12/30/2009

New TSA Rules for Public Travelers not Releasable to the Public

A new TSA terror crackdown has swung into immediate action....against some travel bloggers:
The Transportation Security Administration is going after bloggers who wrote
about a directive to increase security after the incident.


TSA special agents served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and
Chris Elliott, demanding that they reveal who leaked the security directive to
them. The government says the directive was not supposed to be disclosed to the public.
OK, perhaps I am just a simple knuckle-dragging idiot, but I need someone to explain this to me...

The government says that rules specifically targeted at the traveling public, and rules that must be publicly announced to the traveling public while in transit....are not supposed to be disclosed to the traveling public????

Huh?!?

Vital classified national security secrets to the NYT is no big whup, but unclassified rules for public citizens in the hands of those citizens is worthy of prosecution...This is not the transparency I was hoping for....

[Hat Tip: Confederate Yankee]

12/29/2009

How Conservatives Are Made

#hhrs #tcot #rs #sgp
From The Corner:

"They Just Took My Money" [John J. Miller]
That's what my 8-year-old son said about the sales tax on the ride home from Borders a few minutes ago. He had a $10 gift card from Christmas, bought a Clone Wars book for $7.99, looked at the receipt, and wondered why he still didn't have a full $2.01 on it

This is how conservatives are made.
Congrats John, you must be very proud!

Crayola Akbar

Great...just great.
Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November, 2007, according to American officials and Department of Defense documents. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the Northwest bombing in a Monday statement that vowed more attacks on Americans.

American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia where they entered into an “art therapy rehabilitation program” and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials...
WTF...

Worst. Decade. Ever.

"Any time Dennis Kucinich is the voice of reason, you know you are really screwed..."




I vote for seeing more Al Gore impressions by Nick Gillespie

[Hat tip: Instapundit]

12/28/2009

Captain Janet has turned on the Fasten Seatbelt sign...

...so please return to your cells seats for the remainder of the flight. Or else!

Now lets imagine you are on the tail end of your 10 hour flight home to the U.S. from Germany, or even a 14 hour leg back from the Far East, and you cross the magical 1-hour-until-landing threshold....and you encounter some fun new rules.

- Your tummy isn't reacting well to that second round of airline food? Sorry, you can't get up...keep your seat. I hope your neighbor doesn't mind the smell. (TSA Security Directive SD-1544–09-06, Para 2.1.1)

- Want to get some medication out of your carry-on stored in the overhead (or under the seat in front of you)? Sorry, it is forbidden to access them...you'll just have to hope you can hold out until you reach the gate. (TSA Security Directive SD-1544–09-06, Para 2.1.2)

- Want to use that cool, fancy TV screen mounted in the seat in front of you, or the cool in-flight wi-fi to pass the many hours? Sorry, it prohibited for the *entire* flight. (TSA Security Directive SD-1544–09-06, Para 2.1.3)

- Want to know what that interesting looking city/natural formation is that you are flying over? Sorry, its classified. (TSA Security Directive SD-1544–09-06, Para 2.1.4)

- Tired and cold after your double-digit flight to the Land of the Free? Sorry, you'll just have to shiver and be uncomfortable as blankets and pillows are verboten. And don't even think about having that book in your lap either. (TSA Security Directive SD-1544–09-06, Para 2.1.5)

So, sit up ramrod straight and breath in slow, shallow breaths, or we might have to hog-tie you for the sake of National Security.

This has been Captain Janet, and we want to thank you for flying TSA, because we know that when it comes to flying rules, you have no choice whatsoever.

Oh, and pay no attention to that guy in seat 19A who didn't break any of these new rules, but is still about to ignite the bomb in his pants....



UPDATE: Stupidity in action....(No offense to JetBlue)

Let the Furious Napolitano Spin Begin

Sunday:
"One thing I would like to point out is that the system worked" - Janet Napolitano on CNN

Monday:
"Our system did not work in this instance" - Janet Napolitano on the Today Show

Janet, you're doin' a heck of a job....

Oh, and the 1970's called...it wants its fashion sense back....

12/27/2009

Bad News? Blame Bush! (As Predicted)

Gateway Pundit says:
Pathetic. Obama White House Finds Way to Blame Bush for Detroit Terror Attempt

Blaming Bush for this flub was a stretch even for Obama.
But, it surprises no one.
Not that I want to crow too much (because it was such an easy prediction), but this is what I posted back on Christmas day....
OK, so we the press doesn't have the Bush administration to kick around anymore, but I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that someone with connections to the Obama Administration will appear on CNN or MSNBC and present the spin that this was somehow the fault of Bush Administration policies.

Mark my words....
Fish. Barrel. Gun.

UPDATE: Check out Verum Serum as well....

"Janet, You're Doin' A Heck of A Job"

In the finest tradition of using Presidential words to attempt to reassure the American public about the competence of an arguably less-than-competent administration flunky, I would recommend that President Obama should curtail his vacation to make the following statement....
"Janet, You're Doin' A Heck of A Job"


I think it would go over like gangbusters....it did wonders for Bush.

UPDATE: BTW, if that isn't a perfect stunned mullet look on Napolitano's face, I am not sure what is... I know I feel safe....

UPDATE II: Of course looking like a stunned mullet doesn't look as bad as this:

That look seems to be all the rage with the kids on Pennsylvania Ave....

UPDATE III: Let the furious Napolitano spin and backtracking begin!

