Archive for March, 2011

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

Obama spokesman says CEO of Walmart is “only one guy”, inflation predictions don’t matter.

Wow. What a bunch of geniuses in the White House!

White House spokesman Jay Carney today dismissed a statement from WalMart’s CEO that price-boosting inflation is advancing up from producers to consumers.

“In terms of one person’s prediction about inflation, I’ve don’t have a response to that,” he told reporters assembled for the daily press briefing.

But WalMart’s CEO, Bill Simon, is tracking the exact price of everything he sells – from avocados to zucchini, autoparts to zippers – and he’s got prices from farms and factories, middlemen and resellers, truckers and shippers. The company is “seeing cost increases starting to come through at a pretty rapid rate,” he told USA Today’s reporters on Wednesday.

I don’t suppose the CEO of Walmart would know more about price trends than you or me or the fellow behind the tree. He’s just a guy.

It really is getting to be time to post Carter era recipes. Tuna broccoli casserole anyone? I’ll give you the ingredients and we’ll see if you can figure it out:

1 can of tuna fish
small onion
1 T butter
flour
milk
broccoli

Mmmmm. (Hey, remember those kids singing: Barack Hussein Obama, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm? Maybe they were thinking about Tuna-Broccoli Casserole?

- Aggie

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No Abortions Based on Race

Oh, thank goodness!

Isn’t it appalling to think in this day and age that people would kill an unborn child based on its race?

Well, not in Arizona:

Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona has signed what is likely the first legislation in the nation to ban abortions over ethnicity.

The law makes it a Class 3 felony to knowingly perform or provide financing for an abortion sought because of the race or sex of the fetus or a parent’s race.

Supporters said the measure is an important statement against discrimination and for life.

I don’t see how that can be argued. But wouldn’t you know, some people tried:

Critics said there’s no evidence that selective abortions occur in Arizona, and doctors could face jail time if they lose a newly required affidavit that an abortion isn’t for selection purposes.

Planned Parenthood of Arizona said it condemns Brewer’s decision to sign the bill.

Well, if there’s no evidence… what are you worried about?

Actually, I’m not sure I approve, either. If there are no abortions based on race in Arizona, then it’s an abuse of the legislative process to pass such a law. It’s like hate crime legislation—acting on that hate is already illegal, and just thinking hateful thoughts ought never be.

But if there is such evidence of race-based abortions—as there is in New York City, where the abortion of black babies rises to the level of genocide—then how can anyone support it? Do you also support sex-based abortions?

What kind of monsters are you?

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New Black Panthers 1, Crackers 0

See, your problem was holding a sign for your Tea Party candidate of choice within 100 feet of a polling place. Verboten.

Carrying a weapon while wearing paramilitary gear and a beret within 10 feet: kosher.

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has concluded an investigation finding that politics played no role in the handling of the New Black Panther Party case, which sparked a racially charged political fight.

After reviewing thousands of pages of internal e-mails and notes and conducting 44 interviews with department staff members, the OPR reported that “department attorneys did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment” and that the voter-intimidation case against the Panthers was dismissed on “a good faith assessment of the law” and “not influenced by the race of the defendants.”

Father, after a lengthy review by the Washington Family Office of Professional Responsibility, I have fairly concluded that I did not chop down the cherry tree. The tree fell on its own after a good faith assessment.

But how could anyone think politics played a role?

“When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia, which was inappropriate….to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people,” said Holder, an African American.

I for one am relieved that King Shmeer Shabazz (he on the left, above) is free to carry on his message of love and tolerance.

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FASCIST STATE!!!

Not Wisconsin, silly. They have a judge there who keeps trying to get her restraining order right.

No, New York:

Some public areas in New York’s Capitol have been closed in anticipation of protests as the Legislature tries to adopt a state budget with a rare spending cut. The Senate lobby and one of two public galleries are closed.

The Senate majority says the gallery was closed because its metal detector had broken down. The Assembly is closing off its upper public gallery. The Democratic majority says that’s to consolidate limited security staff. The rear of the chamber will be open to the public.

Protesters worked out a plan with state police for what they billed as a “Wisconsin-type protest” at the Capitol. They’ll include teachers, other public employees, New York City renters, health care advocates and public college employees and students facing funding cuts for their programs.

Protest leader Ron Deutsch says the limited access is a sad state of affairs for a democracy.

