Monday, May 31, 2010
The basic narrative spun by the organizers of the "freedom flotilla" is to "break the siege of Gaza" and "establish a permanent sea lane between Gaza and the rest of the world." But there's some important information that the flotilla crew omits. Gaza is a terrorist enclave controlled by an Islamist terrorist group, Hamas, backed by Iran. It has a busy and violent history of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket and mortar attacks; and is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. It is Hamas-run Gaza that threatens its neighbors and is hostile generally to liberal, Western societies.
Egypt has also had miseries enough with Hamas to find it worthwhile maintaining the blockade, though this seems to be of less interest to the "freedom flotilla" crowd. This ship convoy is not about freedom and not about aid. It is patently about helping Hamas and harming Israel.
Here, courtesy of the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, is a report on Gaza’s new Olympic-sized swimming pool . (Most Israeli towns don’t have Olympic-size swimming pools. One wonders how an area that claims to be starved of water and building materials and depends on humanitarian aid builds an Olympic size swimming pool and creates a luxury lifestyle for some while others are forced to live in abject poverty as political pawn refugees?)
If you pop into the Roots Club in Gaza, according to the Lonely Planet guidebook, you can “dine on steak au poivre and chicken cordon bleu”.
The restaurant’s website in Arabic gives a window into middle class dining and the lifestyle of Hamas officials in Gaza. And here it is in English, for all the journalists, UN types and NGO staff who regularly frequent this and other nice Gaza restaurants (but don’t tell their readers about them).
And here is a promotional video of the club restaurant . In case anyone doubts the authenticity of this video, I just called the club in Gaza City and had a nice chat with the manager who proudly confirmed business is booming and many Palestinians and international guests are dining there.
Who knows, in a few more months or years, somebody may write a story about the damage that the culture of cocooning and coddling did to a movement that only slowly learned that it had lost the public trust. Somebody might even interview the editors and journalists involved to find out why the collapse of the climate change movement’s political momentum was too unimportant to print while the news was still fresh. Somebody else might look at that journalistic culture and write a story about how failures of aggressive reporting and news editing undermined the credibility of some of the greatest news gathering organizations on earth.
But I wouldn’t publish any of that stuff too quickly. Stories this big and this rich need to be properly aged.
Then there's this from Newsweek.
The backlash against climate science is also about the way in which leading scientists allied themselves with politicians and activists to promote their cause. Some of the IPCC’s most-quoted data and recommendations were taken straight out of unchecked activist brochures, newspaper articles, and corporate reports—including claims of plummeting crop yields in Africa and the rising costs of warming-related natural disasters, both of which have been refuted by academic studies.
Gee, you think the media would have noticed. But then again, they were just as much behind the global warming scam.
He has already missed his own self-imposed deadline, and President Obama's plans to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, suffered more setbacks last week when lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol took steps to block him.
On Friday the full House voted 282-131 to prevent Mr. Obama from transferring any of the detainees being held at Guantanamo to the United States, while the Senate Armed Services Committee passed a bill Thursday stopping Mr. Obama from buying a new prison to house the detainees.
Together those three developments — the shadow of the Iranian nukes, the missiles of Hezbollah and the loss of American support — may have fostered a regional perception that Israel is vulnerable. Certainly the flotilla organizers could not have been insensible to the rising pressure on Israel and were determined to exploit it, nor was it lost on the IDF that if they showed weakness in the face of the flotilla there would be more to follow. In one sense the flotilla put to sea on the perceived political tides and were met by IDF elements sailing on the contrary currents. The result was a clash inconsequential in itself, but not in the sparks that it may generate.
Obama's "test" Biden talked about may not be far off and what will Obama do if there is an all out assault on Israel? If his handling of security matters, international relations and the gulf oil spill are anything to go by, the answer is nothing.
Turkey has accused Israel of violating International Law. The government of Turkey was in emergency session. The Associated Press is now reporting that protesters are storming the Israeli consulate in Ankara. And only hours have gone by.
Is the fuse lit?
The environmental calamity stemming from the BP oil spill is challenging President Obama's leadership in a fundamental way, threatening to undermine the sense of competence the president has sought to project.
Meanwhile, the fallout from the White House's purported job offer to Rep. Joe Sestak , D-Pa., to keep him out of a Senate race is gnawing at Obama from another direction, depicting him as a business-as-usual politician who was slow to own up to an uncomfortable truth.
One of the top media consultants for British Petroleum gave free rent to a politician who became White House Chief of Staff.
And, no, this was not Karl Rove giving a freebie to Andy Card.No, the recipient of the favor was Rahm Emanuel and the benefactor was Stanley Greenberg.
Read the whole thing.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Where's the outrage in the media? Oh, silly me, this is Obama we're talking about.
Allahpundit writes of Matthews:
But now that I’ve watched and seen the hurt in his eyes when he says “idiotic cerebral meritocracy,” I fear something’s died here that can never be rekindled.
Matthews’ whole remark was:
“. . . this idiotic cerebral meritocracy has got to step aside and let the people who do things take over…”
And that is the problem in a nutshell. Our government is top-heavy with people who have never “done” anything.
The Obama administration is loaded down with academics and lawyers who have spent their lives theorizing about things like economics, markets, social order and crisis management–and criticizing methods with which they disagree–but who have little practical experience in doing.
That is the crux of the problem, Obama has zero experience. All those fools who voted for Obama simply voted out of hope. But what do you do when even hope loses?
Add these home field disasters to Obama's miserable handling of the economy and foreign affairs, and the writing is on the wall - America is headed for disaster.
HBO's Bill Maher: "I thought when we elected a black president, we were going to get a black president. You know, this [BP oil spill] is where I want a real black president. I want him in a meeting with the BP CEOs, you know, where he lifts up his shirt where you can see the gun in his pants. That's -- (in black man voice) we've got a 'motherfu**ing problem here?' Shoot somebody in the foot."
