Archive for June, 2010

Governor Of Arizona Takes On Obama

Wow. She’s really angry.

- Aggie

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Christopher Hitchens Has Cancer

Just when I think I get Christopher Hitchens, I’ve lost him again. I think if I stick with “Trotskyist”, I’ll never be far off.

But he’s outed himself as suffering from esophageal cancer, and I find that very sad. Whatever else about Hitch, he has a wicked sense of humor—he’s just wicked, really, in a way that I admire, respect, even love.

I’ve often found myself just shrugging at some of his writings and sayings: it’s just Hitch being Hitch. But he’s brilliant. An evil genius, but a genius nevertheless.

I once attended an event where Bill Clinton was speaking (post-presidency), and noticed that Hitchens was a few rows in front of me. (There were other celebs, but I can’t remember them, and you’ll soon see why.) Clinton was maybe fifteen minutes into his speech when Hitch ostentatiously rose from his seat, shuffled down the row to the aisle, then walked down the aisle to the front of the auditorium, took a right turn in front of the podium where Clinton stood, and walked out the Exit door. The Secret Servicemen’s eyes followed him every step if the way, but he looked liked he cared about a smoke more than whatever nonsense Clinton was droning on about. He’s been a hero ever since. (And I still liked Clinton then!)

I’m over fifty, but I still like heroes. Pedro Martinez is a hero—flawed, but a hero. Mark Steyn is a hero, a hero without flaws. Christopher Hitchens is a hero—very much flawed—but I would hate to lose him. Please get well.

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The Meaning Of Is… Is… That Looks Like My Handwriting

Slick Elena

Slick Elena? Kagan evades questions on abortion memo
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
06/30/10 12:50 PM EDT
Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday, June 30, 2010, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on her nomination. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Before the Senate Judiciary Committee a short time ago, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan appeared reluctant to admit that she wrote a 1996 Clinton White House memo aimed at altering a key medical group’s opinion of whether partial birth abortion is medically necessary. The memo, reported yesterday by National Review, has caused a stir in conservative circles because it appeared that Kagan, then a White House policy aide, put words in the medical group’s mouth in order to soften its position on the controversial procedure. But when Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch brought the subject up with Kagan, he had a hard time getting her to admit that she did, in fact, write the document in question.

“Did you write that memo?” Hatch asked.

“Senator, with respect,” Kagan began, “I don’t think that that’s what happened — ”

“Did you write that memo?”

“I’m sorry — the memo which is?”

“The memo that caused them to go back to the language of ‘medically necessary,’ which was the big issue to begin with — ”

“Yes, well, I’ve seen the document — ”

“But did you write it?”

“The document is certainly in my handwriting.”

Transparency in action. Kind of makes you proud, doesn’t it?

- Aggie

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Pelosiville

Without even asking, I rip this little ditty from the comments section, courtesy of reader Buck O’Fama. And unlike that tw*t, Elvis Costello, this Irishman won’t boycott Israel, I’ll wager!

Pelosiville (sung to the tune of “Margaritaville”)
© Buck O’Fama 2008/9

The boom, it was ending
So government spending
Was gonna keep us all from losing our homes.
The House Speaker b*tch
Pulled bait and switch
And piled on the pork right up to the Dome!

Wastin’ away down here in Pelosiville
Hopin’ to catch some government cheese
Some people say that there’s a woman to blame
I know – her name is Pelosi!

I know the reason
She pulled off this fleecin’ -
To pay back her pals and cronies and hacks.
But soon the deflation
Will engulf the nation
Now that’s what I call a stab in the back.

Wastin’ away down here in Pelosiville
Cardboard helps stave off the freeze.
Some people say that there’s a woman to blame
I know – her name is Pelosi!

A bunch of us huddle
Near fires and puddles
Our jobs drying up and blowing away.
But thanks to Pelosi
The Porkulus will see
That more people join us every day!

Wastin’ away down here in Pelosiville
She spent it all on condoms and trees.
Some people say that there’s a woman to blame
I know – her name is Pelosi!

Damn it, where’s my parrot head?

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Worst President Ever

Funny and true

Financial guy unloads, absolutely unloads on Obama. I couldn’t embed it so please go to the link and watch. No liquids in your mouth while watching, please. We’re tired of emails asking us to come clean your monitors.

