Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jenny Sanford

"As her husband's affair with an Argentine woman exploded onto the global stage and publicly humiliated her family, Jenny Sanford, 46, and their four sons sought refuge here at their large beachfront cottage on this lush island enclave outside Charleston. . . . But it has also been the first lady's war room, where she has given her wayward husband a public thrashing. In the process, she seems to have drawn a new path for the aggrieved spouse of a philandering politician, an episode that has become something of a ritual in American politics."


It is refreshing to see a political wife put her self respect above shared political ambition.

Because they did such a good job raising their kids . . .

"Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, was granted temporary custody of his three children by a Los Angeles court as she and her husband sought interim control over the late singer’s estate."


How to lose an election

First, have your people attack your probable opponent for spending thousands of dollars of state money commuting to his home and on unnecessary, purely political side trips.

Next, have previously suppressed records show you spent three times as much state money on unauthorized travel as the person you just finished attacking.

This might not end well for the "leading" candidates.


Bernie Madoff

I'm not an expert, but why did millionaires invest 100% of their assets with Bernie Madoff?

What about the saying, "don't put all your eggs in one basket"?

What about the axiom, "diversify"?

It makes you wonder how these people were smart enough to get rich in the first place.

None of this excuses Madoff, but it makes you wonder.

Monday, June 29, 2009

New middle class taxes to pay for healthcare 'reform'?

"The White House left open the possibility Sunday that President Barack Obama might pay for his health care overhaul by taxing employer-provided health insurance even though he had campaigned on not raising taxes on middle-class families. White House adviser David Axelrod said the administration wouldn't rule out taxing some employees' benefits to fund a health care agenda that has yet to take final form. The move would be a compromise with fellow Democrats, who are pushing the proposal as a way to pay for the massive undertaking without ballooning the federal deficit. . . . if Obama compromises on that point, it would reverse his promise not to raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000. "I pledge that under my plan, no one making less than $250,000 a year will see any type of tax increase," Obama told a crowd in Dover, New Hampshire, last year. "Not income tax, not capital gains taxes, not any kind of tax." At the time, his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain was proposing a tax on health benefits similar to the plan Obama is now considering. Just a year ago, Obama spent millions on campaign commercials attacking the idea. One ad accused McCain of favoring "taxing health benefits for the first time ever ... taxing health care instead of fixing it. We can't afford John McCain." A second Obama ad called McCain's approach "the largest middle-class tax increase in history." Driving the point home, it contended the "McCain tax could cost your family thousands. Can you afford it?"


Taxing non cash employer supplied healthcare benefits decreases take home pay, which decreases family disposable income, which negatively impacts families and the economy on numerous levels. Plus, employer supplied healthcare benefits generally go to union, civil service and middle class workers, i.e., the Democratic Party's middle class base. How do you think they would vote in 2010?

Government taxes things it wants to discourage. Does Obama really want to discourage employer supplied healthcare? If they pass this tax, it means the ultimate goal is to put everyone on a government-supplied HMO.

Celebrity doctors

As a general rule, if a celebrity - - Michael, Elvis, Anna Nicole, etc. - - has a full time physician on staff, the celebrity has a prescription drug problem.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A John Edwards sex tape ?!?

In my experience, the nastiest personal attacks on Bill and Hillary Clinton during the primary campaign came from the John Edwards camp, with the attitude, "If we can't have it, she won't either".

So, this is rich . . .