No, Ron, that’s just representative government in action. The sad state of affairs is the deafening silence from the press on this move. Scott Walker kept the capitol open, much to his disfavor. Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic majority shut Albany down like it’s East Berlin, and all I hear is crickets.

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Chutzpah.

Hamas: Sisi kidnapping a violation of international law!

Hamas, the terrorist group that kidnapped Gilad Shalit roughly four years ago, is upset because Israel kidnapped someone? Get out!

Noam Schalit speaks with engineer’s wife, asks her to pressure Hamas for Gilad’s release; Sisi denies any connection to Schalit affair, Hamas.

Hamas on Thursday condemned the imprisonment and capture of Palestinian engineer Dirar Abu Sisi, calling it a violation of international law.

That’s what it takes to upset them? Well, I say to Israel: Kidnap, baby kidnap! Maybe you can get them to free Schalit.

- Aggie

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What is It?

A Twinkie with sprinkles?

Christmas lights?

An early Seurat?

It’s Lebanon!

The IDF has released an aerial map of Lebanon revealing the location of some 1,000 different military sites and facilities. The map was published on Wednesday in the Washington Post.

According to the map, which the newspaper said it obtained from the Israeli military, Hezbollah has around 550 underground bunkers throughout Lebanon, around 300 surveillance sites and another 100 or so additional installations.

The bunkers are likely being used by Hezbollah as command posts as well as storage centers for the large amounts of weaponry Syria and Iran have transferred to Lebanon since the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

According to the map, most of the facilities are located in southern Lebanon where Hezbollah stores most of its short and medium-range rockets inside close to 200 different villages. Hezbollah is believed today to have over 40,000 rockets and missiles, including several hundred longrange missiles that can hit targets in Tel Aviv with superior accuracy.

The decision to leak the map to the Washington Post comes several months after the IDF divulged classified intelligence information on the southern Lebanese village of El-Khiam in the summer. During a briefing then to the Israeli media, the IDF revealed satellite footage of the village, located north of Metulla, detailing the exact location of Hezbollah arms caches and command posts.

Maybe you’re not surprised (God knows, I’m not), but you should be disappointed. You see, the United Nations was supposed to be taking care of this sort of thing. In UN Resolution 1701, there was supposed to be… well, here:

The Resolution demands:

Full cessation of hostilities (OP1)

Israel to withdraw all of its forces from Lebanon in parallel with Lebanese and UNIFIL soldiers deploying throughout the South (OP2)

Hezbollah to be disarmed (OP3)

Full control of Lebanon by the government of Lebanon (OP3)

No paramilitary forces, including (and implying) Hezbollah, will be south of the Litani River (OP8).

The Resolution at the same time also emphasizes:
The need to address urgently the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers, that have given rise to the current crisis.

Well, OP1 and OP2 were accomplished straight away. OP3 not so much. How about OP8?

Compare the map of the Litani River in Lebanon with the map of Hezbollah’s apparently not-so-disarmed bunkers, monitor sights, and facilities at the top. Look like the government of Lebanon is in control? It is if you concede that Hezbollah (Party of God) is the government of Lebanon.

Question for the House: Why are so many UN resolutions judenrein in effect if not intent? Why did Israel leave Lebanon as required by resolution 1701, but Hezbollah didn’t—didn’t leave, didn’t cede control, didn’t disarm? Why must Jews withdraw from Judea and Samaria when resolution 242 made no such demand? Why can’t Jews live in Gaza if they want to?

And why does the UN just happen to “fail” at keeping the Arabs to their end of the deal? A more cynical mind than mine might suspect the “failure” was more intentional than accidental. Such a mind would have ample evidence, not least the UN’s persistent objections to Israeli fly-overs. Rather than trying to keep the peace, such a mind might think, the UN was trying to keep the Party of God’s secret.

I mean, how cynical can you get?

Oh, and speaking of cynical:

The second map, a close-up of the southern Lebanese village of el Khiam, includes symbols indicating hospitals and homes. The underground sites appear to be situated throughout the populated village.

Just like Hamass in Gaza. Go figure!

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Depression Era Home Decorating

Along with helpful cooking tips – beans, potatoes, hot dogs, rice, and onions – we thought you might like to decorate your new apartment kitchen, after having lost your wonderful suburban home to the unemployment situation which was George Bush’s fault.

