Private Screening of United 93 Offends Some Family Members
By Dan | May 30, 2006 - 4:38 pm - Posted in Best Of, Media & Marketing, Foreign Affairs, 9/11

May 31, 2006.
Mainstream Media. Washington D.C.

President Bush today offended many in the peace loving Muslim community by hosting a screening of the film “United 93,” which has been described as a neoconservative fictionalization of the doomed flight. The president invited the family members of the passengers and crew to view the film in the Whitehouse screening room.

Some relatives of those on the flight, however, were left out. Ahmed al Ghamdi, whose brother Saeed was one of the victims on United Flight 93 says “It is not fair dat I do not get inbited to de Whitehouse. Dis is discrimination!” Rana Jarrah, whose son Ziad was among those who lost their lives that day also blasts President Bush: “Why should only de zionist pigs be allowed to watch de movie with the president? Why not my other son, Tariq, who has a special vest prepared for the occaission?”

Whitehouse press secretary Tony Snow declined to comment on whether the exclusion of the family members of four of the victims, Saeed al Ghamdi, Ahmed al Nami, Ahmad al Haznawi, and Ziad Jarrah, was racially motivated. One highly placed administration source claimed that the omission involved “security concerns.” Nonetheless, the administration’s refusal to include these victims’ families is inexcusable.

In unrelated devolpments, the House and Senate have agreed on legislation that will allow anyone with a lawnmower or hammer to cross the U.S. border. “So long as their willing to do menial labor, keep prices down and speak Spanish, I can’t see any reason to keep anyone out of the country,” said Speaker Hastert.

In other unrelated events, H-911, the “We Will Never Forget What Happened That Day” Bill, is still held up in committee.

Calling a spade a spade
By Dan | May 24, 2006 - 5:54 am - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Op Ed, Media & Marketing

Great political toon by Eric Allie today. This is exactly what I’ve always thought of liberal democrats, their patronizing attitudes and their “defense” of the little guy. They love to brand libertarians and conservatives as racist because we look past race and judge people by one common standard.

Their most racist policy, affirmative action, can be summed up as “We hire the best and brightest people–and minorities too!” If you can’t see the racism in that, you’re already entrenched.

Kerrey Defends McCain
By Dan | May 22, 2006 - 2:09 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Op Ed, Best Of, Stars & Stripes, Personals

Below is a letter from President Bob Kerrey of the New School University, regarding the commencement speech to be given by Senator McCain. He is basically pleading with the students (and faculty!) to give the Senator a chance to speak. Note that this was a full two weeks before the speech.

To: “Announce Announce”
Subject: A Note to the Community on Commencement from President Kerrey
May 5,2006
Memorandum to The New School Community

I write to respond to questions that have been raised about Senator John McCain’s
appearance at our May 19, 2006 commencement, at which he will be our speaker and receive an honorary degree.

While I acknowledge the rights of those who have urged me to withdraw our
invitation to Senator McCain to make this request and defend the rights of any
person at this university to raise objections, demonstrate, and petition
this office, I do not intend to withdraw our invitation. Not only do I believe
that Senator McCain’s public service is deserving of honorary recognition by The
New School, but I also believe that he honors us with his presence.

Senator McCain is one of the greatest and most influential moral and
political leaders of our age. His public service accomplishments are not only entirely consistent with our best traditions, but far out-weigh any disagreements we may have with his views on any particular issue.

Let me mention just a few. He almost single-handedly changed our laws to prevent the use of torture with enemy combatants. With Senator Edward Kennedy, he co-sponsored immigration legislation which gives immigrants to our country the kind of hope that our University in Exile once did. And, he changed the laws governing national election campaigns. Overarching all of these accomplishments is a personal legacy of integrity and public service that would make our founders proud, even though they might also find areas of disagreement on specific issues.

My hope is that students, faculty, and staff will listen carefully to Senator McCain’s message to us before judging whether we have made a mistake. My strong belief is that his words and spirit will allay the concerns of most of his critics.


Bob Kerrey

Of course, the temperamental little shits threw a tantrum (or here) when the Senator spoke. Little miss Jean Sara Rohe, idiot incarnate, had the lack of sense to say “I am young and though I don’t possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that pre-emptive war is dangerous.” Oh, okay. So you say you’re not wise, but people should listen to your opinion on war over those who have had bamboo shoved in the most inconvenient places by our enemies? We should base the decisions involving our national security, not on the wise counsel of veterans, but on the admittedly unsage advice of a 22 year old jazz musician? Not surprisingly, she’s spent time in Cuba and Palestine. No doubt to ease the guilty conscience of growing up wealthy in Paterson, NJ.

I have, I am sad to confess, been in the audience when Hillary Clinton spoke. I have been forced, but virtue of my job, to listen to all manner of idiocy spewing from the mouths of the wretched limousine liberals and their faulty little brains. But I have treated them with decency and respect, even though I knew they did not deserve the courtesy and it would not be returned. Why? Because I am better than them. Conservatives will always be better than the petty little people who fancy themselves saviors of the downtrodden. We have values, and that makes all the difference.

In fact, beyond that, I have always been courteous and respectful of people’s opinions. Only with my close friends have I had full and frank discussions of politics and worldly issues. To me, discussing pretty much anything with a liberal has been like engaging in a battle of wits with the unarmed. I have refrained, in “polite” company, from making my opinion known, so as not to embarrass any of you. That stops today. You little bastards are on notice. I’m smarter than you, I’m more eloquent than you and I know a hell of a lot more about the world than you can successfully pretend to. From now on, the next time I hear one of you commenting on policy or politics without any basis, I will convert you or embarrass you. The choice is yours.

The fact that the president of a University had to tell students, people who are supposed to be maturing young adults, to treat a sitting Senator, a war hero, even, with respect is disgusting. The fact that the students AND FACULTY, behaved as they did is unforgivable. These wretched little creatures deserve the unsatisfied little lives they will have; clinging to their guilt and their misguided notions of the world around them.

One day, the McCains of the world will disappear. Having borne the burden of liberty alone too long, they will shrink from society and its defense will rest in the hands of obnoxious jazz musicians with neither the will nor the ability to save it. Good luck toots.

Ray Nagin Reelected
By Dan | - 9:00 am - Posted in Politics & Policy, Government

City built below sea level? Wetlands intentionally destroyed by coastal reconstruction? Another hurricane season bearing down on your cesspool bowl of a city? This is a job for incompetent man!

I hope you people learned how to swim.

Incompetence as a Criminal Defense
By Dan | May 19, 2006 - 11:50 am - Posted in Op Ed, Government, Best Of, Foreign Affairs

Terrorist planned to blow up an El Al (Israeli Airlines) jet in Geneva. They apparently planned to launch an RPG at a plane while it was landing or taking off. According to the Jerusalem Post, “Swiss officials reported that no arrests were made following the discovery since the plan had yet to reach its final operational stages.”

Ah, I see. You have to actually kill someone in order for it to be a crime. What a novel idea for criminal law: incompetence as a defense.

A lot of morons in the United States implicitly think the same way. I recall a discussion I had with a colleague (a lawyer, in fact), who was defending Bill “I banged her” Clinton. I contended that Clinton should have done something more than compassionate nodding after the first al Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. His response was, “Yeah, but they didn’t knock the towers down.” Apparently that’s the Swiss standard as well: “Incompetent criminals get a free pass.” How do people get so stupid?

ExpectMore, but get less
By Dan | May 11, 2006 - 10:08 am - Posted in Op Ed, Government, Best Of

Isn’t this a pretty picture? There is actually a website,, that provides the Administration’s analysis of the effectiveness of its (and Congressionally mandated) programs. What a wonderful idea! It’s a damn good thing that accountability is dead, otherwise some of these programs might actually be at risk.

As described on the website, programs are either “Performing” or “Not Performing.” “Performing” programs are either “Effective,” “Moderately Effective” or “Adequate.”

“Effective” “is the highest rating a program can achieve. Programs rated Effective set ambitious goals, achieve results, are well-managed and improve efficiency.” Only 15% of Federal programs are rated “Effective”! 15%! Your government, as a whole, is batting .150! Notably, one of these programs is “Administering the Public Debt.” I guess “effective” is in the eye of the taxer.

The programs are analyzed under four criteria: Design (worth 20% of the total); Planning (10%); Management (20%) and Results (50%). This alone should tell you enough about your government: who cares if we can’t design it, plan it or manage it, as long as we get half-assed results. (As an aside: what difference, if any, is there between design and planning?).
Judging from the Program Assessment Rating Tool file, the following conversion formula is used to go from a weighted average of each category to Effective, Moderately Effective, etc.


Average Range


More than 85%

Moderately Effective

85% - 70%


70% - 50%

Results Not

Less than 50%


Less than 50%

*Results Not Determined and Ineffective seem to require a mix of the weighted average and some maximum “Results” percentage. You will notice some RND’s sprinkled among the Ineffectives and Adequates.

You may notice that a program can achieve nearly no results and still be deemed “Adequate” under this rating system. For example, the FBI Counterterrorism Program has a “Results” rating of 33%. (That will make you sleep well). But, because it is so well designed (100%!), planned (86%) and managed (86%), it has an overall rating of “Adequate.” Of course, we can’t hold our bureaucrats responsible if those pesky terrorists keep disrupting our well designed, planned and managed attempts to catch them.

Other surprisingly “Adequate” programs are Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Office of Investigations (bang up job on the borders, boys!); FEMA’s Emergency Response (no kidding, “management” is rated as 100%); The Astronaut Death Trap, formerly known as the Space Shuttle (note the 86% rating for “Design”); and my personal favorite: Transportation Security Administration: Screener Training (100% for “Design” and “Planning,” 86% for “Management” and a whopping 13% on “Results”).

Obviously, “Adequate” programs just aren’t. So rejiggering (it’s a scientific term) the data, let’s look at just “Effective” and “Moderately Effective” Programs. You’ll note that in order to be “Effective”, you need to have a “Results” rating of at least 30% (assuming you hit 100% in all other categories). Similarly, to be “Moderately Effective,” you need to achieve at least 20% results.

In order to make the data a bit more practical, I have also assigned each program a general category. I did this quickly as there are nearly 800 programs analyzed, so there may be some that are mischaracterized. The categories are:


Type of Program

Number of Programs

Admin These are programs that the government runs because the government runs. Printing money, constructing federal buildings, taking the census, and administering itself. 67
Direct Subsidies These are the worst form of waste, especially in a capitalist society. These are direct subsidies (including loans and guarantees) on otherwise commercially viable projects. Think ethanol. 70
Education These are educational programs (including direct subsidies relating to education and unfunded mandates). 79
Environmental Pet causes, sometimes literally. These range from the Corps of Engineer’s Flood Damage Reduction (”Results Not Demonstrated”) to pollution controls. 142
Foreign Affairs The one category on this list that is reserved solely for the federal government under the Constitution. Interaction with foreign governments and people. 31
Licensing & Inspection This is government’s role in ensuring we don’t die of unnatural causes and our banks do not collapse from fiscal crises. 28
Research Direct and indirect (funded) research on all sorts. This includes things like NASA and DOE’s high energy physics programs. 39
Tax & Law Enforcement Taking our money and enforcing the laws. (As we shall see, more of the former than of the latter.) 57
War & National Security Fairly straightforward, keeping the Hun at bay, whether at home or abroad. 102
Welfare Programs that address the general welfare of the people. Sometimes also known as “pork.” These include programs like the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., Administration for the Aging, medicare and government housing programs. 179

So now, the fun bit. How does the government do in each of these categories? “Not well” is an understatement:

(Click on the image for a larger version.)  Keep in mind, this is all based on the government’s own assessment.

You will notice that the government seems to be doing surprisingly well in Research and reasonably well in exercising its war powers and administering itself. The federal government, remarkably, also seems to be fairly good at licensing and inspection. Notwithstanding all that praise, there is only one category where the goverment is “Effective” more often than not. It is surprising that this is in the area of Research. Perhaps the rocket scientists have found a way to make the bureacracy marginally competent. More likely, as a good friend points out (hat tip Sturm), this is probably because most of the research is funded indirectly and not done by government bureaucrats.

On the other side, the federal government is woefully ill-equiped to deal with Education, the Environment and the General Welfare. Hmm. I wonder if we shouldn’t put something in the Constitution to reserve those powers to the individual States.

Finally, the government is shockingly bad (by its own admission, keep in mind) at collecting taxes and enforcing laws. I’m sure some moron in Congress would explain that they can’t enforce the laws with so little in the treasury. My answer: stop doing shit you’re not good at, not qualified for and prohibited from doing. And do we need any more evidence that subsidies just don’t work? 4% Effective. 4%!!

To sum up the data, the majority of federal goverment programs are not even moderately effective. I don’t know what you plan to do about it, but I’m moving to Iowa and joining a militia.

Posse Rounding Up Illegals
By Dan | - 7:51 am - Posted in Politics & Policy, Op Ed, Government

To the right is a photo of several of the deputies of Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Maricopa County), preparing to round up illegal immigrants in Arizona. What strikes me about this is that they are all wearing masks to protect their identity.

When did it become controversial or even dangerous for local law enforcement to enforce the law? When did we, as a county, a state or a country, become so accustomed to blatant and open violations of law that the police need to wear disguises, while the rest of us expose our identity to the world?

And why is it that our government concerns itself with ridiculous subsidy and welfare programs and save the spotted owl pork projects when we can’t even enforce a simple law like: don’t cross our border without permission?

Tax Receipts
By Dan | May 10, 2006 - 11:18 am - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Government, Media & Marketing, Taxes, Reagan, Business Section

From Yahoo! News Alerts

Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 11:00 AM PDT

WASHINGTON (AP) The Treasury Department reports that a flood of income tax payments in April pushed government receipts to the second-highest level in history.

I will wager any part of my anatomy that (1) the media will not acknowledge that tax cuts increased revenue and (2) Congress will take this as license to spend like a drunken Kennedy (but I repeat myself).