"Former presidential candidate John Edwards is out of luck if he hoped that the extramarital affairs of Gov. Mark Sanford and Sen. John Ensign would take people's minds off his own cheating scandal. Former Edwards aide Andrew Young says the ex-senator and his former mistress, Rielle Hunter, once made a sex tape, according to someone who has seen Young's book proposal. St. Martin's Press just inked a deal with Young, who also says in his proposal that, contrary to his public statement last year, he is not the father of Hunter's infant daughter - Edwards is. Edwards has denied that. Young says that his belief in Edwards ran so deep that he agreed to take the fall for the candidate, inviting the pregnant Hunter to live with him, his wife, Cheri, and their three children. Later, after Hunter delivered the baby, Young and his family moved to a different home in California. While he was unpacking, Young discovered a videocassette, according to the book pitch. Hunter had been hired by the Edwards campaign to videotape the candidate's movements, but this one is said to have shown him taking positions that weren't on his official platform. The purported sex tape confirmed to Hunter that Edwards was even more reckless than he thought. According to our source, Hunter confided to Young that she and Edwards talked about getting married should the candidate's cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, pass away, even discussing what music they'd play at their wedding. Elizabeth Edwards is said to hold Young partly to blame for her husband's affair, since Young knew it was going on and sometimes used his cell phone to conference the senator and his girlfriend. Young has told friends that, in revenge, Elizabeth arranged for the media to learn about a youthful misdeameanor in which Young was arrested for stealing a sign from a biker bar. Elizabeth also suspects Young stole the baseball card collection of her late son, Wade, according to a source who says that she told Young in an e-mail that other former staff members "have passed lie detector tests." Young's proposal, which one editor said "was impossible to put down," also contends that Sen. Edwards frequently clashed with running mate John Kerry during their 2004 race for the White House. And before Edwards owned up to his affair with Hunter, Young says he told him that Barack Obama had promised he'd make him attorney general if he didn't pick him as his 2008 running mate. Elizabeth Edwards and Young's agent had no comment. An e-mail to John Edwards' assistant wasn't returned. Hunter couldn't be reached."


Get that? While saying, "Vote for me, my wife is sick!", the bum was picking out wedding music with his baby mama.

Can you imagine if Edwards had been the Democratic nominee - - for president or vice president - - and this broke in October? Whether or not this is 10%, 30%, 50% or 100% true, once Edwards started the affair, he opened himself to any / all of this. For him and his wife and his baby mama to have continued the presidential campaign with this skeleton in the closet was the height of irresponsibility, self involvement and egotism.

Does Obama still think he can talk to North Korea's leaders?

"North Korea threatened today to shoot down any Japanese planes that intrude into its airspace, accusing Tokyo of spying near one of its missile launch sites. The North has designated a no-sail zone off its eastern coast from June 25 to July 10 for military drills, raising concerns that it might test-fire short- or mid-range missiles in the coming days, in violation of a UN resolution. North Korea's air force said Japan's E-767 surveillance aircraft conducted aerial espionage near the Musudan-ri missile site on its northeast coast on Wednesday and Thursday. The country's official Korean Central News Agency said the air force "will not tolerate even a bit the aerial espionage by the warmongers of the Japanese aggression forces but mercilessly shoot down any plane intruding into the territorial air of the (North) even 0.001 mm."


Obama had and has no idea what he was doing regarding North Korea. Except, now they're threatening our allies with violence.

Does Obama still think he can talk to Iran's mullahs?

"President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Saturday to make the U.S. regret its criticism of Iran's postelection crackdown and said the "mask has been removed" from the Obama administration's efforts to improve relations. Ahmadinejad — with his internal opponents virtually silenced — all but dared Obama to keep calling for an end to repression of demonstrators who claim the hardline leader stole re-election through massive fraud. "You should know that if you continue the response of the Iranian nation will be strong," Ahmadinejad said in a speech to members of Iran's judiciary, which is directly controlled by the ruling clerics. "The response of the Iranian nation will be crushing. The response will cause remorse."


Obama had and has no idea what he was doing regarding Iran. Except, now they're threatening us with violence.

This is truly ridiculous . . .

"A pastor in the US state of Kentucky told his flock to bring handguns to church in what he said was an effort to promote safe gun ownership . . . Pastor Ken Pagano told parishioners to bring their unloaded guns to New Bethel Church in Louisville for a service celebrating the right to bear arms. He said he acted after church members voiced fears the Obama administration could tighten gun control laws. When the service began, some 200 people were present . . . "We are wanting to send a message that there are legal, civil, intelligent and law-abiding citizens who also own guns," Mr Pagano told the congregation. "If it were not for a deep-seated belief in the right to bear arms, this country would not be here today," he said. The pastor also held a handgun raffle, as well as providing information on gun safety."


What happened to Jesse Jackson?

Jesse Jackson used to be a serious political figure, with serious power and serious influence among serious people.

Then, he devolved into an "activist", shaking down corporations for donations to his "non profit" in exchange for calling off protests and demonstrations.


"Michael Jackson's family wants a private autopsy of the pop icon because of unanswered questions about how he died and the doctor who was with him, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday. "It's abnormal," he told The Associated Press from Chicago a day after visiting the Jackson family. "We don't know what happened. Was he injected and with what? All reasonable doubt should be addressed."


Jesse Jackson went from being the right hand man to a saint and a presidential candidate to being one more hanger on, sponging money and publicity off a pop star's dead body.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Woody Allen and Michael Jackson: Why the shock?

Woody Allen writes and directs autobiographical films.

Woody Allen made an award winning movie in which his love interest was an under-age high school girl (Manhattan).

Later, Woody Allen made a movie in which a Woody Allen-like character cheated on his wife, played by Mia Farrow, with her sister (Hannah and Her Sisters).

Get that? In autobiographical films written by Woody Allen, Woody Allen admitted to a preference for under-age girls and a proclivity for cheating on Mia Farrow.

For some reason, fans of Woody Allen were later shocked when Woody Allen ran off with Mia Farrow's adopted daughter.

Today, after years of watching Michael Jackson's videos and listening to his lyrics, Michael Jackson's fans are shocked by his untimely death. Why? Weren't they paying attention?

Why is this considered health care news?

Does this surprise anyone?

"Most Want Health Reform But Fear Its Side Effects - A majority of Americans see government action as critical to controlling runaway health-care costs, but there is broad public anxiety about the potential impact of reform legislation and conflicting views about the types of fixes being proposed on Capitol Hill, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Most respondents are "very concerned" that health-care reform would lead to higher costs, lower quality, fewer choices, a bigger deficit, diminished insurance coverage and more government bureaucracy. About six in 10 are at least somewhat worried about all of these factors, underscoring the challenges for lawmakers as they attempt to restructure the nation's $2.3 trillion health-care system."


People wouldn't be so worried if the administration: (1) was honest about their goals; (2) was honest about the cost; and, (3) was honest about the funding source(s).

Unfortunately for the administration (and anyone supportive of reform), they keep talking about "existing funding sources" and "taxing the rich" and "no change in your existing coverage", but most people don't believe them.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Obama's first signing statement?

Remember signing statements? Those horrible, rotten, evil, extra constitutional power grabs by Bush/Cheney, which interpreted laws upon enactment and reserved (in advance) the right to violate them?

Barack Obama just issued his first one.


I'm waiting for the critics of signing statements to be outraged. Unless they weren't opposed to signing statements, but were only opposed to Bush issuing signing statements . . .

Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea . . .

Now, Somalia.


I thought the interventionist candidate with the aggressive foreign policy lost the last presidential election.

Obama calls for Cuba to release political prisoners?

"President Obama praised five Cuban dissidents for their pro-democracy activities Thursday, and called on the communist government to release all political prisoners. . . . The Obama administration has lifted restrictions on money transfers and travel to the island by Americans with family there and are resuming long-stalled immigration and postal service talks."


It would be nice if the Obama administration made Cuba's lifting of domestic political restrictions a precondition for future American concessions.

Of course, Obama made the identical call months ago on his way to the Summit of the Americas, and there was no follow through. ("The United States urged Cuba on Friday to free its political prisoners as President Barack Obama flew to a summit with leaders of the Americas dominated by intense debate over U.S.-Cuban ties.")


Why do we listen to celebrity opinion?

"Across from the Capitol on Thursday, hundreds of people, including actress Edie Falco, rallied for a health care overhaul. Organizing for America, Obama's political operation within the Democratic National Committee, plans thousands of service events around the country Saturday aimed at building support for health care overhaul among a restive public wary of higher costs, lower quality and a giant price tag."


Edie Falco is a great actress and appears to be a wonderful person.

But, when she played a prison guard on "Oz", she wasn't a real life expert on criminal justice.

When she played the Mafia wife on "The Sopranos", she wasn't a real life expert on organized crime.

And, now that she's one month into playing a nurse on "Nurse Jackie", she's not a real life expert on health care reform.

Extremely talented child molester dies

While listening to all the tributes, remember that "inconvenient truth".