I think of this as the first entry of the new Obama Home Decor Line, Spring 2011. Use velcro to make a spice rack!

spicerack.jpg

You used your kitchen cabinets to provide heat last winter and now are looking for a good place to store your spices? What could be cheaper and more practical than a few strips of velcro? Who needs cabinets anyway?

For more great ideas, check out There, I Fixed It.

- Aggie

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Vatican: Airstrikes Murdering Libyan Civilians

But that’s ok. Because if a Nobel Laureate and winner of the Transparency Award wants to kill Libyan civilians with taxpayer money, who are we to object? I’m sure the Vatican will rethink its impulsive comments.

ROME – At least 40 civilians have been killed in airstrikes by Western forces on Tripoli, the top Vatican official in the Libyan capital told a Catholic news agency on Thursday citing witnesses.

“The so-called humanitarian raids have killed dozens of civilian victims in some neighborhoods of Tripoli,” said Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli.

Now, in the 1960′s, when Libya expelled her entire remaining Jewish population, (those they hadn’t already expelled or murdered) stealing all property, down to wedding rings and clothing, killing, rampaging, burning, and doubtlessly partying and handing out candies, most of those Jews fled to Italy. So that Vatican knows a thing or two about what can happen to Libyan civilians.

- Aggie

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“War” “Powers” “Act”

If the most opaque president since the last days of Richard Nixon is given an award as the most transparent, then John Lennon was right: nothing is real and nothing to get hung about:

Challenged on whether Obama overstepped his constitutional authority in attacking Libya without congressional approval, Clinton told lawmakers that White House lawyers were OK with it and that Obama has no plans to seek an endorsement from Congress, attendees told POLITICO…

“If they didn’t need congressional authorization here in these circumstances, can you tell me under what circumstances you’d ever need congressional authorization if we’re going into a war? Nobody answered [that] question,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). “The administration and its lawyers believed they had the authority under the War Powers Act.”…

Without a vote, it’s impossible to tell whether a majority of members would support more intense action in Libya, but it’s clear the administration has done little to assuage its critics. Lawmakers expressed skepticism that they’d even be consulted if the administration were to take such action.

“Now he wants people like me to support him,” said one moderate Democrat. “Quite frankly, I can’t.”

Now we know what Obama’s campaign motto, vero possumus, meant: Congress is road kill.

I see dead people:

Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York called Clinton’s response inadequate.

“Briefing Congress is not the same as authorization,” Nadler told reporters. “Briefing is nice, but authorization is required under the law.”

Other legislators expressed frustration.

“I can’t think of a time in our nation’s history where we put our men and women in combat like this without an administration of either party coming to the Congress first,” said Republican Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon.

He repeated a GOP criticism that the administration worked harder to get NATO and Arab League backing for the Libya mission than congressional support.

“If they had time to consult with the Arab League and they had time to consult with NATO, why in the devil didn’t they have time to consult with us?” Walden said.

Davis said the briefing made clear that Congress shouldn’t expect to be asked for authorization in the future.

“The implication was very strong that they saw no need for any authorization at any time regardless of how long this were to continue,” Davis said.

Democratic Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Washington [...] offered some details from the briefing, saying he expected Obama and Gates to use money already budgeted to the Department of Defense this year instead of seeking supplemental funding that would require congressional approval.

“That would be an easier way to do it,” Dicks said. “If he has to get money through (with a supplemental measure), that would set off a lot of debate.”

Just to recap: there was a decent case to be made that some intervention in Libya was justified, but there is no case that Congress and the Constitution should have been excluded from the process. Sorry, none. But that is exactly the Obama/Clinton argument.

Impeachment proceedings, anyone?

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The AP Is Not Impressed With The New, Awesome, Transparency Practiced By Dufus and Co.

President Dufus (or is it Doofus?) has yet to impress the MSM with his brand new transparency award (see earlier post).

Incidentally, the urban dictionary says that “A kindly way of saying that one is stupid. Certainly much nicer than calling someone a fuckwit, anyway.” I provide the definition because some of our readers think it is mean to call The War Monger In Chief a dufus. But I do it out of kindness. So it’s ok.

On to the perturbed media:

One government agency is still trying to find correspondence for a political reporter between federal officials there and prospective presidential candidates — from the 2008 election. Another censored 194 pages of internal e-mails about President Barack Obama’s new rules on open government. Another agreed to hand over records of travel expenses then changed its mind and refused to turn them over.

Two years after Obama pledged to reverse the Bush administration’s penchant for secrecy and comply more closely with the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, The Associated Press grapples with many of the same frustrating roadblocks and head-scratching inconsistencies. Several recent examples are described below. Exasperating delays and denials also affect ordinary citizens, researchers and businesses, and they frustrate the administration’s goal to be the most transparent in history.

As BTL pointed out, yesterday Obama accepted his Transparency Award in a secret, closed ceremony. The media? Invitation lost in the mail.

- Aggie

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Oh No, He Didn’t!

Oh, but he did:

President Obama finally and quietly accepted his “transparency” award from the open government community this week — in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House on Monday.

The secret presentation happened almost two weeks after the White House inexplicably postponed the ceremony, which was expected to be open to the press pool.

This time, Obama met quietly in the Oval Office with Gary Bass of OMB Watch, Tom Blanton of the National Security Archive, Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight, Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Patrice McDermott of OpenTheGovernment.org, without disclosing the meeting on his public schedule or letting photographers or print reporters into the room.

What about the pool reporter locked in the broom closet? Was he there?

“Our understanding going into the meeting was that it would have a pool photographer and a print reporter, and it turned out to be a private meeting,” Bass told POLITICO. “He was so on point, so on target in the conversation with us, it is baffling why he would not want that message to be more broadly heard by reporters and the public interest community and the public generally.”

“I don’t feel moved today to say ‘thank you, Mr. President,’” said Steve Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. But he said he understands the award to be “aspirational,” in recognition of Obama’s potential to do more on the transparency front.

“And in that sense, one could say it resembles the award at the Nobel Peace Prize,” Aftergood said. “It’s not because Obama brought peace to anyone but because people hoped he would be a force for good in the world, and maybe that’s the way to understand this award.”

It’s not because Obama has brought anyone peace or transparency (or economic recovery, or up to date on their mortgages, or ended Islamic hatred and terrorism, or closed Gitmo, or lowered the tides), it’s that we Hope he will. Thank you for putting liberal dementia so succinctly.

After his Nobel and now the transparency award, I expect President Obama next to be named Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He’s no less qualified.

Oh, and speaking of the president’s public schedule, I went looking for evidence that he’s still playing golf on the weekends. His public schedule was blank for both last Saturday and Sunday.

Hmm. Transparency strikes again!

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Progressives Should Support Israel

Will wonders never cease? Yesterday we heard from British Muslims for Israel; today the Huffington Post is all about how Progessives should support Israel.

Be still my heart.

The progressive movement has been tarred by a vocal minority that seeks to criticize Israel at every opportunity. It’s time for the progressive community to stand up and show its support for Israel.

Israel is a progressive’s dream: “Universal education, universal health care, equal rights, minority rights protections, strong activist courts, and gays and lesbians openly serving in the military.” As progressives, we should be outraged by the way the Arabs, including the Palestinians, treat women, gays and other minorities. We should be outraged that the Palestinians demand that no Jews should be allowed to live in the West Bank, even as over one million Palestinians live within pre-1967 Israel. We should be outraged by the beheadings and honor killings. Israel is not perfect, but Israel holds itself to its own standards, to progressive standards.

Israel is accused by some of apartheid. Yet Arab Israelis “can be found on the Supreme Court, in the Knesset (parliament), in ambassadorial positions, as senior officers in the police and army, as mayors, as deputy-speakers of the Knesset and even as government ministers and deputy ministers. Prominent Arab Israelis can be found in almost every sphere of Israeli life, including in the medical fields, media and playing on Israel’s national soccer team.” Whatever an apartheid state is, it’s not Israel.

That’s all well and good, but what about the “occupation”? What about ending the conflict between Israel and its neighbors? Progressives are on the side of peace. So is Israel. There would be no “occupation” if Jordan had not attacked Israel in 1967, and there would be no “occupation” if Palestinian leadership had accepted either of Israel’s offers in the last decade to withdraw from nearly all of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

If Palestinian leadership is so upset about the “occupation,” if Palestinian leadership is sincere about its concern for its people, why did it twice in the past decade reject the opportunity to establish a state on the West Bank?

Israel’s entire history is an unending willingness to trade land for the hope of peace despite Arab intransigence and Arab unwillingness to partner with Israel for peace.

It is very detailed. Read it all.

I gotta tell you though, the “Progressives” were out in force in Boston today, boycotting Israeli products. I responded with a full grocery cart of Israeli products. But they are scary, creepy people.

- Aggie

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