Billy, Billy, Billy, oh my, you are the epitome of a far left idiot loon. So you thought "we" elected a "black president" when Obama told you he would be an American President. No post racial politics for the left then Billy?
A gun Billy? How can he have a gun if you liberals ban them all?
"Shoot somebody in the foot"? Are you trying to get Obama to grow a pair Billy? Advocating violence and old West style justice? Is this the new liberal agenda then?
Billy, why do you believe blacks are inherently violent and use guns violently? Why are you a racist Billy?
With just a few words you get an insight into the black heart of liberals. They are lying, evil, conniving scum who will say and do anything, legal or not, to further their far left agenda.
Listen to this carefully and compare it to Obama's claims he was on this oil spill from day one.
Nungesser said the president told him, "'Well you know, if you can't get it done through the chain of command' -- and he's made some changes; we've got a guy on the ground now that can make decisions -- he said, 'you pick up the phone and call the White House. And, if you can't get me on the phone, then you can go blast me.'"
"And I said, 'Well, Mr. President, I didn't want to blast you. I'll blast the Coast Guard for not making BP be accountable.' And I know he is the Coast Guard. So, in a sense, you know, he was right."
Nungesser said that "if things happen like they happened after the last meeting, you won't see me blasting anybody because things happened right after that. And things are happening today. The oil that we showed you is being cleaned up. There's equipment all over the parish and we do have a senior person from the Coast Guard in our office now that can make decisions and can hold BP's feet to the fire, because they are the ones that should be stepping up to the plate."
Saturday, May 29, 2010
The White House released its 1 1/2-page report on a Friday before a long holiday weekend, a strategy employed to dampen coverage of an embarrassing episode. Despite its exculpatory tone, the report isn't one the White House will showcase.
As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama pledged to change the culture in Washington. Yet in this instance, his top aide pushed to turn the Pennsylvania primary into an easy coronation for Specter, whose party switch a year ago gave the White House a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
Friday, May 28, 2010
The president's top counterterrorism adviser on Wednesday called jihad a "legitimate tenet of Islam," arguing that the term "jihadists" should not be used to describe America's enemies.
During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of "political, economic and social forces," but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in "religious terms."
He repeated the administration argument that the enemy is not "terrorism," because terrorism is a "tactic," and not terror, because terror is a "state of mind" -- though Brennan's title, deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security, includes the word "terrorism" in it. But then Brennan said that the word "jihad" should not be applied either.
These people are insane. I bet Obama, oops, I mean Osama, is glad to hear he is a victim of economic forces; being rich is a bitch.
Where does that leave us? A worsening financial crisis, North Korea threatening war, Iran getting nukes, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Islamic terror attacks on mainland America averted by sheer luck. Luck is fast running out and Obama simply isn't up to the task. All of Obama's attention, despite his claim it's on the oil spill in the gulf, is fixated on turning America into a socialist state.
I hope all you people who voted for Obama are happy now - you've ruined America. And yet, they won't give up.
The disaster in the Gulf may well spell the political end of the president and his administration, and that is no cause for joy. It's not good to have a president in this position—weakened, polarizing and lacking broad public support—less than halfway through his term. That it is his fault is no comfort. It is not good for the stability of the world, or its safety, that the leader of "the indispensble nation" be so weakened. I never until the past 10 years understood the almost moral imperative that an American president maintain a high standing in the eyes of his countrymen.
You are dead wrong Ms. Noonan. The weaker Obama is the better as it will limit somewhat the damage he is causing. Obama is shown the world what the left are really all about and they will be voted out in huge numbers for years to come. That is the greatest thing Obama could give America - their sight back.
Similarly seeking to illustrate how important an issue is to the next generation, yesterday President Obama introduced one of his daughters into the oil mess debate.
He told a news conference that when he was shaving yesterday morning, his 11 year old daughter, Malia, knocked on the bathroom door and peeked her head in and asked: "did you plug the hole yet, daddy?'
It didn't work for Jimmy Carter.
If you've not seen Bleach, you can get season one here:
The Arizona law, which criminalizes being in the state illegally and requires authorities to check criminal suspects' immigration status, is not "good government," Morton said.
"...a comment made by John Morton, assistant secretary of homeland security..."
Genius, just pure genius. Now, if we only had a president with such brilliant insight. Oh, crap, we do. We are so screwed.
Richard Sestak, who has served as his brother's top political adviser and campaign lawyer, spoke with administration officials Wednesday, Joe Sestak said.
"They got ahold of my brother on his cellphone, and he spoke to the White House . . . about what's going to occur," said Sestak, who said he expects the White House will release its information Friday. He declined to elaborate on his discussions with his brother.
Could this be Obama's Watergate? We can only hope. But that of course would make Biden President and Pelosi vice President. We are doomed.
Criticism is principally centred on Climate Change Controversies, a document which defends mainstream science from accusations thought by the Society to be improper.
It says: "This is not intended to provide exhaustive answers to every contentious argument that has been put forward by those who seek to distort and undermine the science of climate change ..."
One Fellow reportedly said: "This appears to suggest that anyone who questions climate science is malicious. But in science everything is there to be questioned – that should be the very essence of the Royal Society. Some of us were very upset about that."
Don’t color Veronique de Rugy shocked, shocked to find that government spending crowds out private investment, but the results of the new study by Harvard Business School will certainly shock some Keynesian academics — and high-ranking government officials. Instead of providing a stimulating effect to the economy, government spending creates pressures on private industry to reduce staff and investment. The study’s authors count themselves as among the shocked:
With one lawmaker citing President Lincoln's respect for the rule of law, the Massachusetts Senate passed a far-reaching crackdown this afternoon on illegal immigrants and those who would hire them, going further, senators said, than any immigration bill proposed over the past five years.
