Sunday, February 28, 2010

Welfare societies like Greece borrow from the future; trouble is, some of them don't have one

What's happening in the developed world today isn't so very hard to understand: The 20th century Bismarckian welfare state has run out of people to stick it to. In America, the feckless insatiable boobs in Washington, Sacramento, Albany and elsewhere are screwing over our kids and grandkids. In Europe, they've reached the next stage in social democratic evolution: There are no kids or grandkids to screw over. The United States has a fertility rate of around 2.1, or just over two kids per couple. Greece has a fertility rate of about 1.3: 10 grandparents have six kids have four grandkids - i.e., the family tree is upside down. Demographers call 1.3 "lowest-low" fertility - the point from which no society has ever recovered. And compared to Spain and Italy, Greece has the least worst fertility rate in Mediterranean Europe.

So you can't borrow against the future because, in the most basic sense, you don't have one. Greeks in the public sector retire at 58, which sounds great. But, when 10 grandparents have four grandchildren, who pays for you to spend the last third of your adult life loafing around?

By the way, you don't have to go to Greece to experience Greek-style retirement: The Athenian "public service" of California has been metaphorically face-down in the ouzo for a generation. Still, America as a whole is not yet Greece. A couple of years ago, when I wrote my book "America Alone," I put the Social Security debate in a bit of perspective: On 2005 figures, projected public pensions liabilities were expected to rise by 2040 to about 6.8 percent of GDP. In Greece, the figure was 25 percent. In other words, head for the hills, Armageddon, outta here, The End. Since then, the situation has worsened in both countries. And really the comparison is academic: Whereas America still has a choice, Greece isn't going to have a 2040 - not without a massive shot of Reality Juice.

Even California is turning against Democrats

Just a year ago, the Democratic Party looked at California as a base for adding to its majorities in Congress. Now, it could be a the place where it loses them.

Even Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer now faces the toughest race in her 28 years representing California in Congress.

Democrats hold both of California's U.S. Senate seats and 34 of its 53 seats in the U.S. House. A year ago they were looking to pick up as many as eight more from Republicans in districts that President Barack Obama won in 2008.

That list of takeover targets has now been winnowed down to three. Republicans, meanwhile, have expanded their takeover list.

Banking chair Kent Conrad: Reconciliation (simple majority) can't be used to pass Obamacare

On Face the Nation, Senate Banking Committee Chair Kent Conrad said, "Reconciliation cannot be used to pass comprehensive health care reform.

It won't work. It won't work because it was never designed for that kind of significant legislation. It was designed for deficit reduction... The major package of health care reform cannot move through the reconciliation process.

It will not work... It will not work because of the Byrd rule which says anything that doesn't score for budget purposes has to be eliminated. That would eliminate all the delivery system reform, all the insurance market reform, all of those things the experts tell us are really the most important parts of this bill.

The only possible role that I can see for reconciliation would be make modest changes in the major package to improve affordability, to deal with what share of Medicaid expansion the federal government pays, those kinds of issues, which is the traditional role for reconciliation in health care."

U.S. has a split personality that brings out individual excellence and governmental depravity

While the Vancouver Olympics aren't finished, the medal races are - and in spectacular fashion for North Americans.

The United States is guaranteed 37 medals and Canada will finish with at least 13 gold medals. Both are the best of these games and part of the greatest hauls ever at a Winter Olympics.

The Americans will leave with the most medals by any country at any Winter Games. They also will win the medal count for only the second time, the other being at Lake Placid in 1932.

Steven Holcomb and the "Night Train" delivered the 36th medal, and ninth gold, for the United States by winning the four-man bobsled event Saturday. The 37th will come from the men's hockey team. Whether it is gold or silver will be determined Sunday.

"A few marginal mistakes" are enough to transform the global warming hoax into methane

The news from sunny Bali that there is to be an international investigation into the conduct of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its chairman Dr Rajendra Pachauri would have made front-page headlines a few weeks back. But while Scotland and North America are still swept by blizzards, in their worst winter for decades, there has been something of a lull in the global warming storm – after three months when the IPCC and Dr Pachauri were themselves battered by almost daily blizzards of new scandals and revelations. And one reason for this lull is that the real message of all the scandals has been lost.

The chief defence offered by the warmists to all those revelations centred on the IPCC's last 2007 report is that they were only a few marginal mistakes scattered through a vast, 3,000-page document. OK, they say, it might have been wrong to predict that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035; that global warming was about to destroy 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest and cut African crop yields by 50 per cent; that sea levels were rising dangerously; that hurricanes, droughts and other "extreme weather events" were getting worse. These were a handful of isolated errors in a massive report; behind them the mighty edifice of global warming orthodoxy remains unscathed. The "science is settled", the "consensus" is intact.

But this completely misses the point. Put the errors together and it can be seen that one after another they tick off all the central, iconic issues of the entire global warming saga. Apart from those non-vanishing polar bears, no fears of climate change have been played on more insistently than these: the destruction of Himalayan glaciers and Amazonian rainforest; famine in Africa; fast-rising sea levels; the threat of hurricanes, droughts, floods and heatwaves all becoming more frequent.

Click here for Hearts on Fire, the curling song

Time line of a hoax; click here for bigger chart

Rep. Michele Bachmann on Obamacare

Banker: forget Greece; worry about California

Mr Dimon told investors at the Wall Street bank's annual meeting that "there could be contagion" if a state the size of California, the biggest of the United States, had problems making debt repayments. "Greece itself would not be an issue for this company, nor would any other country," said Mr Dimon. "We don't really foresee the European Union coming apart." The senior banker said that JP Morgan Chase and other US rivals are largely immune from the European debt crisis, as the risks have largely been hedged.

California however poses more of a risk, given the state's $20bn (£13.1bn) budget deficit, which Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is desperately trying to reduce.

Texas Tea Party's Debra Medina has fiery message and rising prospects in gubernatorial election

When Medina breezed into Lytle's community hall the locals found themselves confronted with a Texan version of Sarah Palin. She wore a sharp scarlet skirt suit, librarian-style glasses and a puffed-up hairdo. More than 60 Lytle residents had gathered to meet her, a hefty turnout on a weekday at 11am for a Republican primary election in the race to be Texas governor. Medina has become a political phenomenon in Texas. Emerging as a genuine star of the rightwing populist Tea Party movement, she delivers a fiery message of slashing taxes and the abolition of almost all forms of federal government, and issues dire warnings that President Obama is taking America down a slippery slope to Soviet-style communism.

It's working. Previously unheard of by the vast majority of Texans, Medina has set the race for governor on fire, upsetting the primary contest between the incumbent, Rick Perry, and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Those gathered to see Medina in Lytle loved her. Young and old, men and women, Latino and white, listened with rapt attention as she outlined her agenda and asked them to back her in this week's first round of voting. If she can beat Hutchison into second place, she can secure a runoff against Perry. That would raise the possibility – distant but real – of a Tea Party activist capturing the government of the second biggest state in America. The Tea Party movement would have gone from being a bunch of ragtag protesters to heading one of the largest single economies in the world. "If we can change politics as usual in Texas, then we can change politics as usual across America. This is not just about Texas, but about changing the whole country," Medina told the Observer before addressing her supporters in Lytle.

Nevertheless, Medina will not be a factor in the gubernatorial election. Here is Rasmussen's latest report:

Texas GOP Primary: Perry 48%, Hutchison 27%, Medina 16%.

Al Gore, still thinkiing what might have been is

Al Gore, in the New York Times:

It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.

Of course, we would still need to deal with the national security risks of our growing dependence on a global oil market dominated by dwindling reserves in the most unstable region of the world, and the economic risks of sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas in return for that oil. And we would still trail China in the race to develop smart grids, fast trains, solar power, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources of energy — the most important sources of new jobs in the 21st century.

But what a burden would be lifted! We would no longer have to worry that our grandchildren would one day look back on us as a criminal generation that had selfishly and blithely ignored clear warnings that their fate was in our hands. We could instead celebrate the naysayers who had doggedly persisted in proving that every major National Academy of Sciences report on climate change had simply made a huge mistake.

I, for one, genuinely wish that the climate crisis were an illusion. But unfortunately, the reality of the danger we are courting has not been changed by the discovery of at least two mistakes in the thousands of pages of careful scientific work over the last 22 years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In fact, the crisis is still growing because we are continuing to dump 90 million tons of global-warming pollution every 24 hours into the atmosphere — as if it were an open sewer.

Here are some plausible interpretations of Gore's essay:

Jeez, I went long on windmills when I should have gone short.

My side really had balls. Imagine, we got by with comparing temperatures guesstimated by measuring tree rings with temperatures measured by thermometers. That's one way we got those huge temperature swings.

We got by, for a while, with wiping the Little Ice Age (1350-1850) out of our memory banks, but it came back to bite us.

We can't lose our edge. You may have noticed that in January, when lots of people found that their houses had become igloos, we were talking about January being the hottest month on record.

If we show weakness, our critics might start talking about prosecuting us. I might lose my Oscar.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What happened to the effete Europeans?

What could David Paterson, Eliot Spitzer, Charles Rangel and William Delahunt have in common?

The common thread here is a twisted sense of entitlement; all of these folks in high office encountered circumstances where the rules and laws that the rest of us have to follow proved inconvenient, too inconvenient to interrupt the important work of these important men.

Yes, the Republicans have their jerks and losers too. But they operate in an environment where the mainstream media are ready to pounce and expose them. Sometimes the mainstream press gets interested in a Democrat’s misdeeds, as with Paterson; but often, it’s left to the National Enquirer, because everyone who covers John Edwards can just instinctively sense what an ethical, decent, and caring man he is.

Oh, and all of the commercials during the Olympics remind us that Rod Blagojevich is on "The Apprentice."
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows that 22% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-three percent (43%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -21. That matches the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for President Obama.

The only other time the Approval Index was this low came in late December as the U.S. Senate prepared to approve its version of health care reform (see trends). Most voters continue to oppose the proposed health care plan.

Conservative MP launches Brit tea party

Americans support Brit protesters

The inaugural British Tea Party will take place on Saturday in my home town of Brighton, and I’ll be speaking. Do try to come: here are the details.

Labour has raised more than a trillion pounds in additional taxation since 1997. Yet, unbelievably, Gordon Brown has still managed to run up a deficit of 12.6 per cent of GDP (Greece’s is 12.7 per cent). A far lower level of taxation brought Americans out in spontaneous protest last year.

Climate humor - a new, but fast-growing field

Weather missed IPCC's target; blame weather

So, when will we see a Black Russian Party?

Furious at the tempest over the Tea Party -- the scattershot citizen uprising against big government and wild spending -- Annabel Park did what any American does when she feels her voice has been drowned out:

She squeezed her anger into a Facebook status update.

let's start a coffee party . . . smoothie party. red bull party. anything but tea. geez. ooh how about cappuccino party? that would really piss 'em off bec it sounds elitist . . . let's get together and drink cappuccino and have real political dialogue with substance and compassion.

Friends replied, and more friends replied. So last month, in her Silver Spring apartment, Park started a fan page called "Join the Coffee Party Movement." Within weeks, her inbox and page wall were swamped by thousands of comments from strangers in diverse locales, such as the oil fields of west Texas and the suburbs of Chicago.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Soros made a ton of money shorting the pound; now he and his allies seem to be shorting the euro

A secretive group of Wall Street hedge fund bosses are said to be behind a plot to cash in on the decline of the euro.

Representatives of George Soros's investment business were among an all-star line up of Wall Street investors at an 'ideas dinner' at a private townhouse in Manhattan, according to reports.

A spokesman for Soros Fund Management said the legendary investor did not attend the dinner on February 8, but did not deny that his firm was represented.

At the dinner, the speculators are said to have argued that the euro is likely to plunge in value to parity with the dollar.

The single currency has been under enormous pressure because of Greece's debt crisis, plus financial worries in Portugal, Italy, Spain and Ireland.

But, it has also struggled because hedge funds have been placing huge bets on the currency's decline, which could make the speculators hundreds of millions of pounds.

The euro traded at $1.51 in December, but has since fallen to $1.34. Details of the secretive dinner emerged days after Mr Soros, chairman of Soros

Fund Management, warned in a newspaper article that the euro could 'fall apart' even if the European Union can agree a deal to shore up support for stricken Greece.

Filming Of Congressional Reality Show Disrupts Committee Meeting

John Stossel on drug deregulation

Hot air + one bill enacted = an Obama presidential record noteworthy for its mediocrity

Obama’s strange way of approaching governing goes back to his first days in office, when he announced that he would close the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay even though he had no idea where the prisoners would go.

More recently, Obama let Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. designate Manhattan as the location of a civilian trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed without checking with law enforcement officials to see what impact such a trial would have on the security of the city.

Obama’s lack of basic executive competence should come as no surprise. Beyond his own campaign and his senatorial office, Obama never ran anything.

Only one of the measures Obama proposed as a U.S. senator was enacted: a bill to “promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

It would be difficult to imagine a more mediocre record. Yet with the help of fawning reporters, Obama managed to parlay extraordinary speaking and political skills into a presidential campaign built on hot air.

Using recall, conservatives trying to force mid-term senators to stand for election this year

Republicans' chances to retake the Senate are limited by the fact that only a third of the chamber is up for re-election this year, but some conservative activists are pushing to force more Democrats onto the ballot in November by trying to recall them.

It's a long-shot approach, the legal hurdles are tremendous - no member of Congress has ever been recalled - and it's limited only to states with recall laws that are broad enough to include federal officeholders.

