Bowl Corruption Scandal aka “BCS”

This Junker isn’t going to fly again…

Over the last few days a lot of information has come out regarding corruption at the Fiesta Bowl.  It cost John Junker his job and it may cost the Fiesta Bowl its status as a BCS game.  Expect more to come out as further investigations are launched and more people talk about the situation.  You can read the entire report here, its ugly.

The nexus of Big Sports with Big Education and Big Media creates Big Money, which leads to Big Corruption.  If anybody thinks that the Fiesta Bowl situation is unique in this respect, open your eyes!  The money from sponsors and media coverage flows to those who control access to these events, who then dole it out to ensure their event garners the support it needs to stay popular and generate increasing revenue.

I am trying to think where else this principle may apply, hmmmm…

Back to the Bowl system though.  Some sports writers are talking about the corruption and self-serving deals that are a part of the BCS system.  People at the Fiesta Bowl along with the politicians and power-brokers they support do just fine in this arrangement, yet sometimes the universities get stuck with a bill instead of a large check.  This does not appear to be sustainable over the long-haul, especially as the economy continues to flounder and funding for university athletics becomes more scarce.

Where this ends, nobody knows right now but it can’t end well for the Fiesta Bowl.  By the way, Greg at Espresso Pundit was all over this story the other day…

UPDATE:  The only good news is that former Fiesta Bowl Attorney Grant Woods does not have a political future anymore. 

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
March 31st, 2011 by admindude

C’est Une Guerre

Just remember, this is not a war.

C’est Une Guerre.

The gulf that exists between the Obama Administration’s words and deeds is stupefying!  Right now JDAMs, Tomahawk cruise missiles, F-15Es, A-10s, and AC-130 gunships are being employed in offensive military operations against the government of Libya.  Call it “Kinetic Military Action” if you will but it still sounds like war to me.

The confusion and inconsistency that is evident by Obama’s actions both belie the seriousness of military intervention and the national interests of the United States.  No matter what you call it, the hammer of force can’t be made less deadly by changing the words which describe it.  The justification to all this is to prevent a humanitarian crisis.  As Wretchard writes:

Military force against a foreign nation ceases to be war and becomes a kind of humanitarian assistance. It is on par with responding to natural disasters.

Even some liberals can see through the Administration’s obfuscation regarding the motives behind American involvement in Libya.  All this without Congressional approval, which raises serious Constitutional issues about Obama’s actions.

This video sums it up the “logic” of some supporters of Libyan intervention…

Just remember that Obama is awesome!

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
March 30th, 2011 by admindude

Book review: Rawhide Down

On March 31, 1981, I was home sick from school and watching TV when all the networks broke the story that Ronald Reagan was the the victim of an attempted assassination. Over the course of the next few days, I scoured the newspaper and TV, waiting for the latest information on Reagan’s condition and the reasons why this horror happened. 

Yes, that’s right kids; a long, long time ago, we relied on the TV and newspapers for the news. And we used to walk uphill to school. In the snow. Both ways. And we liked it

I digress. 

Reagan’s assassination attempt was the first big news story that I remember well, so when I heard about Rawhide Down, a book with exclusive interviews with some of the first responders on-scene, I jumped at the chance to read and review it. 

Rawhide Down is a remarkable book, easily as exciting as anything Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn ever wrote, but with the high drama that comes from knowing everything inside the covers actually happened. What leaps off the pages is Reagan’s humor and indomitable good spirit. The apocryphal stories we heard in 1981 about Reagan joking with the doctors in the emergency room? True. Every one of them. 

Rawhide Down pulls back the curtain on the early years of the Reagan White House and shows the hours of uncertainty that followed inside the executive branch immediately after the shooting. Alexander Haig does not fare well in this section, while Jim Baker’s coolness under fire and Lyn Nofziger’s calming voice stand out above the chaos. 

If Rawhide Down has any flaws, it’s that John Hinckley Jr. remains a bit of a cipher throughout the book: His history and motives take up only a view pages and his arrest and eventual imprisonment are quickly over and done with. Hinckley decided to shoot a sitting President and the reasons why he did so, however twisted they may be, need to examined in detail to help prevent similar atrocities in the future. Rawhide Down is a book about Ronald Reagan, first and foremost, and sometimes veers perilously close to hagiography at times. Reagan was a great man and a great President, but the man did have his flaws, and those chinks in the armor are glossed over or ignored altogether. 

Those are minor points, though, as I found Rawhide Down to be the most thrilling thriller I’ve read in a long time, and it needs to be on the bookshelf of anyone who’s interested in the Reagan Presidency or the history of the executive branch. 

Full disclosure: Henry Holt and Co. provided a copy of this book for review. Up yours, FTC.

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
March 29th, 2011 by admindude

Paradox Seven

Many times, others can articulate ideas better than I can.  So for this post, I am defering to Victor Davis Hanson.  He writes about the paradoxes associated with American involvement in the Libyan Civil War in a recent post.

Read the whole thing but give some attention to Paradox Seven:

Libya is now an exegesis of the Iraq War. By now we know that the Bush-Cheney “shredding” of the Constitution (e.g., tribunals, wiretaps, intercepts, renditions, preventative detention, Predator drones, and Guantanamo Bay) was simply a liberal talking point. Why do we know that? Because Obama has either embraced or expanded all of those anti-terrorism protocols, and even hired the very lawyers and deans to legitimize them who used to sue the government to stop them. But Libya was the capstone of the entire liberal reset. When the MSNBC talking heads now support bombing an oil-producing Muslim Arab country that does not threaten our national security — without congressional approval, and with fewer allies than went with us to Afghanistan and Iraq — then we realize the entire Iraq hysteria was simply partisan politics, not about principles.

I will now insert a gratituitous image of an A-10 firing its 30mm Gatling gun to show what Kinetic Military Action looks like.

Just remember that this is not a war according to President Obama.

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
March 29th, 2011 by admindude

The denial of man’s fallibility is not a conservative myth

Jonathan Chait can’t see the elephant in the room

…  the rise in crime was a real phenomenon, a terrifying one to many Americans — especially those working class Americans least able to escape it — and it’s bizarre that some liberals still dismiss all fear of crime as coded racism. 

Nope, it makes perfect sense once you realize that liberals tend to approach the problem of crime from the “nurture” side of the Nature vs. Nurture argument. There are no inherently “bad” people in there world, there are only people who were not raised right/not given enough government money opportunities or were suppressed by the racist elements all around them (elements that only kind, caring, guilt-wracked liberals can provide, of course). 

Therefore, because the criminals themselves are not actually guilty, their victims must be the reason why crime occurs. It wasn’t the guy who held you up that should be punished, it’s the you for thinking that a big scary dude charging at you with a knife meant to do you harm just because his skin was a different colour than yours. Shame on you.

In a liberal world, the real victims of crime aren’t the victims, it’s the criminals.

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
March 28th, 2011 by admindude

Taxing

You can read the whole article over at the New York Times (hey, they get things correct every now and then) but here is the takeaway:

GE made $5.1 billion of profits in the US and RECEIVED $3.2 billion from the American taxpayer.  $0 paid in taxes in 2010.

Helps to have friends in high places…

John Hindraker over at Powerline wrote an excellent post on the subject of Big Business (ex. GE) teaming up with Big Government (ex. Obama) to manipulate taxation and regulation which supports both.  The problem is that the larger government grows and the more influence it has on businesses, there greater likelihood of an incestuous relationship developing between government and business.  In the end, this harms taxpayers and customers as innovative competitors are kept out of the market and costs are kept artificially high.

As Captain Ed writes:

The culprit here is not any one person but both parties, who have created a tax code that I’d call Byzantine, except I don’t want to offend the Byzantines with the comparison.  When we see one company avoid paying any taxes thanks to tax breaks it helped engineer, that means other companies end up losing in the process.  The government doesn’t just structure the code to protect its allies and favored players in markets, it also has to prioritize enforcement, thanks to the impossible task of applying the volumes of tax code to every single entity.

So as you prepare your taxes this year, rest well knowing that all of the complexity in it is by design.  Oh, and its a feature too…for some companies that is.

UPDATE:  Note the irony of the ad for the F136 engine by General Electric in the upper right corner of the page.  All that money that could have gone to the US Treasury is now paying for ads to help convince you to support an engine the US Air Force does not want.  Given the past articles I have written about GE, I wonder how long that will continue…

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
March 28th, 2011 by admindude

End of Line

Greg over at Espressopundit sums it up best, he is toast.

I’ve been harping on the whole Scott Bundgaard situation from the start, mostly because I know him to be a slimy, deceitful person.  Early on I said that this guy is not to be trusted and has a history of making bad decisions.  However, it looks like this young politican’s career has reached a sad, yet inevitable conclusion.

Citizens need to have elected officials who exhibit good character and judgement, regardless of which party they are affiliated with.  If a politician beats-up his girlfriend or engages in other bad behaviors, he needs to be punished and leave office.  That needs to be a consistent message that voters tell the people they send to office.  Sadly, in Scott Bundgaard’s case, his political demise only came at the denouement of a domestic violence incident.

As a registered Republican who is also conservative and Christian, I don’t want people like Scott Bundgaard representing my side.  The good news is that his political career is over and he could be removed from office.  Its only a matter of time before he becomes an ex-Senator and is held accountable for his actions.

End of Line

UPDATE:  The End picture updated.  Apropos, don’t you think?

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
March 25th, 2011 by admindude

Of Riddles and Mysteries

According to Winston Churchill, “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

According to me, President Obama’s Libyan War “Is a mistake wrapped in confusion inside a void.”

…and it will get worse methinks.

The Libyan War has all the makings of a catastrophe on many levels.  Whatever coalition that existed a few days ago is rapidly falling apart and the strategy for what happens next is not being articulated.  Right now I don’t know if anybody in either NATO or the Arab League has a definitive objectives for the next phase of military operations.  This spells trouble in the days ahead.

This situation is going to have an impact on the domestic political scene, perhaps moreso than in North Africa.  There are going to be Congressional hearings on why the President went to the United Nations instead of Congress for authorization before launching attacks on Libya.  Both sides of the aisle are angry that the Commander in Chief bypassed them and ignored the Constitution.  Expect both Democrats and Republicans to take the Administration to task for not working with Congress on this matter.

Back to the larger question of US involvement in this conflict.  There is no shortage of corrupt, oppressive, and evil regimes in the world.  Sadly, K-Daffy’s Libya is one of dozens of such countries, but does that justify our country trying to right its manifold wrongs?  I don’t think Libya (or Somalia, or Bosnia, or Kosovo, or Lebanon, or Haiti, or most other Third World hellholes) are worth a single drop of American blood or a penny of our nation’s treasure.  Let the Libyan people fight for their own freedom and enlist the support of their neighbors and Europe in their struggle.

As Richard Haass writes:

At the end of the day though, the Libyan intervention is more than anything about the role of the United States in the world. The United States cannot and should not intervene in every internal dispute where bad or even evil is on display.

Those of us on the center-right need to speak clearly about our opposition to this military action.  We must not be characterized as the party of war by supporting the President’s military actions in Libya.  An alternate policy of military restraint, clearly defined national interest, and limited interference in other nation’s affairs must be articulated loudly and clearly.  The alternative is to acquiesce and become complicit in an unwise military action.  After all, a facile military victory over a small North African country would not make our nation’s interference in Libya a good policy.

Just out of curiosity, I wonder what (Vice President) Joe Biden thinks now…

Strange days indeed!

UPDATE:  Oops, I got it wrong again.  According to the Obama Administration, our military attacks on Libya are “Kinetic Military Action” and NOT war.  Just so we have that clear.

UPDATE II:  Fixed spelling errors, sorry readers for my mistakes.

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
March 24th, 2011 by admindude

Do You Hear Me? Do You Care?

That’s not just a line from a Missing Person’s song.

This is a copy of a note slipped under the door of a Republican Wisconsin Legislator.

Seriously, when death threats are made against elected officials and its ignored by the media, what are words for?

Its so bad, even a writer at the HuffPo(!) is expressing his dismay at his fellow liberals regarding the situation.  This action too has generated a lot of attention and accolades on the right side of the blogsphere.  After all, nobody in the MSM is talking about this.

Not just for elected representative either, private citizens who dare to expose what happened in Madison are being targeted too.

Apparently we have reached a point in our society where physical threats against those who dare oppose unions/protesters/progressives/liberals/leftists and their ilk are OK and not considered newsworthy.  This is not civilized discourse, its brute force and intimidation against opposing viewpoints.  What ever happened to open-minded, ostensibly “progressive” people welcoming diverse viewpoints?

Do you hear me?

Do you care?

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
March 22nd, 2011 by admindude

In the National Interest, Part II

A couple days ago, I wrote that the USA does not have a compelling National Interest in Libya and should let others take the lead in resolving the Civil War.  Getting involved in other country’s internal affairs is always dicey and should not be done without a clear need to do so.  I would argue that several military involvements over the last two decades (Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo come to mind immediately) were not in the National Interest and should not have taken place.  Even two efforts that I support (Afghanistan and Iraq) have shown that even justifiable, UN-sanctioned, allied efforts are fraught with difficulty in unstable, muslim, Third World countries.

Well, so much for that.

Looks like the fight has been joined and the US is expending the large ordinance.  At both ends of the munitions though are people, which is what makes the Libyan Crisis so serious.  The impact of the weapons will be felt far beyond the lethal blast radius and far into the future if the past is any guide.

Surprisingly, President Obama did not ask for Congressional approval before commencing offensive military operations.  As John Hindraker at Powerline points out:

…the Bush administration had broad international support for the Iraq war in 2003. One difference between the Iraq war and the present actions against Libya is that President Bush had explicit Congressional authorization for military action in 2003, whereas President Obama did not seek any Congressional authorization or support for whatever actions may take place in connection with Libya.

What is even worse than this though is strategic and military confusion amongst the civilian leadership. 

Wretchard wins the prize for the best summary of the situation:

Whether the administration is using force properly is a function of two things: a correct appreciation of the proper role of military power and second, a rational foreign policy. The worst of all possible worlds would be an administration which neither understands military power nor has a rational foreign policy. Then both the sword and the plowshare will be alike blunted in the pursuit of goals nobody can even coherently describe.

So not only is the Obama Administration pursuing the wrong policy, it is doing so without a coherent or articulated strategy behind their actions.  This is politics chasing policy, which can only lead to even larger problems down the road.  Its almost as if the leadership does not know what they are doing but are intent on doing something in order to appear important.  I hope I am wrong, but that is how I see the current situation in North Africa.

Its too late now regarding Libya but the question of American National Interest is an important one when it comes to getting involved in the domestic political affairs of other nations.  Listen, the world is full of suffering and injustice, there is no doubt about it.  But neither the United States nor any other country has the resources and ability to make things right.  We live in an imperfect, fallen world where there is no shortage of depravity and cruelty.  I think it best if the United States limits its involvement in unnecessary conflicts that aren’t directly linked to our nation’s interests.  That way we can focus on healing our own nation and exhibiting the virtues that made us a great nation in the first place.  I’ll leave it up to Bryan McGrath over at Information Dissemination to close this post:

True political leadership would have included the President addressing the nation two/three weeks ago and reminding everyone–including those in his own administration pushing for action–that we are already involved in two wars in the Islamic world and that we have no interests at stake.

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
March 21st, 2011 by admindude