That’s right — not only can citizens be fined if they fail to answer the increasingly intrusive questions asked of them by the federal government under the guise of simply counting the number of people in the country; but a landlord must give them access to your apartment whether you’re there or not, in order to gather whatever “statistics” the law permits.
In fact, some census workers apparently are going even further and demanding — and receiving — private cell phone numbers from landlords in order to call tenants and obtain information from them. Isn’t it great to live in a “free” country?
Thursday, May 27, 2010
So the welfare state is discredited. In the past, we used to be warned that static population growth, vast public-sector employment, early and generous retirement benefits, and high taxes were not sustainable. In recent years, those lectures were caricatured as partisan or hypothetical. No longer. The Greek meltdown — with Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain on the brink — has shown that European socialism does not work. Bankruptcy, not politics, is the final arbiter: Individuals, firms, and nations either buy particular bonds or they don’t. And a nation like Greece, in turn, either pays what it has borrowed or it doesn’t. All the op-eds in the New York Times cannot change that fact.
In one of the most embarrassing news stories I’ve ever seen in the mainstream press, the New York Times has a comprehensive report on the catastrophic meltdown in the public’s interest in global warming.
The only problem: nothing in here is news, if by news you mean ‘new’.
“Climate Fears Turn To Doubts Among Britons,” blares the headline.
The story begins:
LONDON — Last month hundreds of environmental activists crammed into an auditorium here to ponder an anguished question: If the scientific consensus on climate change has not changed, why have so many people turned away from the idea that human activity is warming the planet?
Last month? The conference was last month and we are only hearing about it now, at the end of this month?
The Justice Department has been stonewalling individual members of Congress and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in their efforts to get to the bottom of the Obama-Holder Justice Department’s decision to abandon a default judgment against the New Black Panther Party and multiple individual defendants in a case of blatant voter intimidation. Now the conservative legal watchdog Judicial Watch is going to court to pry the documents loose:
The combination of oil spill and anti-Arizona rhetoric continues to drag down President Obama's poll numbers. Scott Rasmussen's Approval Index, the difference between those who strongly approve and strongly disapprove of his performance, has declined to -22, the lowest point of Obama's presidency so far:
I think it will go much lower the more we see just how inept Obama is.
US National Guard troops being sent to the Mexican border will be used to stem the flow of guns and drugs across the frontier and not to enforce US immigration laws, the State Department said Wednesday.
The clarification came after the Mexican government urged Washington not to use the additional troops to go after illegal immigrants.
Who's running America, Obama or Calderon?
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The deployment also does not seem to square with remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano that in recent Congressional testimony that the border is more secure than it has ever been. “I say this again, as someone who has walked that border, ridden it, flown it and driven it,” Napolitano said. “I believe it is as secure as it ever has been.”
Then why the need to send 1200 troops and spend half a billion dollars? Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing in the Obama White House? Someone should ask Gibbs.
This move also does not square with the president’s desire for an amnesty bill. Amnesties only encourage more illegal entry.
I'll say it again, Obama is clueless. This is what the country gets for electing a guy with no experience. I believe it was Clinton who told Obama, the Presidentcy is not a job for on the job training.
Just think, Obama is the guy answering the phone at 3 in the morning.
According to Roll Call, House minority leader John Boehner has sent a letter to Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar directing him to strike all Republican requested earmarks from the Water Resources Development Act reauthorization bill being drafted by the committee.
Need those other four Republicans to follow suit.
NEW YORK – After hours of contentious public comment, a New York City community board voted late Tuesday to support a plan to build a mosque and cultural center near ground zero.
"It's a seed of peace," board member Rob Townley said. "We believe that this is significant step in the Muslim community to counteract the hate and fanaticism in the minority of the community."
Really? Ok if we build a church in Mecca then? You know, as a "seed of peace" and all.
Americans are dissatisfied with both major political parties, but the public's approval of the Democratic Party is at its lowest level ever, a new CBS News poll shows.
Favorable views of the Democratic Party dropped 20 points in the past year to 37 percent, according to the poll, conducted May 20 - 24. Last month, the party's favorability rating stood at 42 percent.
Fifty-four percent of Americans have a negative view of the Democrats, the poll shows.
Republicans have a similarly low favorability rating at 33 percent. That figure, however, is up from 28 percent - the historic low the party received last June. Fifty-five percent of Americans have a negative view of the Republican Party.
Seventy-seven percent of Americans now disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job - the highest ever in a CBS News poll.
More significantly, Bauer has served as Obama's personal attorney, navigating the corrupted waters of former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich's pay-for-play scandals in Illinois. Bauer accompanied Obama to an interview with federal investigators in Chicago. And he's got his hands full fighting Blago's motion to subpoena Obama in the Senate-seat-for-sale trial -- a subpoena that included references to a secret phone call between Obama and Blagojevich; an allegation that Emanuel floated his own suggested replacement for Obama's seat; an allegation that Obama told a "certain labor union official" that he would support (now-White House senior adviser) Valerie Jarrett to fill his old seat; and a bombshell allegation that Obama might have lied about conversations with convicted briber and fraudster Tony Rezko.
With not one, not two, but three Democrats (Sestak, Romanoff and Blagojevich) all implicating the agent of Hope and Change in dirty backroom schemes, "Trust Us" ain't gonna cut it. Neither will "Shut Up and Go Away." What did Bob "The Silencer" Bauer know, when did he know it, and how long does the Most Transparent Administration Ever plan to play dodgeball with the public?
It is a measure of how frustrated the press has become with the perpetual stonewalling and outright contempt this president has shown the media that the Times and other outlets are now aligned with a conservative Republican in demanding that one of the most liberal Democrats on the ballot come clean.
President Obama has authorized the call-up of 1,200 National Guard troops to the US Mexico border, an administration official confirms, requesting $500 million in supplemental funds.
The enhanced border protection and law enforcement will, “provide intelligence; surveillance and reconnaissance support; intelligence analysis; immediate support to counternarcotics enforcement; and training capacity until Customs and Border Patrol can recruit and train additional officers and agents to serve on the border,” an administration official says.
Isn't this exactly what Bush did years ago?
The first is that if indeed this offer was made by one or more members of the Obama administration, it was corruption, a felony. The second is that it was Joe Sestak's legal obligation as an American, and more importantly his duty as a retired Admiral, to report it to the authorities as soon as it happened.
The third observation -- and most important -- is that Joe Sestak did no such thing.
Sestak is making a big deal about his integrity in answering questions about the offer honestly. If he truly believes that, he can't hide behind the, it's up to the other side to comment, defense. Sestak is alleging someone in the Obama administration committed a felony. He needs to come clean.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The future of US medicine under ObamaCare is already on display in Massachusetts. The top four health insurers there just posted first-quarter losses of more than $150 million. Most of them blamed the state's decision to keep premiums at last year's levels for individual and small-business policies, when they'd proposed double-digit hikes to match the soaring costs they've seen under the state's universal-coverage law.
A Minnesota teacher e-mailed the entire school district to organize a counter-protest against the local tea party rally planned for Thursday. The Post-Bulletin reported:
An e-mail sent out by a Rochester public school teacher calling on others to protest the Rochester Tea Party Patriots’ rally on Thursday is drawing sharp criticism from Tea Party members.
The e-mail was sent out to all teachers in the school district and states that “if you are interested in combating the lies and ignorance of the Tea Party movement” to meet for a counter-rally at 5:30 p.m. at Soldiers Field. The teacher who sent out the e-mail says he will have an air horn and some signs. Rochester Tea Party Patriot Chairwoman Cindy Maves contacted School Board Chairman Jim Pittenger to protest the teacher’s use of district e-mail for the political message.
“I am not surprised that there would be a counter-protest. I am just surprised they used the district e-mail,” Maves said.
Instead, he said, "the finger-pointer in chief" had been "ceding power to BP."
A little earlier, it was much the same sentiment from a very different source: Chris Matthews on MSNBC, suggesting that the Obama administration had been issuing hollow threats to the oil company.
"To this very minute the administration has been watching BP and saying, 'you better do this' ... or what?" Matthews said.
"Just plug it up and then we'll stop blame-gaming," Matthews promised, issuing a general appeal for help from the person or persons who, in the movie version of this disaster film, would ride to the rescue with a plan to seal the leaking well. "There must be some smart kid out there, or geologist," he said.
COVINGTON, La. (AP) — The Obama administration's environmental chief dipped a small cup into the oily mess at the mouth of the Mississippi and was surprised by what came out.
"Oh my God — it's so thick!" exclaimed Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson who toured delicate coastal wetlands that have been invaded by the black and orange crude.
This comes 34 days after the spill
Soon, however, their Arab sojourn takes unexpected turns. First of all, Carrie encounters her old flame, Aidan (John Corbett), at the spice market, but even more importantly, she and her friends run up against the puritanical and misogynistic culture of the Middle East. The rather scathing portrayal of Muslim society no doubt will stir controversy, especially in a frothy summer entertainment, but there’s something bracing about the film’s saucy political incorrectness. Or is it politically correct? “SATC 2″ is at once proudly feminist and blatantly anti-Muslim, which means that it might confound liberal viewers.
I'm betting liberals will simply ignore it. How else will they square their love of Islam with Islams hate for women?
Nowhere has this shift in public opinion been more striking than in Britain, where climate change was until this year such a popular priority that in 2008 Parliament enshrined targets for emissions cuts as national law. But since then, the country has evolved into a home base for a thriving group of climate skeptics who have dominated news reports in recent months, apparently convincing many that the threat of warming is vastly exaggerated.
A survey in February by the BBC found that only 26 percent of Britons believed that “climate change is happening and is now established as largely manmade,” down from 41 percent in November 2009. A poll conducted for the German magazine Der Spiegel found that 42 percent of Germans feared global warming, down from 62 percent four years earlier.
So it was the skeptics who convinced the public and not all the facts showing how the warmists had faked the data.
Twitter isn’t just booting other ad networks out of its stream. It now plans to tax some start-ups and publishers that are making money from the service.
That’s a pretty significant change for the company, which has previously allowed anyone to do just about anything with its data, without asking for a cent.
But that’s over, based on the new terms of service the company released today. The relevant excerpt:
In cases where Twitter content is the basis (in whole or in part) of the advertising sale, we require you to compensate us (recoupable against any fees payable to Twitter for data licensing).
The Federal Communications Commission's plan to impose Net neutrality regulations just became much more difficult to pull off.
A bipartisan group of politicians on Monday told FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in no uncertain terms, to abandon his plans to impose controversial new rules on broadband providers until the U.S. Congress changes the law.
Seventy-four House Democrats sent Genachowski, an Obama appointee and fellow Democrat, a letter saying his ideas will "jeopardize jobs" and "should not be done without additional direction from Congress."
A separate letter from 37 Senate Republicans, also sent Monday, was more pointed. It accused Genachowski of pushing "heavy-handed 19th century regulations" that are "inconceivable" as well as illegal.
Thousands of Facebook users are being suckered by a virus masquerading as a slideshow of beach babes, reports security software firm Sophos.
The malware comes from a post on user's walls that advertises a video of "Distracting Beach Babes," and includes a picture of a young woman in a bikini. And clicking on the video link takes you to a rogue Facebook application, warns the security firm, which will display a bogus message leading you to download adware to your computer.
Meanwhile, the application has just forwarded the video in your name to all of your Facebook pals.
The technology, to be trialled at two hotels next month, would mean that guests could choose to avoid the hassle of checking in at the front desk.
Instead, they would download an application to their mobile device that would enable them to open their door simply by holding their phone to a sensor.
A Democratic senator is introducing legislation for a bailout of troubled union pension funds. If passed, the bill could put another $165 billion in liabilities on the shoulders of American taxpayers.
The bill, which would put the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation behind struggling pensions for union workers, is being introduced by Senator Bob Casey, (D-Pa.), who says it will save jobs and help people.
A study by the National Center for Policy Analysis shows that tax credits in the new healthcare law could negatively impact small-business hiring decisions.
The new law provides a 50 percent tax credit to companies offering health coverage that have fewer than 10 workers who, on average, earn $25,000 a year. The tax credit is reduced as more employees are added to the payroll.
The real question: why the left waited 30 days to challenge the White House on its chronic laziness when it's clear Bush wouldn't have been given 30 minutes before being subjected to a full-scale partisan attack. Is protecting Obama really worth the cost?
America will pay a huge cost for the silence from the left. Obama's election is showing the world that the left really are a bunch of empty suits.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Date: March 11, 2008
"[r]eal solutions to fix our broken borders cannot wait that long. Human and drug smuggling rings continue to thrive in Arizona, crossing our border and using our cities as major hubs to transport crosser throughout the country. While we wait for real progress on the "virtual fence," border communities in Arizona will continue to be strained by the millions of dollars in costs they must absorb due to the state of border security."
Yours very truly,
The way modern American politics operates, it is now no longer in Sestak's interests to fight with Obama. And Obama's call was an implicit peace offering designed to keep him quiet, if not happy.
Because it sure isn't in the interests of a president who promised to change the way Washington works to have a smoldering quid pro quo Navy-gate scandal traced back to a smoke-filled Oval Office.
Hence, Gibbs' artful dodge, in the hopes that this week the rest of the media will drop this line of questioning as quickly as Schieffer did.
A top-ranking Republican over the weekend accused the White House of handing a "bribe" to Rep. Joe Sestak, as the Pennsylvania congressman held firm to his claim that the Obama administration offered him a job to sit out the Senate primary race against Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is threatening to file an ethics complaint if Sestak doesn't provide more details about the alleged job offer, including the name of the person who offered it.
Sestak repeatedly dodged questions about the incident in an interview Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," but was willing to repeat the allegation.
"I was offered a job. I answered that," he said.
Actually, what they found on the 29 rigs was a single violation on one rig and three violations on another. That's it. None of the four violations was serious, though one involved flammable materials left in a safe welding area. The other violations included a testing procedure flaw, an uncovered six-inch by 12-inch hole, and expired eyewash bottles in a first aid kit.
Anybody want to guess why these results have gotten no coverage? At a time when lots of people naturally wonder how safe are the rest of the drilling rigs in the Gulf, wouldn't it be useful to know the results of those emergency SWAT team investigations? You can read the full report of the inspections here.
President Lee Myung-bak vowed to take Pyongyang to the U.N. Security Council for punishment over the March 26 sinking of the warship, suspend inter-Korean exchanges and ban North Korean ships from passing through its waters.
If this weren't so serious, I'd be rolling on the floor laughing. Obama won't do anything either. Instead, he sent Hillary to China to beg for help. How pathetic is that? This is why North Korea sank the South Korean boat. The North knows it can do whatever it wants, including sinking another country's warship and murdering 47 innocent people.
This breeds the greater danger of emboldening other rouge states.
Back to Guantanamo: The controversial alternate plan was to transfer these bad guys onto the U.S. mainland and put them in another prison facility that just happened to be in the president's adopted home state of Illinois and would cost $350 million from somewhere to fix it up while abandoning the still functional though unpopular-abroad Guantanamo prison.
This week the Armed Services Committee, which is controlled by Democrats who overwhelmingly control the House of Representatives, voted to prohibit such a detention facility within the United States.
Finally, some bipartisanship. The vote to prohibit was unanimous.
Other than that, President Obama's promise to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility by the end of 2009 is moving along swimmingly.
In Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe or Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela or in Thailand or in former Eastern Bloc countries it would not be unheard of for union goons to show up on a man’s doorstep to intimidate the man into submitting to the thugocracy’s will. It is not supposed to happen here.
A couple of weeks ago, Barack Obama told Wall Street that he, personally *he*, was all that stood between them and pitchforks. Well, Obama’s SEIU buddies decided to break out the pitchforks.
500 SEIU goons showed up on the front porch of a house belonging to a Bank of America Executive. The man’s 14 year old son was home alone and, fearing for his life, barricaded himself into a bathroom.
It is precisely this bankrupt system that Obama has set out to emulate with his giant public health care, cap and trade and immigration “reform” programs. Having imitated Europe at home, his new international order appears to emulate it abroad. The ends of his security policy — environmentalism, development and humanitarian assistance — as well as the means — diplomacy and multilateralism — are strikingly European. What the President left out of the speech was a description of how the West, once it has collectively purged itself of hard power, will can wield soft power effectively. It is like one of those scenes in a movie where two men in a shack, watching the bandidos approach with murderous intent, prepare their defense.
“Slim,” said one, “hand me the gun.”
“Curtis, I thought you brought the gun.”
“Now what did you forget a thing like that for?”
If the welfare state was predicated on Other People’s Money (OPM), internationally it depended on Other People’s Security (OPS) for its existence. Now that it has finally run out of OPM it might want to notice that it may also run out of OPS.
There are many reasons but here is a big one:
According to the European Commission, by 2050 the percentage of Europeans older than 65 will nearly double. In the 1950s there were seven workers for every retiree in advanced economies. By 2050, the ratio in the European Union will drop to 1.3 to 1.
“The easy days are over for countries like Greece, Portugal and Spain, but for us, too,” said Laurent Cohen-Tanugi, a French lawyer who did a study of Europe in the global economy for the French government. “A lot of Europeans would not like the issue cast in these terms, but that is the storm we’re facing. We can no longer afford the old social model, and there is a real need for structural reform.”
In reality, they never could afford it, they were just deluding themselves.
Frustration with the pace of recovery from the Deepwater Horizon disaster spiked Sunday as oil continued washing into sensitive marshlands and the schedule for the next attempt at stopping the spill slipped to midweek.
“We are 33 days into this effort and deadline after deadline has been missed,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in front of BP's U.S. headquarters in Houston on Sunday.
He said he had no doubt the company was “throwing everything at the problem to try and resolve it,” but added:
“Do I have confidence they know exactly what they're doing? No, not completely.”
Federal officials have been part of the spill response and well-capping efforts from its earliest days, but the pace of involvement is stepping up.
This is not the culture war of the 1990s. It is not a fight over guns, gays or abortion. Those old battles have been eclipsed by a new struggle between two competing visions of the country's future. In one, America will continue to be an exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise -- limited government, a reliance on entrepreneurship and rewards determined by market forces. In the other, America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, a managed economy and large-scale income redistribution. These visions are not reconcilable. We must choose.
It is not at all clear which side will prevail. The forces of big government are entrenched and enjoy the full arsenal of the administration's money and influence. Our leaders in Washington, aided by the unprecedented economic crisis of recent years and the panic it induced, have seized the moment to introduce breathtaking expansions of state power in huge swaths of the economy, from the health-care takeover to the financial regulatory bill that the Senate approved Thursday. If these forces continue to prevail, America will cease to be a free enterprise nation.
It will if Obama, Pelosi and Reid have their way. It's up to you America, do you want freedom of slavery under the Democrats?
What’s most striking to me about all of this is that — as I noted yesterday (and as Olbermann stressed) — George Bush’s decision merely to eavesdrop on American citizens without oversight, or to detain without due process Americans such as Jose Padilla and Yaser Hamdi, provoked years of vehement, vocal and intense complaints from Democrats and progressives. All of that was disparaged as Bush claiming the powers of a King, a vicious attack on the Constitution, a violation of Our Values, the trampling on the Rule of Law. Yet here you have Barack Obama not merely eavesdropping on or detaining Americans without oversight, but ordering them killed with no oversight and no due process of any kind. And the reaction among leading Democrats and progressives is largely non-existent, which is why Olbermann’s extensive coverage of it is important. Just imagine what the reaction would have been among progressive editorial pages, liberal opinion-makers and Democratic politicians if this story had been about George Bush and Dick Cheney targeting American citizens for due-process-free and oversight-less CIA assassinations.
Ah but you see, it was never about the rights of American citizens, it was about playing politics with our security in order to oust Bush and the Republicans. Those on the left need to wake up to the fact that the Democrats are all about power and they'll will do anything to get it and keep it - including murdering American citizens without a trial.
Over to you Olby.
The Obama administration has failed to keep congressional intelligence officials in the loop on the investigation into the botched Times Square bombing, as required by law, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate intelligence committee charged in a letter this week.
"Having to fight over access to counterterrorism information is not productive and ultimately makes us less secure," wrote Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein and Vice Chairman Christopher S. "Kit" Bond in a letter to President Obama on Thursday.
The country is in the best of hands.
Palin calling out Obama. Love it!
Yet Sestak confirmed to NBC's David Gregory that the incident did take place.
"I was offered a job, and I answered that," Sestak said. "Anything that goes beyond that is for others to talk about."
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Republican Charles Djou emerged victorious tonight in the special election to fill Hawaii's vacancy in Congress, giving Hawaii its first GOP member of Congress in 20 years.
Can't wait to see how the Democrats spin this.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court ruled Friday that three men who had been detained by the United States military for years without trial in Afghanistan had no recourse to American courts. The decision was a broad victory for the Obama administration in its efforts to hold terrorism suspects overseas for indefinite periods without judicial oversight.
Where is the ACLU? Where is Amnesty International? Where's the anti war crowd? Where are all those thousands of protesters who called Bush, Hitler? Now the world can see what we knew all along; the left are a bunch of lying hypocrites. The left care nothing for their so called "victims". Where are you know you f***ing cowards?!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Two-time presidential candidate John Edwards is hoping to work out a plea deal in a federal investigation involving possible misuse of campaign funds, the National Enquirer reported. Edwards, whose political action committee paid more than $100,000 to his mistress' company, is being investigated by the feds for possible improper use of campaign money.
Sanchez asked, “There is even a lot of talk that you were offered a job as secretary of the Navy. Let me stop there. Did the president of the United States, did the White House approach you and offer you the secretary of the Navy position?”
“I was asked the question about two months ago about something that happened last July. No one ever had asked me the question, ‘Did someone offer you something to get out?’ I answered it honestly, yes,” Sestak said.
BREWER: They haven't, Greta. It is really frustrating. We are on the battlefield getting the impact of all this illegal immigration and all the crime that comes with it.
No one -- I have repeatedly sent letters to the administration and to the president of the United States with absolutely no response. I'm hopeful when I'm in Washington, D.C. in about a week I will be able to at least touch base with the secretary of Homeland Security and the president of the United States.
We need help. They need to do their job. They need to step up and secure our borders!
I'd like to see her sue Obama for not doing his job. That would be great.
Update: the domain from which the attack originates, fbhole.com, is now offline, which means the attack is over.
A new malware attack is spreading via Facebook’s news feed, according to reports from users on Twitter.
The attack consists of a message starting with the phrase “try not to laugh xD,” followed by this link: “http://www.fbhole.com/omg/allow.php?s=a&r=72306″ (don’t open it).
They will be back.
As SEIU Terrorizes Bank Employee’s Son, HuffPo and MediaMatters Omit Deadbeat Union’s $90 Million Debt
Of all of the responses, not a single one of the posts actually addresses any of the issues. None will account for the fact that the protesters were on the private property of a private citizen, though Vandeventer tries to rationalize their actions as acceptable because the police supposedly followed the crowd to the location. Then, he paints the picture that Baer is lurking in the crowd trying to blend in; rather, the man was trying to get to his front door without creating a scene so that he could get to his frightened son inside as quickly as possible.
Perhaps the most important piece of information of all that was left out of the posts from SEIU, the Huffington Post, and Media Matters is the fact that Bank of America is one of SEIU’s major creditors.
Time to fight back Andrew. Get 28 buses with 1,000 protesters and protest on the porch of the SEIU president and see how she likes it.
Maybe Sullivan has a better grasp of the President’s hidden thoughts, but the situation he described would be outwardly indistinguishable from Hoekstra’s claim that “the Obama admnistration’s national security apparatus is broken, dysfunction and in disarray”. Maybe it’s not true, maybe it’s just Hoekstra’s political posturing, but it’s not entirely implausible that he’s right and the Obama administration has simply lost it. That in place of rational strategies there are only competing political agendas that have advanced, with a mad and narrow rationality to a kind the grotesque success exemplified by the increase in drone attacks to compensate for the closure of Guantanamo. ‘We killed them so that we would not be accused of violating their human rights’. If so the next few months promise to be even more exciting than the last, but not in a way that inspires optimism. There are a lot of smoldering fires lit everywhere and the potential for a cascading crisis is manifestly present.
Oh, it's coming and big time. There will be another 9/11 and it will be Obama's fault.
Her incredible life is an inspiring example of courage and commitment to free speech. I wish I had that type of courage, and I'm grateful that I've never had to live in a place where one could be put to death for one's beliefs.
WASHINGTON — Dennis C. Blair, whose often tumultuous tenure as director of national intelligence was marked by frequent clashes with White House officials and other spy chiefs in America’s still fractured intelligence apparatus, announced Thursday that he was resigning.
How many more Obama epic fails will we endure before Al Qaeda makes a major hit?
The same sloppy legislative writing that created so many unintended consequences in ObamaCare also plagues the DISCLOSE Act, the effort in Congress to tighten spending rules in the wake of the Citizens United decision — and that’s the generous take on the situation. Reason’s Bradley Smith and Jeff Patch warn that the perhaps-unintended consequences of legislative language will allow the FEC to regulate political speech online. The fact that media entities like the New York Times have specific exemptions built into the bill makes the intent, or lack thereof, rather murky:
In the wake of revelations by the New York Times that Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal lied about serving in Vietnam, the Beltway media has already gone into its protective crouch:
And what exactly is it that keeps a nation together? Conservatives like me argue that it is shared history, values, and language – the things multiculturalists resent and oppose.
No matter, I think we’ve turned an important corner.
Americans were outraged when they recently saw thousands of leftists, anarchists, and supporters of illegal immigrants marching to demand unconditional citizenship for those who’ve broken the law in Arizona and other places.
And all across the country, folks carefully watched events unfold in California, where five high school students were sent home on Cinco de Mayo for wearing “incendiary” red, white, and blue T-shirts.
Americans may be confused about a lot of things — but they’re clear on one thing. Damn it, if you make the journey to America there’s one thing you’d better be prepared to accept … the notion of E pluribus unum: out of many, one.
If not, don’t let the door hit ‘cha on the way out.
This is not an argument over the right to be “provocative” or “offensive”; rather, it is something much more significant — an argument over who gets to determine what counts as provocative or offensive in the first place. The Western world dragged itself out of the church-dominated Dark Ages and into the Enlightenment in part over this precise issue: the freedom to engage in speech and actions which formerly had been classified as the crime known as “blasphemy.” It seems such a trivial and quaint issue in retrospect, and hardly worthy of note from our hyper-secularized 21st-century perspective, but tell that to the millions of people who for centuries lived under the yoke of governments which used accusations of blasphemy and other religious misbehaviors as a primary tool of tyranny and oppression. The modern world dawned with the American and French Revolutions and the emergence of the explicitly secular state — the Americans rejecting the Church of England as Britain’s legally enforced national religion, and the French shrugging off centuries of acquiescence to domination by the Catholic Church in civil affairs. In both cases, new governmental paradigms were established in which there was an inviolable separation of church and state, which in practice meant no civil laws enforcing religious doctrines and (most importantly for our discussion) no laws against blasphemy.
Lebanon was once the outstanding example of an (almost) democratic society in an inhospitable, dangerous region—a laboratory both for modernity and violence, as a Lebanese intellectual who was later assassinated once put it.Young relates the growing tension between a domineering Syria and a Lebanese opposition in which charismatic leader and politician Rafiq al-Hariri was assassinated and the Independence Intifada—the Cedar Revolution—broke out. His searing account of his country’s confrontation with its domestic and regional demons is one of hope found and possibly lost. In this stunning narrative, Young tells us what might have been his country’s history, and what it may yet be.
If you blinked, you might have missed it. The Obama administration has unofficially rebranded "war on terror" phrase that dominated public discourse throughout the Bush administration. The replacement phrase, carefully chosen, is "CVE" -- Countering Violent Extremism.
Ok, so what brilliant mind came up with that politically correct term?
The phrase first appears to have been used in public by the director of national intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair (Ret.), and its utterance was picked up by Newsweek.
So how did that work out for you Blair? Dennis Blair resigns as Obama's intelligence chief
US President Barack Obama's national intelligence director has resigned after a 16-month tenure marked by a series of security failures.
Do tell. The country is in the best of hands.
