Archive for Hope-n-Change

Terrorist-On-Terrorist Crime

A shame.

A statement in the name of the al-Qaida-linked militant group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility on Saturday for a suicide bombing in the Hezbollah stronghold of southern Beirut that killed at least five people two days ago.

The purported ISIL claim, which also warned of further attacks, came in a statement responding to an offensive against the group by rival forces in northern Syria over the last two days in which dozens of people have been killed.

The statement said the fighting in Syria had been launched at a time when the Islamic State had “breached the borders and penetrated the security system of the Party of Satan in Lebanon” – an ironic reference to Hezbollah, whose name means Party of God in Arabic.

BTL, you’re into sports. Which team should I root for, Hezbollah or al Qaeda? The Party of Satan or The Other Party of Satan? Someone help me out here. Either way, I say we should arm both sides.

Oh, and guess who took over Fallujah?

rejuvenated al-Qaeda-affiliated force asserted control over the western Iraqi city of Fallujah on Friday, raising its flag over government buildings and declaring an Islamic state in one of the most crucial areas that U.S. troops fought to pacify before withdrawing from Iraq two years ago.

The capture of Fallujah came amid an explosion of violence across the western desert province of Anbar in which local tribes, Iraqi security forces and al-Qaeda-affiliated militants have been fighting one another for days in a confusingly chaotic three-way war.

Heckuva job, Barry! The unclenched fist is working for sure!!!

- Aggie

Comments (1)

Pig Pile!

The media notices Obama’s weaknesses

I am giving Vanity Fair our coveted ‘Ya Thinks?™ Award (heck, it used to be the ‘Ya Think?™ Award, but these people are clearly thinking a lot!). Why they seem to have noticed that The Messiah is an arrogant pr***.

When Barack Obama arrived in Washington almost five years ago, the universal assumption was that the young president—who had, after all, won office by exploiting every connective tool of the national social and electoral network—would run his White House in sharp contrast to the bunkered, hunkered-down George W. Bush.

Like so much conventional wisdom, that impression has proved dead wrong. In fact, Obama’s resolute solitude—his isolation and alienation from the other players and power centers of Washington, be they rivals or friends—has emerged as the defining trait of his time in office. He may be the biggest presidential paradox since Thomas Jefferson, the slaveholder who wrote the Declaration of Independence: a community organizer who works alone.

In early 2011, when the president’s most trusted political adviser, David Axelrod, left the White House to return to Chicago to run his re-election campaign, Obama made a surprise appearance at Axelrod’s going-away party in a grand apartment off Dupont Circle on a wintry Saturday night. Clad casually in a black jacket, he spoke warmly, even emotionally, of the aidIne who had done so much to elect him. Then he made his way quickly around a living room full of Cabinet members, other aides, and off-duty reporters, grasping each proffered hand with a single, relentless, repeated greeting: “Gotta go.”

Obama’s self-evident isolation has another effect: It tends to insulate him from engagement in the management of his own administration. The latest round of “what did the president know and when did he know it” on the disastrous rollout of Obamacare and the tapping of German chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone raised troubling questions: Were Obama’s aides too afraid to tell him? Was he too detached to ask? Or both? At the least, such glaring failures cast fresh doubt on Obama’s invariable assurance to those around him in times of trouble: “I got this.”

This is a very long article, a series of anecdotes, really, and all of the anecdotes say the same think. The President is an arrogant … Now, any adult who has watched him starting in 2008 would have picked up on his body language, his obvious discomfort around others, his snide, contemptuous demeanor beneath his long-winded sentences. But most people wouldn’t allow themselves to notice this because it sets up cognitive dissonance: I don’t like Obama. Am I a racist? Yes, you are. He is the Messiah. George Bush was Satan. You must prefer Satan to the Messiah. And so forth. All discourse was silenced. A honest therapist would have said that we were “splitting”, seeing the world in black and white, which we were. For years.

But the media has been thinking harder and harder lately. I wonder if some of them are worried about their own health insurance? Their relationships with their doctors? How else to explain this sudden awareness that Obama is not ready for prime time?

What the heck! Let’s do a couple more anecdotes:

In 2009, in Obama’s first year in office, my wife and I found ourselves trapped in the Blue Room, next to one of the president’s most important early boosters and major fund-raisers, when Obama’s disembodied amplified voice suddenly rang out and the crowd rushed through a doorway to the mansion’s entry hall, blocking our view. The president had paused with his wife, Michelle, on the bottom steps of the Grand Staircase behind a velvet rope to make brief remarks and shake the few hands that could reach him, before retreating back upstairs. “Can you see him?” the graybeard asked as we craned our necks over the crowd. The answer was no. [question: Is this dude a journalist? I looked it up. Yes. And now he's the editor of Vanity Fair. Got that, BTL? The journalists were attending the big donor events. Because they had a crush. And we, the poor American public, don't have health care. - Aggie]

In late September, Obama attended a “dinner” fund-raiser for high donors to the Democratic National Committee at the super-luxe Jefferson Hotel a few blocks from the White House. Each of the two dozen-odd guests had contributed $32,400, the maximum allowed by law. The president’s motorcade left the White House for the hotel at 4:19 p.m. and was back at the White House by 5:25. The price of the encounter: about $540 per donor for each minute of the president’s time—at an hour when the only other people eating dinner in Washington were doing so in nursing homes. How much fun could that be—for anyone?

Well, to be honest, reading about it is fun for me.

- Aggie

Aggie, since you invoked my name, please allow this postscript to your most excellent post. Remember how Obama spoke to the nation after the horrific Islamic-inspired slaughter at Fort Hood. If you’ve never seen this before, gentle readers, please sit. The news networks broke into programming for this Special Report:

If you didn’t know who that was, you’d say he’s mentally ill, psychotic. You’d not be wrong.

Comments

How Bad Is ObamaCare Really?

Worse than we thought…

These columns fought the Affordable Care Act from start to passage, and we’d now like to apologize to our readers. It turns out we weren’t nearly critical enough. The law’s implementation is turning into a fiasco for the ages, and this week’s version is the lawless White House decision to delay the law’s insurance mandate for businesses, though not for individuals.

The employer mandate is central to ObamaCare’s claim of providing universal coverage. Companies with 50 or more “employee equivalents” must pay a $2,000 penalty per full-time employee if they don’t provide government-approved health insurance. The provision was supposed to start in January, and delaying it is like Ford saying its electric car is ready to go, except the electric battery doesn’t work.

WSJ editorial board member Joe Rago on why the White House delayed the ObamaCare employer mandate for a year. Photo credit: Getty Images.

But all of a sudden on Tuesday evening Mark Mazur—you know him as the deputy assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy—published a blog post canceling the insurance reporting rules and tax enforcement until 2015 as Washington began to evacuate for the long Independence Day weekend. Enjoy the holiday, mate.

White House fixer Valerie Jarrett tried to contain the fallout with a separate blog post promising that ObamaCare is otherwise “staying the course.” That’s true only if she’s referring to the carelessness and improvisation that have defined the law so far.

Mr. Mazur cited the “complexity of the requirements” as the reason for the delay. He isn’t talking about business confusion and uncertainty, as damaging as those are. This is probably an admission that Treasury’s information technology isn’t ready to process and cross-check paperwork across the 5.7 million businesses in America, especially the pass-through S-corps and partnerships that file under the individual tax code.

This is more than a typical government snafu. It relates directly to the design of the law, which was thoughtlessly written and rammed through Congress with instructions for the bureaucracy to figure it all out.

And, lo, over eight interim final rules, three final rules, 20 requests for comment, 21 proposed rules, one information collection request, two amendments to the interim final rules, six requests for information and one frequently-asked-questions document, the Administration has created an employer-mandate system that, for example, requires business to track and report every full-time employee’s hours of service on a monthly basis.

The entire article is quite entertaining.

Happy 4th of July, Everybody!

- Aggie

Comments

Military Takeover In Egypt?

It’s looking that way

Egypt’s powerful armed forces issued a virtual ultimatum to Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on Monday, calling on the nation’s feuding politicians to agree on an inclusive roadmap for the country’s future within 48 hours.

A dramatic military statement broadcast on state television declared the nation was in danger after millions of Egyptians took to the streets on Sunday to demand that Morsi quit and the headquarters of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood were ransacked.

“If the demands of the people are not realized within the defined period, it will be incumbent upon (the armed forces)… to announce a road map for the future,” said the statement by chief-of-staff General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. It was followed by patriotic music.

The people had expressed their will with unprecedented clarity in the mass demonstrations and wasting more time would only increase the danger of division and violence, he said.

I just want to point out that the Obama administration and the State Department under Hilary Clinton supported this disaster fully. Aside from the chaos they have helped to bring to the region, we could eventually be looking at hunger, as 80 million Egyptians need tourism and calm in order to feed themselves. Arab Spring indeed.

Furthermore, a Dutch journalist was gang raped in Tahir Square:

Egyptian media reported Sunday that a Dutch journalist was raped by several men in Cairo’s Tahrir Square a few days ago.

Dina Zakaria, a journalist reporting for the “Egypt 25″ news channel affiliated with the January 25 revolution, shared the incident on her Facebook page Sunday: “A Dutch journalist in Tahrir was raped by men who dub themselves revolutionists. Her condition is severe and she is hospitalized.”

Meanwhile, a state hospital issued a statement that the journalist was admitted after being raped by five men several days ago. She underwent surgery and has been released. It was also reported that Egypt’s Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah ordered his staff to go to the hospital to hear the woman’s story and reveal the circumstances behind the violent attack.

The circumstances behind the attack? Are you joking? The circumstances are that the leaders of the world permitted a terrorist organization to take over Egypt. Egypt, which certainly wasn’t perfect, but was largely peaceful and functional is now run by mobs of angry young people. Some of whom enjoy rape. And can get away with it.

- Aggie

Comments

Another Useful Idiot Passes

Is this the first American death caused by our naive policy to remove Hosni Mubarak?

Guess what reeling (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) this kid was… and did he study at a conservative institution or at a “progressive” institution?

OK, the second question is easy, since there are so few conservative colleges, but what religion? Who would be trusting enough to send a kid into the middle of Egypt during the “Arab Spring” hoping to “teach peace”?

Still stumped?

An American student fatally stabbed in Egypt was so fascinated with the region, he read poems about it to his girlfriend, his mother said.
Andrew Pochter of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was stabbed Friday in the port city of Alexandria. He was in the country teaching English to elementary school children.
“As we understand it, he was witnessing the protest as a bystander and was stabbed by a protester,” his family said in a statement. “He went to Egypt because he cared profoundly about the Middle East, and he planned to live and work there in the pursuit of peace and understanding.”

Egyptian state media reported that he was stabbed in the chest while filming the protests.

The 21-year-old went to Egypt this year after spending time in Morocco and falling in love with the region.

Before the trip, he interned for AMIDEAST, an American nonprofit that focuses on the Middle East and North Africa. He also took a class in regional politics.
While enrolled in the class, he read poems about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to his girlfriend, said his mother, Elizabeth Pochter.

“The class wasn’t just about some detached war to him, but a struggle that he passionately wanted to resolve,” she said, according to a statement by Kenyon College, where he had just completed his sophomore year.

“Andrew was a person who didn’t see the world as separate nations, but a collection of vibrant cultures.”

His goal was to understand the political and religious dynamics in the region, sharpen his Arabic skills and learn the different dialects, according to his family.
“He was one of the rare kids who lived what he believed,” said Marc Bragin, a chaplain at Kenyon. “His belief was that everyone should be included, everyone had a voice, and no one should be left out because what they think is different than what others think.”

A religious studies major, Pochter was raised in a Christian and Jewish household, and was a member of the Middle Eastern Students Association. He was headed into his junior year in college.

I read elsewhere that he was also very involved in Hillel. So, we have a great kid who loves people and sincerely wants to help. He loves poetry. He might have thought that the power of poetry would help. And we have the River of DeNile, not just in Egypt, but in Ohio, in feel-good philosophies which have pushed aside reality in suburbs and cities, churches and synagogues, all across the United States. And this young man, who grew up in that happy bubble, paid for the refusal to understand that not everyone is good and decent at heart – with his life. My heart goes out to his parents and sister, because they, too, are embedded in this stew of nonsense. Andrew was stabbed because the stabber had a knife and could. That’s all. We send our sweet, hapless kids into war zones (created by this administration, also deluded), and we expect the warriors to love us. We are nuts.

May I rant on further? This is a way to illustrate my point. I am assuming (possibly incorrectly) that if you watch Fox News or CNN on cable, you see the same ads no matter where you live in the country. So, try flipping back and forth for not just news coverage, but for the advertisements. We know that the news coverage is reality-based for the most part and CNN is bubble-based, but pay attention to ads. Fox runs a lot of ads for hearing aids, reverse mortgages, weight loss programs, cheap restaurants and fast cars. Old demographic for sure, not going to be voting much longer. CNN runs these ridiculous feel-good ads. How you can feel terrible about the children in the developing world, and how, by purchasing a certain insurance product, you can feel better. Or giving money to the “girl’s fund”, to help girls in third world countries avoid rape. Moonbat demographic, and they will be voting for decades.

In short, we’re screwed. Here’s a question about “the children” for, Mr. and Ms. Moonbat. How many more American kids must we feed into this region without any military training or support whatsoever? Why not encourage your kids to teach English in Los Angeles or NY where they might survive the experience?

- Aggie

Comments (8)

Obama’s Director Of OMB (Office of Management and Budget) On Why College Grads Are Driving Taxis

Not that his policies had anything to do with it or anything…

It’s a parent’s nightmare: shelling out big money for college, then seeing the graduate unable to land a job that requires high-level skills. This situation may be growing more common, unfortunately, because the demand for cognitive skills associated with higher education, after rising sharply until 2000, has since been in decline.
So concludes new research by economists Paul Beaudry and David Green of the University of British Columbia and Benjamin Sand of York University in Toronto. This reversal in demand has caused high-skilled workers to accept lower-level jobs, pushing lower-skilled people even further down the occupational ladder or out of work altogether. If the researchers are right (which is not yet clear), the consequences are huge and troubling — and not just for college grads and their parents.

So, why, Professor? Why are we turning into a peasant culture?

In 1970, only 1 in 100 taxi drivers and chauffeurs in the U.S. had a college degree, according to an analysis of labor statistics by Ohio University’s Richard Vedder, Christopher Denhart and Jonathan Robe. Today, 15 of 100 do. …

Similarly, in 1970, only about 2 percent of firefighters had a college degree, compared with more than 15 percent now, Vedder and his colleagues found. And, according to research by economists Paul Harrington and Andrew Sum of Northeastern University, about 1 in 4 bartenders has some sort of degree.

Again, why? NAFTA?

What has changed? One possibility, as I’ve previously written, is that the effects of a globalizing workforce are creeping up the income scale. Many jobs that once required cognitive skill can be automated. Anything that can be digitized can be done either by computer or by workers abroad. While the “winner take all” phenomenon may still mean extremely high returns for workers at the very top, that may be relevant for a shrinking share of college graduates.

Or is it something else?

What’s puzzling here is that it seems inconsistent with evidence that the wage premium enjoyed by college graduates has persisted. For example, a recent paper by Philip Oreopoulos and Uros Petronijevic of the University of Toronto (yes, Canadian economists seem to dominate this aspect of the U.S. labor market) found that the earnings premium for college graduates has risen substantially over the past several decades and that investment in college “appears to pay off for both the average and marginal student.”

And he goes on to say that as non-college educated individuals are pushed lower down the food chain, their wages are even more depressed. Therefore, go to college anyway.

But I say that the Obama administration has hurt those that trusted it the most – the working poor of all races and America’s youth.

- Aggie

Comments

Young Fascists!

Journalists devouring other journalists are the happiest journalists in the world.

They remind me of this:

Mute it. The music is irritating. But what we have here is a pride of young lions attacking a hippo. At about 2 1/2 minutes or so, the hippo responds, finally. This reminds me so much of journalists, especially the young lions. I suppose the hippo is China. Or Russia.

- Aggie

Comments

News From “The Most Popular Country In The World”

Germany is all about boycotting Jews

The German Green party is under fire because of its push in the Bundestag to label Israeli products from the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

Leading German politicians and academic specialists weighed in last week, accusing the Greens of promoting Nazi-style boycotts of Jewish products and ignoring the lessons of the Holocaust.

“The Greens are showing the face of hatred behind their multicultural environmental façade, which conjures up the worst memories,” Dirk Niebel, the Free Democratic Party minister for development in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet, told Die Welt.

Philipp Missfelder, a deputy from the Christian Democratic Union and foreign policy spokesman for the CDU and its sister party, the Christian Social Union, said “the Greens are damaging the German-Israeli relationship.”

The Greens have forgotten German history, he said, in a reference to the boycotts of Jewish business under the Nazis. Missfelder said the Greens should distance themselves from their parliamentary letter that calls for labeling legislation.

Denis MacShane, a former British Labor Party MP and an international expert on anti-Semitism, wrote on his Twitter account, “German Greens support return of ‘Kauf nicht bei Juden’ policy [“Do not buy from Jews”].”

Ok, let’s cut the Germans some slack. Leftists the world over hate Jews, and the other parties in Germany are condemning this fascist behavior. This is why for quite some time now I’ve had a strict policy of not giving to or supporting any group that could be identified with the Left in any way. For example, I like a clean environment but won’t give to any of the environmental groups. I have compassion for the homeless, but won’t give to those groups either. This is because they allow themselves to be associated with other Leftist groups. I would give to Catholic Charities or some sort of church group, but not directly to any secular social welfare group, simply because of the connection between those groups and The Greens, Code Pink, Move On, etc.

- Aggie

Comments

Arab Terrorists Blow Up Bus In Tel Aviv, Media Yawns, Blames Israel

BTL has already presented this:
How’s diplomacy working so far?

I’ll just add this, from CNN

….
I can name tens of Muslim clerics, important formulators of public opinion in a region dominated by religion, that will readily condemn acts of terrorism against the West, but will fall silent when it comes to condemning Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Put simply, support for violent resistance against Israel among Arab and Muslim-majority countries — including allies of the United States such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia — remains popular.

Hamas benefits from that support. From radical Iran to moderate Tunisia, Hamas’ Prime Minister Ismail Haniyyeh was welcomed by vast cheering crowds during visits this year.
In a new Middle East, where popular opinion matters more than ever before, to demand that people condemn Hamas is a political nonstarter. It won’t happen. Israel’s talk of Hamas terrorism has failed to convince the Muslim and Arab masses. And worse, the label of “terror” loses its importance when entire populations, essentially, see nothing wrong with Hamas’s violent activities. [And that, Gentle Reader, is why Hitler was not a terrorist. People loved him. Notice how the author redefines terrorism, away from the victim, toward the perpetrator? - Aggie]

In short, Israel’s strategy has failed to win Muslim hearts and minds. In the long term, it cannot continue to rely on military superiority and Western support in the face of popular hostility. Israel is a nation in the Middle East, and it needs to find a home and place among its increasingly democratic neighbors. The old ideas of “we do not talk to terrorists” are not only strategically futile, but also untrue.

Can you imagine any other group on the planet being targeted with that sort of logic? You-need-to-make-your-killers-like-you-logic. I can imagine it because my parents and grandparents watched it unfold in Europe. We are a very foolish society, to put it kindly.

We are living in the Age of Obama, not unlike the Age of Chamberlain in England. There Will Be Peace In Our Time.

- Aggie

Comments

Humor In The Obama World

Such gross people.

- Aggie

Comments

Middle Class Families Won’t Be Spending A Lot On Toys This Year

per Goldman Sachs

In addition to the traditional, religious joy of the Christmas season, it usually brings along presents of another kind to politicians in power. Sales, particularly for toys and entertainment products, tend to see a sharp rise in the fall. This can spur additional hiring, if only of the seasonal variety, and a short term sugar rush for the economy at large. So if we’re going through a huge recovery, as the First Lady recently said, this should provide an additional boost to Barack Obama’s prospects in the final weeks as we approach November. Yet strangely… it hasn’t.

As retailers gear up for the busy holiday shopping season, there’s trouble brewing in Toyland, according to research from Goldman Sachs.

Toy sales have been on the decline for some time, but Goldman suspects the trend may be accelerating, and this week the firm cut the industry’s rating to “cautious” from “neutral.” It also downgraded Hasbro shares to “sell” from “neutral,” while keeping Mattel shares at “neutral.”

And that says it all. Parents love buying toys at Christmas (or Hanukkah) time. And if they don’t, there’s a really good reason for it.

Hope ‘n Change!!

- Aggie

Comments

Bank Of Washington Helped Solyndra

Hah! They understood how stupid Obama is

Solyndra’s CEO labeled President Barack Obama’s administration “The Bank of Washington.”

Chris Gronet offered the description in an internal email one year before the company collapsed in 2010, costing taxpayers roughly $500 million.

The email was obtained and published by the Republican National Committee.

“The Bank of Washington continues to help us!” he wrote in the October 2009 e-mail, which sketched plans for Solyndra to exploit several additional federal programs and tax-incentives.

Who let the dog out?

- Aggie

Comments (2)

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »