiative, went bankrupt in 2011, putting 1,000 employees out of work. It had received more than $500 million in federal loan guarantees through a Recovery Act program. The loan process is now the subject of a congressional investigation.

“Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt,” Obama said. “But understand: This was not our program per se.”

Per se...

Video bonus below --


Then: “We can see the positive impacts right here at Solyndra. Less than a year ago, we were standing on what was an empty lot. But through the Recovery Act, this company received a loan to expand its operations. This new factory is the result of those loans… Before the Recovery Act, we could build just 5 percent of the world’s solar panels. In the next few years, we’re going to double our share to more than 10 percent.” — Obama, remarks at Solyndra Inc., Fremont, Calif., May 26, 2010



Now: “Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was because the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways that Solyndra couldn’t compete. But understand: This was not our program, per se. Congress — Democrats and Republicans — put together a loan guarantee program because they understood historically that when you get new industries, it’s easy to raise money for startups, but if you want to take them to scale, oftentimes there’s a lot of risk involved, and what the loan guarantee program was designed to do was to help startup companies get to scale.”— President Obama, interview with American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” March 21, 2012