But the first test comes Tuesday, when a judge will hear oral arguments from the Sussex County Tea Party, which is trying to recall Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat.

"Nine states, including 12 Democratic senators who are not up for re-election otherwise, could all be on the ballot with a recall," said Peter Ferrara, a lawyer for the conservative American Civil Rights Union, which is helping the tea partiers with their case. "Given what they're doing on health care this year, that's just going to be a huge boost to the recall effort."

The legal obstacles are daunting.

Cato calls for abolition of Education Department, echoing TheRightFieldLine's post on Feb. 16

...the Constitution gives Washington zero authority to meddle in education. That means every federal education program, and the department itself, is unconstitutional.


Since the 1965 passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act - of which No Child Left Behind is just a continuation - federal education expenditures have been like the Alps, but academic outcomes like the Bonneville Salt Flats. Since 1970, inflation-adjusted federal spending per-pupil has risen almost 190 percent, while academic performance by 17-year-olds - our schools' "final products" - has stagnated.

How have things been in higher education? In particular, what have we gotten from decades of the federal grants, loans, work-study, and tax incentives through which Mr. Obama would like to furnish college students with more than $173 billion in 2011?

More people have certainly gone to college: In 1960 - five years before passage of the seminal Higher Education Act - only 7.7 percent of Americans ages 25 and older had bachelor's degrees. By 2008, nearly 30 percent did. But that credential explosion has come at a steep, self-defeating cost.

First, there's a glut of degree holders: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 21 percent of jobs require bachelor's degrees - bad news for the tens of millions of surplus B.A. and B.S. holders.

Neal McCluskey is associate director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom and author of Feds in the Classroom: How Big Government Corrupts, Cripples, and Compromises American Education.

Second, sheepskin has been seriously devalued. Among many signs of this, the most recent National Assessment of Adult Literacy reveals that the percentage of Americans whose top degree is a bachelor's who were "proficient" readers dropped by about 10 points between 1992 and 2003 - and only about 38 percent were proficient in 1992. Americans with graduate degrees saw similar drops.

But the greatest cost has been, well, college costs. Ever-growing aid has encouraged students to demand more from schools - extravagant recreation centers, gourmet food, luxurious dorms - and enabled schools to rapidly increase charges. It's no coincidence that since 1979, real aid per student - most of it federal - rose 149 percent, while public four-year college charges ballooned 105 percent and private prices 126 percent.


Federal education meddling, and the department through which most of it is done, must end.

Waiting room at Havana hospital

National Journal ranks congress on L-C scale

Sens. Joe Lieberman, of Connecticut, and Blanche Lincoln, of Arkansas, have something in common. Both fall into the moderate category in the Democrat Party.

National Journal has ranked all representatives and senators on a liberal, conservative, or moderate scale. For the full listing, click on the headline of this post.

Will Rangel get the DeLay, or delay, treatment?

The House Ethics Committee's decision to admonish New York Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel over improper corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean leaves both Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the ethics committee itself facing some difficult questions.

When then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) was admonished by the ethics committee in October 2004, Pelosi and other Democratic leaders went on the offensive against him.

“Mr. DeLay has proven himself to be ethically unfit to lead the party,” Pelosi said at a press conference the following day. “The burden falls upon his fellow House Republicans. Republicans must answer: Do they want an ethically unfit person to be their majority leader or do they want to remove the ethical cloud that hangs over the Capitol?”

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) — now the House majority leader — said DeLay "certainly ought to step aside as leader at this point in time because I think his credibility has been undermined by these findings."

Six years later, the shoe is on the other foot: Republicans have previously called for Rangel to lose his chairmanship over his ethical troubles, and some of them — including Indiana Rep. Mike Pence — renewed that call Thursday night.

How will Pelosi and Hoyer respond?

WSJ: Aim was "a soothing, moderate political gloss to a government health-care takeover"

... the root cause of surging health-care costs is the irrational and regressive tax preference for employer-sponsored insurance only, and both parties left it virtually unmentioned. Mr. McCain missed an opportunity to point out that most people would have done better than they do now under his campaign plan that Mr. Obama savaged in 2008. The subject didn't come up until Democratic backbencher Ron Wyden's 11th-hour argument that "real reform changes the incentives that drive the system" and Mr. Coburn argued that "If we don't reconnect health-care purchasing with health-care payment, we're not going to get good value out of this system."

Mr. Obama also claimed that "Every proposal that health-care economists say will reduce health-care costs, we've tried to adopt," yet this is demonstrably untrue. The White House has delayed its own excise tax on ultra-expensive health plans (previously sold as the key cost-control measure) until 2018, well after Mr. Obama is out of office, assuming he wins a second term.

In the end, after all the bipartisan cooing, the President's 20-minute closing argument explained where the debate really is. Democrats won the election and they are going to do what they want to do, starting next week and on a partisan vote if they can shanghai enough Members.

The point of yesterday's session was to give a soothing, moderate political gloss to a government health-care takeover that will raise costs, greatly expand the entitlement state, and reduce choice and competition—the opposite of everything Mr. Obama claims.

Longevity in the golden years

Commenter: Government workers in Orange County retire at 50 at 100% pay on a 6 figure salary. Most of them will spend more years collecting retirement than they spent working, and nearly all of them will collect more money from the taxpayer while not working than they did while providing services to the taxpayer.

London's Times does the job U.S. mainstreamers refuse to do - make fun of poseur Barack Obama

Warning: watching American politicians argue about healthcare can be seriously damaging to your health. Symptoms may include migraines, extreme fatigue and sudden violent urges. In the event of exposure to competing statistics — regarding "donut holes", "HMO deductibles", "reconciliation devices" or suchlike — seek immediate medical help.

The public affairs television channel C-Span 3 might as well have put such a message at the bottom of its screen yesterday as it broadcast President Obama’s epic six-hour "bipartisan" debate on US medical reform.

Of course, by the usual standards of C-Span programming — which can induce sleep faster than an IV drip of propofol — the summit was the equivalent of a bikini mud wrestling contest. You half expected the picture to shake as the camera operator struggled to compose himself.

For the rest of us, however, it was mainly an opportunity to see how many conciliatory-looking poses Obama could strike while listening to his Republican opponents explain why the entire first year of his administration has been a gigantic waste of time, and why the telephone directory-sized health Bills produced by both the Democrat-controlled House and Senate should be fed into a shredder the size of Connecticut, before they . . . well, no one seems to know exactly what these vast pieces of legislation would do.

Except that it won’t be good, because the US Congress generally only does expensive and complicated.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jay Cost: Uphill campaign for health care steepens

The biggest trouble will be in the House, not in the Senate. Consider:

-The vote on final passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act was 220 to 215, with 38 Democrats voting with Republicans.

-John Murtha has since passed away.

-Robert Wexler has since resigned, and Florida's 19th Congressional District will not elect a replacement until early April.

-Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii's 1st Congressional District will resign at the end of this month. The special election to replace him will be held May 22. Thanks to the peculiar election rules, Republicans actually stand a chance of replacing him.

-Reports indicate that Joseph Cao, the sole Republican to support the reform efforts in November, will not do so this time around.

-That puts the number at 216-216, which is insufficient for passage.

Andy McCarthy says White House launching new attack on interrogation methods

The Obama Democrats have outdone themselves.

While the country and the Congress have their eyes on today’s dog-and-pony show on socialized medicine, House Democrats last night stashed a new provision in the intelligence bill which is to be voted on today. It is an attack on the CIA: the enactment of a criminal statute that would ban “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” (See here, scoll to p. 32.)

The provision is impossibly vague — who knows what “degrading” means? Proponents will say that they have itemized conduct that would trigger the statute (I’ll get to that in a second), but it is not true. The proposal says the conduct reached by the statute “includes but is not limited to” the itemized conduct. (My italics.) That means any interrogation tactic that a prosecutor subjectively believes is “degrading” (e.g., subjecting a Muslim detainee to interrogation by a female CIA officer) could be the basis for indicting a CIA interrogator.

The act goes on to make it a crime to use tactics that have been shown to be effective in obtaining life saving information and that are far removed from torture.

“Waterboarding” is specified. In one sense, I’m glad they’ve done this because it proves a point I’ve been making all along. Waterboarding, as it was practiced by the CIA, is not torture and was never illegal under U.S. law. The reason the Democrats are reduced to doing this is: what they’ve been saying is not true — waterboarding was not a crime and it was fully supported by congressional leaders of both parties, who were told about it while it was being done. On that score, it is interesting to note that while Democrats secretly tucked this provision into an important bill, hoping no one would notice until it was too late, they failed to include in the bill a proposed Republican amendment that would have required full and complete disclosure of records describing the briefings members of Congress received about the Bush CIA’s enhanced interrogation program. Those briefings, of course, would establish that Speaker Pelosi and others knew all about the program and lodged no objections. Naturally, members of Congress are not targeted by this criminal statute — only the CIA.

More to the point, this shows how politicized law-enforcement has become under the Obama Democrats. They could have criminalized waterboarding at any time since Jan. 20, 2009. But they waited until now. Why? Because if they had tried to do it before now, it would have been a tacit admission that waterboarding was not illegal when the Bush CIA was using it. That would have harmed the politicized witch-hunt against John Yoo and Jay Bybee, a key component of which was the assumption that waterboarding and the other tactics they authorizied were illegal. Only now, when that witch-hunt has collapsed, have the Democrats moved to criminalize these tactics. It is transparently partisan.

In any event, waterboarding is not defined in the bill. As Marc Thiessen has repeatedly demonstrated, there is a world of difference between the tactic as administered by the CIA and the types of water-torture methods that have been used throughout history. The waterboarding method used by the CIA involved neither severe pain nor prolonged mental harm. But it was highly unpleasant and led especially hard cases like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (i.e., well-trained, committed, America-hating terrorists) to give us information that saved American lives. The method was used sparingly — on only three individuals, and not in the last seven years. The American people broadly support the availability of this non-torture tactic in a dire emergency. Yet Democrats not only want to make it unavailable; they want to subject to 15 years’ imprisonment any interrogator who uses it.

What’s more, the proposed bill is directed at “any officer or employee of the intelligence community” conducting a “covered interrogation.” The definition of “covered interrogation” is sweeping — including any interrogation done outside the U.S., in the course of a person’s official duties on behalf of the government. Thus, if the CIA used waterboarding in training its officers or military officers outside the U.S., this would theoretically be indictable conduct under the statute.

Rep. Paul Ryan attacks Obamacare gimmicks

Pet health care is cheaper because it's more abundant; government rations human hospitals

A little Olympics humor

60 Minutes to show video of U.S. military secrets being sold to a Chinese spy, now in prison

"60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley's report will be broadcast this Sunday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

China may be the number-one espionage threat now. "The Chinese are the biggest problem we have with respect to the level of effort that they’re devoting against us, versus the level of attention we are giving to them," says Michelle Van Cleave, once America’s top counter-intelligence officer who coordinated the hunt for foreign spies from 2003 to 2006.

"Definitely, without a doubt," the Chinese focus most of their espionage on the U.S., says Fengzhi Li, who once recruited spies for China's Ministry of State Security and is now in the U.S. seeking asylum.

The Chinese, says Van Cleave, have had the designs to all of the nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal for years and they have been after a lot more lately. "Virtually every technology that is on the U.S. control technology list has been targeted at one time or another by the Chinese," she tells Pelley. "Sensors and optics…biological and chemical processes…all the things we have identified as having inherent military application," says Van Cleave. "I think we are a real candy store for the Chinese and for others."

In the videotape obtained by "60 Minutes", Gregg Bergersen, a civilian Pentagon worker with a high-security clearance, is shown taking money, about $2,000, from the Chinese spy, Tai Shen Kuo. Bergersen then discusses how he will let Kuo look at secret documents. The documents included the types of weapons the U.S. was selling to its ally Taiwan as well as plans for a classified command and control system that was going to be used by Taiwan.

Bergersen clearly implicates himself on the videotape. "I'm very , very, very reticent to let you have it because it's all classified, but I will let you see it," he tells Kuo. "You know you can write all…the notes you want…it's just I can never let anyone know…I’d get fired for sure on that,” says Bergersen. "Well, not even get fired, I’d go to *** jail!"

That's where Bergersen is now, serving almost five years in federal prison for communicating national defense information. Kuo, a naturalized American citizen, was given 15 years for espionage. Both men pleaded guilty after being shown the tape and other evidence against them.

Coach's mistake denies gold to Dutch skater, emblematic of events in the United States

For a while, the Winter Olympics in British Columbia served as a splendid contrast to the sullen standoff south of the border between a preening, narcissistic president and a public that tells him regularly that he is off course and a threat to the nation's future.

In Canada, skiers and snow boarders vaulted higher and faster than ever and twisted and turned more dramatically, seeking glory, and perhaps wealth, for themselves and victory for their country.

It was a fine antidote to the leftist attack on wealth seeking and the grinding message of the leftist leadership that Americans should be living not for themselves, but for others.

Then, in a moment, a coach signaled Dutch speedskater Sven Kramer to switch lanes in his 10,000-meter race. He did so, lifting his right leg to clear the lane marker as he switched from the outside lane to the inside.

A short time later, he cruised to an Olympic record for the distance, apparently winning gold.

Then he was disqualified for finishing the race in the wrong lane.
“Usually, I don’t want to blame anyone else, but this time I can’t do anything else,” Kramer said. “I wanted to go to the outer lane; then just before the cone, Gerald shouted, ‘Inner lane.’ I thought he’s probably right, and I went to the inner lane.

“This really sucks,” he said. “This is a real expensive mistake."

The same could be said for the White House's pursuit of an agenda designed to aggrandize government and diminish individuals.

Andrew Breitbart on what he is about

Max Blumenthal, You’re Being Booger-Boarded
by Andrew Breitbart

Max Blumenthal has an amazing thesis: All conservatives and Republicans are beneath contempt. He also has an amazing line of work. He is underwritten by various media organs to prove his thesis.

In a previous era, Blumenthal and said media organs (Salon, Independent Film Channel, Huffington Post, etc.) were able to get away with this pathetic arrangement. But now, we are on to Max, the spawn of Sid “Vicious” Blumenthal – he who attempted to ruin Monica Lewinsky’s life by falsely portraying her as Bill Clinton’s “stalker.”

The Blumenthal operation is now under the extremely close scrutiny of a camelid named “Retracto.”

The movement formerly known as the “Tea-Baggers” (with their flip cameras and new media skills) and various conservatives who have had enough with the excessive Alinsky tactics used most egregiously by Max and Sid but representative of main stream media’s odious guilt-by-association, repeat-the-same-lie-until-it-sticks, smear-any-conservative-as-racist-sexist-homophobic skill set, are now fighting back.

If the last two weeks have not humiliated him enough — and this Huffington Post rage-fest from yesterday with its title “Feeling the Hate at CPAC 2010 With Andrew Breitbart, Hannah Giles and the Crazy Mob” suggests they have not – then perhaps this coup de booger will tell him that we say what we mean and we mean what we say.

Max gallivanted around CPAC looking for prey. He was treated with respect as he sought to make good and decent people look foolish on camera. He decided he would go after a 20-year-old girl, one Hannah Giles. And perhaps due to sexism or ageism he underestimated her ability. Max should have called Bertha Lewis before he went after this young heroine. Instead, he went to a gunfight with a knife – and a dirty nose.

Ladies and gentlemen, the much awaited, “Max Blumenthal Picks a Booger Out of His Nose at CPAC” video:

At the behest of Hanna Giles, ACORN slayer, Max Blumenthal zeroes in on his booger

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Americans united in belief "that politicians are corrupt" and neither party has the answers

Voter unhappiness with Congress has reached the highest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports as 71% now say the legislature is doing a poor job.

That’s up ten points from the previous high of 61% reached a month ago.

Only 10% of voters say Congress is doing a good or excellent job.

Nearly half of Democratic voters (48%) now give Congress a poor rating, up 17 points since January. The vast majority of Republicans and voters not affiliated with either party also give Congress poor ratings.

Seventy percent (70%) of voters say Congress has not passed any legislation that would significantly improve life for Americans, up 10 points over the past month and the highest level of dissatisfaction measured in regular tracking in over three years. Only 15% say Congress has passed such legislation.

Forty percent (40%) of voters nationwide now say it is at least somewhat likely Congress will seriously address the most important issues facing the nation. That’s down from 59% last March. Only 9% say it is Very Likely Congress will address these issues.

These numbers are consistent with the analysis provided in Scott Rasmussen’s new book, In Search of Self-Governance. Scott notes that “Today, Americans are united. United in the belief that our political system is broken, that politicians are corrupt, and that neither major political party has the answers.” He adds, “Some of us are ready to give up; some of us are ready to scream a little louder. But all of us believe we can do better.”

Labor unions losing popularity with public

Favorable views of labor unions have plummeted since 2007, amid growing public skepticism about unions’ purpose and power. Currently, 41% say they have a favorable opinion of labor unions while about as many (42%) express an unfavorable opinion. In January 2007, a clear majority (58%) had a favorable view of unions while just 31% had an unfavorable impression.

The latest nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Feb. 3-9 among 1,383 adults reached on cell phones and landlines, finds that favorable opinions of unions have fallen across demographic and partisan groups. Still, far more Democrats have favorable views of unions (56%) than do independents (38%) or Republicans (29%).

Epic Beard Man secures his place; he's on utube

(Get the background by clicking on the headline of this post}

GOP Rep. Anh Cao voted for Obamacare; now he's paying the price as contributions fall by 40 %

The lone Republican lawmaker to support Democratic health care legislation has seen his fundraising drop by nearly 40 percent since his vote, and he is quickly burning through a dwindling bank account after resorting to a costly national fundraising operation.

Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, the unlikely congressman from New Orleans, is facing the perils of bipartisanship unlike any other lawmaker in Washington — trying to please a heavily Democratic constituency while relying on core conservatives for money to fuel his campaign.

Although Republican leaders have continued supporting Cao with money from their campaign committees despite his health care position, the conservative donors he's courting around the country may not be so forgiving.

A Vietnamese-American, Cao (pronounced gow) won his seat in 2008 even as President Barack Obama took 75 percent of the vote in the district, which is 60 percent black. Like Louisiana's Indian-American governor, Bobby Jindal, Cao was hailed as a next-generation Republican who could put a more diverse face on the party's predominantly white image.

But Cao's victory was unique. It came only after his Democratic opponent and predecessor, Rep. William Jefferson, was found with $90,000 in his freezer and indicted on bribery charges. Republicans acknowledge that Cao will have a tough time holding the seat.

Al Gore: Of course warming stimulates snowfalls

With all the climate deniers spreading lies about the climate crisis in the media, it's vital we arm ourselves with the facts. Thankfully, Repower America put together a great fact sheet explaining the relationship between the climate crisis and extreme weather:

"Fact: Climate change causes more frequent and severe snowstorms

Record snowstorms need two things: temperatures below freezing, and very high humidity. On a planet warmer by a few degrees on average, the Northeast US will still have plenty of days below freezing; the big difference will be warmer seas producing higher levels of moisture in the air — and therefore more severe cold-season storms."

"Fact: We can expect more extreme weather

Scientists tell us that climate change has already led to more extreme weather in the United States and we can expect stronger hurricanes, more wildfires, heatwaves and droughts, to name a few."

"Fact: The world is warming at a quickening pace

Weather in one region over days or months should not be confused with climate or the patterns of weather over decades and centuries. And the science is clear here: the last decade was the hottest on record. And to put this year’s weather in perspective, January was warmer than average for the continental United States."

RedState goes after liberal GOPer Bob Bennett

The people of Utah have a United States Senator named Bob Bennett. He is the 8th most liberal Republican and Utah happens to be the most conservative state. Utah is also a socially conservative state. Nonetheless, Bob Bennett rubs Utah’s nose in his record.

•Bob Bennett supports same sex marriage benefits at the federal level.

•Bob Bennett supports comprehensive immigration reform including amnesty provisions.

•Bob Bennett supports federal funding of abortions.

•Bob Bennett supports an individual mandate forcing Americans to buy insurance or be fined by the federal government.

•Bob Bennett supports many other policies opposed by the people of Utah.

•Bob Bennett also opposes many policies the people of Utah want.

More disturbing about Bennett is that when he feels threatened, he moves right. But when the threat goes away, Bennett moves back left. We can eliminate the drifting by taking him out at the Utah Republican Convention.

Now it all stacks up

Creeping Islamism: D.C. police enforce Sharia law

Some women who protested at the Islamic Center of Washington, wanting to be able to worship in the main prayer hall with their male counterparts, were asked to leave by the police. But they say their struggle will continue.

Carpets with intricate designs cover the floors of the main prayer hall and turquoise tiles line the walls. But the source of contention is a small room created with seven foot high wooden walls. Jannah B’int Hannah describes how she feels in there where she cannot see the imam, or leader of the mosque, speak.

“Boxed in, stifling, suffocating and totally a second class citizen,” says Hannah.

Over the weekend, Hannah and approximately 20 other women prayed in the main hall, but D.C. police were called. They asked them to leave or be arrested.

Syed Burmi, the imam of Islamic Society of Western Maryland, says the physical separation helps maintain women’s privacy and modesty as well as keeps the focus on prayer.

Harry's surly, and he isn't even unemployed yet

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Creeping Islamism shields AZ muslim from death penalty for killing westernized daughter

Faleh Almaleki murdered his daughter, but we wouldn't want to appear Islamophobic. Would a non-Muslim who ran down his daughter in a car be spared the death penalty? Do you wonder about the answer? "Dad accused in 'honor killing' will not face death penalty," by Dustin Gardiner in The Arizona Republic, February 19 (thanks to Jed Babbin):

A Glendale man accused of slaying his daughter in an "honor killing" will not face the death penalty.

After sparring with the suspect's defense attorney over its death penalty review process, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office has said it will not seek death for Faleh Almaleki, 49.

The Iraqi immigrant is accused of slaying his daughter, 20-year-old Noor Almaleki, for being "too Westernized."

Police say he used his Jeep Cherokee to run down his daughter and another woman in a Peoria parking lot Oct. 20. Noor Almaleki later died of her injuries.

Almaleki is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault and two counts of leaving the scene of a serious accident. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The decision not to seek the death penalty comes after Almaleki's attorney, Billy Little, a public defender, asked a judge to take special precautions to ensure the County Attorney's Office wouldn't wrongly seek the death penalty because Almaleki is a Muslim.

Little requested that the office make public the process it uses to determine whether to seek capital punishment.

"An open process provides some level of assurance that there is no appearance that a Christian is seeking to execute a Muslim for racial, political, religious or cultural beliefs," Little wrote, referring to County Attorney Andrew Thomas' Christian faith....

Prosecutors said Almaleki has admitted killing his daughter because she disgraced the family by not following traditional Iraqi or Muslim values.

The Daily Beast on the Daily Nervous Breakdown

Now the torch has been passed to Beck, a man who a decade ago was just starting his post top-40 DJ career with a talk show broadcast on a single station in Tampa. Today, he is the king of all conservative media, with a hit television show, a nationally syndicated radio program, and five books on the best-seller lists. Now the consummate showman is already promoting a new book, The Plan, which he will debut in August with an open-air rally of followers on the Washington Mall. Will his speech offer a glimpse into his “plan” to take America back from President Obama and what Beck has repeatedly called “the cancer of progressivism”?

One thing is certain: The man is crazy like a fox. The best way to get a sense of where Beck might steer the conservative debate in 2010 is to study his past—it’s a story of ambition and addiction, mixing politics and religion. He recycles old fears with apocalyptic urgency, polarizing for profit, making himself the Pied Piper for a new generation of angry, anxiety-ridden, and alienated Americans.

Fateful crossing occurred on Bush's watch

...during the last two year the number of public employees has increased from 22.3 million in January 2008 to 22.4 million in January 2010, after peaking at 22.6 million in July 2009. Not that impressive you will say. Well, excuse me but it certainly beats being a private employee during that same period of time. The number of private jobs decreased from 115.5 million in January 2008 to 107 million. That’s a lose of 8.7 million jobs in the private sector while the public sector gained almost 100,000 jobs.

Imhofe 2

Imhofe 1

Walter Williams: Why spend billions to remediate bogus science on global warming?

Private industry and governments around the world have spent trillions of dollars in the name of saving our planet from manmade global warming. Academic institutions, think tanks and schools have altered their curricula and agenda to accommodate what was seen as the global warming "consensus."

Mounting evidence suggests that claims of manmade global warming might turn out to be the greatest hoax in mankind's history. Immune and hostile to the evidence, President Barack Obama's administration and most of the U.S. Congress sides with Climate Czar Carol Browner, who says, "I'm sticking with the 2,500 scientists. These people have been studying this issue for a very long time and agree this problem is real."


Given all the false claims and evidence pointing to scientific fraud, I don't think it wise to continue spending billions of dollars and enacting economically crippling regulations in the name of fighting global warming.

At the minimum, we should stop the Environmental Protection Agency from going on with their plans to regulate carbon emissions. Companies should resign from the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a lobbying group of businesses and radical environmentalists. Dr. Tom Borelli, who is director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project, says that BP, Caterpillar, Conoco Phillips, Marsh, Inc. and Xerox have the common sense to do so already.

U.S. troop fatalities in Iraq

How to score an impossible goal

Monday, February 22, 2010

Freedom lovers should be lining up to honor Andrew Breitbart, James O'Keefe and Hanna Giles

The embattled liberal group ACORN is in the process of dissolving its national structure, with state and local-chapters splitting off from the underfunded, controversial national group, an official close to the group confirmed.

"ACORN has dissolved as a national structure of state organizations," said a senior official close to the group, who declined to be identified by name because of the fierce conservative attacks on the group that began when a conservative filmmaker caught some staffers of its tax advisory arms on tape appearing to offer advice on incorporating a prostitution business.

The videos proved a rallying point for conservatives who had long accused the group of fomenting voting fraud. Though the videos did not produce criminal charges, they appear to have been fatal to the national organization.

"Consistent with what the internal recommendations have been, each of the states are developing plans for reconstitution independence and self-sufficiency," said the official, citing ACORN's "diminished resources, damage to the brand, unprecedented attacks."

Animal rights still on White House's back burner, but muslims spell out rules for bestiality

 On Saturday, September 12, 2009, I blogged as follows:

"Navigating the brave new world of animal rights - a primer and preview of things to come"

"In its relentless effort to harness every individual and creature in America to its own designs, the Obama administration now threatens, perhaps unwittingly, to light up a dark corner that many don't even know exists.

The lonely farmhand is about to have his unwanted moment in the sunshine.

Until now, the lonely farmhand has been glimpsed only rarely, usually in a buried item in a rural weekly or small daily newspaper. Reporters don't like to write the stories, and editors don't like to publish them, so the notices tend to be short and well buried:

'The sherifff's office has charged a 45-year old farm hand with lewd and laschivious conduct after another farmer complained that his goat had been abused.'

Sometimes the victim is a sheep, or even a cow. Whatever the case, the victim has never had a highly trained support group so the indelicate occurrence has quickly disappeared from public view.

Now, that is likely to change.

A colleague of President Obama, Cass Sunstein, is the new head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), and has been confirmed by the Senate.

What is at issue here is Sunstein's forceful advocacy of animal rights, especially his recommendation that people should be enabled to file suit on behalf of animals that have been mistreated. His objective is to ameliorate some of the worst cruelties inflicted on amimals that are bred and processed for food.

In 2002, Sunstein traced the idea of animal rights to 18th Century economist and social reformer Jeremy Bentham, who likened animals to slaves and argued that an adult dog or a horse is more rational than a human infant and should therefore be granted similar rights.

In 1789, a time when France had freed its slaves but England still held its slaves captive, Bentham wrote a primer in which he stated, "The day may come, when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor."

While I am not philosophically opposed to limited animal rights, I do foresee some difficulties.

Until now, odd matings between man and beast have been rare and little noted. That's as it should be. What would happen if bestiality became a frequent subject of courtroom proceedings? If the past is prologue, books will be written and movies made about the practice? Would bestiality then work its way into the American mainstream and become commonplace? Does anyone think that would be a good thing?

The mere thought of the first bestiality reality show on television makes me shudder.

Not to mention the fainting goats, which add another dimension to the problem. The ordinary goat is a tough, sturdy, stubborn creature. A farmer who wants to move a goat ordinarily carries a two-by-four in his hand.

Would the two-by-fours have to be coated with a soft material so as not to offend the faint-hearted?

Unlike ordinary goats, fainting goats are sensitive creatures who are known for only one thing - fainting. If you surprise the goat in any way, it faints. If you startle the goat it faints. If you look cross-eyed at the goat, it might faint.

Can you imagine the hay a trial lawyer could make if he had a fainting goat as a client? You give the goat an angry glance, the goat faints, and you spend the next two years in court defending yourself. The judge, having just navigated animal sensitivity training, fines you the entire wad you were planning to spend to set up a new meat processing plant.

In desperation, you borrow enough money to buy two fainting goats, then hire a trial lawyer. Within a year, you're a millionaire.

That was then, as they say, and this is now.

From Jawa Report comes the news:

"Camel: It's the Other Other White Meat"

"Alternative title: Camels, they're not just for screwing any more:"

"Muslims across the country are licking their lips at the thought of utilising a resource that has been overlooked for decades, but was once used to pioneer central Australia.

An abattoir near Alice Springs is on the verge of signing a contract to supply at least 10 per cent of Australia's Muslim population with halal camel meat....

Pending certification, it's a plan that has the full support of Imam Kafrawi Hamzah from the Alice Springs Mosque.

"Eating camel meat has become popular now," he told AAP.

He said interest in the product would grow even further once halal camel meat was readily available for purchase nationally.

“A man can have sex with animals such as sheeps, cows, camels and so on. However, he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm. He should not sell the meat to the people in his own village; however, selling the meat to the next door village should be fine.”

“If one commits the act of sodomy with a cow, an ewe, or a camel, their urine and their excrements become impure, and even their milk may no longer be consumed. The animal must then be killed and as quickly as possible and burned.”

Imagine that. We don't even have animal rights yet, but we do have rules for sex with animals.

Cllimate change extravaganza is "doornail dead"

...the movement to stop climate change through a Really Big and Comprehensive Grand Global Treaty is dead because there is no political consensus in the US to go forward. It’s dead because the UN process is toppling over from its own excessive ambition and complexity. It’s dead because China and India are having second thoughts about even the smallish steps they put on the table back in Copenhagen.

Doornail dead.

Olbermann's stupidity vs. tea partier audacity

In memory of 1980

Undead Lockerbie bomber living well in Tripoli

It has now been six months since we were outraged over the release of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and the intrigue surrounding the decision to grant him his (relative) freedom. Megrahi is better known as “The Lockerbie Bomber.” The UK Telegraph now reports.

Megrahi, is now living in a spacious two-story villa with his wife and their five grown-up children in a prosperous suburb of Tripoli, the Libyan capital.

The property has a spacious garden and an area where the family erects a large tent to entertain visitors for celebrations.

The Megrahis, who are part of a prominent tribe, are well off and it is understood that his family was paid substantial compensation by the Libyan Government after he was jailed for life.

When Megrahi was granted his release on August 20th of last year it was on humanitarian terms as he was terminally ill and expected to die within three months.

Do Tiger's lapses on the golf course in 2004 and 2008 reflect activity in his other scorecard?

For the unschooled, these two charts may eventually gain the transcendant importance in the economic and sports worlds that the phrase, "the dog that didn't bark," has in murder mysteries. Even the most casual reader will notice that the second chart is composed entirely of phallic symbols.

We will focus here on two obvious dips in the performance and earnings of Tiger Woods, one in 2004 and another in 2008.

What accounts for this? Did Woods' other scorecard register an upsurge in hits during these periods? If so, high voltage libido coincides with subpar golf, and may even have a causal effect.

If, on the other hand, the other scorecard for those periods looks like an Obama admiration chart for 2009, the diagnosis would be quite different: If the swinging takes a vacation, so does the swing.

Golfers, swingers, agents, coaches and psychologists all want to know the answer. The wives will have to speak for themselves.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Study on global warming raising sea levels retracted; "Mistakes happen in science"

Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.

The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, one of the top journals in its field, confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.

Announcing the formal retraction of the paper from the journal, Siddall said: "It's one of those things that happens. People make mistakes and mistakes happen in science." He said there were two separate technical mistakes in the paper, which were pointed out by other scientists after it was published. A formal retraction was required, rather than a correction, because the errors undermined the study's conclusion.

At the time, Mark Siddall, from the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Bristol, said the study "strengthens the confidence with which one may interpret the IPCC results". The IPCC said that sea level would probably rise by 18cm-59cm by 2100, though stressed this was based on incomplete information about ice sheet melting and that the true rise could be higher.

Many scientists criticised the IPCC approach as too conservative, and several papers since have suggested that sea level could rise more. Martin Vermeer of the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany published a study in December that projected a rise of 0.75m to 1.9m by 2100.

Siddall said that he did not know whether the retracted paper's estimate of sea level rise was an overestimate or an underestimate.

Charlie Cook sees House Dems in deep doo doo

Dhimmi Watch on John Brennan II

The old hockey stick broke; a new one is crafted

Mark Steyn on Obama's skittishness toward Iran

... when it comes to “keeping you safe” from real threats, such as a millenarian theocracy that claims universal jurisdiction, America and its allies do nothing. There aren’t going to be any sanctions, because China and Russia don’t want them. That means military action, which would have to be done without U.N. backing — which, as Greg Sheridan of the Australian puts it, “would be foreign to every instinct of the Obama administration.” Indeed. Nonetheless, Washington is (all together now) “losing patience” with the mullahs. The New York Daily News reports the latest get-tough move: “Secretary of State Clinton dared Iran on Monday to let her hold a town-hall meeting in Tehran.”

That’s telling ’em. If the ayatollahs had a sense of humor, they’d call her bluff.

David Frum assesses Mitt Romney at CPAC

At one point, Romney’s text read: “the government doesn’t create jobs … only the private sector can do that.”

Romney pronounced the phrase as written, then paused. Problem: It’s not true. Romney spontaneously corrected himself: “in a lasting way.” Meaning: Yes, government purchasing can create employment, but only the private market can sustain economic expansion.


There are dozens of countries where people can start businesses, compete with the rich and rise above their origins.

In fact, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development just this year released a detailed study of social mobility. Among developed countries, the United States actually ranks toward the back of the pack for social mobility, barely better than supposedly class-bound Britain. A child born poor in Canada, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, France (!) or Germany has a better chance of escaping poverty than a poor American.

There is evidence too that America has less social mobility today than it did a generation ago.

This information is not unconservative. Indeed it is conservatives who have identified some of the most important causes of America’s ossifying class structure: bad schools in poor areas, immigration policies that favor the unskilled.


Romney’s unscripted self-edit revealed a man who knew and cared about the difference between fact and fantasy. In a conservative world distracted and deluded by the Sarah Palins and the Glenn Becks, that self-revelation is desperately needed –and desperately welcome.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hitler goes ballistic because Barack Obama screwed up his vacation plans in Las Vegas

Obama passes up chance to distance self from ACORN

Alexander Haig was a warrior

It's easy to poke fun at soldiers-turned-politicians, but it's more useful to look at what they did as soldiers.

Here, from the Ace of Spades, is a reminder of Alexander Haig in his first life:

"When two of his companies were engaged by a large hostile force, Colonel Haig landed amid a hail of fire, personally took charge of the units, called for artillery and air fire support and succeeded in soundly defeating the insurgent force...the next day a barrage of 400 rounds was fired by the Viet Cong, but it was ineffective because of the warning and preparations by Colonel Haig. As the barrage subsided, a force three times larger than his began a series of human wave assaults on the camp. Heedless of the danger himself, Colonel Haig repeatedly braved intense hostile fire to survey the battlefield. His personal courage and determination, and his skillful employment of every defense and support tactic possible, inspired his men to fight with previously unimagined power. Although his force was outnumbered three to one, Colonel Haig succeeded in inflicting 592 casualties on the Viet Cong... (HQ US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 2318 (May 22, 1967)"

Does Obama understand the complexity triggered by ending "Don't ask, don't tell" policy?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates pleaded before a Senate committee for a year to study and implement the Obama repeal of “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.” Among the practical questions Gates is going to have to answer are these:

1. Will the military be ordered to recruit gays by quota? All other sub-groups in our all-volunteer military are recruited by quota. Women, minorities, specialties like doctors and lawyers, all are subject to quotas.

 2. If the answer to No. 1 is Yes, then what would the gay quota be? Would it be the widely discredited 10% figure that gay activists like Obama’s Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings always cite? Or would it be the more realistic “less than 3% figure?”

3. If large numbers of those volunteers currently serving in our military don’t reenlist, or if sufficient new recruits cannot be attracted to the Obama military, will this administration bring back the draft?

These are all very serious questions to which Sec. Gates must apply himself. He must do this even while he is trying to win the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once the Obama military has been formed, how will the new gay troops be housed? And what about the stress on military health care?

Here is a preview of coming elections, in which ACORN and SEIU will play leading roles

From Sweetness & Light

FRANKFORT — A former Clay County precinct worker testified Friday that top election officers in the county taught her how to change people’s choices on voting machines to steal votes in the May 2006 primary.

Wanda White testified that Clerk Freddy Thompson — the county’s chief election officer — helped show her how to manipulate voting machines along with Charles Wayne Jones, the Democratic election commissioner.

The scheme involved duping people to walk away from the voting computer before they had finished their selections, then changing their choices, said White, the Democratic judge in a precinct in Manchester.

White said she stole more than 100 votes that election.

"It was easy done," she said.

White said she also went into the booth with people who had sold their vote to make sure they cast ballots for the candidates who had paid.

White testified Friday in the continuing trial of eight Clay County residents who allegedly took part in a scheme to rig elections over several years.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Eric Holder: Nine Obama appointees in Justice Department have reresented terrorist detainees

Attorney General Eric Holder says nine Obama appointees in the Justice Department have represented or advocated for terrorist detainees before joining the Justice Department. But he does not reveal any names beyond the two officials whose work has already been publicly reported. And all the lawyers, according to Holder, are eligible to work on general detainee matters, even if there are specific parts of some cases they cannot be involved in.

Holder's admission comes in the form of an answer to a question posed last November by Republican Sen. Charles Grassley. Noting that one Obama appointee, Principal Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal, formerly represented Osama bin Laden's driver, and another appointee, Jennifer Daskal, previously advocated for detainees at Human Rights Watch, Grassley asked Holder to give the Senate Judiciary Committee "the names of political appointees in your department who represent detainees or who work for organizations advocating on their behalf…the cases or projects that these appointees work with respect to detainee prior to joining the Justice Department…and the cases or projects relating to detainees that have worked on since joining the Justice Department."

In his response, Holder has given Grassley almost nothing. He says nine Obama political appointees at the Justice Department have advocated on behalf of detainees, but did not identify any of the nine other than the two, Katyal and Daskal, whose names Grassley already knew. "To the best of our knowledge," Holder writes,

During their employment prior to joining the government, only five of the lawyers who serve as political appointees in those components represented detainees, and four others either contributed to amicus briefs in detainee-related cases or were otherwise involved in advocacy on behalf of detainees.

Holder says other Obama appointees, like Holder himself, came from law firms which represented detainees but did no work on behalf of the terrorist prisoners.

If a rival hints Mitt Romney is a pansy, he's got this

Minnesota conservative makes good; the Humphrey, McCarthy, Mondale mould is crumbling

CPAC greets guerilla journalist like rock star

James O’Keefe, the self-styled guerrilla investigative journalist celebrated for his video on ACORN and arrested last month in New Orleans in an attempted expose of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, got a rock star welcome at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday.

O’Keefe, 25, wasn’t scheduled to do any official events at CPAC, as the conference is known, but he attracted plenty of attention as he waded through the lobby of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, where the conference is taking place, posing for pictures with admiring fans who wished him well in his pending court case.

O’Keefe became a instant conservative celebrity last year when he and a partner, Hannah Giles, released secretly recorded videos of them posing as a pimp and prostitute while soliciting advice from employees of ACORN, the liberal community organizing group, on how to set up a brothel.