- Aggie

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The Judge Did The Right Thing

Despite the fact that the Obama administration worked to send him to certain death

The son of a founder of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas is to be granted asylum in the US, a judge has ruled.

Mosab Hassan Yousef said he became a spy for Israel’s intelligence service and converted to Christianity before moving to California in 2007.

He went public earlier this year when he published his memoir called Son of Hamas.

Mr Yousef argued he would be killed if he was deported to the Palestinian territories.

Judge Rico Bartolomei ruled that Mr Yousef will be allowed to remain in the US pending a routine background check, Associated Press news agency said.

The ruling came after the US government dropped its objections to Mosab Hassan Yousef’s asylum request, which was initially rejected last year.

It is not clear why the US Department for Homeland Security overturned its previous objections to the request.

Let me clear up the mystery for the BBC. There was too much information about who Mr. Yousef is and what he did to impede the terrorists of Hamas. Despite the fact that the Obama administration worked to get him killed, conservative media, bloggers, and word of mouth protected him. It didn’t hurt that James Woolsey, former head of the CIA, spoke out on his behalf. Your readers might want to know this, by the way. I also think that it is likely that Obama didn’t want unpleasant comparisons to his Auntie Zetunie, who is happily ensconced in public housing in Boston, after winning her case in court. She did not have a threat of any kind to her life. Talk shows would have had a ball discussing that with callers.

- Aggie

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ObamaEconomy

He bought it but we paid for it.

U.S. stocks staggered to the end of a dismal second quarter on Wednesday in another low volume session as investors found little reason to take on risk after conflicting economic data.

Wednesday’s session ended like many during the quarter, with a late-day selloff as buying interest waned and investors sold underperforming stocks in the worst quarter since the market meltdown triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

“Just pushing all the garbage off the side of the ship,” Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Equity Markets in Jersey City, New Jersey, said of the late sell-off.

“If there was more of a lift, they would have been able to sell these things a little higher up, and there wouldn’t have been this kind of end-of-day pressure.”

Is this the worst administration in modern times? Given that Bush was routinely called stupid, malevolent, a moron, etc., isn’t it fair to point out that Obama is stupider, more malevolent, and more of a moron? Yes. It. Is.

- Aggie

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What Crap.

Journalists need to get a life.

The first six months of the new decade have been anything but boring as we’ve witnessed events that may forever change the face of free-market capitalism. We traversed the depths of despair and the height of hope and the world is on edge as we ready for the back nine.

This is what passes for writing? Financial writing?

- Aggie

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For the Record

Really, one little missile: it hardly seems worth mentioning. Even one that did damage:

Heavy material damage was caused by the rocket. Eight Qassam rockets have been fired at Israel in the last month.

On Wednesday morning (June 30), a Qassam rocket hit a building in the Sdot Negev Regional Council. No injuries were reported, but heavy material damage was caused by the rocket. A Color Red alert siren had been sounded prior to the hit. This is the eighth Qassam rocket fired at Israeli territory during the past months.

In a joint operation of the IDF and the Israel Security Agency on Monday afternoon (June 28) in the northern Gaza Strip, an IAF aircraft hit a terror operative who had fired an anti-tank missile at IDF forces close to the security fence. Direct hits were identified; no harm was caused to IDF forces.

The last long-range fire incident from the Gaza Strip occurred on Thursday (June 24) when a Qassam rocket hit close to a Kibbutz in the Sdot Negev Regional Council. No injuries or material damage were reported in this incident. Earlier the same day, two mortar shells had been fired at the same area, not causing any injuries or damage.

Maybe someone can help me out: what other country suffers from persistent shelling—sometimes more, sometimes less, never nothing—and just takes it, month after month, year after year. To be sure, Operation Eat Lead was an attempt to eliminate the shelling—but Israel was dragged back on its leash by the US, the UN, and everyone else. Blowing up Hamass leaders like Abdel Rantisi and Sheikh Yassin was also intended to modify behavior—and it worked. Hamass went so far underground for a while that they were closer to China than they were to Gaza. But again, Israel called off its dogs.

But mostly Israel just endures it. They hate it, they lose lives and property to it, but they endure it.

Who else does that? Why does Israel do it?

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Happy Days Have Gone Again

You gotta love clear, concise language that makes its point without equivocation:

The administration’s stimulus program has failed. Growth is slow and unemployment remains high. The president, his friends and advisers talk endlessly about the circumstances they inherited as a way of avoiding responsibility for the 18 months for which they are responsible.

But they want new stimulus measures—which is convincing evidence that they too recognize that the earlier measures failed. And so the U.S. was odd-man out at the G-20 meeting over the weekend, continuing to call for more government spending in the face of European resistance.

The contrast with President Reagan’s antirecession and pro-growth measures in 1981 is striking. Reagan reduced marginal and corporate tax rates and slowed the growth of nondefense spending. Recovery began about a year later. After 18 months, the economy grew more than 9% and it continued to expand above trend rates.

What have we been saying—over and over ad nauseam? We knew from ample past experience how to turn the economy around. And, more importantly, how not to. Guess which way President Omoeba chose?

At the cost of trillions of dollars?

At a time when the deficit threatens all?

When other countries are practicing austerity (after all else failed)?

Looked at another way:

But now we come to the binary debate between the pain caucus and the free-lunchism of those who believe governments have great scope left to borrow and borrow, stimulate and stimulate. Both are lousy alternatives. Neither is sustainable; both work against the essential goal here, to restore confidence to private sector investors and employers.

Example: Instead of arguing over deficit spending, how much better if the G-20 governments had left Toronto pledging flatter tax systems? Tax codes everywhere are full of mountains and valleys and shifting loopholes that distort investment, reward gaming, and discourage saving. After reform, rates may be lower but revenues higher. Is it a tax cut or tax hike? Who cares?

Likewise, what if the G-20 members had credibly committed to raise the retirement age and shift the co-insurance rate (out-of-pocket share) of their health-care spending under their social security programs? Cutting retirement subsidies might be advertised as “austerity,” but middle-aged and younger workers are kidding themselves now to imagine their promised benefits were worth the paper they’re written on. Expecting to work longer for a retirement that is actually secure rather than chimerical—is this “austerity” or a reason to celebrate?

All this applies to the U.S. too, fig-leafed by the ease with which Washington currently can finance its deficits in a world where investors are seeking the relative safety of the dollar. That won’t last. Right now, America seems poised somewhere along the transition from debt deflation to stagflation, which historians may one day collectively call the “Obama Depression.”

Coming soon: Obamavilles.

This is another great subject for the “ideologue or idiot” debate. Did President Omoeba intentionally sabotage the US economy, or did he blunder into it through blind left-wing partisanship? Before you answer that sabotage does nothing for him, remember my favorite YouTube clip. When in the campaign he was confronted with the fact, the inarguable reality, that cutting capital gains tax rates actually increases revenues, helping everybody, he waved it off, saying it was a question of “fairness”. He would rather see all the boats stranded by a low tide—and its attendant stink—than see a rising tide lift all boats.

That’s both ideologue and idiot, which is where I came in.

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A Good School

This is a story about an incredibly successful inner-city Charter school

There are several examples of this sort of school in various parts of the country. I know of one in Harlem and one in Arkansas. It seems to be an effective model, but there are political pressures against using it more. The teachers unions do not like charter schools, and many Leftists believe that the very long school days and the adherence to “dominant culture norms” are destroying certain sub-cultures. I kid you not.

100 percent of school’s first class college-bound

By SHARON COHEN, AP National Writer Sharon Cohen, Ap National Writer – Mon Jun 28, 1:56 am ET

CHICAGO – For each boy, the new school offered an escape and a chance at a life that seemed beyond reach.

Krishaun Branch was getting D’s, smoking reefer a lot, skipping school twice a week. His mother was too busy working to know what he was doing. He liked to hang out in the streets; having relatives in gangs was his armor.

When a young man came to tell his eighth-grade class about a new high school on Chicago’s South Side, Krishaun wanted no part of it — until he heard students would have laptops. Suddenly, he was on board.

Marlon Marshall was nonchalant about everything, school included. His mother pressed him to go to college, but it seemed like a pipe dream. Sometimes she’d yell at him and his brothers for his bad grades. Once she just cried when she picked up their report cards.

Marlon had heard, too, about the new school. Students would be accepted by lottery so his mediocre grades wouldn’t disqualify him. He thought it was worth a shot.

Marcus Bass figured there just had to be something better for him. Barely a teen, he’d been shot at, robbed a couple of times and had seen terrible things in his housing project. His parents argued constantly; life was chaotic.

He was sold by the recruiter’s description of a “different” high school.

Urban Prep would be a charter high school. It would bring together some 150 boys from some of the poorest, gang-ravaged neighborhoods and try to set them on a new track. They’d have strict rules: A longer school day — by two hours. Two classes of English daily. A uniform with jackets and ties.

Worth a trip to link, but if you’re too busy, I’ll give it away. It has a happy ending. One of the kids describes the structure he experienced: having to study, a curfew, normal stuff. He was just thrilled to have that in his life and was very honestly able to say so. Most kids won’t express that, and may not even be self-aware enough to understand it, but structure is very important. Ideally, parents, neighborhoods, schools and religious organizations can work together to provide it. But when they cannot, kids need schools like Urban Prep.

- Aggie

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If He Eats Like Mama Cass, Why Does He Look Like Karen Carpenter?

Burger summits, beer summits, now “coffee house loopholes”.

Michelle Malkin can handle the serious issues of honesty and transparency in government (or the startling lack thereof); what I want to know is whether we have a bulimic in the White House.


APPEARANCE


REALITY

President Obama is finally uniting the left and the right — in joint opposition to his administration’s chronic sabotage of transparency and public disclosure rules. It won’t be long before liberals disillusioned by Dear Leader’s reveal-as-we-say-not-as-we-conceal policies link arms with me and join in on my 2-year-old chant: Obama lied, transparency died.

Watchdog groups and Republicans on Capitol Hill want an investigation into hundreds of White House meetings with corporate lobbyists at D.C. coffee houses. K Street influence peddlers told The New York Times last week that they’ve met routinely with Team Obama officials over the past 18 months to discuss policy matters — at Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, even on a side lawn — with the express purpose of circumventing the public’s right to know.

Doubtless they were meeting to plan how to get all those bills on line for five days before a vote.

Or maybe not, as Michelle notes:

President Obama broke his transparency pledge with the very first bill he signed into law. On January 29, 2009, the White House announced that the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act had been posted online for review. One problem: Obama had already signed it—in violation of his “sunlight before signing” pledge to post legislation for public comment on the White House website five days before he sealed any deal.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for years fought disclosure of massive donations from foreign governments and corporations who filled her husband’s library and foundation coffers.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis failed to disclose that she was director and treasurer of a union-promoting lobbying group pushing legislation that she was co-sponsoring.

Obama’s nominee for the No. 2 official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, former King County, Wash. Executive Ron Sims, has the distinction of being the most fined government official in his state’s history for suppressing public records from taxpayers.

Eco-czar Carol Browner warned auto industry execs to “put nothing in writing…ever.”

As beloved local scribe, Howie Carr, loves to recite: never write when you can talk, never talk when you can nod, never nod when you can wink. But he ascribes that philosophy to wise guys and pinkie-ringed pols.

And now the White House, apparently.

Good things he’s held firm to his no lobbyists promise! Right…?

But while Michelle Obama is growing vegetables in contaminated soil to feed to inner-city children (what’s a little cadmium as long as they get their leafy greens?), her old man is sneaking out for a Burger King Triple Whopper sandwich (1130 calories, 114% daily allowance of fat), large fries, and a Diet Pepsi.

So how does he maintain his washboard abs? Cigarettes? Corset? Knee pads in the bathroom?

And if he’s getting punked over a burger by Medvedev (who’s running more operatives in America than FedEx and UPS combined), how safe are the lesser lights in this dim administration from Communist influence in such well-know nests of spies like Starbucks? (What else do those people do all day over their Times and laptops but plot the overthrow of the ruling order?)

I should probably end it here, but I say he’s not the Manchurian Candidate, but the Munch, Chew, and Eat (and golf) President. (Yes, BTL, you should have ended it there. Better even not to have started.)

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