Archive for January, 2012

Slow and Contemptuous

That’s a better description of this scandal:

The head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is threatening to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress if he fails to comply with congressional subpoenas for documents.

Holder has until Feb. 9 to comply.

In a four-page letter to Holder, Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., claims the Department of Justice has “misrepresented facts and misled Congress,” which began its investigation of Operation Fast and Furious one year ago.

Issa wrote that Holder’s “actions lead us to conclude that the department is actively engaged in a cover-up” because it refuses to comply with previous subpoenas.

“If the department continues to obstruct the congressional inquiry by not providing documents and information, this committee will have no alternative but to move forward with proceedings to hold you in contempt of Congress,” Issa warned in the letter.

Hey, Fridays only come once a week! There’s only so much incriminating evidence you can dump at one time, you know.

I was just thinking that this story was moving too slow, that the momentum wasn’t there to sustain the outrage. After all, most of the people who were shot to death in this monumental cluster[bleep] were Mexican, so what’s the big deal?

Holder’s got to feel like an outnumbered general, in the grips of a classic pincer movement:

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Issa’s Senate counterpart in the inquiry, said Tuesday that the documents sent to Congress are not even 10 percent of those received at the inspector general’s office but the department has yet to explain why it is “withholding each of those 74,000 pages.”

Grassley, responding to a Democratic minority report out of the committee on Tuesday, suggested that nothing coming from the Justice Department should be taken at face value, especially since Holder initially denied “gunwalking” had occurred but has since admitted to the operation.

“Documents turned over late Friday night indicate (Criminal Division chief Lanny Breuer) was still discussing plans to let guns cross the border with Mexican officials on the same day the department denied to me in writing that ATF would ever let guns walk,” Grassley said.

“He stood mute as this administration fought tooth and nail to keep any of this information from coming out for a year. It will take a lot more than a knee-jerk defense from their political allies in Congress to restore public trust in the leadership of the Justice Department. The American people want to see those who failed to act be held accountable,” he said.

Care to say it with me? Raaaaacist!!!

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Occupiers Just Like Hamass

They love death the way we love life:

A group of Occupy Wall Street protesters disrupted a Right to Life rally and threw condoms on Catholic school girls inside the Rhode Island state capitol building.

Barth Bracy, executive director of Rhode Island Right to Life, said their rally had to be cut short after the Occupiers began screaming and refused to allow a Catholic priest to deliver a prayer.

“This is their idea of civil speech but we believe it’s an outrage,” Bracy told Fox News & Commentary “They started heckling, chanting and blowing whistles. They shouted down a priest.”

Last week’s rally was held inside the rotunda of the state capitol in Providence. Bracy said the Occupiers, along with some pro-choice demonstrators, infiltrated the crowd of some 150 pro-lifers. He said the pro-life crowd was made up of senior citizens, mothers with young children, Cub Scouts, and school kids.

Bracy said one of the most egregious incidents occurred when an Occupier climbed to the third floor balcony and dumped a box of condoms on girls from a Catholic school.

“What kind of individual throw condoms at Catholic school girls,” Bracy asked.

Occupiers, that’s who! They see Catholic school girls, Cub Scouts, young moms, and grandmas and they want blood. Heck, they see anyone this side of a shower and they want blood. I am only surprised that they dumped clean condoms on the girls.

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Can’t Hear the Dog Whistle

Or maybe he just doesn’t listen:

Short-Term Memory Loss

“Let’s never forget: Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same. It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom. No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts.”–President Obama, State of the Union Address, Jan. 24

“On the day I took office, . . . the American auto industry was on the verge of collapse. And some politicians were willing to let it just die. We said no. We believe in the workers of this state.”–Obama, remarks to students in Ann Arbor, Mich., Jan. 27

If Obama delivered a SOTU that consisted only of “My fellow Americans, yadda, yadda, yadda. Thank you, and God bless,” Chris Matthews and his icky ilk would faint, swoon, drool, and pant.

No one takes seriously a single word he says, least of all him.

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Have I Got the Spot for Our Reunion!

Bloodthirstapalooza!

The ownership of the fabled Kennedy home at the family’s Hyannis Port compound is being transferred to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, a move that brings to an end the family’s 84-year ownership of the 21-room house.

The Institute announced this afternoon it had taken over the waterfront homestead and will use it as a study center. It said the transfer ‘’fulfills a promise made by Senator Kennedy to his mother Rose that the home be preserved for charitable use.’’

The $5.5 million property is the centerpiece of the compound, where some of the nation’s most dramatic modern political history took place. The compound also includes other Kennedy homes, including former President John F. Kennedy’s house, which will remain in the family.

Can you say “tax write-off”? I knew that you could.

And since Teddy Institute is on the dole, we all own a piece. Can we have first dibs on July 4th?

We’ll have to play a game of touch football, of course, Aggie and I choosing sides as captains. And the alcohol will have to flow freely. Maybe even rent a couple of hookers, just to get the right ambience.

I’m a little unclear what “dramatic modern political history” took place here—unless concocting Ted’s cover story after abandoning Mary Jo counts. Seriously, what else? They are a family of one president, two senators, and various congressmen. Not bad, but the Bushes come pretty close to matching it—and I don’t hear anybody talking about creating a museum out of Crawford.

Anyhow, Bloodthirstani, book your spot early. Spaces are limited.

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We the People

What’s that s’posed to mean?

[This] is what Juan Williams outrageously claims in his latest column at the Hill today (bold is mine):

Two weeks ago at the Fox News/Wall Street Journal debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., I asked each GOP presidential candidate some pointed questions about the racial politics that will play a big role in the presidential campaign.

Race is always a trigger in politics, but now a third of the nation are people of color — and their numbers are growing. With those minorities solidly in the Democratic camp and behind the first black president, the scene is set for a bonanza of racial politics.

The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message. The code words in this game are “entitlement society” — as used by Mitt Romney — and “poor work ethic” and “food stamp president” — as used by Newt Gingrich. References to a lack of respect for the “Founding Fathers” and the “Constitution” also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core “old-fashioned American values.”

The code also extends to attacks on legal immigrants, always carefully lumped in with illegal immigrants, as people seeking “amnesty” and taking jobs from Americans.

Could Juan Williams be any more racist himself? Isn’t the beauty of our founding documents the universality of their scope and appeal? Why should minorities be excluded? (Yeah, I know, slavery. But that was a different time, and there was a war over the issue. You could read a book.)

I don’t know about recently, but I always heard (and reheard) that white people were the largest recipients of welfare (though perhaps not by percentage). Certainly, if we’re talking about all entitlements, including Social Security and Medicaid, race is meaningless. So, why does Williams find appeals to our national heritage so hostile to, and exclusive of, minorities? Why can’t they share “old-fashioned American values”? I thought they did.

There are certain facts: food stamp use is at a record high (2 1/2 years into “recovery”); the indefinite extension of unemployment benefits has a dampening effect on taking a new job; the combined cost of all “entitlements” has ballooned to unsupportable levels. On these, all economists agree.

And find me one Republican hostile to legal immigrants. Just one. Legal immigrants—those who respect our laws and are patient enough to work through the system—are as rare as Madagascar lemurs, and just as cute.

We all thought Williams was an independent thinker because NPR kicked him off the air and he shot back. But he’s every bit the card-carrier that other liberals are. (And what’s that supposed to mean?!)

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Blow This

Hahahahahaha!!!! Hohohohohoho!!!! Heeheeheehee!!!

Too funny:

Five years after NStar became the first Massachusetts utility to allow customers to buy electricity supplied by a wind farm, its Green program has failed to catch on. Less than 1 percent of the company’s nearly 900,000 customers have enrolled.

The dismal response resembles lackluster participation in similar renewable energy programs offered by other utilities, worrying state officials as they push toward a goal of generating 20 percent of electricity from renewable energy by 2020.

The NStar program has faltered because of the recession and falling fossil fuel prices, which resulted in a greater surcharge for wind energy. Environmental activists are frustrated and question whether utilities have done enough to publicize the programs.

Just take the first two utilities, which are the overwhelming majority of customers. Barely 0.6% use “green” energy (so-called because it costs more). And it’s not for want of trying:

Ed Loechler, an activist from Brookline, knows first-hand the challenge of trying to persuade people to put their money where their environmental ideals might be.

For several years, the Boston University biology professor has been going door to door in his neighborhood to plug the NStar program. When a door opened one night last week, he urged a young man to sign up. “This is the single, simplest way you could cut a lot of carbon dioxide from your household,’’ Loechler said.

But after he explained that enrolling would add between 15 percent and 30 percent to his neighbor’s electric bill, the 22-year-old thanked him for promoting what sounded like a good idea. “But it’s probably too much,’’ the man said.

But I thought renewable energy was cheap, free, plentiful, and freshened breath! No?

See the Milton Friedman clip below. The 22-year-old was no dummy (which is rare for someone of that age!). When offered the choice to save the planet or save even a few bucks, he told Gaia to go [bleep] herself. Odds are that he was an Obama supporter, looking forward to those lower tides The One promised. But just in case, he opted for the coal/oil/nuclear axis over the airy promises of wind power.

The market will not be fooled.

PS: Don’t get me wrong: I would love to get all the energy we need from wind, solar, etc. I’m just not naive enough to think we can wish it into being. I was in France last year, and the legendary countryside was littered with hundred of turbines. Thousands, even. We’re about to build a whole “wind farm” in Nantucket Sound, ruining a seascape as beautiful as any. All to produce a few paltry kilowatts to make ourselves feel better, at prices people don’t want to pay. The only redeeming feature of Cape Wind is that the view of the Kennedy compound and a few other liberal weenies on Martha’s Vineyard will be destroyed. That’s almost enough, believe me.

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Don’t Want To Pay Taxes?

Live in “Palestine”

Why should Palestinians pay taxes to support the government, when you, gentle American and European taxpayer, will take care of the problem?

Under massive pressure, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has suspended his plan to start collecting income taxes as part of a long-term plan to weaning the Palestinian Authority (PA) off foreign aid.

Fayyad had been pushing his taxation plan since last year and made it official in early January, announcing plans to deal with the current financial crisis by doubling the income tax on top earners and forcing companies and other entities to begin paying tax on their operations.

But widespread protests erupted across the West Bank over the plan and when Fayyad met with a group of private sector representatives on Sunday they reportedly told him it was a bad idea.

“To provide an atmosphere of confidence … and partnership to face the financial crisis, [Fayyad] will ask the ministerial council at its next meeting on Tuesday to suspend collection of new taxes,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement, throwing in the glove.

The retreat on taxes is a blow to Fayyad’s much touted state-building efforts, which were the foundation for Palestinians’ bid for statehood recognition by the United Nations. It also means that the PA remains dangerously dependent on foreign donors and taxes collected by Israel.

Is that beautiful or what?

- Aggie

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In Your Dreams, Barry…

- Aggie

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Barack Obama’s Stupidity.

Jonah Goldberg posted this at The Corner on NRO. My thoughts follow.

Of course Phil Donahue is a horse’s ass—everyone gets that. But I do feel he and Milton Friedman are arguing past each other. Friedman is absolutely right that “greed” (or enlightened self-interest) is the motivator that makes people get up off their duffs and earn a buck (or billion). Adam Smith told us that. And he’s also right that free enterprise is the best (really only) system to raise the masses out of poverty.

But Donahue is not wrong to point out that income disparity is a byproduct of capitalism. Not every poor person is poor out of laziness or incompetence; not every tycoon is an economic genius. We all agree that everyone has to pay his “fair share”. That’s the argument should be.

Which is why I never get tired of re-posting this clip:

Taxing for purposes of “fairness” (whatever the [bleep] that is) is so stupid, it’s the Paul Bunyon of stupidity. It’s the B-52 of stupidity. It’s the giant sequoia of stupidity. It’s Barack Obama’s stupidity.

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No Shinto!

This could be a problem for the tourism industry:

Japan’s population is expected to shrink to a third of its current size over the next century, with the average woman living to over 90 within 50 years, a government report said on Monday.

The population is forecast to decline from the current 127.7 million to 86.7 million by 2060 and to tumble again to 42.9 million by 2110 ‘if conditions remain unchanged’, the health and welfare ministry said in the report.

The projections by the ministry’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research forecast that Japanese women would on average have just 1.35 babies, well below the replacement rate, within 50 years.

Get busy, Japanese! I can’t say many of your men are hot, but more than a few of your women are. What’s the problem?

Just when we could use a strong Asian ally to counter China’s growing ambitions, you guys disappear. Literally!

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How To Kill 11 Million People

Ok, everybody needs to watch this. It is about how governments use lies.

- Aggie

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Is This the Little Girl I Buried?

All right, so maybe Saul was right.

While the Taliban may be moderating on the role of women in society (may be), allowing and even encouraging them to go to school, Afghan men in general… not so much:

An Afghan woman has been strangled to death, apparently by her husband, who was upset that she gave birth to a second daughter rather than the son he had hoped for, police said Monday.

It was the latest in a series of grisly examples of subjugation of women that have made headlines in Afghanistan in the past few months — including a 15-year-old tortured and forced into prostitution by in-laws and a female rape victim who was imprisoned for adultery.

The episodes have raised the question of what will happen to the push for women’s rights in Afghanistan as the international presence here shrinks along with the military drawdown. NATO forces are scheduled to pull out by the end of 2014.

In the 10 years since the ouster of the Taliban, great strides have been made for women in Afghanistan, with many attending school, working in offices and even sometimes marching in protests. But abuse and repression of women are still common, particularly in rural areas where women are still unlikely to set foot outside of the house without a burqa robe that covers them from head to toe.

The woman, named Estorai, had warned family members that her husband had repeatedly reproached her for giving birth to a daughter rather than a son and had threatened to kill her if it happened again, said Provincial women’s affairs chief Nadira Ghya, who traveled to Khanabad to deal with the case. Estorai gave birth to her second daughter between two and three months ago, Ghya said. Officials did not have a family name for either Sher Mohammad or Estorai.

Police took the man’s mother into custody because she appears to have collaborated in a plot to kill her daughter-in-law, Habibullah said.

Still, that little girl, orphan though she may be, will get to go to school!

What happens after that, however, there’s no guarantee:

KINGSTON, ONTARIO – A jury on Sunday found an Afghan father, his wife and their son guilty of killing three teenage sisters and a co-wife in what the judge described as “cold-blooded, shameful murders” resulting from a “twisted concept of honor” in a case that shocked and riveted Canadians.

Prosecutors said the defendants allegedly killed the three teenage sisters because they dishonored the family by defying its disciplinarian rules on dress, dating, socializing and using the Internet.

What else is there to do if you’re a teenager? Read? As if!

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