TSA Ups Screening for Domestic Grandmother Threat

Instapundit points out the TSA's new 'HORSE, BARN DOOR' security program. "Air security has always been a joke. It’s just an increasingly inconvenient one."
New Restrictions Quickly Added for Air Passengers

In the wake of the terrorism attempt Friday on a Northwest Airlines flight, federal officials on Saturday imposed new restrictions on travelers that could lengthen lines at airports...
As I said on Friday, if what is reported above by the NYT is true, then the TSA is focusing on the wrong threat:
If this jihadi was able to get as far as he did because he boarded a flight in relatively security-free Nigeria (hint: outside the USA), and then didn't get another security screening in Amsterdam (again outside the USA), then why do American holiday travelers now have to get the third-degree from TSA (hint: inside the USA) on their way home from Grandma's??
A commenter to that post reminded me that even Grandma's are not exempt from this misapplication of security (all in the name of the appearance of non-profiling).

But the ultimate point in is that TSA and HLS should spend more time working to get other countries to improve their security procedures (like re-screening passengers from unsecure airports), than further inconveniencing American air travelers.

Security, and unpredictable security at that, *IS* needed. But it should common sense in the way that is more concerned with terrorists, than the agendas of the zealots in the ACLU and CAIR.

12/26/2009

Smart Diplomacy Fail

So, how's that Smart Diplomacy® working out for ya, Mr. President?
Obama the party crasher

Foreign leaders were avoiding the president in Copenhagen
Barack Obama is not used to being the guy not invited to a party. At the Copenhagen global warming conference, however, he found that not everyone wanted to hang with him. Our president can't take a hint.
[...]

They had tried politely to keep Mr. Obama at arms length, but since he showed up, decorum mandated that they find a way to save face.
[...]
The Copenhagen conference was a lesson in power and humility. The countries in the BASIC bloc demonstrated that the United States lacks the leverage necessary to convince them to make decisions that work against their national interests. And Mr. Obama is learning the uncomfortable lesson that there are limits to what his personal charisma can achieve.
I miss dem Cowboy Diplomatizin' days...


Given his current run of luck, perhaps President Obama should avoid the city of Copenhagen in the future. Apparently they didn't get the memo concerning the required genuflecting....

12/25/2009

The Nigerian Firecracker

Geez, the Bush Administration sure has fallen asleep at the switch when it comes to preventing terrorism by letting this guy into the country....
King: Airline bombing suspect had 'significant terrorist connections'
By Michael O'Brien - 12/25/09 08:38 PM ET

The suspect in an alleged attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas was on a list "indicating significant terrorist connections," Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Friday.

King, the top Republican member of the House Homeland Security Committee, described the suspect in the attempted bombing of a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit as a 23-year-old Nigerian national with potential ties to al-Qaeda.

"He is a 23 year old Nigerian who is also - it's been confirmed to me - while he was not on a no fly list, his name was on a list for having terrorist connections," King said during an interview Christmas evening on CNN.
OK, so we the press doesn't have the Bush administration to kick around anymore, but I will bet you dollars to doughnuts that someone with connections to the Obama Administration will appear on CNN or MSNBC and present the spin that this was somehow the fault of Bush Administration policies.

Mark my words....

Though it is more likely to be an example of the return of 'The Wall' than anything else...

UPDATE: Let me add a separate but related thought... If this jihadi was able to get as far as he did because he boarded a flight in relatively security-free Nigeria (hint: outside the USA), and then didn't get another security screening in Amsterdam (again outside the USA), then why do American holiday travelers now have to get the third-degree from TSA (hint: inside the USA) on their way home from Grandma's??

UPDATE II: Welcome Instapundit readers, and Merry Christmas! Let me take this opportunity to ask that you spread some of your own Christmas cheer and support deployed and wounded service members this holiday season. Consider donating what you can to a worthy cause such as Fisher House or Soldiers' Angels. Thank you for any generosity....

Pelosi-Care Holiday Anthem

Pelosi-Care
(to the tune of "Tannenbaum")

Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
It makes our health plans equal.
Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
I see a Commie sequel.

The current plan is just a start:
She'll take our freedoms all apart.
Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
Her chutzpah knows no equal.

Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
With Harry Reid's assistance,
Pelosi-care, Pelosi-care,
Will overcome resistance:

Oh, single payer's on its way!
The ghost of Marx will shout hurray!
Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
You'll buy at her insistence.

Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
The public is affrighted.
Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
Obama grins, delighted:

His leftist envy's proven pure;
His legacy is now secure!
Pelosi-care! Pelosi-care!
Some wrongs cannot be righted.

--Tom Riley

12/23/2009

Lefty Mouthbreathers Bad for the Environment!

#hhrs #tcot #rs #sgp
This morning Instapundit said the following in relation to lefty environmentalists saying they are out to save the planet, but then ignoring/blocking the very types of solutions they say they want:
If you’re going to tell me that carbon dioxide is an unparalleled catastrophe for this planet, you’ve got to be willing to demonstrate your sincerity by, you know, endorsing other forms of energy. Otherwise, I’m inclined to think you’re a lying opportunist or something.
This is a very good point, but when it comes to Carbon Dioxide, I think he is missing a better counter-argument. I word re-word that statement as such:
If you’re going to tell me that carbon dioxide is an unparalleled catastrophe for this planet, you’ve got to be willing to demonstrate your sincerity by, you know, boycotting the breathing process. Otherwise, I’m inclined to think you’re a lying opportunist or something.
Of course the ultimate point is that CO2 is not a pollutant, but is a by-product of life on this planet, even the non-human, or even non-animal, kind....

But of course having every one stop breathing to prevent Global Warming is just not practical. I mean if we did we would have to change the movement slogan from "GO GREEN" to "GO BLUE"....and we have already printed up the signs and banners for the school propaganda campaigns....

12/21/2009

That Bizarre Filibuster Thingy

Much like the sudden disappearance of the "No Blood For Oil" liberal objection to the ongoing war, we have also seen the sudden disappearance of the liberal's love affair with the filibuster.

E.J. Dionne as quoted in The Corner:
Of course what has happened on the health-care bill is enraging. It's quite clear that substantial majorities in both houses of Congress favored either a public option or a Medicare buy-in.

In a normal democracy, such majorities would work their will, a law would pass, and champagne corks would pop. But everyone must get it through their heads that thanks to the bizarre habits of the Senate, we are no longer a normal democracy.

Because of a front of Republican obstruction and the ludicrous idea that all legislation requires a supermajority of 60 votes, power has passed from the majority to tiny minorities, sometimes minorities of one.
I am not sure why this is a problem for Dionne, given that the Dems have apparently secured their needed 60 votes. But it is the process by which the Dems got those 60 votes that screams for the need of an official form of 'obstructionism'.

It is telling though that Dionne would consider Harry Reid dispensing billions of dollars, graft, and favoritism in back-room deals to be "normal democracy". Oh the horror that the GOP might consider using approved parliamentary tactic to try and counter-act this blatant Christmas shopping spree for votes.

But the best part of course is that Dionne used to loooove the filibuster when it was used to oppose the evil W. Leave to an astute WaPo reader to point this out....
E.J. Dionne Jr. ["Democratic fratricide," op-ed, Dec. 17] views the Senate as a "dysfunctional and undemocratic partisan hothouse," presumably because of the ability of 41 senators to prevent a bill from coming to a final vote.

Mr. Dionne has not always taken such a dim view of undemocratic procedures, however.

In 2003, he heartily approved of Democratic obstruction of two judicial nominations by President Bush: "The filibuster is the only way to prevent the president from creating a federal judiciary dominated by ideologues of his own persuasion, appointed to satisfy his political base" ["Order and the Courts," op-ed, May 9].

If a filibuster was justified merely to keep two conservatives off the bench, why should it not be used by senators who believe that the health-care bill would be a disaster for the country?

Richard L. Lobb, Fairfax
Kudos to Mr. Lobb, and the WaPo for actually running the letter.

A pox on Dionne for being a transparent, partisan hack. At least there is some transparency in Washington nowadays....

12/18/2009

Global Warming Keystone Cops

If I happened to be a believer in Anthropogenic Global Warming, and a proponent of what is being bandied about in Copenhagen, right now I would be screaming, "For the love of Pete you idiots! Why don't you plan these conferences for the summer?!?!?"

I mean, what could be worse when you are trying to convince a non-plussed American public that Global Warming is a problem that requires immediate action and immediate infusions of American tax dollars, and then to battle the following headlines:
GLOBAL WARMING 'AGREEMENT' OBAMA RACES HOME FOR BLIZZARD

DC snowstorm forces Pelosi to cut short her global warming trip

NYC Expecting Up to 10 Inches of Snow


Up to 20-inches in DC


Alaska sees record snow: Five feet, 8 inches deep!
What with all the self-appointed smartest people in the world meeting in Denmark, you would think at least some of them could have figured out that it might make better propaganda if they could show their delegates sweating in un-air conditioned meeting rooms while working out an agreement.

Instead heretics like me get to cackle when Global Warming protests get snowed out, winters get worse, or they are forced to break out the shovels in Copenhagen....

I mean, how hard could it be for someone to think "We should do this in Vegas in July!"

Debauchery AND triple-digit temperatures. What could be better for the UN technocrat trying to make a point to us knuckle dragging layabouts without the threat of snow drifts distracting from the message.

Too hard apparently....but it doesn't bother me....

12/17/2009

Chavez-hagen

Everything we need to know about the legitimacy of the European Vacation Global Warming conference in Copenhagen:
Climate summit erupts in 'deafening applause' for Hugo Chavez...
These are the self-appointed intelligentsia who want to run your lives....
President Chavez brought the house down. When he said the process in Copenhagen was “not democratic, it is not inclusive, but isn’t that the reality of our world, the world is really and imperial dictatorship…down with imperial dictatorships” he got a rousing round of applause.

When he said there was a “silent and terrible ghost in the room” and that ghost was called capitalism, the applause was deafening.
Great, our new overlords are Chavanistas. And they are too stupid to even see through their love-sick eyes that he is insulting them to their faces. This is not the change I was hoping for.

On the flip side, something good did happen at the conference:
Blizzard Dumps Snow on Copenhagen as Leaders Battle Warming
You gotta love the Gaia that all these leftists worship. She has a wicked sense of humor....



That polar ice cap looks pretty good to me....

UPDATE: More Chavez-y goodness over at Fausta's place....

12/16/2009

The Sticky Mess That is Obamacare

Instapundit quotes Ann Althouse:
“People just don’t want this bill. I think the big mistake was skipping the step of winning public support for a particular plan. It wasn’t enough that people believed there was a problem. People needed to believe the solution wasn’t worse than the problem. We were supposed to look away and trust them. The trust was never won, never earned. It’s been a horrific mess, and it just looks messier and messier as time wears on. Obama kept his distance, which looks pretty smart now.”
Two thoughts on this....

1) The main problem that has doomed Obamacare is that the American people have a general historic distrust of what comes out of Congress. If the people had a positive, or even neutral, opinion of our Congresscritters, then Obama may well have been able to sign a healthcare reform bill by now. But the fact that the effort was so closely associated with Congress and not the highly popular new president probably spelled its doom. Since 'Obama kept his distance', and every pronouncement came out of preening camera-hogs in the Capital rotunda, its was obvious who was making the sausage. The One should have expended his own newly bestowed political capital to push the bill over the goal line, but he left it to those people that all polls show that America distrusts.

2) At the same time, keeping his distance did not work for Obama. The simple fact that the term 'Obamacare' is synonymous with the effort to cede the government control of everyone's healthcare, shows that his attempts to remain above the fray failed. While he did avoid being seen as working the details in the trenches, it was clear from the White House that healthcare reform was considered one of Obama's 'legacy issues'. Thus it is clear to most American's that while Congress is making the sausage, it was the White House that is running the Red Hot cart on the corner, selling the product to the public at large....

I think Ann is wrong. Obama does not escape the mess, and he does not look very smart...

12/14/2009

Put Away Your Pink Ribbons - Part II

1) There are those who have said there is no way that Obamacare 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 will lead to healthcare rationing.

2) Then there were those who said that the recommendation by the U.S Preventive Services Task Force against routine Breast Cancer screening wouldn't lead to reduced coverage to pay for said screenings.

Ooops...
20 States Have Now Cut Funding For Mammograms After Government Task Force Recommendations

As the economy falters and more people go without health insurance, low-income women in at least 20 states are being turned away or put on long waiting lists for free cancer screenings, according to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network.
Hmmmm...I wonder what that portends for item #1?? Yeah that's what I thought....

Not the change I was hoping for.

[Hat Tip: Gateway Pundit]

12/06/2009

Consequences of Delaying the Afghan Decision

Over at Bouhammer's Afghan Blog, an Afghan vet lays out why President Obama's delay in making a decision on an Afghan surge will make things a lot more complicated.
Dear Mr. President:
Posted By The Dude on December 6, 2009

Now that I’ve had a few days to ingest, digest, and perform my own mission analysis on your new plan for Afghanistan, I’m a bit concerned. My concerns are based from my experiences of being on one end of the spectrum at the tip of of the spear defending freedom in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border regions, to the opposite end of that spectrum in Kuwait serving in the logistical nerve center for both Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
Some points to consider....

- Winter is coming has already arrived in Afghanistan. Had this decision been made during the summer, any surge of forces to the north and the east of the country could have beaten the winter conditions. Now it will be more difficult.

- With the upcoming drawdown in Iraq, logistics hubs and transport will be very busy in 2010. Add ina surge to Afghanistan, and you get a logistics nightmare. Had this decision been made during the summer, then some of the surge movement could have preceded the Iraq drawdown, and thus avoided future scheduling conflicts. I feel for my Army logistician and Air Force airlift brethren over the coming year...

Perhaps this should not come as any surprise, especially concerning the office of the President of the United States, but decisions (or lack thereof) have consequences. And even seemingly trivial decisions can have cascading effects. However when it comes to military matters in times of war, there are no trivial decisions, and the cascading effects can have serious consequences.

It can only be in Washington where 'a decision delayed is a decision made'. I don't think they teach that up at West Point, Mr. President.

12/01/2009

Obama Afghanistan Speech Word Count

President Obama's Afghanistan Speech Word Count: 'I' - 45, 'Afghanistan' - 39, 'Victory' - 0

Here is the word cloud for the speech:


(Wordle removes the most common english words, thus 'I' does not appear)

Nurse Pelosi says Turn Your Head and Cough

Many good Americans, though less by the day it seems, ask "What's wrong with passing this health care reform? Especially if it will lower costs and give coverage to those without it."

But many more people have realized however that this "reform" is not about either cost nor coverage. For those that are pushing it, this is not about health care, but rather about "health control".

While the Democrats may spout their assigned talking points about how Obamacare will bring gumdrops and candy canes, they will rarely admit their real motivation despite the fact that everyone knows what it is. That admission would not help them sell this lemon of a used car.

Apparently someone forgot to tell this to one of Nancy Pelosi's staffers. The one in charge of her website's "Mythbuster" feature.

In response to the 'myth' that "Health insurance reform could be unconstitutional…or violate the 10th amendment", Pelosi's website (is that like saying Obama's teleprompter?) says:
"Since virtually every aspect of the heath care system has an effect on interstate commerce, the power of Congress to regulate health care is essentially unlimited."
That's right...one of the leaders of the Congress is happy to let you know that she has your health care by the balls. Now turn your head and cough!

So the next time some nice lefty tells you it is all about high costs and the uninsured, and that the government would never ration your health care, just remember that Nurse Ratched Nancy Pelosi wants you to know her power is unlimited when it comes that health care, and then remember this, this, and this.

Like I said...it isn't about health care, it is about health control....

