Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Cornucopia of Consequences

Harry Reid’s Senate health care bill includes what is being called the “Botox tax”, a five percent excise tax on the cost of elective cosmetic surgery. That reminded me of a piece of federal excise tax history that should be known (but isn’t) to every Washington reporter and taught in every high school civics class (if we were ever again to teach high school civics) as an abject lesson in the all too common unintended consequences of legislation.

President George H.W. Bush broke his "read-my-lips" pledge to not allow any new taxes (and in doing so probably lost any chance of reelection) when he signed the Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. Among other new taxes the bill contained a bit of demagogic class warfare embodied in an excise tax on boats costing in excess of $100,000 and other “luxury” items like jewelry and upscale cars. This was heralded far and wide by liberals with full court media support as a means of making the rich pay their “fair share” to reduce the deficit! To provide proper perspective some television news broadcasts would show footage of Donald Trump’s yacht, the Trump Princess while discussing the proposed tax. At 282’ the boat was almost the length of a WWII Evarts Class Destroyer Escort. Any politician opposing that tax risked being demonized as protecting the extravagant lifestyle of the rich against the interests of the common folk.

There were a few sensible but unheeded voices that tried to warn that the torch and pitchfork bearing mob being led up the hill to attack the castle may end up slaying other than the monster. Among the few was the late William F. Buckley. Buckley pointed out the crux of the problem in that it was reasonable to assume that people who were rich did not became or stay rich by paying for something considerably more than its actual value!

In 1990 a Congressional Committee on Taxation projected that the “luxury taxes” would bring in $31 million deficit reducing dollars. The actual result was very different. Revenues in 1991 were only $16.6 million, because sales of such taxable products plummeted. With the boats, people either didn’t buy them or bought them overseas where the tax didn’t apply. Yet that was only the beginning of the unintended consequences:

According to a study done for the Joint Economic Committee, the tax destroyed 330 jobs in jewelry manufacturing, 1,470 in the aircraft industry and 7,600 in the boating industry. The job losses cost the government a total of $24.2 million in unemployment benefits and lost income tax revenues. So the net effect of the taxes was a loss of $7.6 million in fiscal 1991, which means the government projection was off by $38.6 million.

The excise tax caused people to change their behavior and buy fewer of the taxed products. Over the next few years it got even worse. The NY Times reported:

Another consequence of the tax, contends the National Marine Manufacturers Association, has been the layoffs of thousands of skilled boatbuilders. ‘In a nutshell, this tax has been devastating,’ says Carl Herndon, president of Blackfin Yacht in Fort Lauderdale. ‘The rich are still rich. But the people who are on the unemployment rolls are blue-collar workers.’

A trade magazine reported:

According to a survey of the largest boat dealers in Connecticut, conducted by the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA), sales of boats costing $100,000 or more have fallen 93 percent… Nationwide, more than 19,000 people have been put out of work at boat making plants.

By 1993 Congressman John Kasich had this to say:

The 1990 budget deal also slapped a hefty luxury tax on boats… to draw more money from wealthy yacht owners. What actually happened? People bought fewer boats. So who really paid the price? The many nonwealthy boat builders who were put out of work by the tax… The [Washington] Post article reported estimates that 25,000 to 30,000 jobs were lost. These effects were so obvious that even the tax raisers in Congress now plan to repeal the yacht tax.

Republican Senator Slade Gorton in 1993 said with biting irony:

What went wrong with the luxury tax was that, in trying to go after the rich guys' toys, Congress put the toymakers out of business.

The Congressional Research Service reported in classic bureaucratic understatement:

The luxury excise taxes enacted in 1990 were all based on sales prices exceeding statutory amounts, suggesting congressional desire to shift some or part of the overall tax increase to upper-income individuals. Opponents argued, however, that the taxes depressed sales and employment in the affected industries and this actually burdened lower-income workers. Congress accepted this argument in 1993, repealing all the taxes except that on automobiles in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.

A tax that was intended to raise revenue and soak the rich ended up costing the federal government millions in lost revenue and unemployment payments while devastating thousands of middle class families and hundreds of small businesses. The excise tax on boats was eventually repealed in 1993 (with far less media fanfare than its passage).

Now we may have an excise tax on elective cosmetic surgery, as Politico reports:

The bill levies a 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic surgery. The provision raises $5 billion and was needed to make the numbers work, according to a Democratic Senate aide.

Yes, the $5 billion was needed to make the numbers add up in the Senate health care bill. However, the “global medical tourism” sector has already been growing rapidly for procedures like elective cosmetic surgery. Should anyone be surprised if this excise tax results not only in a revenue shortfall from projections but also in more such surgery being done in places like Costa Rica with commensurate job and income losses in the U.S.?

Having said all of this, while focus on the excise taxes is worthwhile in itself, it can obscure the looming larger danger. Here is the text of the Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 relating to the tax on boats:

SEC. 4002. BOATS.
`(a) IMPOSITION OF TAX- There is hereby imposed on the 1st retail sale of any boat a tax equal to 10 percent of the price for which so sold to the extent such price exceeds $100,000.
`(b) EXCEPTIONS- The tax imposed by this section shall not apply to the sale of any boat for use by the purchaser exclusively in the active conduct of--
`(1) a trade or business of commercial fishing or transporting persons or property for compensation or hire, or
`(2) any other trade or business unless the boat is to be used predominantly in any activity which is of a type generally considered to constitute entertainment, amusement, or recreation.

That is it, in total. Those relatively few lines, a fraction of a page, caused terrible even if unintended harm to many thousands! The health care bill passed by the House is over 1900 pages. The proposed Senate bill is over 2000. If that passes, the two bills are brought together to breed a kind of mutant offspring in reconciliation. It is hard to imagine that the result of that will be a smaller piece of legislation.

These bills have been rushed, and not widely read or understood even by those who will vote on them. They have been cobbled together by Congressional staff members and lawyers with little or no experience in health care. It is one thing and terrible enough to have thousands of blue collar workers in the ship building industry lose their livelihoods to satisfy other people’s envy made manifest in ill-thought legislation. It is quite another order of magnitude to have thousands of pages of legislation passed that could potentially effect the health, medical care and well being of every American with all manner of unintended consequences lurking in those pages!

NPR’s Mara Liasson accurately summed up the Democrats’ position this way:

… the message that the White House and President Clinton is sending to doubting Democrats is: Swallow hard, vote for this even if it's not perfect. We can fix it later, because this is our chance and probably our one chance in this presidency to get this thing we have wanted for so long.

It took the Congress three years to “fix” the excise tax on boats by repealing it, even in the face of the devastation to thousands of blue collar workers and a decline in tax revenue. Of course, the problem need never have happened in the first place if Congress had thought through their proposed legislation. What damage will have to be done to the health and medical well being of how many American citizens before Congress might “fix” the things they get wrong now, the unintended consequences in those thousands of unread pages they are rushing to pass?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Muslims Bombing Muslims!!!

Muslims (Saudis) are shelling and bombing Muslims (Yemenis) and we are not getting hourly photos of the civilian casualties!

Read the rest at American Thinker.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rep Cao vs retired Lt Gen Honoré

The single Republican to vote for Speaker Pelosi's version of ObamaCare was Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, who replaced William "Cold Cash" Jefferson in Louisiana's 2nd Congressional District. Rep. Cao's engagement in bi-partisanship immediately raised the obvious question as to what was offered in return, and Michelle Malkin provides an answer:

Cao wrote he obtained commitment from President Obama that he would work together to address...issues related to Charity and Methodist Hospitals.

Read the rest at The American Thinker.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

President Obama: Afghanistan is yours! You wanted the job, you've got it!

Make of this what you will.

US Military Fatalities In Afghanistan/OEF By Year (from icasualities)

Note the numbers for the last four months (June - October) as compared to all the previous history. President Obama announced his new strategy last March, three months before the monthly death toll jumped into the seventies from previous highs in the forties.

Coalition Military Fatalities by Month and Year.

Note the sharp upward trend in KIA by IED:

Washington Post, March 28, 2009
Obama Outlines Afghan Strategy
He Pushes Stability and Regional Partnerships

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 28, 2009

President Obama introduced his new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan yesterday with a threat assessment familiar from the Bush administration. "The terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks," he said, are continuing to devise plots designed to "kill as many of our people as they possibly can."

Charles Krauthammer points out what should be obvious:

From a CRS (Congressional Research Service) Report to Congress, November 2007, entitled "Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)in Iraq and Afghanistan: Effects and Countermeasures":

In July 2007, DOD officials reportedly accused four captured Iranians of smuggling explosives and personnel from Iran into Iraq. Iran is suspected of supplying Iraq insurgents with training and new IED technology, such as “passive infrared” electronicsensors that are used for triggering roadside bombs. The new sensors are more resistant to electromagnetic countermeasures now employed by U.S. forces. DOD officials also suspect that Iran is supplying Iraq insurgents with a more lethal IED bomb design called an explosively formed projectile (EFP). An EFP is made from a pipe filled with explosives and capped by a specially shaped metal disk. When the explosives detonate, they transform the disk into a jet of molten metal capable of penetrating armor. EFPs reportedly strike with enough power to cause pieces of a targeted vehicle’s heavy armor to turn into shrapnel, making them much more deadly than traditional IED weapons.

DOD officials report there were 69 attacks utilizing EFPs in April 2007. The same type of EFP device has been used by Shiite organizations in Lebanon, where Hezbollah receives military support from Iran. However, Iranian government officials deny involvement with any transfer of these weapons to Iraq.

UPDATE: As to what Krauthammer calls Obama's "disgusting" continuous bashing of his predecessor, there is a precedent for that and it might be what Obama is following. That was how FDR and the New Dealers treated Hoover, with never ending attacks for years that were often bold faced lies but served a political purpose for FDR. Roosevelt stands as a giant success to Democrats not because he ended the Great Depression but because he won four Presidential elections in a row. Truman respected and came to rely on Hoover for counsel, but Truman didn't carry the FDR baggage.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

AP: Jerusalem's Holiest Site Is - Muslim!!!???

Yes, that's the AP headline:

Israeli police storm Jerusalem's holiest site
By RAWHI RAZIM, Associated Press Writer Rawhi Razim

JERUSALEM – Israeli forces stormed Jerusalem's holiest shrine Sunday, firing stun grenades to disperse hundreds of stone-throwing Palestinian protesters in a fresh eruption of violence at the most volatile spot in the country.

A wall of Israeli riot police behind plexiglass shields closed in on the crowd, sending many protesters — overwhelmingly young men — running for cover into the black-domed Al-Aqsa mosque.

Is this journalistic objectivity or is the AP being religiously correct or merely allowing a certain amount of editorializing from a Muslim point of view so as to prevent troubles to - AP? If that had read "Jerusalem's holiest Muslim shrine" or "holiest" Muslim site", it would be entirely accurate and fair. Or perhaps the AP editors are blissfully unaware of the Jewish and Christian shrines in Jerusalem, every one of which predates the Al-Aqsa mosque! There is the Jewish Western Wall and the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulcher, for example!

Or is this one of those cases that if the AP didn't call the Muslim shrine the holiest site in Jerusalem some would consider that blasphemy?

By way of contrast, Israel Today calls the Temple Mount, upon which the Al-Aqsa mosque site, "the holiest site in Judaism".

We can expect reports of crowds of angry Christians shouting "death to AP" for the blasphemous insult any moment now...

UPDATE: AP has probably noticed a problem that maybe got through those layers of editors! At the Yahoo News link above to the AP story by Rawhi Razim there is now an updated AP story by Matti Friedman in its place. The stories have switched but not the title, which still alludes to the Al-Aqsa mosque being the holiest site. However, the body of the story now calls that mosque Israel's most volatile shrine!

UPDATE #2: Even Drudge has the headline "Israeli police storm Jerusalem's holiest site..."

UPDATE #3: For those who may not know;

The Western Wall (or Wailing Wall) is a remnant of Herod's Temple, built about 20 B.C. The Temple was virtually destroyed by the Romans about 70 A.D.

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher was first built around 330 A.D. by Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine. It was believed to have been built on the spot where Jesus' body was laid to rest in the tomb provided by Joseph of Arimathia and that therefore was also the place at which Jesus rose from the dead. It is also believed to have been built on the Hill called Golgotha where Jesus was crucified. The original church was destroyed by the Persians during a siege of Jerusalem around 614 A.D. and rebuilt. The Muslim Egyptian caliph al-Hakim destroyed that church around 1010 A.D. Most of the current standing church was built by the Crusaders who completed their construction in 1168 A.D.

The Al-Aqsa mosque is where Mohammed is believed to have prayed and received from Allah the commandment to pray fives times a day. Mohammed is believed to have traveled from Mecca to Jerusalem on a flying white horse. The mosque was built over what was the remains of the mostly destroyed Jewish Temple in about 709 A.D. It is considered the third holiest Muslim site after Mecca and Medina.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Obama Thesis Mess, involving Michael Ledeen, Rush Limbaugh and Joe Klein, and my sorry part in it all!

Yesterday was not a good day! I found myself at something close to the center of an embarrassing controversy (The Obama Columbia Thesis Affair!), and though not alone in that uncomfortable location, much if not most of it was totally my fault.

Early in the day I ran across a two day old post at Faster, Please!, Michael Ledeen's blog. I've read and respected Mr. Ledeen's work for years. It was entitled Obama and the Constitution; He Has His Doubts.

Mr. Ledeen wrote at the very beginning of his post:

Brian Lancaster at Jumping in Pools reported on Obama’s college thesis...

So very early to make a critical assumption and mistake, but not too early for me! I have used similar formulations, such as "as reported by Robin at Chickenhawk Express". When I do so, I am invariably making reference to someone who has credibility with me. I read Mr. Ledeen's words projecting my own sense of confidence in that way and didn't follow the link to Brian Lancaster's site. Huge mistake!

Noting that Mr. Ledeen's post was two days old (Oct. 21), I searched Google news for sources that would have picked up the story of these eminently newsworthy quotes attributed to a young Barack Obama at Columbia. I got nothing.

At that point and considering some very verifiable history of the GUANOs (Government's Unoffically Authorized News Organizations) as regards Barack Obama, I thought we might have another case of media 'ho-hum, move along, nothing to see here' when something might reflect badly on Obama!

I wrote a short piece comparing what I thought was media inaction in reporting on what I thought was an Obama thesis and the many reports in the media on the decades old thesis written by the Republican candidate for governor in Virginia. I sent that to American Thinker mid-morning, and it was posted as Obama's Columbia thesis excerpt surfaces. That post had:

What on earth does this President have to do to get the media coverage he so richly deserves! In the Virginia Governor's race, Republican candidate Robert McDonnell wrote a graduate thesis twenty years ago that could be politically damaging to his campaign. That decades old thesis has been covered by the Washington Post on August 30 and again on September 1. It has been reported on in some depth across the spectrum of media outlets from NPR to US News to the CS Monitor to FOX and on and on!

That was the main point of the post. I also quoted the supposed thesis by Obama as having this written by him:

... the Constitution allows for many things, but what it does not allow is the most revealing. The so-called Founders did not allow for economic freedom. While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the distribution of wealth is not even mentioned. While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy.

I didn't then and do not now consider those sentiments to be beyond the pale of possibility that Obama could think and write such as a very young college student who by his own admission sought to hang out with the radicals at Columbia, some of whom I've known! In this 2001 interview video, Obama the State Senator speaks of the Constitution as a document of negative liberties that avoided discussion of distribution of wealth, his "redistributive change".

Having said that, my main point was still about the GUANOs covering for Obama, a very current topic as the administrations has sought to keep the GUANOs in line by the example of ostracizing and demonizing FOX.

AT published the post and I had other things to do, but in spurts as I could I began to search Google news for any connection, as the Ledeen post had claimed, between Joe Klein and the thesis, and came up empty. I started to have growing doubts about the story. When the post went up at AT, the first comment to it was time stamped at 9:13. The times on the comments do not reflect the real time here on the East Coast where I write, but they do properly show intervals. By 9:59, three quarters of an hour later by time stamp, I commented as DenisK, identifying myself as the author, that I have doubts that the story I picked up from Michael Ledeen's blog was real and I was having trouble verifying it from other news sources. I wrote:

...I am having no success now in further verifying the quote and a growing sense of doubt that it is real.

In the interim and afterward, I tried without success to contact Mr. Ledeen (but did get through to PJM, the host for Mr. Ledeen's blog, with my concerns) and to continue to try to find any news source connecting Joe Klein to a supposed thesis. PJM later replied to me that they were also doubting the story. In frustration I finally, belatedly, unforgivably went to Mr. Ledeen's source for the story at Jumping in Pools- and found it to be a satire! I had certainly found - confirmation!

I was listening to Rush Limbaugh while doing so and he started to reference the Ledeen claim on his radio show, and believing in abject shame that he picked it up from my post at AT (he did as he later read from my piece), I immediately e-mailed him (subject line: Obama Thesis Quote Phony) and stated that I was the AT author, that I checked Ledeen's source and found it to be satire and that he should back away from a story that was totally bogus. If you go to the transcripts of Rush's show, you will find that he backed off the story within minutes of talking about it, though I don't necessarily believe it was my e-mail or solely my e-mail that got to him on it! Rush said this, and did so making his own satirical point about the GUANOs:

I'm also told that the blog containing the passage on Obama's thesis is a satire blog. So it's one of these sites like ScrappleFace or The Onion or some such thing. So I shout from the mountaintops: "It was satire!" But we know he thinks it. Good comedy, to be comedy, must contain an element of truth, and we know how he feels about distribution of wealth. He's mad at the courts for not going far enough on it. So we stand by the fabricated quote because we know Obama thinks it anyway. That's how it works in the media today.

Immediately after that I posted in the comments again at AT (11:42 a.m.) with a correction stating that Ledeen had inadvertently taken a satire seriously and that I had taken Ledeen's post seriously and the story was bogus. Not long after that Mr. Ledeen posted a link at the top of his blog post to an apology he offered for the mistake, and he also personally contacted Joe Klein and apologized to him:

The Obama “thesis” hoax
It’s a hoax, or a satire, depending on your point of view. Joe Klein has said that he never read any part of an Obama “thesis” from his Columbia days, and that’s conclusive, as far as I’m concerned.

The hoax/satire was written in August, so it’s not connected to any current event. I cam across it on Twitter, read the blog, found it interesting, and posted on it. I failed to notice that one of the tags was “satire.” So he got me, and lots of others. It worked because it’s plausible...

So I should have picked up some hint, but I didn’t. Shame on me.

I’m posting this as quickly as possible. Apologies to the president and to Joe Klein, and to Rush Limbaugh, who had many very wise things to say about the Constitution and the views of the Founders today, and to everyone else who got involved.

I ended up posting two more comments, one yesterday when it seemed some readers weren't getting the point that the story was in error. The other was today, with more detail, and in that one I directly answered one critical commentor, CommonSense, as follows:

Yes, CommonSense, bad mistakes, very much including mine. However, how quickly did we seek to correct them? Mr. Ledeen, Rush Limbaugh and PJM and the blog post author here at AT all posted corrections or backed off the story or both within hours or less. Was that the case with the major media and many on the left with the fake Limbaugh quotes, or the fake TANG documents about Bush, or Jimmy Masssey, you write this:

"Have you all no shame? As the president he deserves that much."

CommonSense, have you ever in the last several years heard the totally bogus claim that "Bush lied" about Iraq, and who has climbed down on that false charge? On the left it was just keep repeating the lie until it is believed! That's the difference.

I also have to say this. I believe Mr. Ledeen's apology, especially to Joe Klein, was gracious. Mr. Klein's response, not so very much:

A report is circulating among the wingnuts that I had a peek at Barack Obama's senior thesis. It is completely false. I've never seen Obama's thesis. I have no idea where this report comes from--but I can assure you that it's complete nonsense.
Update: Michael Ledeen now has apologized to me on his blog, claiming that he, Limbaugh and others were punked by a satire. I appreciate the apology...but I wonder about what the willingness to take this cheesy crap as gospel says about Ledeen's--and Boss Rush's--sensibility. Actually, on second thought, I don't wonder all that much.

All I can say to Mr. Klein is that people make mistakes. Some try to correct them and even make strenuous effort to do so. Others, when having been accused of writing things that were in error, say things like:

I have neither the time nor...background to figure out who's right.

I didn't write that. Joe Klein did, and it comes from Editor & Publisher, November 29, 2007, and reads:

Klein, under persistent pressure since, backtracked to some extent in recent days, offering repeated updated clarifications, which critics also deemed inadequate. Finally he wrote, "I have neither the time nor legal background to figure out who's right." Now the next issue of Time magazine, due out Friday, runs a correction of sorts that Greenwald and others may still find lacking as it suggests the factual matter is under dispute. The Chicago Tribune, however, which carried Klein's column, ran a full-fledged, unqualified correction, today.

Yes, Mr. Klein, we can all make mistakes, and some of us seek to correct them quickly and apologize with sincerity, without pressure or equivocation. Yesterday I wrote this (4:59) in the comments at AT:

The source I relied on for the news about the supposed Obama thesis and the quotes that appeared "Obama Not Getting Media Coverage He Deserves!" was Michael Ledeen at PJM. He has now retracted his story and apologized for any trouble his post has caused to any, stating that he was taken in by what was either a fraud or a satire. I too sincerely apologize to American Thinker, its readership and Rush Limbaugh, for my part in having spread what turned out to be entirely false. I should have checked further than a single source for something with such volatile content.

But then again, Mr. Klein, I'm not a professional journalist who does this for a living or any compensation, so I didn't have to be pressured to make correction to error.

UPDATE: One might almost think there's a pattern of behavior here....

Another blog, Left Coast Rebel, also fell for the satire as being real and then also corrected and apologized without the need for any kind of pressure! Gosh!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rush should make CNN an offer it can't refuse

CNN just keeps embarrassing itself. Oddly enough, Rush Limbaugh could help them out, while doing himself a little good at the same time.

Following close on its much-derided ‘fact checking' of an SNL skit poking fun at President Obama, and the humiliating pat-on-the-head it got as an Obama administration-certified legitimate news organization, CNN has now queried a psychiatrist as to why folks listen to conservative talk radio, especially Rush Limbaugh. CNN's Carol Costello interviewed psychiatrist Gail Saltz. (Video courtesy of Breitbart. Watch it!)

Read the rest at American Thinker.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Proposed: Hollywood Follow NFL’s Limbaugh Example

Principled action prevented the divisive and arguably racist Rush Limbaugh from becoming part owner of an NFL team. That welcome turn of events is owed in no small part to the courageous stand taken by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who said this about the prospect of Limbaugh’s ownership:

We're all held to a high standard here and divisive comments are not what the NFL's all about…I would not want to see those kind of comments from people who are in a responsible position in the NFL...

That is standing foursquare for high standards in this time of expedient compromise!

There is unresolved dispute about whether Limbaugh did or didn’t make certain statements attributed to him praising aspects of slavery or wishing that the assassin of Martin Luther King be awarded a Medal of Honor. No one seems to be able to substantiate the quotes but neither has Limbaugh been able prove he didn’t say them! However, there is no doubt about other despicable Limbaugh statements and show antics such as Barack the Magic Negro, pro football players looking like the Crips and Bloods, white kids being beaten by black kids in Obama’s America or Limbaugh giving his own mother a can opener as a gift so she can eat dog food! There are many more that made Limbaugh worthy of being sacked by the NFL!

Yet, Hollywood is about to pay an artistic tribute to a man just as horrid as Limbaugh!

The man Hollywood is about to posthumously honor is Jonathan Swift, the author of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. A movie of that title is to be released late in 2010, based on Swift’s novel! While that piece of literature may be an entertaining read, it does not absolve Swift for other things he has written. Making a movie of his work will only serve to legitimize his other works!

In 1729, the bigoted, sexist and infanticide advocating Swift produced a horrible piece of work entitled A Modest Proposal. In it, Swift proposed that rather than let Catholic Irish infants starve or grow up into poverty and crime, they should be fattened up, sold as a commodity suited for the tables of the well-to-do and eaten!!! Here are some quotes and none are in dispute!

Swift on eating infants:

… a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked…

…instead of being a charge upon their parents or the parish…they shall on the contrary contribute to the feeding, and partly to the clothing, of many thousands.

… may, at a year old, be offered in the sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump and fat for a good table.

…butchers we may be assured will not be wanting; although I rather recommend buying the children alive, and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs.

Swift the misogynist and enemy of woman’s rights wrote:

… another great advantage in my scheme, that it will prevent those voluntary abortions…

Swift the anti-Catholic bigot wrote:

Infant's flesh will be…more plentiful in March, and a little before and after; for we are told…that fish being a prolific diet, there are more children born in Roman Catholic countries about nine months after Lent than at any other season…because the number of popish infants is at least three to one in this kingdom…it will have one other collateral advantage, by lessening the number of papists among us.

There is much more where that came from but those are sufficient to establish the flavor!

The moral imperative involved here is of the utmost importance, but it is not without merit to consider the political and practical if in doing so we deprive the immoral haters of ammunition! Those on the right, most certainly including Limbaugh, will try to use this movie to embarrass and smear President Obama by association! They will connect Swift to those in the movie who are known Obama supporters to establish some kind of linkage in the public mind! Actor Jack Black, who plays Gulliver, performed with his band at an Obama benefit during the campaign! Cast member Jason Segel has publicly stated that he would like a “man date” with the President and actor James Corden was quoted saying about Obama:

I love him! I almost get aroused when I’m watching him!

While on its face such an attempt at linkage may seem absurd, for the intellectually challenged targets such connections will be taken as proof of something more substantial and sinister!

This movie, based on the work of a truly vile person, should not be made or released lest it honor him! Swift’s words, like Limbaugh’s must be taken seriously and dealt with accordingly!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Leftist Cowards vs Limbaugh

Gateway Pundit led me (via Legal Insurrection) to what he accurately called a “left wing hate site”. It had a picture of Limbaugh doctored to look like a vampiric Hitler and an article that was written by Casey Gane-McCalla. That is the author of the original asinine and scurrilous ‘Top 10 Racist Limbaugh Quotes’, including the now infamous and debunked James Earl Ray and slavery quotes. Search for ‘Casey Gane-McCalla’ and ‘Limbaugh’ together on Google and you find that CGM is delusional and fixated on Rush.

In the article, CGM quotes Rush recently saying that even though he, Rush, has said many things over 21 years of the Rush Limbaugh Show there is no evidence that he ever said these things. CGM then writes:

Maybe if you went back further to your career as shock jock, Jeff Christie, 30 years ago, you might have better luck finding the quote.

Jeff Christie was the alias Limbaugh used in the seventies as a radio DJ in Pittsburgh. So I posted a comment, a question actually, as denisk, to the effect:

Are you saying Limbaugh made any of these comments as Jeff Christie or just throwing that out as a mighta-been?

How was that answered? With this:

Comment removed.

Oh, and someone answered my comment/question before it was deleted with this:

I see the militia is paying a visit to JJP, lol.

So it's paranoid moral and intellectual cowards! They even have to run from simple questions about the innuendo they try to use as cover!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Limbaugh, McNabb and Obama

Of the several quotes being bandied about as having been said by Rush Limbaugh that supposedly demonstrate his racism or at least his racial insensitivity, one is actually real. That was the 2003 statement about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Limbaugh lost his job as a broadcaster on ESPN in the ensuing controversy after he gave his opinion as follows:

Sorry to say this, I don't think [McNabb’s] been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb...

One can only wonder what madness could have made Limbaugh ever imagine that members of the media could have given preferential coverage to someone who is black, desiring that he do well out of their concern that he do so for society’s sake! For Limbaugh to conclude that the media would inflate such a person’s accomplishments to something greater than the reality as an investment in hope is, of course, absolute nonsense!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Obama and Listening to His Generals

An article headline in the Chicago Sun-Times, March 12, 2008, read:
Obama says he will listen to generals about the war
Candidate Obama was quoted as saying:
"There were generals at the beginning of the conflict that said this is going to require many more troops, will cost us much more ... those generals were pushed aside," Obama said.
I can find only two pictures of President Obama and General Stanley McChrystal together. There is an odd symmetry between the two even though they were taken months apart. The first was from May, 2009, when McChrystal was being appointed by Obama as Commander of the Afghan theatre. Note who is talking and who is listening!

The second photo below is from a month ago, September.

In both pictures Obama seems to be trying to explain something, not McChrystal, who is listening. I am not an expert on body language but we've all seen that look and those imploring hand gestures from President Obama, used when he tries to pawn off some bit of nonsense he himself is unsure of! He uses that 'look down' with the hands out posture several times in this interview with Bill O'Reilly, every time when he was speaking nonsense, e.g, when he claims Iran is not a part of our terrorist enemies like the Sunnis and Shia in Iraq even though Iran was supplying IEDs to both to kill our troops! Or when he says that there was no connection between Al Qaeda and Hussein Iraq, contrary to the 911 Commission Report findings. No warn fuzzies in this.

So, how comfortable or empathetic is Obama with the military and what can be called military personalities? Is he comfortable with how military people think and behave? Even with reduced numbers of Americans who have worn the uniform since the all volunteer military as compared to previous decades and the draft, many and possibly most Americans still have some relationship with someone who served and get from that a sense of the military. Obama's history and background does not seem to provide for much of any relationship to anything or anyone military! Two more pictures. The first is Obama and General Petraeus in conversation, but in this one it is the General who is speaking. Who looks uncomfortable? Notice the hands, seeming to want to get into the act as in the previous two pics.

But the more telling picture is of Senator Obama during General Petraeus testimony to Congress during the Surge in Iraq.

I don't think Obama gets these military types! He and they don't speak the same language, and when uncomfortable, Obama goes to his default - he talks, he doesn't listen.

No warm fuzzies here regarding Afghanistan.

UPDATE: Obama White House falsely downplaying risks of retreat in Afghanistan: Military, intel sources

Saturday, October 10, 2009

NYTimes: Nobel Committee should rescind Peace Prize!

Yes, the NY Times published an article by Randy Cohen (The Ethicist) entitled Taking Back Nobel Prizes!

However, that was on October 6, three days before the announcement that President Obama had won the 2009 prize! The Times piece was offering suggestions...about which earlier winners may be judged ‘egregiously unworthy’...and therefore might reasonably have their awards rescinded...folks like...Theodore Roosevelt, Mother Teresa and Henry Kissinger!

Read it all at The American Thinker.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Onion: Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

No, it really wasn't The Onion and one of their parodies going mainstream. I checked. Several times. Deadline for nominations for the 2009 prize was February 1. Meaning - Obama had been President for less than two weeks before being nominated!

This puts the Obama speech to the UN Security Council in perspective. The President had to know he was in the running and had to give the Nobel Committee something to put him over. Sarkozy was furious that Obama did not blast the Iranians for the Qom site when he spoke to the Security Council at the UN, but doing so wouldn't have appeared - hopefully peaceful!

And if Obama knew this was in the works, might he have thought that those Europeans love his wondrous self so much that a small trip to Copenhagen would surely cinch the Olympics for Chicago!

Thanks, Nobel committee, for reinforcing our narcissistic President that yes, it is all about him!

UPDATE: Next: Help Obama win the Heisman Trophy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lara Logan: McChrystal Is Right, Biden Is An Idiot!

Nothing new about Biden in that, but the first six or seven minutes of this video (pre-Nader interview) from CBS' Washington Unplugged floored me. Lara Logan devastates the 'Biden plan' or numerous other forms of mush that Obama might serve up in place of winning the hard and necessary fight we are in. I've seen and heard Logan occasionally before but I rarely watch CBS. Logan is CBS' Chief Foreign Correspondent and was on the ground in Afghanistan within two months of our troops at the beginning. Really - watch the first several minutes...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Theo Van Gogh Petition?

Does anyone remember if any Hollywood elites signed a petition of protest when director Theo Van Gogh was murdered? There was, as regards Van Gogh, a petition, but it wasn't like the one protesting the arrest of Polanski, who had drugged and raped a thirteen year old girl. Van Gogh, on the other hand, had criticized aspects of Islam.

Lindsey Graham - still an idiot

I just heard occasionally-Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on FOX News Sunday say that an Israeli attack to impede or destroy Iran's nuclear aims would be a disaster for the world because it would rally the Arab world behind Iran!

The man is a blithering idiot! Yes, if it happened, there would be noise emanating from the 'Arab world' condemning Israel - as there always is as part of the expected script - and that would be obscuring the relief in those same Arab states that the Persians do not have the bomb! The Saudis in particular would be finding it hard to hide the smiles and not giggle while condemning the Jews for doing what the Saudis were extremely happy that the Jews did!

Yo, Senator:

- Possibility of a Nuclear-Armed Iran Alarms Arabs - NYTimes, September 30, 2009

- Saudis ‘Deeply Concerned’ Over Iran’s Nuclear Program - Council on Foreign Relations

- "Both states (Saudi Arabia and Egypt) feel threatened [by Iran's nuclear activities]..." - Muhammad Abdel Salam, senior nuclear expert at Cairo's Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, as told to RFE/RL.

It was also amusing to hear Democrat Senator Bob Casey go on and on about his legislation that would allow pension funds to, gosh golly, withdraw any funds they have invested with companies doing business with Iran! Tough talk for a Democrat! One can only imagine the panic in Iran on hearing that kind of bold talk!

ACORN & Identity Theft Canvassers!

Our tax dollars at work!

Thanks to Gateway Pundit and FOX News - from the "You Can't Make This Sh*t Up" Department - ACORN in Nevada hired criminals while still transitionally incarcerated for, among other things, identity theft, to become voter registration neighborhood canvassers when released! Not the first time, either!

If there were break-ins, burglaries and identity thefts in the neighborhoods these folks canvassed - could there be an expectedly poor and lower middle class folks class action suit against ACORN?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Gift That Stopped Giving

Time may definitively tell us, after some administration resignations and the obligatory ‘tell all’ books that follow, whether the decision to go to Copenhagen was miscalculation, hubris or something else. I think it very likely that the Obama associates and cronies behind getting the 2016 Olympics to Chicago and the Obamas believed that Chicago was near but not necessarily over the top and that a little nudge from The One would cinch it. Rather than seeing it as running a risk of damaging the President’s prestige, I believe President Obama saw it as an opportunity for reaffirmation of the power of The Gift.

When freshman Senator Obama was congratulated by Harry Reid on a phenomenal speech, Obama famously replied "Harry, I have a gift.".

A month ago, as the push for Obamacare in all its myriad mutations was going off the rails everywhere, the Washington Post ran this story and the author probably didn’t recognize the irony and unintentional humor:

Democratic officials and foot soldiers, who have experienced the volatile public mood firsthand, are asking Obama to take a more assertive approach this fall. His senior advisers say he will, beginning with his Wednesday address to Congress on health care.

For those Democratic officials this “assertive approach” they desired is likely something more in the line of what an LBJ or even a Reagan might do – get into the fight, make his own administration’s proposals and run them up the flagpole, twist arms, make deals, use the Presidential power of pain and pleasure with members of the other branch, etc. For President Obama, giving speeches and talking is something akin to the sum total of asserting leadership! He has The Gift, after all! By the time of that WaPo writing, the President had already given something in the order of a hundred speeches on health care!

Yet for some time now The Gift seems to have been losing its luster. The big speech before the joint sessions of Congress and then the full Ginsberg on the Sunday news shows each showed what seemed to be a bounce, but they were fleeting, gone within a few days. The damsel may have blushed and enjoyed the charmer’s suave flirtations at the dance, but in the end she wasn’t going back to his apartment!

President Obama, his circle and their media allies have been telling us why this is so. He no sooner would deliver his gifted oratory to the masses when talk radio, Fox and the right wing blogosphere would throw up an unceasing cacophony of hateful and often racism motivated lies at the beauty he had produced.

Hence, Copenhagen! This was the stage to reaffirm The Gift! Here Obama could speak to and move the hearts and minds of people not subject to the bigotry, hate and distortions of the rightwing media in the U.S. These were people of the world who understood that he, Obama, was one of them. Chicago was in the running and so The Gift only had to move a certainly attainable number of votes! When the news broke that Chicago had been knocked out in the first round, the NY Times reported:

A sense of stunned bewilderment suffused Air Force One and the White House.

I believe the President and no doubt some of those around him are indeed stunned! Rather than reaffirmation, The Gift just failed to deliver, and it wasn’t because of the usual suspects! What else can President Obama do – to lead – without The Gift?

President Missed Olympian Teachable Moment

The big news of course has been Chicago losing out on its Olympic bid in the first round even after the president pitched for the city. And yes, he and his team of cheap politicos look like a bunch of clueless amateurs. In the buildup to that, a small item in the exchanges between the President and some IOC folk got little coverage. I think it's worth looking at.

The NY Times reported:

In the official question-and-answer session following the Chicago presentation, Syed Shahid Ali, an I.O.C. member from Pakistan, asked the toughest question. He wondered how smooth it would be for foreigners to enter the United States for the Games because doing so can sometimes, he said, be “a rather harrowing experience.”

Mrs. Obama tapped the bid leader Patrick G. Ryan, so Mr. Obama could field that question.

“One of the legacies I want to see is a reminder that America at its best is open to the world,” he said, before adding that the White House and State Department would make sure that all visitors would feel welcome.

Rather than speak of a nebulous legacy of, well, himself that he wants to see, as it is always about him, it would have been a welcome change I could applaud had the President replied to the IOC member from Pakistan with something in the order of:

“Yes, international travel to our country and many others has become more burdensome in recent years, but let us recall the reasons for that. Terrorism around the world, including cross border terrorism, has killed and maimed many thousands. The nations that have suffered attacks by those who have crossed borders to do so include both your country and mine. Al Qaeda has crossed into Pakistan from Afghanistan to kill Pakistanis and it has sent its members into my country to kill thousands on September 11, 2001. It should be remembered by all as it is by Americans that the attacks of 911 in our country killed the innocent citizens of over one hundred nations other than the United States! Terrorism has also struck two of the other four cities vying here for the honor of hosting the 2016 Olympics, Tokyo and Madrid. It will always be regrettable that innocents bear burdens of what terrorism has wrought and that actions taken in good faith and honorable duty to protect innocents can at times burden the innocent and seem in doing so to be unfair and mistaken. In our country, we will remain open to visitors, guest workers and immigrants as is our history, but we will also take seriously the need to vigilantly defend our citizens and those of other countries who are in our country for whatever reasons, including those who may attending the 2016 Olympics in our country!”

This President cannot and will not stand against any criticism, straightforward or just implied and no matter how blatantly false, against our country. Remember when Ortega delivered an anti-American rant for fifty minutes with our President present and what Obama summoned in reply was gratitude that he, Obama, was not personally criticized:

I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old.

The man is a disgrace to the office he holds! He is not representing the United States of America, its people and principles. He is only representing Barack Obama!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Phony Soldiers Again!

With the following lede the Drudge Report links to this video (language warning) purportedly about the G20 protests:
See U.S. Military Snatch Protester...
This bit of amateurish fakery, complete with phony soldiers, is unsurprisingly being linked to and carried by a host of leftist sites.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Obama Takes Credit for Bad Economy

Speaking to the UN, President Obama said:

And I am proud to say that the United States has done more to...reduce carbon pollution in the last eight months than at any other time in our history.

From the International Energy Agency:

The International Energy Agency has put a quantitative estimate on an effect that we all suspected — this year’s economic recession is contributing to a reduction in global carbon emissions. They estimate that 2009 carbon emissions will be 2 percent lower than 2008, with 75% of the reduction attributable to the economic slowdown and 25% attributable to carbon-reduction policies...

Call it "Green Unemployment"!

Rhetoric and Responsibility - Now!?

Paul Kane of WaPo dutifully twists the truth to arrive at what is palatable for the left:

…Speaker Nancy Pelosi choked up…recalling the anti-gay rhetoric in the late 1970s…which culminated in the assassinations of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay S.F. Board of Supervisors member, and Mayor George Moscone.
The killings of Democrats Moscone and Milk by deranged Democrat Dan White had nothing to do with any kind of inflamed rhetoric, anti-gay or otherwise. The theme used here is the same as that which blamed the assassination of JFK by a communist on a ‘climate of hatred’ in Dallas, fueled by – of course - the right wing! As author and consultant Thomas P.M. Barnett recently wrote:

Remember: before Oswald got Kennedy, the climate was clearly encouraged by all manner of right-wing groups…
See Jonah Goldberg’s ‘Liberal Fascism’ for an in depth detailing of this Kennedy assassination phenomenon.

Speaker Pelosi then went the next obligatory step in warning (telegraphing) that the left, including the Palace Guard Media (PGM), intends to see that the right is blamed for any violence that occurs, no matter who the perpetrators or what the motivation. As she said:

Anyone voicing hateful or violent rhetoric, must take responsibility for the results.
Frank Rich of that PGM, NYTimes division, joins in:

It is getting louder each day of the Obama presidency. No one, not even Fox News viewers, can say they weren’t warned.
There can of course be a valid connection made between inflammatory rhetoric and ensuing violence, even if certain connections made by the left are absurd on their face and self serving politically. Some are pushing back and legitimately pointing to the inflammatory rhetoric we have heard and still hear from the left about the right, very notably during the Bush years, that did not cause any qualms in the PGM or among Democrats. However, I’d like to give three examples among many of rhetoric and affiliated actions by Democrats for which a convincing argument can be made that they encouraged, supported and even culminated in violence against - our men and women in uniform.

The Kerry Campaign - 2004

In September of 2004 we were engaged both in an increasingly violent war in Iraq and a domestic election. The previous June, Ayad Allawi was unanimously elected by the Iraqi Governing Council to be the Interim Prime Minister of Iraq, thus receiving the handover of sovereignty from the U.S. Allawi had received what would normally for a Democrat be the closest thing in this world to a Divine mandate – the unanimous endorsement of the 15 nations of the United Nations Security Council!

That September Allawi came to address the U.S. Congress as the head of an allied state in a time of war. Allawi’s people were fighting and dying in the same cause as our troops and Allawi himself (and his family) were in constant extreme danger. Yet a significant number of Democrat Senators and House members boycotted the speech in which Allawi thanked the United States for standing with the Iraqis and for freedom! They were concerned that listening to an ally might help the Bush campaign!

If that weren’t enough for the Democrats to seek to undermine an ally of a fragile but free government (The Poles and Czechs understand this) in a time of war and provide some good PR for Al Qaeda in Iraq, candidate John Kerry’s senior advisor and spokesman Joe Lockhart was quoted saying of Allawi’s speech:

The last thing you want to be seen as is a puppet of the United States, and you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips.
The actions of Democrats followed by the political rhetoric of a high level functionary close to the man who might be the next President certainly gave credence to what were recruiting and propaganda claims being made by Al Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni Insurgency and Muqtada al Sadr – that the Iraqi Interim Government was a puppet of an imperialist America and Iraq was not and would not be free.

Former Vice President Al Gore -2006

In February 2006, former VP and questionable prognosticator Al Gore was paid a sum believed to be well into six figures to speak in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Gore used the occasion to stir up anti-American sentiment. He told his Saudi audience and was quoted in the Middle Eastern media as saying that in the aftermath of the 911 attacks, Arabs were:

…indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa and not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable.
Those claims by Gore were lies, yet these too could certainly promote and feed an atmosphere and climate of anti-American hatred in the Middle East, thereby providing recruiting help to, say, Al Zarqawi! Gore, from a credible position of former VP presented the US as a bigoted anti-Arab country, which country had fought to liberate Arab Kuwait, prevented the slaughter of Shia Arabs in Iraq for well over a decade (No-Fly Zones) and was then fighting for the freedom of all Iraqi Arabs.

Congressman Jack Murtha – 2006

It is common knowledge that Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are close, Murtha having helped Pelosi gained the Speakership. Pelosi then endorsed Murtha to be the Democratic Majority Leader in November 2006, well after Murtha made his inflammatory and false remarks the previous May about the Haditha Marines:

It [Haditha] is as bad as Abu Ghraib, if not worse. (May 2006)
They [the Marines/Military] knew the day after this happened that it was not as they portrayed it. They knew that they (Marines) went into the rooms, they killed the people in the taxi. There was no firing at all. And this comes from the highest authority in the Marine Corps, so there's no question in my mind… (May 2006)
There was no firefight. There was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood… (May 19, 2006)

They actually went into the houses and killed women and children. And there was about twice as many as originally reported by Time… (May 19, 2006)
Of the four Marines that faced charges for the actual deaths in Haditha, three have been exonerated or had the charges dropped. The last one, who might still face court martial, SSgt. Wuterich, is charged with nine counts of voluntary manslaughter. Even if eventually found guilty, voluntary manslaughter is a far cry from cold blooded murder! Within two months of Murtha publicly judging and condemning the Marines before they had a chance to defend themselves or the facts were fully established, Al Qaeda released a video with Adam Gadahn, aka Azzam the American, claiming:

You [American soldiers] know you've already killed enough innocents to make Ghengis Khan recoil in horror and revulsion and that the atrocities you committed at Haditha...represent only a small part of the larger bloodier picture…
That a Democrat Congressman of many years who was routinely described in our media as an expert on the military would make such inflammatory charges of course gave them credence, in the Al Qaeda recruiting ground of the Middle East and even in the Democratic political environs of Illinois.

Lest anyone think that the Gates/Crowley affair was the only time our President took a left ‘politically correct’ position before learning the facts, Senator Barack Obama from a June 28, 2006, interview on Hannity and Colmes being specifically asked about Murtha’s rhetoric:
Alan Colmes: When Jack Murtha talks about civilians being killed in cold blood by troops, is that hurtful to the Democratic Party (Ed note: not harmful to the troops? Is that rhetoric difficult for you to embrace...?...Did Murtha say that in the right way?
Senator Obama: You know, I don't have the exact quotes in front of me. What I know is here is a guy who served our country. I would never second guess John Murtha... I think he's somebody who knows of which he speaks.
If the charge by a Democratic Congressman was good enough for a brilliant Democratic Senator and future President, it must certainly have been good enough to enrage recruits for the purpose of killing our sons and daughters.

Congressman Joe Wilson was rebuked by a resolution of the Democratic Congress for not apologizing to the Congress for shouting “You lie!” at President Obama. Congressman Murtha has resisted years of requests for an apology to the Haditha Marines. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the other Democrats in Congress to be concerned with a Murtha apology for a slanderous accusation made by one of theirs that was a propaganda boon for those who recruited the killers of our young!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama-Paterson: Really All About Hillary?

The Obama-Paterson contretemps will very likely turn out to be a blunder, but it was not necessarilly stupidity. This could be cold political deal making between Obama and likely not just Hillary, but the Clinton team of Hill and Bill. Both sides have an interest in Paterson declining to run and for Obama that has little or nothing to do with the Congressional races.

When the NYTimes reported that the discussions between Obama’s people and the Governor’s office ‘were intended to be confidential’, Ed Morrissey at HotAir erupted with:

The White House idea of “confidential” must be “leaking to everyone who has a
pen and a piece of paper…”
The leaking could be intentional and meant to frame the story by making it about concern for Congressional seats in the next election, and if so, so far that has worked. That’s the subterfuge! RNC Chair Michael Steele, in his snort worthy playing of the race card against Obama comes very close to the nub when he points out the NJ Governor Corzine, also up for reelection is just about as low in the polls as Paterson but is not being asked to step aside.

Here is, quite possibly, ‘The Deal’:

Hillary is getting out of the Obama administration. She has been treated badly as Secretary of State and is wise enough to recognize Obama’s foreign policy as a slow motion train wreck in process. She also realizes that she will be blamed by Obama’s allies and much of the media for anything that threatens the Obama image.

She is not going to retire from politics and therefore needs a career move and the best bet is Governor of NY. However, that may be a tough race even if nominated by her party if she faces Rudy Giuliani in the general election. She could need every bit of the NY Democrat coalition to win – including African-Americans. That coalition might be fractured if her second electoral contest in two years is once again Hillary against, well, the Black guy! She may beat Paterson for the nomination only to lose the election. Hence, get Obama to move Paterson aside without a primary fight.

For Obama, the resignation of his Secretary of State eight or nine months into his administration would not be advantageous and might cause some unwanted scrutiny and serious criticism of his, not her, foreign policy. There may be pieces written in even otherwise Obama-friendly journals that contain some combination of ‘foreign policy’, ‘smart diplomacy’, ‘naïve’ and ‘shambles’ in the same paragraph. But if Hillary is not seen as jumping into the life boat because of the increasingly steep slant of the Titanic’s deck but because, say, in these trying economic times she believes she has to help her beloved fellow New Yorkers, Obama can possibly escape or largely mitigate the embarrassment. Further, if Hillary left and the speculation was focused on her treatment in the Obama administration, whither those Hillary voters when Obama runs for reelection?

This may well be a behinds the scenes deal, and I believe Paterson might know that and resents it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

President Obama and Gosh, More Talking!

The President’s whirlwind tour of the Sunday talks is going kind of as expected.

On “The Week” with George Stephanopoulos there was this exchange:

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about the funding for ACORN?
OBAMA: You know, if -- frankly, it's not really something I've followed closely. I didn't even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Both the Senate and the House have voted to cut it off.
OBAMA: You know, what I know is, is that what I saw on that video was certainly inappropriate and deserves to be investigated.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're not committing to -- to cut off the federal funding?
OBAMA: George, this is not the biggest issue facing the country. It's not something I'm paying a lot of attention to.
It would have been nice if George followed up with 'investigated by your Justice Department?'.

President-elect Obama promised:

We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way.
Yet he didn't know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of what he called 'federal money' but many of us prefer to call 'our money'! Hasn’t the President been promising that he can pay for his health care reform in large part by rooting out corruption and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid? Wouldn’t rooting out fraud and corruption that negatively impacts the federal budget in any respect be a priority, even if it is fraud and corruption perpetrated a political ally like ACORN? Might it help demonstrate that he actually can and will root out such?

During the campaign, candidate Obama said that a President should be able to multitask. Of course, President Obama can do so. Even as he was working tirelessly to pass health care reform he still found the time to pay attention to Poland! The President has used this ‘not the biggest issue facing the country’ dodge before when he has wanted to avoid an issue, yet he can discuss the serious issue of World Series prospects on “Meet the Press” on the same day!

Oh, and he is African-American! Must observe the proprieties and not disappoint Maureen Dowd!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Obama’s Real Van Jones Problem

As late Friday’s have historically served as document dumps for the White House, we now have late Saturday serving as a czar dump. Van Jones is out, and with his resignation the Obama White House hopes to move past the matter. Byron York noted the recent past, giving the Obama administration justification for the hope that the path forward will be made smooth by many in media.

Of all that has come to light in just a few days about Van Jones, I believe the most damaging to President Obama would have been Jones’ association with and support of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Mumia has spent years on death row, convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

Jones is not only a Mumia supporter but produced and appeared on a music CD with Mumia. For a taste of what that contained (courtesy of Verum Serum), at 4:40 we hear Jones say:

“We have this now global struggle against the U.S. led security apparatus and military agenda that impacts people here and impacts people around the world and we have to see our problems as linked.”

I have thought for a while that a considerable catalyst to President Obama’s precipitous slide even presaging the health care imbroglio was the Henry Louis Gates - Sgt. Crowley affair, wherein before knowing the facts of the matter, President Obama sided publicly with the arrogant and class conscious Gates against the decent and professional cop, Crowley. The blush was off the rose on Obama’s post racialism with that, leading, I believe, to many who had had “hope” being, well, disappointed and feeling tricked.

At the time of the Gates-Crowley affair it was missed by the media (of course) and the Senate (which doesn’t have to advise and consent on czars) that a high level administration appointee was a supporter and collaborator with a convicted cop killer! Had that been known at the time, it might have indicated a certain pattern of thought.

The Obama administration is hoping that the Van Jones story dies out totally before the Mumia connection becomes generally known, and well they should. The media is already obliging, as a search on Google News shows not one single major media outlet connecting Van Jones to Mumia.

Van Jones and the Annenberg Challenge

"If one asks what does President Obama’s Green Jobs czar Van Jones (assuming he still holds the position as of this being read) and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) have to do with each other, the answer is both nothing and everything. Jones was not a part of CAC, but in the history of Barack Obama’s association with and leadership of CAC we see exactly why Van Jones was made an unconfirmed czar overseeing the expenditure of $30 billion dollars of the people’s money as we also see the active hand of President Obama."

Read the rest at The American Thinker.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Psychophant - term coined by Bob Owens of...

...Confederate Yankee, to whit:

Psychophant: an ideologically servile person who avoids an
uncomfortable reality to maintain a logically untenable position.

That'll work!

Friday, May 15, 2009

An IVAW Member's Resignation Letter... must reading at This Ain't Hell for a look inside the organization. For those who have followed IVAW, no real surprises, but important verifiaction. That includes the actually unsurprising fact that Camilo Mejia advised our very own Army Sgt, Selena Coppa that:

because of her love for things such as -The United States Constitution, The American Flag, and Patriotism- that she should consider leaving the organization because, in the words of Camilo, “IVAW is really not that place.”

For those who don't know the history, Army Sgt was the one member of IVAW that a slew of the organization's critics respected as an honest and sincere (if terribly confused and horribly wrong) advocate for things we strongly disagreed with. She dealt squarely with all of us, including the millbloggers at WSI II, Jonn Lilyea, Rurik and TSO. Point of fact, it was in discussions with Army Sgt that I broached the subject of millbloggers and bloggers attending WSI II, and she ran with it.

I found it interesting that one of the things that rankled Kris Goldsmith and other actual Iraq and Afghanistan vets in and outside of IVAW is that one needn't be an actual veteran of either Iraq or Afghanistan to be a member and intentionally portrayed as a such a veteran. I pointed out that anomaly in the organization's name and policy long ago to the surprise of quite a few.

This Ain't Hell continues to do outstanding work!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jesse Macbeth 2.0

Remember all that vetting the IVAW did of their members prior to Winter Soldier and after the Jesse MacBeth fraud was outted? Uhuh!

Jonn Lilyea at This Ain't Hell e-mails this tip:

An escaped mental patient rose to prominence in the anti-war movement in Colorado until he was taken down by Denver FBI agents. His affiliations include, but are not limited to, Iraq Veterans Against the War and VoteVets. He endorsed anti-war Congressman Jared Polis and celebrated the 5th Anniversary of "Mission Accomplished" with Polis.

Read the whole story, and thanks Jonn!

And as with one at IVAW had any suspicions????? Same for VoteVets?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Be Forewarned....

...that if you follow this link to This Ain't Hell and watch the video, that you will need Kleenex, even the tough ones among you, and be sure your doctor has advised that you are healthy enough to have your heart swell immeasurably with pride that we are blessed to have among us men like 101st Airborne's Lt. Brian Brennan.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Moral Colossus' Expedient Exceptions

The retirement of Justice Souter and hence President Obama’s opportunity to select a new Supreme Court Justice will invariably rekindle discussion of abortion, some of that in moral terms. This may happen just as Obama has been moralizing about what he terms “torture” during the Bush administration. In that posture of Obama’s there is more than a whiff of the attitude of the Pharisee from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 18, who thanked God in his puffed-up self-righteousness that he was not like other men, or in Obama’s case not like one man, George W. Bush.

The President considers the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the creator of the 911 attack plot (in photo) and two other Al Qaeda members to have been torture “inconsistent with our values and who we are”. He takes that position knowing that the waterboarding was restricted to only these three men, executed under strict guidelines and only done because there were grounds to believe they had information about planned attacks on Americas, which turned out to be entirely accurate. The interrogations of these men went to the level of harshness they did because of the moral imperative to save the lives of innocent people. Remember that!

As a legislator in both Illinois and the U.S. Senate Obama was a consistent and even ardent supporter of abortion rights. Candidate Obama allowed that the states could restrict late term abortions but only if they allowed exception for the threat to the life and health of the mother. In Illinois and in the Senate he voted against bans on partial birth abortions, the procedure that the late Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan opposed on the grounds that it was “just too close to infanticide”. There has been testimony before Congress that it is more than close to that.
In debate with John McCain, candidate Obama explained his vote against the partial birth abortion ban was for the same reason, that there was not an exception to the ban for the sake of the health of the mother. When candidate Obama was asked by Rick Warren at what point did a baby acquire human rights, Obama famously answered with a moral dodge:

“… whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity … is above my pay grade.”

Yet even for Obama there can be no doubt that the objects of those late term abortions were indeed human life and human beings. Infants have been born in the 21st week of gestation and have survived, and yet late term abortions are performed up to and possibly even beyond the 37th week. Partial birth abortions are most commonly performed from the 20th to 24th week, but many much later. No concept of science or of even magic claims that such “fetuses” only become living human beings when they pass through the birth canal. Obama knows this, and that is why he could allow restriction on late term abortion but allows in his mind a morally permissible exception when the mother’s life or even her health were at stake.

Therefore the reasoning of our moral colossus is that even if it were done in the hope of preventing the planned slaughter of hundreds or even thousands of innocents by people who had already planned and done exactly that, waterboarding a Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was a moral transgression not to be countenanced. This was even so if the man was advised that he would not die, did not suffer any permanent physical harm and still enjoys his three hots and a cot at the expense of those taxpayers his 911 plan did not eliminate from the rolls. Some sniff that the waterboarding may have done the man permanent psychological damage but one truly has to wonder how one defines psychological damage to a mind that devised a plot to send dozens of men to suicidal deaths in which they killed thousands of innocent strangers!

Yet the same Obama finds it entirely justified, moral and not in opposition to “our values and who we are” as Americans to permit a procedure that delivers a living, viable and entirely innocent human being feet first up to the head, which remains in the mother, at which point a scissors is inserted into the skull and expanded to create an opening into which a hose is inserted to suck out the brains! This is because the intent is to save the health or life of the mother.

Whatever the processes of thought that compel Obama to such decisions are, adhesion to serious, well developed and cohesive moral values are not critical or even necessarily present. This is base political expediency for which Obama wants to be regarded as a paragon of moral virtue! There is the very real prospect that in a time when we do indeed face real and murderous enemies we have a President whose thinking is far more attuned to protecting his image than the innocent lives of others.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

What Bill Whittle does to Jon Stewart...

...may constitute torture, or at least cruel and unusual punishment. Stewart can at times be a very funny man, but any idea that he might have an analytical mind or be a serious thinker as opposed to someone whose "smarts" cred is limited to spouting ignorant liberal/left bromides is untenable after Whittle is finished with his history lesson.

This seventeen minute video on PajamasTV is devastating to Stewart's moronic and historically illiterate charge that President Harry Truman is a war criminal for the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan in WWII. Watch it all. It's worth it. There is information here that few Amnericans know, and I didn't know.

By the way, if you've never read Whittle's "42nd Boyd and the Big Picture" that I linked as a "MUST READ" long ago, do so now, or perhaps forever wonder what those folks mean when they say "Ooda loop"!