Many readers of this newspaper must have looked at yesterday's front page and scratched their heads in bewilderment. There was Nick Clegg asking people to nominate the laws they would like to see repealed and right next door was a story that said we were unable to deport two suspected al-Qaeda terrorists because we were bound by human-rights legislation.
That picture -- a defiant, triumphant take-that-Uncle-Sam -- is a crushing verdict on the Obama foreign policy. It demonstrates how rising powers, traditional American allies, having watched this administration in action, have decided that there's no cost in lining up with America's enemies and no profit in lining up with a U.S. president given to apologies and appeasement.
They've watched President Obama's humiliating attempts to appease Iran, as every rejected overture is met with abjectly renewed U.S. negotiating offers. American acquiescence reached such a point that the president was late, hesitant and flaccid in expressing even rhetorical support for democracy demonstrators who were being brutally suppressed and whose call for regime change offered the potential for the most significant U.S. strategic advance in the region in 30 years.
It will take decades to undo all the damage Obama has done.
"We want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights and feelings of others," the spokesperson said.
The statement from Facebook came after Pakistan blocked access this popular social networking site following a court order over a competition created by a Face Book user who set up a page called "Draw Mohammed Day," inviting people to send in caricatures of the Muslim prophet on May 20.
Well then, what about the "rights and feelings" of those who believe in freedom of speech to "express their views"? This is bullshit. It's always us who are supposed to give in to Muslims. Their "rights" and their "feelings" always come before ours. Why?
By giving in, Facebook is making things worse. The idea of draw Muhammad day, was so we could freely express our views and show Muslims we stand up for our rights.
This bullshit too: "Depictions of Prophet Mohammed is strictly restricted under Islam religion and us considered as blasphemous by Muslims around the world."
No it is not. History is replete with Muslim depictions of Mohammaed. The Danish cartoons that sparked all this had extra and more outlandish cartoons added to them - by Muslims. Further, these same cartoons were published in an Egyptian newspaper first!
EDMONDS, Wash. – The man accused of raping a woman behind an Edmonds grocery store has been deported at least four times in the past 15 years, reports KIRO Radio.
WASHINGTON – In his battle with the titans of Wall Street, President Barack Obama almost got upstaged by a rat.
But he didn't even seem to notice. Assuming that's what it was, scurrying in front of his podium Thursday in a sun-drenched Rose Garden.
Obama had just begun an afternoon statement to reporters lauding the end of a Senate filibuster on his financial overhaul plan when some kind of rodent — opinions differ on which — dashed out of the bushes to his right, just outside the Oval Office.
In related news, Dennis Blair resigns as Obama's intelligence chief
Let's take 28 buses and 1,000 protesters and protest on the pourch of the SEIU's president and see how she likes it.
Obama said get in their faces and puch back twice as hard. Let's take his advice this time.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Lost in the fine print: The credit drops off sharply once a company gets above 10 workers and $25,000 average annual wages.
To get the most out of the new federal credit, Hoffman said he’d have to cut his work force to 10 employees and slash their wages.
Is this how it's suppose to work?
New claims for US unemployment benefits have risen for the first time in five weeks, official data showed Thursday.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims totaled 471,000 in the week ending May 15, up 25,000 or 5.6 percent from the prior week's revised figure of 446,000.
With Democrats controlling Congress, Mr. Limbaugh saw that there was no way to stop the president's agenda. He dismissed the moderates' notion that compromising with the president would make Republicans look good to independents. Instead he decreed that the Republicans must become the party of no, and force Democratic candidates - especially centrists - to go into 2010 with sole responsibility for the Obama program and the state of the economy. And that is what has happened.
Here is one website where he posts some of his art under the name of Ray Kanen. Followers of Manga, Manga videos and games will no doubt know who that is. I do not, but heh, I'm old. Or so he tells me.
Anyway, he, and I, would appreciate a visit and any comments you would care to leave. Here's a direct link to his gallery.
“Scepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition,” he said. “Current global warming alarmism hardly represents a plausible proposition.” Not least, he pointed out, because the various activist scientists, greenies and government institutions pushing AGW theory have failed to “improve their case over 20 years.” So paper thin are the AGW movement’s arguments that pretty much the only defences left to them are desperate techniques like the appeal to authority (“the Royal Society believes in AGW and the Royal Society is, like, really old and distinguished, so AGW must be true”) and cheap slurs.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Obama endorsements don’t seem to help Democrats
By Charles Babington, Associated Press Writer Wed May 19, 2010
WASHINGTON – The role of endorser in chief isn’t working so well for President Barack Obama.
Sen. Arlen Specter became the fourth Democrat in seven months to lose a high-profile race despite the president’s active involvement, raising doubts about Obama’s ability to help fellow Democrats in this November’s elections.
The first three candidates fell to Republicans. But Specter’s loss Tuesday to Rep. Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania’s Democratic senatorial primary cast doubts on Obama’s influence and popularity even within his own party — and in a battleground state, no less.
It's not a case of "despite" so much as a case of because.
Two fans at a Phoenix Suns basketball game were ejected from their first row seats and removed from the arena last week after refusing orders from security guards to take off their shirts in support of Arizona’s recently passed law against illegal immigration.
One of the fans, businessman Jim Clark, said he and a friend, who were wearing orange shirts that read “Viva Los 1070,” eventually were allowed to return to their seats during last Wednesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs after speaking with a security director.
A trial attorney with the Department of Justice’s Voting Rights Section named J. Christian Adams has resigned! The reason? Adams cites concerns about the government’s refusal to prosecute a case involving voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party during the Presidential election in 2008 in Philadelphia. A letter of resignation obtained by The Washington Examiner from a former Justice Department employee makes clear DOJ has refused to allow attorneys in the Voting Rights Section to testify before the congressionally-chartered bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, despite subpoenas that could result in their being held in contempt. In his letter of resignation, J. Christian Adams said: