No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Stupid People.

Money. Wall. Pissing against.

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You may have thought that the current NZ Labour government was a shocker when it came to spending vast sums of money to no good effect, but as is often the case now, the US state of California leads the way.

As if the high taxes, poverty, filth, crime, killer fires, water problems and energy problems were not bad enough it appears that they can’t even run a basic book keeping process.

This is Betty Yee, and she is the “State Controller” of California, which means that she is the person responsible for:

  • “Accountability and disbursement of the state’s financial resources.”
  • “Auditing all funds disbursed by the state and all claims presented for payments to [her office.]”

Given that California is the world’s fifth largest economy, that is a hell of a lot of spending responsibility. Her office issued 49 million checks in payments worth $320 billion in 2018.

Being in a public office she’s also accountable directly to the public in terms of more than just votes, being required to produce information about all this spending, subject to the usual Official Information Requests that we see across the Western world. There’s always scrapping between such offices and the people demanding the information as to timely releases and so forth – no bureaucrat is ever keen on revealing everything to the proles – but by and large the process works.

So it was no surprise when some activist group called Open the Books (OTB), requested to see the line item details of all these payments, starting in 2013. The letter they finally got in 2019 surprised the hell out of them:

“The State of California, State Controller’s Office does not maintain a centralized vendor contract database which would allow it to identify all contracts regardless of the agency awarding such contract,”

That came from Yee’s general counsel Richard Chivaro, who went further:

“In fact, many state contracts are paid for directly by the contracting agency,” Chivaro continued. “This procedure allows the contracting agency to make such payments as expeditiously as possible thereby taking advantage of an early payment discount which may be available.” 

“Moreover, the Controller’s Office receives literally thousands of claims for payment daily. Claims are batched by date received and are not segregated, logged or otherwise tracked by agency employee or payment type. Consequently, because of the way the claims are batched and processed by this office, we are unable to locate or otherwise provide you with the documents requested,”

The fuck? In other words the Controller’s Office literally cannot answer the question of where all the money went in a $320 billion spending list. They simply do not and cannot know exactly who got the money because they just don’t bother tracking that level of detail.

Incredible. Almost beyond belief.

OTB is suing the state of California but frankly I don’t know how that can succeed: if the system doesn’t track this stuff at a line item level (or even a couple of levels up) then what’s the lawsuit going to produce? They have had to sue Illinois and Wyoming in the past to get such data, but they did get it in the end, and they did not need to take such action to get spending records from the other 47 states according to the OTB Chairman:

“We even get the checkbooks from the historically, systemically corrupt Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,” he said. “We do get the second set of books from there.” 

In some respects it’s hardly surprising given an earlier story that blew out of the same state a few months ago:

California Labor Secretary Julie Su told reporters in a conference call Monday that of the $114 billion the state has paid in unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic, 10 percent, or $11.4 billion, involves fraud and another 17 percent is under investigation. 

Nearly all of the fraudulent claims were paid through the federally supported Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. The program was approved by Congress to provide unemployment assistance to those who usually wouldn’t be eligible, such as independent contractors. 

The even got scammed by the usual suspects, criminal organisations from Russia and Nigeria, as well as 21,000 prisoners in the state who scored more than $400 million, including 100 prisoners on death row

I like to think the latter group really just did it for kicks, given that they’re not likely to be able to spend any of it.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 12, 2022 at 10:28 am

Never Mind: reprogramming the puppet

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Well that was fun – while it lasted.

It looks like slightly saner minds in the Biden Administration have decided that it wasn’t just the optics of Biden’s Reichstag speech at the Hall of Independence that were bad but the basic thrust of the speech…

“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic.
– Joe Biden, 2 September 2022

…. so now they’re trying to walk things back.

“C’mon, look guys, I don’t consider any Trump supporter a threat to the country.”
– Joe Biden, 3 September 2022

To be fair, Biden likely does not even remember what he said in that speech. It was written for him and everything else was set up by his handlers.

In his dementia Biden really is like those video game characters known as NPC’s (Non Playing Characters), that can be re-programmed to repeat different stuff for different scenarios.

But they’ll be back with the same stuff. They always are.

“A pandemic of the unvaccinated”

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Remember that phrase? An oldie but a goodie as they say in show business, which is where we are right now.

I was aware of the news of Biden catching General Tso’s Sickness but figured it was unworthy of coverage since it’s been expected for some time by those of us who’ve actually read up on the science of masks, social distancing, lockdowns and these “vaccines” that are trying to stop or slow down an airborne, respiratory, flu-like virus.

But I wasn’t aware of all these other “leaders” hitting the same problem. Enjoy before Twitter blocks or deletes this.

Again this is not really news, in that re-infections, called “breakthrough infections”, were being spotted as early as January 2021, just two months after the mRNA vaccine injections began, although these were initially rare (10,000 cases with 100 million doses). As you would expect such infections actually helped the immune system. But since then, as the virus has done its usual mutation, the “vaccines” – which really should now be re-classified as therapeutic treatments – have become increasingly useless. As a result governments and public health officials worldwide have increasingly leaned on the “vaccine will prevent serious illness” crutch.

Which, in turn, is leading to comments like this:

I’m worried about the credibility of medicine, about public health, about government institutions, about congresspeople even. Nobody has been forthcoming in talking honestly about any of this.

I’d be willing to bet that an interview like that, with somebody who is definitely not a “nutter” or “fringe” has been seen on broadcast TV news in New Zealand.

And lets’ not forget the other aspect of these vaccines.

Christ but Biden looks bloody awful and out of it even compared to his normal vacancy of the last two years.

The thing is that his staff are caught between a rock and a hard place; at 79 years he should be resting up but they’re using stuff like this to pretend that he’s still working as normal – which in his case has never meant even eight hour days.

And even the comatose White House press corp are starting to get pissed at not being able to quiz Biden’s doctor. That video itself was cut when the press started asking Biden how he felt.

Now this is a stupid GOP Senator

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Yes, yes, I know. There’s so many to pick from.

Earlier in the week I took my co-blogger The Vet to task for running with the Democrat/MSM screaming about GOP Senator Marco Rubio Tweeting out a photo of his Zoom call with Ukrainian President Zelensky during the meeting – when the real story of that meeting was Zelensky ripping Biden a good one; the Democrats weren’t going to let that be the lead story, not that they need worry about their MSM covering Biden’s ass.

But lest it be thought that my objection to that “story” (already vanished in history, as intended) was pure GOP partisanship, I thought I’d highlight a GOP Senator who this week said something that was truly, dangerously fucking stupid in the context of this war, something far worse than Rubio’s photo. Allow me to introduce to you, Lindsey Graham (GOP, S.C.), and his Tweet:

Lindsey Graham

Are you fucking kidding me? I’m sure a lot of people in the Western world have idly wondered that. I certainly have, but me just humble blogger and the rest of us similarly obscure. This guy is a senior US Senator with a lot of sway. Having an American government official that prominent call for Putin’s assassination is outrageously stupid.

For a start does he think it’s only a one-way street? The FSB is much better at this sort of thing than the CIA, with an entire unit dedicated to poisons.

Rather than a drone missile from 5km in the sky or a lead injection from 1500m you’re likely to get some Polonium-210 in your cuppa!

The good news is that Putin is likely to simply raise an eyebrow, as much of the GOP does whenever “Ms Lindsey” gets publicity hungry and goes full Southern Belle drama queen.

Incidentally, while looking through that Wiki page on Litvinenko’s poisoning, I noted this from his last statement before he died on November 20, 2006:

…this may be the time to say one or two things to the person responsible for my present condition. You may succeed in silencing me but that silence comes at a price. You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed. You have shown yourself to have no respect for life, liberty or any civilised value. You have shown yourself to be unworthy of your office, to be unworthy of the trust of civilised men and women. You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life. May God forgive you for what you have done, not only to me but to beloved Russia and its people.

Written by Tom Hunter

March 11, 2022 at 5:00 pm

Don’t call us. We’ll call you.

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Biden will get [the Western Alliances] working again”.

“President” Biden’s two hour press conference last week, designed to show that he had a handle on things, was a train wreck that showed just the opposite, a man who doesn’t know what’s going on in any aspect.

Just one of his brain farts involved talking about Russia and Ukraine in this manner:

 It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and not to do. 

As a result the following has happened:

A lot of this is just huffing and puffing, given that Germany has chosen to tie itself even more strongly to Russia via the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, that Biden chose to lift Trump’s sanctions on that and allow it to happen, that NATO is a paper tiger, and the EU even more so.

On the Nord Stream issue is this interesting tidbit:

“Matthias Warnig is, in various ways, an exceptional person. The 65-year-old is the oldest German friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the most active German in Russian business circles. He is a former Stasi agent who became a banker in the 1990s. Since then, he has sat on the supervisory boards of numerous German-Russian banks and companies. He is currently the CEO of Nord Stream 2.

From Stasi agent to corporate CEO. Sounds about right for today’s world.

However, there’s huffing and puffing on the Russian side as well, where Putin continues to do what he has done for years now; play a weak hand very well. Russia’s economy is smaller than that of Italy, South Korea and Canada, and the last thing Putin wants is spending on a war with Ukraine. Even a short, cheap war would still leave Russia on the hook for supporting Ukraine afterwards.

As such I don’t think Russia will invade Ukraine but instead wage a small Cold War against the Ukrainian government (as he has been) until he gets what he wants, which is a guarantee that they won’t join NATO and will be more amenable to Russian demands in general. I wouldn’t put it past Putin to try to have the current Ukraine government replaced. Thus there will be ongoing cyber attacks, economic pressure, diplomatic pressure, implied threats, support for Russia-friendly opposition groups, and possibly minor military clashes on the Russia-Ukraine border.

Biden is irrelevant, though his staff won’t be.

MINOR UPDATE

Regular commentator Andrei has pointed out the spelling of “Kyiv” vs “Kiev”, which I had wondered about but not researched before writing the article. Some explanation here:

Ukraine names its places using translations from Cyrillic into Latin and then into the Ukrainian language. “Kyiv” is a Latin version of the city’s name, translated into Ukrainian. The spelling, “Kiev,” on the other hand, is a romanization of the Russian name for the city. It became very common internationally in the 20th century.

That’s a sore spot for Ukrainians because it recalls the days when the Russian Empire, and, later, the Soviet State, banned the use of the Ukrainian language. It was an attempt to strengthen Russian influence in Ukraine, and Ukrainians have never really gotten over it.

So more of the argy-bargy between Russia and Ukraine. However, as the article points out:

There’s a solid argument for the conventional spelling. “Kiev” is what’s known as an exonym—an external name for a geographic place. For example, in English, we use “Germany” to refer to what the Germans call Deutschland, whereas, the French use the word “Allemagne.”

Loath as I am to help Mr Putin, in this case I’m sticking with Kiev rather than use a spelling that will have most readers wondering where we are talking about, so have updated the post.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 25, 2022 at 10:24 am

K… K… K… Karl Marx and his never-ending story

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Way back on October 8 I wrote a post about Biden’s nominee for the position of Office of Comptroller of the Currency, Saule Omarova:

The OCC charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks and federal savings associations as well as federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. The OCC is an independent bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

I titled that post, Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital, since that was the title of her Masters Thesis at Moscow State University in the late 1980’s. I left it at that. The comments section closes automatically after two weeks to avoid spam.

Probably a good thing, because since then the bloody post has shown up every single day in the stats. I can only assume that around the world people are tapping the title of her thesis into their search engines in the hope of finding the original document, and ending up here at No Minister.

Sorry folks. I looked for it too at the MSU archives but no luck, and Ms Omarova is keeping her copy under lock and key. I don’t know why though as it couldn’t be any more damaging than what is already known about the Commie fanatic.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 19, 2021 at 11:02 am

Bad news for White Supremacists

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You know that little symbol you’ve been using to communicate with eachother as a symbol of White Power?

The symbol that the Democrats, the US Left and the MSM (but I repeat myself), all went apeshit about after Trump became President?

This sign =>

Well, bad news haters. It turns out that’s wrong. We know this now, not just because President Biden used it in his poorly viewed train wreck of a “Town hall” meeting on CNN the other night,…

… but also because people who tried to claim he was flashing the WP sign have been…. fact checked! By none other than Politifact!

This started when Twitter account called “Libs of Tik Tok” – who specialise in having fun with earnest US “Liberals” – tweeted the following: bonus points to them for using the Internet meme, “literally shaking”.

Given that we live in a world where the satirical site, Babylon Bee, has found itself being “fact-checked” as a result of dealing with clueless journalists, the following should not have been a surprise, yet it still was:

Wow! Thanks for that “Fact-checkers”. Without you, clueless morons might have thought that was a real accusation. However, they did do one good thing, which was to provide some background to the nonsense of how the traditional “Okay” sign ended up being a White Power symbol.

First, a word of caution about interpreting that gesture as a white power gesture. According to the Anti-Defamation League, in 2017, members of the website 4chan falsely claimed that it represented the letters “WP” for “white power.”

“The hoaxers hoped that the media and liberals would overreact by condemning a common image as white supremacist,” the Anti-Defamation League says in this article explaining the gesture.

Hoped? That’s exactly what the dumbfucks of the US MSM and “liberals” did do – to the utter delight of the 4chan gang, who do such things on a regular basis to demonstrate how screwed up the MSM-Liberal alliance is. Why it’s as if they and the ADL don’t even know they’re being played.

While overwhelmingly people use the gesture to signify assent or approval, “as well as other usages unrelated to white supremacy,” the league says, it has also been used as a sincere expression of white supremacy.

In this case, however, the context makes clear that Biden is using the gesture to illustrate the number zero, as in how many cents he said some corporations pay in taxes.

Oh! So now “context matters.” Fantastic. It just so happens that context suddenly “matters” when a Democrat does it. Context didn’t matter for the last few years when Republican politicians, activists and even ordinary, random dudes on TV flashed it and got attacked, smeared, and in some cases canceled by online outrage mobs.

You only have to imagine the response had Trump done this. The irony is that Biden was quite happy in his early 70’s Senate career to pal around with Democrat Senators who were outright segregationists and White Supremacists.

The random online FaceTwit mobs are bad enough, but once again we see that the MSM “fact checkers” could not be more transparent in their Lefty and partisan bias.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 25, 2021 at 2:33 pm

Money printer go brrrrr…….

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News out from NZ Stats this morning:

The consumers price index rose 2.2 percent in the September 2021 quarter, the biggest quarterly movement since a 2.3 percent rise in the December 2010 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

Excluding quarters impacted by increases to GST rates, the September quarter movement was the highest since the June 1987 quarter, which saw a 3.3 percent rise.

The 2011 kick was due to the National government increasing the rate of GST from 12.5% to 15%.

This one is due to “money printer go brrrrrrr……..”

Speaking of which, let’s go back a decade to the wonderful Clarke and Dawe comedy bit on the last time we indulged in “Quantitative Easing” to compensate for something that was only slightly less insane than government locking down an economy.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 18, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital.

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That’s the title of an economic thesis written decades ago at Moscow State University by an American student, attending courtesy of something called the Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship.

The person is one Saule Omarova, who is now a law professor at Cornell Law School. After graduating from Moscow in 1989 she returned to the USA where she got a PhD from the University of Wisconsin. She’s also still in love with the USSR:

“Until I came to the US, I couldn’t imagine that things like gender pay gap still existed in today’s world. Say what you will about old USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. Market doesn’t always ‘know best,’” she tweeted in 2019.

Ms. Omarova thinks asset prices, pay scales, capital and credit should be dictated by the federal government. In two papers, she has advocated expanding the Federal Reserve’s mandate to include the price levels of “systemically important financial assets” as well as worker wages. …

In a recent paper “The People’s Ledger,” she proposed that the Federal Reserve take over consumer bank deposits, “effectively ‘end banking,’ as we know it,” and become “the ultimate public platform for generating, modulating, and allocating financial resources in a modern economy.”

Perhaps she’s not aware that the USSR lost the Cold War and fell apart, revealing to the world what a complete sham its communist economy had always been.

By escaping the USSR she’s managed to live the typical wealthy lifestyle of a professor at one of America’s premier universities and is now ready to move on to other things.

Like running America’s banking regulatory system.

Joe Biden has nominated Saule Omarova to be Comptroller of the Currency. It is an important position. According to the Comptroller’s web site:

The OCC charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks and federal savings associations as well as federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. The OCC is an independent bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Because of course this is what moderate, slighty left-of-centre Democrat Presidents do.

This is insane. Her nomination should be rejected with prejudice.

Is there anybody out there who still thinks it was a great idea to swap President Trump for Joe Biden?

Written by Tom Hunter

October 8, 2021 at 12:03 pm

“Unforeseen” Consequences

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The foremost concern of environmentalists is, of course, the health and well being of the environment.

It’s in their name and all.

So it’s always funny and sad when environmentalists do stuff that blows up in their faces. There are countless examples but in terms of large scale screwups Germany’s decision to shut down its nuclear power stations while also trying to switch the system to wind power is probably the winner. Some €500 million over less than twenty years and all they got was an unreliable network, power prices that have more than tripled, a lot of coal still being burned, plus constantly falling short of their GHG reduction targets. On that last it should be noted that the 2020 Chinese Xi Snot lockdowns and restrictions were a huge help, but that’s not going to be true of 2021 and beyond.

That chart is from 2017 but it’s 2020 forecast of 45 cents per kilowatt hour is not far off where it is right now.

But the latest news from another group of wind farm fanatics, California, is what is really delicious.

As more renewable power has crowded the state’s power grid with traditional power sources switched off, the grid has become more unstable and also unable to meet electrical demand even when its up and running. This has resulted in increasingly frequent summertime calls for people to lay off using power in the crucial 4-9pm slot.

Faced with this, companies and even individuals have begun to turn to, of all things, diesel generators. In fact the state itself has 2,773 stationary and mobile generators in its inventory. Now you would think that the uncompromising Eco-Stasi authorities would crack down on that quick smart. But of course they know if they forced people into that corner even the Liberal Luvvies would revolt. So instead, they’re allowing this to expand and continue. In fact, they’re even helping all this fossil fuel burning along, California wants air pollution rules suspended:

The state’s main grid operator wants the U.S. Department of Energy to suspend air-pollution rules for some natural gas-burning power plants in case their output is needed “to meet demand in the face of extremely challenging conditions including extreme heat waves, multiple fires, high winds, and various grid issues,” according to a filing. The last time California received a waiver of such length and breadth was 21 years ago during the Western Energy Crisis.

Genius. And here you were thinking that the following was just a joke.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 16, 2021 at 6:00 am