[Hat Tip: Jonah Goldberg]

11/29/2009

Democrats are getting what they asked for

I believe that this is one of the best summations of why we find ourselves where we are, and why the honeymoon is obviously over.
"The Democrats are getting what they asked for.....They had on their hands an inexperienced, recently minted US Senator from Illinois....Never mind, they thought, Obama's long-standing connections with William Ayers, the unrepentant mastermind of a domestic terrorist bombing campaign in the 1970s. Never mind Obama's close association with the racist demagogue Jeremiah Wright. Never mind his lack of executive experience, his unfamiliarity with the private sector, and his ignorance of the ways of Washington. With the help of the pliable press, he could be sold -- and Americans would congratulate themselves on their lack of racial prejudice if they voted for him."
Those words come from Paul Rahe via Powerline Blog.

Hillsdale College Professor Rahe's insights into our new 'Soft Despotism' can be found in last week's edition of 'Uncommon Knowledge' interview videos by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institute. Chapter 1 of 5 can be found here.

A final thought from Rahe: "Now comes the reckoning. For Barack Obama seems to be a one-trick pony."

Yes indeed. We do get what we vote for....

Hope. Change. Rinse. Repeat.

Line of the day:
Hope. Change. Rinse. Repeat.
From Don Surber's 'Blue States Sour on The Won'

As Don would say in his Daily Scoreboard....Good.

11/28/2009

Those Pesky Rules

The White House has put out some behind the scenes photos from the recent trip to Asia on Flickr. [Hat Tip - Jake Tapper]

I like this one photo:



The official caption states:
"President Barack Obama autographs books backstage while being photographed by an U.S. embassy photographer at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, Nov. 15, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)"

I think that it could just as easily say:
"President Barack Obama obstructs firefighter access as he autographs books backstage at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore"

Hey, those silly signs apply to everyone right?

11/24/2009

As Long As I Have A Job....

Instapundit says:

CHANGE: Blacks hit hard by economy’s punch: 34.5 percent of young African American men are unemployed.

Based on some speeches I have heard over the last several months, as long as one certain African American man is employed all other things in the world are secondary....

Stimulus Subterfuge

Its all a Stimulus Subterfuge, a Recovery Ruse, a GDP Gimmick.

In other words, the 'Great Obama Recovery'® that was announced earlier in October by the White House is all hogwash, a hoax, a fraud...a lie.

Sure, the economy was announced to have grown by 3.5%. However, that has now been revised down (GDP numbers are often adjusted) to 2.8%. 'What's so bad about that?' you might ask. 'Isn't any positive growth a good thing?' Normally, but as the blogprof points out, the only thing making this a positive number, is Stimulus cash....

That "robust" 3.5% GDP growth rate in Q3 that the AP heralded as the end of the recession sans actual jobs? That just got reduced. A lot. As in down to 2.8% now. Even that is deceiving as consumer spending, which comprises 70% of the economy, declined 0.5% during the same period (Positive GDP Fraud! Consumer Spending DOWN 0.5%. GDP Up Because Of MASSIVE DEBT!). So how is it that the GDP increased in the 3rd quarter after consumer spending decreased? Well, that's got everything to do with the 'G' in the GDP - gross. That includes consumer spending, government spending, in fact all spending. So if the consumer spending is down, one way to artificially inflate the GDP number is to increase government spending with money that the government doesn't, by the way, have. In essence, the GDP number is positive due to increased debt! It's purchased on a government card that has no credit limit.

So Stimulus cash, which is created out of thin air and injected into the economy to unknown effect, makes up 118% of the GDP growth....

So what this really means is that we will be seeing increasing GDP growth for many quarters to come, and thus a White House trumpeting a full-throated recovery, just in time for the 2010 elections.

Since only 22% of the Stimulus had been spent by the end of October, that means we have over $600 Billion left to be entered into that 'Government Spending' column that blogprof tells us about. Thus, unless consumer spending craters, this glut of Govt Spending spread over many quarters will prop up the GDP numbers for those quarters. And as it will most surely do, the White House will point to the string of positive quarters, and how their actions have saved the economy, despite the fact that it is really a Potemkin Village of economic figures...

The only problem will be the ever expanding unemployment roles....and the largest spike in employment will be found in GOP political campaigns.

[Hat Tip: Instapundit]

11/22/2009

SNL Does Better Analysis than the MSM

"As I listen to you, I am noticing that each of your plans to save money involves spending even more money. This does not inspire confidence...."



Classic.

Two thoughts - 1) Why does it take SNL to throw the BS flag on the administration's policies? Where is the MSM. Oh yeah, they are kissing Obama (what the whole video). 2) You can see how much cachè Obama has lost, even with the left-leaning SNL, when they have no problem crudely mocking Obama and even his wife.

2009: The First Year of Global Governance

Mark Steyn distills our future succinctly:
"'Climate change' and 'health care' are different ends of the same stick: They're both all-purpose pretexts for regulating every aspect of your life..."

But to protest this is somehow dangerous....

11/21/2009

Offensensitivity

And here I thought this country was now supposed to be beyond various sensitivities. But I guess not...

According to ESPN, two NBA commentators for on-air comments in which they pronounced the word Iranian as 'eye-ray-nian' instead of presumably 'Ear-ahh-nian'.
Clippers longtime play-by-play announcer Ralph Lawler and color analyst Michael Smith were suspended one game by the Fox Sports Prime Ticket cable network for their comments about Memphis center Hamed Haddadi.

Lawler and Smith made their off-the-cuff comments about the Iranian-born center during Wednesday night's telecast from Memphis. The on-air banter offended a viewer who e-mailed Fox to complain.

One measly emailer?? Talk about sensitive! Here is the stuff that apparently got the pair suspended:
Smith: "Look who's in."

Lawler: "Hamed Haddadi. Where's he from?"

Smith: "He's the first Iranian to play in the NBA." (Smith pronounced Iranian as "Eye-ranian," a pronunciation that offended the viewer who complained.)

Lawler: "There aren't any Iranian players in the NBA," repeating Smith's mispronunciation.

Smith: "He's the only one."
Granted some of their later banter is pretty juvenile, it is entirely innocent.

If all it takes is one lousy emailer to complain about the mispronounciation of a word to get a long-time professional suspended from their job, this country is indeed circling the drain. I mean it is not like he called him something mildly offensive like 'Ayatollah' or an even more derogatory epithet.

I guess I should not be surprised. I mean it actually has been like this for a long time. Take this Bloom County cartoon from the 1980s....


Perhaps hey should have called Haddadi a 'Teabagger', and then they would be OK....

11/20/2009

Countering the Rise of an Epithet

In the newest edition of National Review [subscription required], Jay Nordlinger has a good interim retrospective on the 'teabagger' imbroglio in 'Rise of an Epithet'...
"To “teabag” or not to “teabag”: That is not the most pressing question of these times, but it is a question to consider. Routinely, conservative protesters in the “tea party” movement are called “teabaggers,” and those calling them that do not mean it in a nice way. Many conservatives are mulling what to do about this term: fight it, embrace it, what?"
I say fight it....and of course you may want to fight fire with fire. Because I am in the mood, I will ignore a normal tendency not to sink to the Lefties' level. If they want the discourse to utilize crass barnyard imagery to subtly insult one's opponent, so be it.

If those in this country who oppose larger government control, gangster government, higher taxes, and the general slide towards European socialism can be labeled as "Teabaggers", then the Democrats and lefties who are running the country can suffer a similar epithet.


From now on, in any public reference, the Democratic Party and its actions in running the Executive and Legislative branches of government should be referred to as...."The Donkey Show".

Washington, Tijuana....it doesn't matter. We are all getting screwed.....


Rep. Charlie Foxtrot (R) TX-52

It seems that people are now getting really snarky and declaring their candidacies for some of those non-existent Congressional districts revealed by recovery.gov to be receiving Stimulus $$.

Take Grant Bosse for example:
Republican activist and free market think-tanker Grant Bosse formally declared his candidacy today in New Hampshire’s 00th Congressional District after news that the Obama administration has attributed a majority of the state’s stimulus jobs to that non-existent district.

Good on ya Grant! But while that is all well and good, I am not sure why you are going to so much trouble to declare candidacy for an election that will never occur.

Since this is the case, I am going to simply declare myself the new Congressional Representative of the non-existent TX-52, based on the results of a non-existent election! Good folks like Grant Bosse are working way too hard at this....

So why did I pick TX-52 to be my new fiefdom? First, I am a Texas resident. And second, it received $8.9 million of Stimulus cash, and it has created "0" jobs. That sounds like the makings of a great slush fund to me!

Now where is my application for the 'Friends of Angelo' program???

[Hat Tip: Instapundit]

11/18/2009

Shocking CIA Torture News

ABC News bring us the shocking news of a CIA secret prison....
EXCLUSIVE: CIA Secret 'Torture' Prison Found at Fancy Horseback Riding Academy

The CIA built one of its secret European prisons inside an exclusive riding academy outside Vilnius, Lithuania, a current Lithuanian government official and a former U.S. intelligence official told ABC News this week.

[...]

"The activities in that prison were illegal," said human rights researcher John Sifton.

They go on to reveal the horrors that went on there...

They included eye-gouging; piercing of hands with an electric drill; suspension from a ceiling; electric shock; rape and other forms of sexual abuse; beating of the soles of feet; mock executions; extinguishing cigarettes on the body; and acid baths.

Oooops. That last quote wasn't from the ABC report, it was from an old Daily Mail report on the torture under the Saddam Hussein regime.

Here is the *torture* Mr. Sifton says happened at this alleged CIA location:
The activities in that prison were illegal," said human rights researcher John Sifton. "They included various forms of torture, including sleep deprivation, forced standing, painful stress positions."

Oh the horror!

Let us compare those two again.
- eye-gouging; piercing of hands with an electric drill; suspension from a ceiling; electric shock; rape and other forms of sexual abuse; beating of the soles of feet; mock executions; extinguishing cigarettes on the body; and acid baths

- sleep deprivation, forced standing, painful stress positions
Yeah, I can see the equivalence now.

Let be realistic. One is torture, and one is essentially severe inconvenience.

Actually, the second example sounds like most C-130 flights I had in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan....

11/17/2009

"We have been flim-flammed"

#tcot #hhrs #rs
Nothing like a Foghorn Leghorn quote to be apropos to government policy....

Unless of course Foghorn Leghorn is part of the federal government...

SEN. LEGHORN ANNOUNCES $14.7 MILLION FOR TEXAS; ‘YEE, HAW!’ HE ADDS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Foghorn J. Leghorn, D-State, announced Tuesday that he had won an extra $14.7 million in stimulating funds from the solicitous Obama Administration for the people of seven congressional districts in Texas.

“This funding will go for good,” the Senator said. “Why, son, 98 hardworking, taxpaying, aging, poor, honest, hungry, working-class, middle-class, undereducated, disadvantaged, undercounted, overlooked, underprivileged, overtaxed and uninsured constituents of my good friends and esteemed colleagues in the 52nd, 58th, 86th, 00th, 68th, 91st, and 85th Congressional Districts of Texas deserve every penny,” he added. “Yep, they can shore count on me. Vote Leghorn! Yee, haw!”

Go to Moe Lane and read the whole thing. The best satire is always rooted in the truth...

Now lets get back to Senator Leghorn...

"I'm just a loud-mouthed schnook."

Put Away Your Pink Ribbons

#tcot #hhrs #rs #sgp
The United States vastly outpaces the rest of the world in Breast Cancer survival for one simple reason....
screening.
Researchers discovered that it was because of breast cancer screenings that women with breast cancer have a 14 percent higher survival rate in the United States than in Europe. Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States, and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Breast cancer mortality is also 9 percent higher in Canada than in the US. Less than 25 percent of U.S. women die from breast cancer. In Britain, it’s 46 percent; France, 35 percent; Germany, 31 percent; Canada, 28 percent; Australia, 28 percent, and New Zealand, 46 percent.

However now a Health & Human Services panel recommends that women should reduce the number of mammograms that they get. What is the reasoning behind this recommendation? They cite "
evidence that the potential harm to women having annual exams beginning at age 40 outweighs the benefit..."

One might argue that the numbers listed above would counter that line of reasoning.

And the intelligentsia cackled when some warned that socialized medicine Obamacare would lead to rationing with faceless bureaucrats deciding levels of treatment. Like, say, a cancer related recommendation from a panel that doesn't have one oncologist.

Of course the left will argue back that this is simply a recommendation, not law. But do we really think that when Obamacare is the law of the land that these bureaucratic pronouncements won't become policy for those who are stuck with government-run health care?

Not the Hope and Change I was expecting....

11/13/2009

Obama Supports the Military...'If Necessary'

#tcot #hhrs #rs
President Obama gave a speech at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska on his way to Japan. I am sure it was intended as a rah-rah, we support you type of speech. Unfortunately, there is some awkward phrasing that perhaps reveals a little too much of the President's real thinking toward the military and its mission.

"So as your Commander-in-Chief, here’s the commitment I make to you....I want you guys to understand I will never hesitate to use force to protect the American people or our vital interests. (Applause.) But I also make you this promise: I will not risk your lives unless it is necessary to America's vital interest. (Applause.) [...] And if it is necessary, the United States of America will have your back. We will give you the strategy and the clear mission you deserve. We will give you the equipment and support that you need to get the job done. And that includes public support back home. That is a promise that I make to you. (Applause.)"
Hmmm....lets parse that a little bit....
"We will give you the strategy and the clear mission you deserve..."
OK, that must be a promise for the second term, since it has been 10 months now, and the administration is still showing the indecisiveness of my three-year-old when it comes to choosing a strategy for our hottest and most vital engagement.

The big dollop of condescension however is contained in the sentence just prior to that.
"And if it is necessary, the United States of America will have your back."
Uhhhhhhh....we are the United States Armed Forces, and you are the President of the United States and our Commander-in Chief.....shouldn't you ALWAYS have our back?!?!?

President Bush may have ended up being a little squishy on a lot of issues I would have preferred he not be, but at least I always knew he had my back. Come hell or high water.

Now I will just have to settle for "if necessary" during this time of war. Not exactly the change I was hoping for....

Deficit Hawks -- Now Starring President Obama!

Suddenly this week the Obama Administration has become deficit hawks. Someone tell them that Halloween was two weeks ago...

Politico headline:
After spending binge, White House says it will focus on deficits

Let me translate that for you....say hello to Defense cuts! Hey, it worked for Clinton....

Oh, and some silly new taxes too....

11/12/2009

We're Getting Socks for Christmas... Thanks Grandma Pelosi!

Nancy Pelosi lets the cat out of the bag and lets us know what we are going to be getting for Christmas...



Errr, thanks Grandma...just what I always wanted....

[Hat Tip: Gateway Pundit]

The Myopia of Incomprehensibility

Claudia Rosett sums the President's 'incomprehensible' conclusion about FT Hood....
Obama's muddled message at Fort Hood

[...]

[President]"These Americans did not die on a foreign field of battle. They were killed here, on American soil, in the heart of this great state and the heart of this great American community. This is the fact that makes the tragedy even more painful, even more incomprehensible."

[...]

In the media, the question of the hour is how the military could have missed the warning signs of Hasan's impending attack. Such details are important, and it would be a great idea to have better mechanisms (or any mechanisms at all?) within the military to catch the warning signs and act in time. But vigilance of that kind starts at the top. Right now the biggest warning sign of all is a president who looks at a pattern of jihadi communications, recruiting and attacks on America, and tells the public that the bloodshed at Fort Hood is "incomprehensible."

Indeed

11/09/2009

Searching for the Wrong Muslim Backlash

The NRO's Corner steered me to an interesting NYT article on how many "...fear that the relationship between the military and its Muslim service members will only grow more difficult..." following MAJ Nidal Hasan's murderous rampage. In other words, as stated by the Army Chief of Staff, they are "...worried about a backlash against Muslims in the armed forces..."

The NYT devotes a lot of column inches to the standard PC meme that we troglodytes in the military will take our anger out in a "backlash" on those other Muslims in the Armed Forces. This idea is pretty funny given that the military is probably the most integrated segment of American society. But hey, what would we expect liberal CSJ grads working at the NYT to know about the military...

Anyhow, despite the fact that an article abut discrimination against Muslims makes some prejudicial assumptions that all Arab-Americans must be Muslims, it does provide us an interesting revelation....there has already been a backlash against Muslims in the military.

Just not the one you might think.
In the South Asian and Arab immigrant communities where the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are deeply unpopular, Muslim military members have often felt criticized for their service, Muslim chaplains, military members, veterans advocates and others said in interviews.

Some return exhausted and traumatized from their tours, only to hear at their local mosques that they will go to hell for “killing Muslims,” said Qaseem A. Uqdah, the executive director of the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council.

“Imagine you are 20 years old and you hear you’re going to purgatory,” Mr. Uqdah said. He argued that Muslim groups must work harder to help their veterans cope with coming home. “We are failing as a community here in America.”

So the the largest backlash against Muslims in the military is from.....other Muslims. Hmmmm...I don't think that was the meme that the NYT was trying to advance...

FT Hood MSM Meme Non-Sequitur

Noah Pollack at Commentary's Contentions blog points us to the tip of the MSM's excuse iceberg on the FT Hood story. According to Time Magazine, Hasan had "Secondary Trauma"...

Gateway Pundit provides us with a good screen shot of the Time webpage of the story.



One thing I find interesting, and totally out of place, is Time's additional link in the story, 'See pictures of suicide in the recruiters ranks'.

This will take you to a Time story from April about the issue of recruiter suicide. I ,for the life of me, cannot figure out why that would be relevant to the discussion of a mass-murdering Army psychiatrist with Jihadi tendencies. Does Time not know enough about the military to think that two are somehow related? Talk about an inappropriate non-sequitur.

And as far as their search for a to excuse Hasan for his actions, pehaps they ought to consider that Hasan's "Secondary Trauma may not have come from listening to his patients, but rather from listening to the Wahhabist clerics at the mosques he liked to attend...

11/08/2009

Tyranny of the Minority Majority

#hhrs #tcot #rs
Some prescient thoughts on the results of last night...


Jennifer Rubin:
If Pelosi gets her 218 votes, it will be unprecedented. It is fair to say that never will a piece of legislation this sweeping (and damaging) have been passed over the opposition of so much of the electorate and on the votes of such a narrow ideological slice of the governing class.

'A Senate Friend':
If the only thing bipartisan is the opposition, and a party with an overwhelming majority is scrambling to get it over the first hurdle, it sure says something about the bill.
I believe that this is what might be called the 'Tyranny of the Minority Majority'...

11/07/2009

Viva Reaganomics!

Megan McArdle declares that the Dems have found the 'Worst. Talking Point. Ever.'
"All I know is that Speaker Pelosi is trying to force her members to vote for a bill that the American people have soundly rejected," added House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Democrats counter that their agenda has kick-started a recovery on Wall Street, even if it hasn't trickled down to the job market yet, and that Republicans are putting what they've begun at risk.
All I can say is that it is nice to see that the Dems are finally supporting trickle down economics.

(Hat Tip: Instapundit)

10/29/2009

House Obamacare Bill Word Cloud

Below is the word cloud for the top 100 words that appear in the text of the House Health Care Bill:



Hmmmm...looks like Indians Native Americans get a lot of attention in this bill. And apparently, so will the secretarial pool....

10/21/2009

The 44th White President?

Mark Steyn comments on the still-birthing of "Post-Racial America":
So black liberal pundit Juan Williams defends Rush Limbaugh, and black liberal radio host Warren Ballentine tells him: "Go back to the porch."

Gotta love this post-racial presidency. At this rate, everything will be all race, all the time, 24/7 by mid-November.

By the way, the folks standing up for Rush in this clip are two black men and a gay woman. Racists!

So two black men and a gay woman walk into the Democratic party bar and Rick Sanchez tells them: "Sorry, we don't serve angry white men."

It has been quite obvious for some time that the people with the real prejudice are those on the Left still wearing their ideological blinders. Most of America (including mainstream conservatives) shed theirs a long time ago.

Steyn may be right about the "all race, all the time" thing. But the question is...Which race? Given that so much energy has been expended on the Left extolling how a bi-racial individual is the "First Black President", I wonder that if his polls sink too low the Left might distance themselves and begin to refer to Obama as the "44th White President".

10/20/2009

10th Amendment as Guerrilla Street Art

Instapundit points out some "guerrilla street art" at Gateway Pundit, where someone has dared insult the emperor down in Houston....



However, squeaking out the win with extra points for
original use of the Constitution as art via vandalism, is an anonymous reprobate in Georgia...



Hat Tip:
Red State tweet

10/09/2009

The Subprime Peace Prize

So President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize, and many people are asking "For What?"

Well isn't it obvious? He won it for doing "Jack and Squat"....

YGTBFSM.....

10/05/2009

Our General's Wisdom Quickly Falls Out Of Fashion

#tcot #hhrs #rs #sgp
2007:
As Speaker Pelosi said, the President's plan will receive an up-or-down vote in both Chambers of Congress. With that vote, our hope -- our prayer -- is that this President will finally listen. Listen to the Generals.

2009:
An adviser to the administration said: "People aren't sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn't seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly."

In London, Gen McChrystal, who heads the 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan as well as the 100,000 Nato forces, flatly rejected proposals to switch to a strategy more reliant on drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaeda.

Oh, how things change so quickly.... I wonder what the difference could be??

9/29/2009

Chicago Needs Some Community Organizing

Drudge headline:

Olympic Spirit: Video Shows Brutal Gang Murder In Chicago

What Chicago needs is some community organizing....oh, wait...