'Classic Airliner' = Military Lifeline

Wired has a gallery of "Classic" airliners, which if you are an aviation buff like me, is pretty cool.

They do qualify that to make the list they must be retired from regular passenger service, regardless of other status.

First on the list is the venerable Boeing 707.

A classic airliner by any measure...but also still a military necessity and lifeline for ongoing wartime operations.

Sadly this old workhorse is still on the front lines in the guise of ISR platforms (RC-135 variants, and E-8 JSTARS) as well as the KC-135, an aerial tanker that the Air Force has been trying to replace for close to a decade.

Unfortunately, as Congressmen posture and postulate, these 'classics' get older and older. The US cannot fight a war without them....

Take a look at this old photo from around the early 1960s. Both the B-52 and KC-135 are still major workhorses in the USAF 40+ years later. 40 years. Classic my ass....


Obama Saves Black Friday!

Great news! The 'Obama Recovery'® has led to all-time high Black Friday sales receipts!!
Retail sales rose a slight 0.3 percent compared with the day after Thanksgiving last year, to $10.69 billion, according to ShopperTrak. The firm says that's still a record for the day.
Never mind the fact that the economy only 'created' a 0.3% rise in sales. I have it on good authority that according to the new economic standard used by the administration, the 'Obama Recovery'® 'saved & created' a 100.3% rise in sales over last year. Had it not been for the 'Stimulus'® that 'Pulled the Economy Back From the Brink'®, there would have been no Black Friday sales this year at all....due to 'Bush Administration Policies'®.

® - Tradmarked in full by BHO Inc & RahmAxel Enterprises

[h/t Instapundit]


TSA: Dear Terrorists...use an orifice, not your crotch...

Good news! The TSA doesn't do orifices....
"...today [TSA Administrator] Pistole insisted "we're not going to get in the business of doing body cavities.""
That's great news, but I am not sure how that declaration jibes with this earlier statement:
"...Pistole said Monday that he disregarded internal advice and decided not tell the public in advance about aggressive new screening and pat-down procedures for airline passengers, fearing terrorists could try to exploit the information."
I am not sure this Pistole guy understands the concept of OPSEC. If you are trying to protect your battle plan, you can't tell the enemy...half your battle plan!


A Green Predicament

It certainly is a confusing enough time to be a lefty, but now this:
Forests in the Interior West could soon flip from carbon sink to carbon source, forest experts say. The region's forests once absorbed and stored more carbon from the atmosphere than they released. But huge conflagrations -- like the 138,000-acre Hayman Fire in Colorado in 2002 and the Yellowstone fires of 1988, which scorched 1.2 million acres -- combined with a series of severe bark beetle infestations and disease outbreaks, have left large swaths of dead, decomposing trees in almost every major Western forest.

Those dead trees are releasing massive amounts of carbon dioxide, turning the region into a net emitter of carbon rather than a CO2 sponge.

The reversal, which has already occurred in Colorado and is anticipated in several other states, is the result of misguided forest management practices and a changing climate, forest experts say. Rising temperatures, resulting in shrinking snowpacks and drier conditions, have left the region's forests more susceptible to disturbances, such as wildfires, bark beetles and disease.
Of course the solution to thwart proliferation of this threat is obvious....cut down all the forests to preclude future forest fires, and thus preventing those burned trees from emitting carbon.

Easy peasy!

Like I said, a conflicting time to be a lefty....what to do, what to do?


Don't Let the Bedbugs...Shop with Plastic Bags!

Apparently the secret to solving the on-going bedbug problem is the ordinary plastic bag (I am buying S.C Johnson stock next week)....or so says the NYC Dept of Education.
WELL, THAT’S A RELIEF: New York: Bedbugs invading classrooms at alarming rate, but Education Dept. says there’s no epidemic. “To prevent the spread at some affected schools, students and teachers are putting coats and bookbags into plastic containers and bags, a procedure adopted at PS 197 in Midwood, Brooklyn.” This wasn’t what I expected from the 21st Century . . . .
That's right Glenn, pesticides are soooooo 20th Century! But in this new "Green" century, I am surprised that they are using plastic bags! If they really want to enact meaningless solution and save the planet at the same time, they really ought to be using reusable grocery bags. That way they can delude themselves that they are solving an epidemic and saving the planet at the same time!


Election Fraud? There's an App for That!

Yes, there is an iPhone App to help people report Election Fraud!

'Voter Fraud' is presented by American Majority....

Good news for those looking for an easy way to keep tabs on the New Black Panther Party's shenanigans...


The Department of Free

A great new poem from Zombie.... #ocra #hhrs #sgp
The Department of Free

Years ago, a wiser man
than you or I devised a plan
to dole out goods at zero cost
to those of us whose jobs were lost.

It seemed benign, so nice and kind
the plan grew to include the blind,
the old the lame then you and me,
and they called this plan
The Department of Free.

It started as a helping hand
to needy folks across the land,
so those who could not make ends meet
would not be forced out on the street.

Unemployment benefits
were just a start, because now it’s
free food, free homes, free surgery,
rebates, bailouts, loans — all free.

Now half of us just stand in line
all day long and gripe and whine
about the stuff we feel we’re owed
the list of which has growed and growed.

The line wends hither, the line wends yon,
and by and by it comes upon
a door above which we can see
those magic words:
Department of Free.

Once inside: a shopping spree
of endless handouts: it’s all free!
Drunken on entitlement
we grab a meal, a house, a stent.

The other half? We’re all employed!
Hearing this, you’re overjoyed
to know that at least some of us
have jobs and never cause a fuss.

But one last thing you ought to know,
our economic Alamo:
The place where we all work, you see,
is in the accursed Department of Free!

I push papers,
while he counts beans.
She helps seniors
and they help teens.
It takes a village to raise a child;
it takes a nation to run hog-wild.

Paul pays Peter, and Peter pays Paul,
yet neither makes anything at all.
Round and round the money goes
but where it comes from no one knows.

It all runs out eventually,
can’t simulate prosperity.
The shopping spree was just a dream,
a baseless potlatch Ponzi scheme.

With nothing left to give away,
The Department of Free itself must say,
“We’re all laid off, the end is near.
There’s no point working, even here.”

The last employed man not offshore
has just one more remaining chore:
Switch off the lights
and turn the key
in the broke
Department of Free.

From Medicare and Medicaid
came Medicould and Medishould
now Medimust and we’ve gone bust
we’re trust-fund kids without a trust.


Delusion has a Thin Skin

OK, this is just plain weird....

First, the President's delusional rant at the protesters that “We’re funding global AIDS and the other side is not!

Last we checked Mr President, the Bush Administration increased planned spending by $48 Billion, but your administration is not picking up that gauntlet. Who knew your teleprompter was so disingenuous...

Second, isn't it a little strange to use the phrases "Fund Global AIDS" and "We’re funding global AIDS..." I know that they mean "Spend more $$ to defeat Global AIDS" and "We’re spending Billion$ to defeat global AIDS...", but what you technically said said was "Spend more $$ to help spread Global AIDS" and "We’re funding the spread of global AIDS..."

Perhaps this is the accepted language of the fight against AIDS, but to my ear, it just sounds weird.

H/T: Gateway Pundit


When Pigs Fly

Culturally-insensitive vandalism using a common food item might now be considered a hate crime:
Bacon attack on an American mosque: prank or hate crime?

Strips of bacon spelling 'PIG' and 'CHUMP' were found in front of a South Carolina mosque Sunday. In post-9/11 America, pork – which is unclean in Islam – is a primary form of anti-Muslim protest.

So I guess this means Pink Floyd should avoid booking reunion concerts in stadiums where Muslims might be nearby?

And really CS Monitor...does bacon lying on a sidewalk in a organized fashion constitute a "Bacon Attack"?? It is like you are trying to push a certain agenda with an inflammatory headline....nah, that couldn't be!


Obama Admin As 1970's Computer Game

This brings back memories from the dusty synapses in the back of my brain...as it was the forefront of computer gaming in my youth....

And now Iowahawk has given it a much needed upgraded for modern times....Colossal Beltway Adventure!































Read the whole, lengthy thing. Well worth your weekend time....


Praise the Blogger and Pass the Ammunition!

Well, Glenn Reynolds is always warning that it is a bad idea to pick on bloggers....

...now it is not even safe to do from a long distance!


MTV, Obama Astroturf A Town Hall

From ABC via Drudge:
BACKSTAGE: Actors Recruited For MTV Obama Town Hall; 'Casting Call'...

When President Obama sits down for his MTV town hall this Thursday, the audience of young people who will ask him questions will have been gathered by a casting call.

According to the casting call for the event from talent agency Backstage.com, first reported by National Review Online, the company requests applications for the event, asking what issues the person is “passionate about,” requiring a “short description of your political views,” and also asks for a recent photo.
First reaction....how far he has fallen...

Second reaction...aspiring conservatives, please check your acting careers at the door. Any casting call application that requires you to state a "description of your political views" probably equates to what we in the military call "self-initiated elimination" for those conservatives who want to get into the Hollywood scene...


Hands at 10 & 2...and no talking!

So America, is this the Change® that you voted for? We are pleased to announce that the Nanny State has called 'Shotgun' in your car....
"U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he believes motorists are distracted by any use of mobile phones while driving, including hands-free calls, as his department begins research that may lead him to push for a ban.

LaHood, whose campaign against texting and making calls while driving has led to restrictions in 30 states, says his concerns extend to vehicle information and entertainment systems such as Ford Motor Co.’s Sync and General Motors Co.’s OnStar.

“I don’t want people talking on phones, having them up to their ear or texting while they’re driving,” LaHood said in an interview this week. “We need a lot better research on other distractions,” including Bluetooth-enabled hands-free calls and the in-car systems, he said."
Now I am all for reasonable restrictions on things like texting while driving, and even hand-held phones. But when you have a high-level federal official saying things like "I don't want people doing x", then you can be reasonably assured that things have gone too far, and the Nanny State is about to be a pain in your ass
"LaHood, 64, said even hands-free phone conversations are a “cognitive distraction.” Calling for a ban on hands-free communications is a possible outcome of research under way at the Transportation Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into all driver distractions, Olivia Alair, a department spokeswoman, said."
Gee thanks, Ray. While we are at it, lets ban some other “cognitive distractions." First, lets get rid of the radio. We can't have all that rock'n'roll, or right wing talk radio hate distracting people. Or perhaps you could mandate that radio can only be set to the soothing dulcet tones of NPR. Second, no more kids in the car. Boy are they a distraction! And while we are on that track, let s ban *ALL* passengers. One-person SMART Cars with one-station radios for everyone! Just think of all the gas & lives we will save.....but remember to keep those hands at 10 & 2!

The best part of all this, is that it seems Mr. LaHood believes he has unilateral authority to act on his grand designs.
"LaHood plans to meet with the heads of all makers of cars sold in the U.S. to discuss their cooperation in limiting distracted driving, he said in the Oct. 5 interview. He said he’s not yet recommending restrictions on hands-free phone calls and didn’t say when he might make a decision.....The Transportation Department’s powers to push further limits on distracted driving range from exhortations to setting standards backed by the federal government’s financial clout."
I will certainly be waiting on pins and needle for LaHood to make his edict. In the meantime I will be buying futures in Buggy Whips, since it seems we have reached the apex of government-allowable transportation technology, and are sliding backwards all in the name of safety...


Harvard and Unreal Expectations

Instapundit complains about academic standards at Harvard:

RIGOR: Only 23% of Classes at Harvard Have a Final Exam.

I don't see the problem here...I mean isn't making in to Harvard the accomplishment that really matters? At this rate you could give away the diploma with the acceptance letter, but then Harvard wouldn't get to collect 4-5 years of dowry payments....

Exams only introduce risk to the continuing legend of Harvard's superior academics. It is almost like asking the Editor of the Harvard Law Review to actually write articles. Why provide evidence to ruin the illusion?


Obamacare Gives America the CLAP

Or at least that is what I am led to understand by the Editors of National Review...
Unintended, But Not Unforeseen

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, is to the law of unintended consequences what Newton’s apple was to the law of gravity: the illustration that bonks us on the head with its obviousness. Practically every week since its passage has added a new dimension of mirth to Nancy Pelosi’s punchline for the ages, that we had to pass the bill to find out what is in it. Out of the mouths of babes and clueless politicians....


Meanwhile, Obamacare innovations such as the Community Living Assistance Program already are poised to far exceed the budgets established for them in the bill, and the turbocharged Medicaid provisions are threatening to bankrupt states across the country. Thanks to Obamacare, you will pay more for heart stents and other life-saving medical devices, and you’ll have less money to do so once all the additional taxes and fees with which the bill is larded up kick in.

For the life of me I don't understand why people in charge of setting up programs and picking their names many times don't perform a common sense test on the acronyms that those names will produce.

As to how severe this outbreak of the CLAP will be (there is very little info available in Google searches), but I am quite sure the best treatment will be a generous prescription of conservative Amoxicillin in November...


Adios Ciro....

My absentee ballot is in the mailbox.

Adios Ciro Rodriguez! Holà Quico Canseco....and one step closer to taking back the House of Representatives!

Thomas Friedman - A 21st Century Useful Idiot

Perhaps this isn't a major news flash, but the evidence continues to accumulate that Thomas Friedman is playing the role of useful idiot to today's big Commies (ChiComs) that the likes of Walter Duranty did during the heyday of the Soviet Union.
The Real China
September 22, 2010 5:55 P.M.
By Jonah Goldberg

From a reader:

Dear Mr. Goldberg:

I have appreciated your past articles exposing Thomas Friedman’s ridiculous envy of so-called “progress” in China. But his latest article demonstrates beyond doubt that he has no clue about the real China or its people. Contrary to his protestation, his opinions are based on illusion and have no credibility whatsoever.

My wife was born in Shanghai and we visit her family there often. We also have traveled to many different provinces in China, including to adopt our two precious daughters. In all our travels, I have never come across anything that can be accurately described as “space age,” “ultramodern,” or “well-appointed” with the exception of the rare, isolated facility designed specifically to impress visiting foreign businesspeople or dignitaries and gullible journalists who are being led around by a governmental tour guide. 99% of the construction in China built for the average Chinese citizen over the last 10 years is comparable both in terms of quality and creativity to public housing built in Chicago, St. Louis or New York 40 or 50 years ago.

If Thomas Friedman bothered to visit with real Chinese families and saw how they actually lived, he would realize that his admiration for China is misplaced. He would no longer stand in awe of its buildings but rather would admire those Chinese citizens who have managed to remain inspired by the dream of freedom and liberty despite the oppression of their government.

(I still have to travel to China so please keep my name confidential in all respects. By the way, doesn’t that request say all that needs to be said about China?)

Yeah, when Friedman talks about the glittering, space age stuff it reminded me of Henry Wallace (FDR’s VP, former editor of The New Republic) and his visit to the Soviet Union, where he found one penal camp after another to be idyllic and often so much more impressive than the way we did things back in the U.S.
Jonah Goldberg, in addition to his indispensable "Liberal Fascism", has done a service of pointing out most examples of Friedman's ludicrous fascination with the shining example of Communist China:
Friedman is of late very frustrated with America for its failure to do what he says it must. Last September, in one of many columns lamenting that China does things better than we do, he wrote: “Watching both the health care and climate/energy debates in Congress, it is hard not to draw the following conclusion: There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.” He continues: “One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks, but when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages.”
Well, for a useful idiot he is certainly more idiot than useful....


Police Action on Poverty

Over at Ricochet, Pat Sajak points out that for all their pontification about always requiring an "exit strategy" in modern warfare, the Democrats haven't take their own advice....
Current TV reports on its website that the number of people in the U.S. living in poverty is rising under the current administration and is approaching levels of the 60s that led to the War on Poverty. So, after a 45-year war and trillions of dollars spent, we’re back where we started. That’s what you get for entering a conflict without an exit strategy.
Classic....and it only gets better in the comments:
"Meanwhile, the war on prosperity is going quite well."
Vannah, I'd like to buy a vowel and solve the puzzle...the quote is "The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem" by Milton Friedman.


DNC's Message for America...

I didn't say it was a new message....

Ironically this response came when Jon Stewart asked the question, "What *have* you [Dems] done?" and Kaine is waxing about how it was a major accomplishment for the President to get Obamacare passed (@ 2:12).

How appropriate....

HT: Instapundit


It's Bush's Fault - Part XXIV

Bryan Preston at Pajama's Media highlights the outrageous and inaccurate statements of an assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs concerning the treatment of injured Vets...

“This unfortunately is the result of dollars. It’s money,” Duckworth said. “I think that we as a nation would want to take care of all of our veterans. But it means that we’re going to have be willing to get the folks in Washington to spend the dollars on all of our veterans. And as long as there aren’t enough dollars, then they are force to prioritize veterans.

“And combat-connected, disabled veterans are the highest priority. That is why when you and I go to the VA they will take care of me first because I am combat-connected,” noted Duckworth, who lost both of her legs when the helicopter she was co-piloting in Iraq in 2004 was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

“The difference is how did you get hurt. Unfortunately that’s just the way that … it’s a bureaucracy that was put into place in previous administrations in order to prioritize veterans because they didn’t spend enough to take care of everyone,” Duckworth told Wheeler.

As Preston goes on to explain, this is "Grade-A Bravo Sierra".

But the question I have is...if it was all "Bush's Fault", then why hadn't the new Obama leadership at the VA (Duckworth included) done anything about it??

Now you could reasonably expect to have some leeway when you place blame for something complex and intangible like "the economy", but when you are a bureaucratic administrator you cannot blame "a bureaucracy that was put into place in previous administrations" without also offering an explanation for why you haven't changed it after being in office for 18 months....

Of course the easy answer is that they haven't changed it because her statement wasn't true in the first place....


GOP Punches Dog....Twice As Hard

Apparently the President doesn't like it when his opponents "punch back twice as hard"...
Demonizer-In-Chief Upset People Demonize Him

Obama's line, in his Labor Day speech in Milwaukee before union leaders and a union crowd, that "[t]hey talk about me like a dog," is getting all the attention.


But what was most Obama-like about the speech was the launching of vicious attacks on his opponents, only to then cry foul over the fact that his opponents push back. Obama, as he did throughout the campaign and has done throughout his presidency, painted a picture of his political opponents as heartless victimizers of others, and of the capitalist system as cruel and inhumane.


This truly is another of those windows into his divisive soul. The Demonizer-in-Chief and the class warfare expert doesn't like being treated the way he treats others.
Why can't the rubes just appreciate what he has done for them?!?


The Prius Insurection

Consider this a bit of ironic revenge on all those bumper-sticker-laden Volvos....

Hat Tip to Doug Ross, who also points out the absence of any 'peace' or 'coexist' stickers.

I would offer that the following stickers that could fill the void....


And So The Vote Buying Begins....

According to the WaPo via the ever-watchful Corner, the Obama Administration will begin to attempt to buy off American voters before the upcoming election.
Obama Administration Considering Payroll Tax Holiday
September 2, 2010 5:31 P.M.
By Daniel Foster

The White House economic team is reportedly considering pushing for a second stimulus comprised of “tax breaks” for businesses — including a possible $300 billion payroll tax holiday, and a $100 billion extension of an R&D tax credit.

The Washington Post reports:

"The staff-level discussions are in preliminary stages. But with the unemployment rate expected to rise again in new jobs numbers due out Friday, such a move could serve both to spur hiring and to combat Republican charges that Obama’s tax policies would hurt small businesses.

More spending on infrastructure – particularly transportation projects – is also under discussion, sources said. But a person familiar with the talks said it would be easier for a package consisting purely of tax cuts to “avoid the stain of a ‘bailout’ or ‘stimulus’ label.”

The proposals could be rolled out as early as next week.
That sounds great if you ask me and my paycheck, but it won't change my vote. And I am betting it won't change a whole lot of other votes as well. In fact I would venture to say that it could drive more voters away, as those who are on the fence may well see it for the attempted bribe that it is.

Additionally, the WaPo offers some extremely flawed analysis by saying "such a move could serve...to spur hiring..." Really? They think that a temporary tax holiday will cause employers to hire permanent employees?? Once the holiday is over, they would have to start paying the taxes again, one of the reasons that they wouldn't have hired those people in the first place.

Tax holidays are good at spurring one-time transactions (purchasing school clothes, TVs, clunkers, etc), but will probably have limited effect on recurring transactions (e.g. payrolls).

Much like 'Cash for Clunkers' and 'First Time Homebuyers' tax credits before it, this proposed temporary tax holiday will most likely have temporary effect...and a bad aftertaste when it is all over.

But then again, this proposal isn't about improving the economy, it is about sustaining the Democratic Party...


Miss Me Yet?

This says it all....
Ohio: Bush 50, Obama 42

We’ll start rolling out our Ohio poll results tomorrow but there’s one finding on the poll that pretty much sums it up: by a 50-42 margin voters there say they’d rather have George W. Bush in the White House right now than Barack Obama.
Independents hold that view by a 44-37 margin and there are more Democrats who would take Bush back (11%) than there are Republicans who think Obama’s preferable (3%.)


Press' Predominating Storyline About Beck Rally

Jim Treacher has ferreted out the MSM's "un-diverse" implications about a rally held in the capital city of this predominantly white nation....
Presented without comment:

“Conservative commentator Glenn Beck and tea party champion Sarah Palin appealed Saturday to a vast, predominantly white crowd on the National Mall to help restore traditional American values and honor Martin Luther King’s message.” — Associated Press

“Attendees at the rally Saturday largely honored organizer requests that they not bring banners or political signs. Instead, the predominantly white crowd, many seated on folding chairs and accompanied by their children, wore t-shirts with slogans including ‘Got principles?’ and ‘Restoring Honor.’” — AFP

“Meanwhile, many in the predominantly white crowd bent over backward to insist that they are not racists and to note that the crowd was courteous, despite heat and density.” — James Hohmann, Politico

“Beck says he and his overwhelmingly white followers ‘are the inheritors and protectors of the civil- rights movement.’” — Ben Adler, Newsweek

“Though the audience at the event was overwhelmingly white, many of the speakers were African-American, including a woman who sang a song about unity.” — Brian Montopoli, CBS

“Claiming the legacy of the nation’s Founding Fathers and repeatedly evoking civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., the speakers at the ‘Restoring Honor’ rally exhorted a vast and overwhelmingly white crowd to concentrate not on the history that has scarred the nation but instead on what makes it ‘good.’” — Philip Rucker & Carol Morello, Washington Post

“A relatively dense and overwhelmingly white crowd stretched from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial out past the Washington Monument.” — Mark Benjamin, Salon.com

“The speaker list was diverse, including African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans; Jews and Christians; clergymen, military veterans and sports stars, including Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals. The crowd, however, was overwhelmingly white.” — Michael A. Memoli and Kim Geiger, LA Times

“Out in the overwhelmingly white audience… politics was everywhere, with Tea Party supporters describing the damage they envision for President Barack Obama’s Democrats in upcoming midterm elections in November.” — Mitch Potter, Toronto Star
What are they really trying to say?


NYT: Statements of the Obvious

Is it any wonder that the New York Times is barely treading water?

First, the Editorial Staff has been storing up the sour grapes when it comes to Tom Delay, and do not like that fact that the Justice Department decided last week not to bring charges against him.

Second, their reasoning is that this could not possibly be due to actual innocence, but rather the mere legal inconvenience that what he was accused of doing wasn't illegal...yet. This spawned what is surely an early front-runner for 2010 Top Statement of the Obvious:
"But many of Mr. DeLay’s actions remain legal only because lawmakers have chosen not to criminalize them."
Hmmm....Uhhhh...No duh?

By that soaring logic (which apparently still passes for insightful for the NYT's falling readership), any and all actions by American citizens remain legal only because of the good graces of our ruling class overlords.

But don't worry, they are working on that....

[HT: Ramesh Ponnuru]


Surround Them With Tolerance

So they want to build a mosque mere feet from Ground Zero?

Of course I am opposed. Not because I am anti-Muslim, but because as we have been brow beaten that multi-culturalism is about not offending the sensibilities of others, building a mosque next to the site where Jihad killed thousands of Americans offends my sensibilities.

But if we can not appeal to the those 'moderate' Muslims building the place, and the condescending liberal bureaucrats clearing the way, at least we can play the same game.

Don't want to take our sensibilities into account? Fine, then we won't take yours either.

In a good first start, Greg Gutfield wants to build a gay bar for Muslim men right next door. Ithink this is a great idea, and will help the cause of spreading tolerance in NYC. Though I think he might have a problem getting a liquor license from those aforementioned bureaucrats. I wish him good luck,

But I think that we could also open a second front, but opening a perfectly legal retail establishment just on the other side of the mosque. Yes, I think we need to open a large Victoria's Secret, with its large display windows and high level of female traffic, right next door, or directly across the street. I think this would go a long way is helping the Muslim culture become more tolerant of the freedom of women in an open society.

Now what NY liberal could oppose that?


GM's Free Advertising

It is always a good thing when your CEO gets free advertising on TV for your struggling products....

It is even better when your CEO is the President of the United States, which forces the television news outlets to show your products that the CEO/POTUS is using as a backdrop...

Standing in front of a Jeep Grand Cherokee in Chrysler's Jefferson North Detroit assembly plant Friday afternoon, President Obama Friday declared that Chrysler "was building the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow." Come again?
The visual non-sequitor was one of many jarring notes in his "Mission Accomplished" visit to Detroit automakers. At one point the president even compared Chrysler's bailout to winning the lottery -- hardly a model for planning long-term corporate security. Eager to claim credit for charting a new course for Detroit with "targeted investments making new technologies," the president strangely chose as his backdrop the iconic Jeep SUV brand that first launched the small truck craze in the 1980s. This the same vehicle that Obama and his green allies condemn as having laid waste to the planet.

Given the seemingly unfair advantage in having the most powerful politician in the world pitch your/his product on free & live TV, on might wonder if Ford might want to petition the Federal Communications Commission for equal time....


Who's Hanging at the Country Club??

So a major newspaper business columnist has the answer as to why the economy is not recovering....
ACCORDING TO WASHINGTON POST WRITER STEPHEN PEARLSTEIN ON NPR, we’re stuck in a recession because businessmen are dumb and just parrot whatever they hear in the country club locker room.
If you ask me, perhaps the economy isn't recovering because someone else is spending a little too much time in the country club locker room....

C'mon, its not like he's playing muni courses....


Conservative v. Liberal Fantasies

Jim Treacher lets us a little too far inside his brain, and reveals some dark fantasies. [H/T: Instapundit]

"They both seem like good people and I hope they’ll kiss and make up. I don’t even mean that in a dirty way. Much."
But heck, I'd take that in a minute over Tom Friedman's fantasies!

Powerline: "Thomas Friedman wishes that our democracy worked as well as China's dictatorship. He thus fantasizes about the U.S. being "China for a day.""

Jonah Goldberg: "China’s got us beat, suggests Friedman, because its leaders aren’t hung up on democracy, checks and balances, or any of the other dusty old impediments found in the American system. Friedman has proclaimed his envy for China’s authoritarian system countless times. It’s why he titled one of the chapters in his book “China for a Day.” The idea — he calls it his “fantasy” — is that if we could just be China for a day, the experts could impose by diktat what they cannot win through democratic debate."

So there is your choice. The School Boy's fantasy....or the School Headmaster's Fantasy.


Apparently Health Care Rationing is 'Important' to the Obama Administration

This past week the Obama Administration provided a recess appointment to Dr. Donald Berwick to be director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that runs Medicare and Medicaid.

According to ABC News, the White House says "Berwick Appointment 'Too Important' to Wait for a Hearing"
This morning on ABC News’ "This Week," Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod insisted that President Obama’s recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to be the administrator of The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was simply “too important” to wait for a Congressional hearing.

“The Republican Party has made it a policy in the United States Senate to hold up... as many nominations,” as possible, Axelrod said. “This is too important. This position is too important,” he told host Jake Tapper. “In the midst of implementing health reform, it is too important to allow that kind of game-playing to go on.”
So let me get this straight... The Obama Administration considers the appointment of Berwick, a man who advocates "health-care rationing and using the health-care system to redistribute wealth", to be "too important" to held up by some silly constitutional requirement like confirmation.

If they keep this up, some people might start to think they have a hidden motive....

The Coming Obama Tax Increases - Part 4

Warning: "In just six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect. They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2011."
Higher tax rates on savers and investors

The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011. The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011. These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.
So much for that pledge. As I have said before America...you get what you vote for, and this can certainly be classified as "change".

More to follow....

Source: Americans for Tax Reform

The Coming Obama Tax Increases - Part 3

Warning: "In just six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect. They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2011."
The return of the Death Tax
This year, there is no death tax. For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.
More on the Obama Administration's incentivizing death here. Or as Rob Long said, "Who needs Death Panels when we have a Death Tax?"

More to follow....

Source: Americans for Tax Reform


Poll Data Tailor-Made for GOP Ads

Polling data released by Rasmussen Reports today would seem to provide the GOP some ready-made script material for Congressional and state-level candidates.

Most Americans Not Willing To Pay Higher Taxes For Public Employees, Entitlement Programs

Most Americans would not pay higher taxes for specific public services in their states, but they are more supportive of paying for education and staffing law enforcement than supporting state employees and entitlement programs.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Adults shows that only 19% would be willing to pay higher taxes to avoid layoffs of state employees. Sixty-nine percent (69%) say they would not be willing to pay more in taxes for this reason. Another 11% are undecided.

Adults feel similarly when it comes to funding entitlement programs. Twenty-two percent (22%) would pay higher taxes to prevent cuts in entitlement programs for low-income Americans. Sixty-three percent (63%) say they would not pay more to keep these programs afloat. Another 15% are undecided.

I can imagine an ad with a candidate looking into the camera...

My name is John Doe, and I am running for _________. I think today's culture of goverment spending and entitlements is out of control. I believe in *smaller* government.

A government that provides for our defense, emergency services, and helps parents educate their children. But I refuse to stand by and watch bureaucrats raise our taxes and mortgage our children's future in order to support bloated government payrolls and spend Trillions on programs that most Americans don't want.

If you agree, vote for me on November 2nd. My name is John Doe, I am running for ________, I say *Enough is Enough*, and I approve this message.

Hey RNC....shoot it and run it!


Bees in Barry's Bonnet

From Instapundit:
KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH THE COMMON PEOPLE: The White House now has a beekeeper. “The idea for a White House hive came up not long after the Obamas moved in.”
Gee, and here I thought all the drones were down in the White House Press Room.

I guess they had to go somewhere after the Queen Bee was driven off....


The Coming Obama Tax Increases - Part 2

Warning: "In just six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect. They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2011."
Higher taxes on marriage and family

The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level. The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.
So much for that pledge. As I have said before America...you get what you vote for, and this can certainly be classified as "change".

More to follow....

Source: Americans for Tax Reform

The Coming Obama Tax Increases - Part 1

Warning: "In just six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect. They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2011."
Personal income tax rates will rise

The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

- The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
- The 25% bracket rises to 28%
- The 28% bracket rises to 31%
- The 33% bracket rises to 36%
- The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%
So much for that pledge. As I have said before America...you get what you vote for, and this can certainly be classified as "change".

More to follow....

Source: Americans for Tax Reform

"We Are Not The Enemy"

Here is a video of CNN's Anderson Cooper bemoaning the fact that the Obama Administration is restricting press access to oil spill clean-up efforts...

(H/T: Allahpundit at HotAir)

The best part is when Cooper repeatedly says "We are not the enemy here!"

Poor Anderson. Surely you have to be intelligent enough to realize you *ARE* the enemy here. Your reporting will no doubt show the recovery efforts in a negative light. Even if you only show a couple of oil covered gulls, that is enough to convey that after a month and a half progress is not being made, and that is not the narrative that this "transparent" Executive Branch wants on the airwaves.

Perhaps you felt a kinship because the President yucked it up with you a the Correspondents Dinners, or you are invested in the idea that things would be different because the President could give some idealistic campaign speeches. However understand this...no matter how much of a sycophantic acolyte you are, if you break their rules and go off of their narrative, you *ARE* the enemy here, and you will end up under the bus.

So you have two choices here....one, do your job and accept your place on the journalistic enemies list, or two, toe the line and enjoy the laughs and Crème brûlée at next year's White House Correspondents Dinner.


Standing Committee for Posterior Selection

Jonah Goldberg:
"Any day now, after thorough interagency review, the Standing Committee for Posterior Selection will have given provisional approval for a working list of asses for POTUS to kick with an OSHA-approved shoe. Alas, final environmental-impact statements are pending. But once that hurdle is cleared, the president will focus like a laser on ass-kicking."
That about sums it up....



Sen Feinstein's Military Discrimination

So President Obama will nominate Lt Gen James Clapper, USAF (Ret) to be the next Director of National Intelligence.

This is something that Sen. Dianne Feinstein does not like, because Clapper is from the DoD. She said:
"The best thing for intelligence is to have a civilian in charge. The elbows are less sharp."

Well technically Dianne, Clapper has been a "civilian" for 15 years, as he retired from the Air Force in 1995. But what you probably meant was that we can't have any of those dastardly types with military resumès running the intelligence biz.

While there are many qualified "civilian" senior executives out there in the Intelligence Community (with sharp elbows to boot!), those with experience leading the various agencies are primarily military generals. In fact, before his current intelligence related leadership gig, Clapper ran *two* of those 3-letter intelligence agencies (DIA, NGA). So, by all measures, he is supremely qualified.

But unfortunately for Clapper, he served 45+ years in the military and DoD civilian positions, which disqualifies him in the eyes of Sen. Feinstein. By all means oppose him for his leadership style, personality, or aversion to congressional oversight. But don't oppose him because he has spent his life in military service.

Oh, and one more thing Dianne...according to the Veterans' Employment Opportunities Act, veterans "
are entitled to receive preferential treatment in hiring for Federal government jobs, including civilian military jobs and homeland security jobs." In addition, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) of 1994 "prohibits discrimination against reservists and veterans in any aspect of employment, on the basis of their military service."

So, while this is an appointment, and not a hiring, it would seem to me that Sen Feinstein is trampling all over the spirit of at least two federal laws, and is being extremely shortsighted to boot.

C'mon Cali voters, why do you continue to send these military-hating women to the Senate?


Competence is its Own Reward

I heard a great poem by 'Tarzana Joe' on Hugh Hewitt's show Thursday night. I have not seen it posted anywhere, so I decide to transcribe it myself.

Competence is its Own Reward
By Tarzana Joe

This talk that I lack competence,
Is just a nasty rumor.
I’d laugh at those who say so,
If I had a sense of humor.
Confronted with a problem,
I think once, and I think twice,
And if I can’t resolve it,
I ask Biden for advice.
Solutions we come up with,
I consider fine and dandy.
But for matters of great moment,
I keep the good book handy.
At bed-time when I hit my knees,
I ponder, and I quote it,
And thank the lord each evening,
that Saul Alinsky wrote it.
If I bristle at my critics,
and come on a little strong,
You have to understand,
what I do is never wrong.
I really thought dictators
would kotow and do my bidding,
I vowed to close down Gitmo,
you know I was just kidding.
New York’s the perfect venue,
Where we’ll bring a Sheik to justice,
And I’m doing all I can
So Ahmadinejad will trust us.
I’ve ordered Eric Holder
to keep working days and nights,
To round up every terrorist,
And read them Miranda rights.
The offer I made Sestak,
Shouldn’t cause such consternation.
It was all part of the stimulus,
A little job creation.
So what if Cajun crawfish
Have a slightly oily taste.
I could use another crisis,
Which I won’t let go to waste.
Yes, into waves of turmoil,
I don’t hesitate to leap,
It’s just I am only 6’2”,
And the water’s 8 feet deep.


Obama the Sports Fan...Again...

Well, President Obama is at it again, wheedling his way into the American attention span by appearing on TV during a major sporting event offering his opinions whether we want him or not. So much for using sports as temporary escape from reality of daily life....the President is there again to remind us that he is still around. I don't know if the thinks we care that he likes sports like the everyday Joe, or if it is a conniving (though poorly thought out) PR plan to get him exposure. Either way, I wish he would stop, and play his narcissistic games somewhere else.

The President did offer two nuggets that we can digest.

1) He is picking the Lakers to win the title. Good Martha Coakley strategy there Mr. President. I am sure that all the GOP candidates for House seats in New England will love to use this to their advantage....

2) He wants us to know that he is deeply concerned about high ticket prices...
"I mean, I think that ticket prices have gotten so high, and I understand that salaries are high, ticket prices are going to be high, but you know, you hate to think that the only person that can go to a game is somebody who's got a corporate account," Obama said. "And that's something that I'd love all professional sports, that's not just NBA, but all professional sports to be thinking about that a little more."
That's great Mr President, but that is one area of American life that I would like you to be thinking about a little less. What I want you thinking about a little more are some of the problems that are more important to some of the average Joes who cannot afford those tickets.

Just imagine, if you had taken all the collective time that you have spent since the beginning of the year watching/playing/opining about sports, and actually traveled to Tennessee to visit and comfort flood victims, your job approval rating might not be so abysmal. Just saying....

Now please let me watch sports in peace!


Restrepo - One Platoon, One Valley, One Year

Acclaimed author Sebastian Junger, widely known as author of 'The Perfect Storm', has put together what looks to be a most interesting look at an isolated U.S. Army platoon that he embedded with during 2007/08 in eastern Afghanistan.

The movie 'Restrepo', filmed by Junger and co-hort Tim Hetherington, will be released next month. The film has already won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.

Here is a trailer:

Another (better) version of the trailer can also be viewed in HD here.

Junger has also released a book about his embedded experience titled 'War'.


Kagan & Summers...Separated at Birth??

Not to go off on a weird Andrew Sullivan-like tangent...but please indulge me this odd question...

Were Elena Kagan and Larry Summers separated at birth?

Or is Kagan simply Summers in drag?

These are the important questions that vex the republic!

Hat Tip: Tokyo Lev

UPDATE: Jammie Wearing Fool has another example.


A Lexicon has been...failed

Last week when talking of the attempted Times Square car bombing, President Obama said the following:
...They will stop at nothing to kill and disrupt our way of life. But once again, an attempted attack has been—failed...
Awkward phrasing to say the least, but as the Weekly Standard says, "It is as if the president wanted to say the attack “has been thwarted” but then realized he could not. The attack failed because Shahzad did not do a better job of constructing his makeshift bomb. No government agency can take credit for that."

However the most interesting word in that quote from the President is 'they'. Who *is* 'they'??
If we depend upon the White House's official statements, we will never know. for as it turns out, the words words 'terrorism', 'jihad', 'Islam', and even 'enemy' are no longer welcome in the official lexicon of the Global War on Terror Overseas Contingency Operations.

There are two recent looks at this 'phenomenon'.

First from the aforementioned Weekly Standard "Don’t Mention the War", in which authors Stephen Hayes and Thomas Jocelyn ask:
"Why does the Obama administration find it so hard to utter the words ‘terrorism’ and ‘jihad’ and ‘Islamic extremism’?"


So, three attacks in six months, by attackers with connections to the global jihadist network—connections that administration officials have gone out of their way to diminish.

The most striking thing about all three attacks is not what we heard, but what we haven’t heard. There has been very little talk about the global war that the Obama administration sometimes acknowledges we are fighting and virtually nothing about what motivates our enemy: radical Islam.

This is no accident.
Near the end of their article they cite the incomparable Janet Napolitano, who said she doesn't use the word terrorism in order to avoid “the politics of fear.”

Great. We apparently want to avoid offending those who would instill us with terror (and death), by not engaging in “the politics of fear.” As Glenn Reynolds likes to say, the country is in the very best of hands.

In addition to the Weekly Standard, PJTV released an instructive look at how the lexicon has changed in the past several years.

In their video "Censorship of Islamic Terminology" from April 23d, you will see how along with 'terrorism' the offending terms 'jihad', 'Islam', and even 'enemy' are totally absent from important Obama Administration documents like the National Intelligence Strategy, FBI Counter-Terrorism Lexicon, and Lesson from Ft Hood report.

I wonder what words might be included in the report on the "Times Square Incident"? Recent evidence does not inspire confidence. I guess the real question should be...is this best categorized as cultural sensitivity, or appeasement?

At the very least, this should inspire a rise in billboard space rental....


Another take on 9.9% Unemployment

This week we saw the April unemployment numbers released, and they ticked up from 9.7% to 9.9%, despite the addition of 290k new jobs.

President Obama says this is progress, "...the storm is receding and the skies are brightening..." But others point out that without the hiring of people to record the Census, the numbers are a bit lower.

That leaves the question about how, if we added 290k new jobs, did the unemployment rate move *up*? As discussed by Jim Geraghty, "discouraged workers – those who had given up looking for work — are getting off the sidelines."

"Discouraged workers" do not show up in the unemployment rate, so if 100k discouraged workers start looking for work again, it is reflected in the unemployment rate the same as if 100k people had lost their jobs. [
This is a good reason to follow the more inclusive U-6 Unemployment Rate, which rose to 17.1% in April]

So, why were all these "discouraged workers" suddenly looking for work again in April, and thus being counted again and raising the rate from 9.7% to 9.9%? Was it an improving jobs market? Perhaps so. But here is another option:
President Obama Signs Unemployment Extension

President Barack Obama has signed a bill extending unemployment benefits through June 2...People who lost out on the additional weeks of benefits after exhausting their state-paid benefits will now be able to reapply and receive those checks retroactively.
So, in the middle of April thousands of discouraged workers qualified for retroactive unemployment benefits that had previously run out? The last time I checked, in order to qualify for benefits, you had to be "actively looking for work". Thus in order to qualify, they have to give up being "discouraged workers", and become "unemployed" again.

So, I would argue that perhaps the reason the unemployment rate went up was that the government handed out more unemployment benefits.

Weird, huh?