Unfortunately, in our society, if you can sing or throw a ball or tell a joke, we excuse very very bad behavior.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


You really think you can get away with it?

That no one will find out?

That no one will see you?

That no records will come to light?


"After going AWOL for seven days, Gov. Mark Sanford admitted Wednesday in a bombshell news conference he had secretly flown to Argentina to visit a woman with whom he was having an affair."


One minute please

Mir-Hossein Mousavi is the "moderate" who claims the Iranian presidential election was stolen from him. He's being made into a hero by the demonstrators and the international press. But, what does he believe? What does he stand for? What malkes him a "moderate"?

In fact, he's a longtime adherent of the Iranian regime, and Mousavi's supporters include some immoderate folks, including the "religious conservatives".

Before we make this guy a hero, or do something stupid in support of him, we need to figure out what he stands for.


Iran is evil, remember?

Bush called Iran evil.

So, in typical knee jerk fashion, Obama and most of the media assumed Iran wasn't so bad. Iran was a "reasonable partner" that we could "talk to" "without preconditions".

Therefore, now that Iran is acting badly, Obama and most of the media are shocked to discover that Iran's "guided Islamic democracy" is in fact a theocratic dictatorship.

Let's agree Bush stole the 2000 election, and was a terrible president, But, let's also agree that "do the opposite" is neither an intelligent policy nor a remedy for every one of Bush's failures.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The ticket of the future - -

Ensign / Sanford 2012 !!!

P.S. - If no one has proof Romney cheated on his wife, he'll be the GOP nominee.

Jobs, jobs, jobs

"Ford Motor, Nissan and Tesla were awarded a combined $8 billion in loans Tuesday under an Energy Department program aimed at preserving jobs and improving vehicle fuel efficiency. The low-interest loans will be used for U.S.-based projects in Tennessee, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. "We have an historic opportunity to help ensure that the next generation of fuel-efficient cars and trucks are made in America," said President Obama. "These loans . . . will create good jobs and help the auto industry to meet and even exceed the tough fuel-economy standards we've set, while helping us to regain our competitive edge in the world market." Ford will get $5.9 billion in loans through 2011 and will use them to develop and apply new technologies to standard gasoline engines and to develop electric vehicles. . . . More U.S. jobs are a goal of the program, along with greener vehicles, said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "These investments will come back to our country many times over — by creating new jobs, reducing our dependence on oil and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions."


Everything Guiliani did, he tied to "September 11".

Everything Bush did, he excused with "fighting terrorism".

Everything Obama does, he justifies as "saving jobs".

All three make phony excuses on irrelevant matters. If this auto / energy program is successful, we'll have cleaner more efficient factories making cleaner more efficient cars . . . with less workers. "Cleaner more efficient" is a good goal. "Less workers" is an unavoidable consequence of modern computerized robotic auto factories. There's no need to lie about it by falsely claiming "more jobs" will be created.

What a few hundred billion buys

We're committed to investing hundreds of billions of dollars of borrowed money in the government takeover of the U.S. auto industry, to "save jobs"and "develop energy efficiency" and "ensure cars and trucks are made in America".

Their first decision: orange cars!

"If the new cars in your parking garage seem to be more vivid, it may just be a sign of the economic times. Carmakers are increasingly turning to one of the cheapest, fastest ways to make a vehicle stand out: color. Forget costly redesigns, many now delayed, or a big honking spoiler, to make the latest model obvious. Just put some neon yellow paint in the sprayer, and you've got a car that few will forget, even if they want to. Edmunds.com reports the number of car colors is up by nearly 60 for the 2009 model year, from 5,611 to 5,670. Love 'em or hate 'em, colors such as orange — make that "solar-flare metallic" — are among the most popular new offerings, even if mostly with automakers."


I don't think this will turn out real well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Announcing new Afghanistan orders makes no sense

"The U.S. commander in Afghanistan will soon order U.S. and NATO forces to break away from fights with militants hiding among villagers, an official said Monday, announcing one of the strongest measures yet to protect Afghan civilians. The most contentious civilian fatality cases in recent years occurred during battles in Afghan villages when U.S. airstrikes aimed at militants also killed civilians. . . . Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who took command of international forces in Afghanistan this month, has said his measure of effectiveness will be the "number of Afghans shielded from violence" — not the number of militants killed. McChrystal will issue orders within days saying troops may attack insurgents hiding in Afghan houses if U.S. or NATO forces are in imminent danger, said Rear Adm. Greg Smith, a U.S. military spokesman. "But if there is a compound they're taking fire from and they can remove themselves from the area safely, without any undue danger to the forces, then that's the option they should take," Smith said. . . . McChrystal's orders will be more precise and have stronger language ordering forces to break off from battles, Smith said. . . . Still, she said the policy has potential drawbacks, specifically that civilian homes will be the perfect place for insurgents to seek cover."


I don't oppose the policy. We must avoid all unnecessary civilian casualties. Unless absolutely necessary, we must never take the battle into civilian homes and villages.

But, is it wise to tell the bad guys where and when we will pursue or retreat? This announcement appears to place public relations requirements above troop safety.

Mark Sanford: More to come?

We have not yet heard the full story:

"S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford's staff said late Monday that the governor is hiking on the Appalachian Trail, ending four days during which staff and state officials said they had not heard from him. Neither Sanford's office nor the State Law Enforcement Division, which provides security for governors, had been able to reach Sanford since he left the mansion Thursday in a black Suburban SUV assigned to his security detail, said state Sen. Jake Knotts , R-Lexington, and three others familiar with the situation, but who declined to be identified. Joel Sawyer, the governor's spokesman would not disclose where on the trail the governor was hiking, nor would he reveal whether Sanford was hiking alone. Sanford's last known location was near Atlanta late last week. A mobile telephone tower there picked up a signal from his phone, according to a source familiar with the situation. Since then, the governor's state and personal phones had been turned off, and Sanford had not responded to phone or text messages, a source said. Most mobile phones cannot be tracked if they are turned off. First lady Jenny Sanford said Monday her husband has been gone for several days over Father's Day weekend and she did not know where."


But, we heard enough to know he'll never be president.

Is this a surprise?

"Lost jobs forcing more out of homes - The nation's foreclosure crisis — once largely confined to only a few corners of the country — is spreading to new areas as the economy teeters. The foreclosure rates in 40 of the nation's counties that have the most households have already doubled from last year . . . Unlike the foreclosure wave that began in 2007 and was driven by risky subprime loans, the latest increases are the result of the recession, which brought a sharp rise in unemployment across the country . . ."


Did our government not foresee that 10% unemployment would result in an increase in foreclosures?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Healthcare not warfare?

This morning, I noticed a left over campaign 2008 bumper sticker: HEALTHCARE NOT WARFARE, in all cap bold letters on an Obama campaign colored background.

Of course, that was from back when the “anti war candidate” was going to end the war in Iraq and use the money here at home to pay for universal health care.

And, that was from before the “anti war candidate" revealed his true plans (slow partial withdrawal from Iraq, permanent bases in Iraq, and escalation in Afghanistan, with net troop and spending increases in the Iraq/Af/Pak theatre of operations).

The original “healthcare not warfare” plan of candidate Obama has now become Lyndon Johnson-style “guns and butter”, i.e., warfare and healthcare, and deficits be damned.

Of course, deficits will not be damned, and deficits are why Obama’s approval among independents is down to 46%, and if we don’t find the funding, we won’t reform health care. I’m getting the sneaky suspicion that the “anti war candidate" may be morphing into the president who chose warfare over healthcare.

More thoughts on Iran

It's amazing that so many of those who thought we could negotiate with Iran without preconditions are now shocked to discover that Iran is ruled by fascist theocrats with no respect for democracy.

Of course, these same people wanted us to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran.

More U.S. troops killed

"Two U.S. troops were killed and six other Americans were wounded Sunday in an early-morning rocket attack at sprawling Bagram Air Field."


With all due respect to Iran, health care, GM, the banking system, etc., that should be the lead story today.

More promises broken

"During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised that once a bill was passed by Congress, the White House would post it online for five days before he signed it. “When there’s a bill that ends up on my desk as president, you the public will have five days to look online and find out what’s in it before I sign it, so that you know what your government’s doing,” Mr. Obama said as a candidate, telling voters he would make government more transparent and accountable. When he took office in January, his team added that in posting nonemergency bills, it would “allow the public to review and comment” before Mr. Obama signed them. Five months into his administration, Mr. Obama has signed two dozen bills, but he has almost never waited five days."


"One of President Barack Obama's campaign pledges on taxes went up in puffs of smoke Wednesday. The largest increase in tobacco taxes took effect despite Obama's promise not to raise taxes of any kind on families earning under $250,000 or individuals under $200,000. This is one tax that disproportionately affects the poor, who are more likely to smoke than the rich."


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another random thought on Iran

Weren't we told that the Israeli settlements were the main threat to Mideast peace, and Israeli behavior was the cause of all tension and violence in the region? Funny, it turns out that the real threat to peace and freedom in the region is religious extremism and theocracy. Someone tell Obama.

In other news . . .

U.S. military deaths in Iraq.


U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan.


Civilian deaths in Iraq.


It's as if the media has ADHD, and can only deal with one story at a time.

They're now focused on Iran, so Iraq and Afghanistan are ignored.

Of course, there's no excuse for the silence of the "anti war" crowd (many of whom now seem to be whipping up sentiment for "intervention in favor of the moderates" in Iran).

Remember Obama's initial policy on Iran?

Obama stated that Iran is led by reasonable and decent people with whom we could negotiate and deal, if only the U.S. leadership would stop being so negative and judgmental. Obama stated numerous times that America should stop being a bully, and negotiate with Iran without preconditions

I hope he learns from recent events that not every international relationship calls for an Oprah-style makeover.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dooming health care reform

"Democrats got a sobering glimpse of what it would look like if their ambitious health care overhaul ran into a wall - and they quickly pulled back to regroup and get moving again. Trying to regain the initiative, House Democrats on Friday unveiled draft legislation they said would cover virtually all of the nation's nearly 50 million uninsured as President Barack Obama has promised. However, they offered few details on how to pay for it."


A plan without any details as to numbers, costs or funding is a wish list, not a legislative proposal. It's also a good way to doom your plan.

More empathy required

"Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor resigned Friday from an elite all-women's club after Republicans questioned her participation in it. Sotomayor said she resigned from the Belizean Grove to prevent the issue from becoming a distraction in her confirmation hearings. . . . the federal appeals court judge said she is convinced that the club does not practice "invidious discrimination" and that her membership in it did not violate judicial ethics. . . . Federal judges are bound by a code that says they shouldn't join any organization that discriminates by race, sex, religion or nationality. The Belizean Grove bills itself as women's answer to the 130-year-old all-male Bohemian Club in Monte Rio (Sonoma County). . . . Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy faced similar questions over his longtime membership in the all-male Olympic Club in San Francisco. Kennedy resigned his membership in October 1987, as he was under consideration for the high court."


I support Sotomayor's nomination. But, for someone touted as being so "empathetic", she should have more empathy for those excluded from any fancy private club she belongs to. And, she shouldn't defend her club with the very same language and excuses ("it's purely social", "no one applied", "it's not invidious discrimination") used in the past to defend racist or sexist or antisemitic clubs.

As to the founders of Belizean Grove (which, admittedly, is a very witty and clever name and idea) - - the answer to snooty discriminatory clubs is not to start a snooty discriminatory club of your own. Too many times, people "opposed to discrimination" act as if they only oppose discrimination against themselves.

P.S. - Now would be the time for all members of the Obama administration to review their club memberships

Random thought on Iran

At what point does encouraging people to protest, when we have no intention whatsoever of intervening or rescuing them, become leading people to slaughter?

The stimulus bill is a failure

The stimulus bill couldn't be discussed, debated, amended, delayed or reviewed (or even distributed and fully read) prior to passage, because it was an emergency measure guaranteed to keep unemployment below 8%. That was the guarantee given. That was the self proclaimed measure of success or failure.

"Florida's unemployment rate broke a psychological barrier in May, entering double digits for the first time in 34 years. Although Florida's economy could start to grow again early next year, experts say unemployment could stay near current levels for up to two years. Employers typically remain cautious about adding workers until they are sure things are really better. At 10.2 percent, the state's May jobless rate was up from April's revised 9.7 percent, and was higher than the national rate of 9.4 percent."


Now, we're supposed to blindly trust that the architects of this plan can reform and revive the auto, financial and health sectors of the economy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

More promises broken

"The Senate approved a $105.9 billion emergency war-spending bill Thursday after the White House assured lawmakers that it would bar the release of photos of detained terrorism suspects by an executive order if necessary. The vote was 91-5. The bill, which now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature, includes $79.9 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $10.4 billion in diplomatic and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and other countries in the region and $7.7 billion to help control the flu pandemic . . . [as well as] The ''cash for clunkers'' program [to] . . . give consumers up to $4,500 each for trading in aging gas guzzlers for more fuel-efficient vehicles. . ."


Obama promised to end the wars in the Middle East, withdraw from Iraq, release the "torture" pictures, stop funding the wars "off budget" with emergency appropriations, and stop loading up war funding bills with pork. Never mind.

Obama AG opposes right to biological evidence

As a trial attorney, I've always looked forward to the coming reality of those science fiction "truth machines". Remember Capt. Pike in the Star Trek pilot episode? On trial for violating Star Fleet orders, Pike is hooked up to an alien machine, which projects the events in his memories onto a computer screen. No more juries or judges guessing at the truth.

We're not there yet. But, with biological testing, we're getting close.

Of course, there's no good reason to ever deny or reject or refuse to allow biological evidence. If we can say with certainty whether someone is guilty or innocent, there's absolutely no excuse not to do so.

Unless you're on the Supreme Court.

"The U.S. Supreme Court said Thursday that a convicted rapist has no constitutional right to test biological evidence used at his trial in the state of Alaska years earlier, leaving it to states to decide when prisoners get access to genetic evidence that might prove their innocence."


In other words, states may chose to "win" criminal trials, notwithstanding that a "win" could result in the punishment of objectively, scientifically certain, innocent wrongfully accused defendants.

In doing so, the Supreme Court reversed "a federal appeals court [which] said he had a right to conduct the test."

And, the Obama administration? "The Obama administration, picking up the argument first made by the Bush administration, urged the court to reject the appeals court ruling . . ."

I thought they promised to be pro-science.

Who's turn is it now?

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday offered conditional support for the establishment of a Palestinian state . . . Along with his call for Palestinians to accept a demilitarized state and explicitly recognize Israel as a Jewish nation."


In fairness, this is when we need to start pressuring Hamas and the PLO to say "yes".

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Iran's turmoil

I will support the first candidate for president of Iran who comes out against stoning and beating women for promiscuity or immodesty. Until then, none of them are worthy of our support.


"A substantial majority of Americans say President Obama has not developed a strategy to deal with the budget deficit . . . which also found that support for his plans to overhaul health care, rescue the auto industry and close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, falls well below his job approval ratings."


Again, this is only news if you don't talk to real people.

Not news to us

"After a fairly smooth opening, President Barack Obama faces new concerns among the American public about the budget deficit and government intervention in the economy as he works to enact ambitious health and energy legislation . . . These rising doubts threaten to overshadow the president's personal popularity and his agenda, in what may be a new phase of the Obama presidency. "The public is really moving from evaluating him as a charismatic and charming leader to his specific handling of the challenges facing the country," says Peter D. Hart, a Democratic pollster who conducts the survey with Republican Bill McInturff. Going forward, he says, Mr. Obama and his allies "are going to have to navigate in pretty choppy waters."


Maybe, if the media "leaders" spoke to real people instead of each other on T.V. talk shows, this would be no surprise.

By the way - - Obama's approval as president is down to 56%, and the approval of Obama's handling of the economy is down to 51%. You wouldn't know that if all you did was read the newspapers and watch TV news.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The easy part

"Harmful effects from global warming are already here and worsening, warns the first climate report from Barack Obama's presidency in the strongest language on climate change ever to come out of the White House. Global warming has already caused more heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, longer growing seasons and altered river flow, according to the document released Tuesday by the White House science adviser and other top officials. "There are in some cases already serious consequences," report co-author Anthony Janetos of the University of Maryland told The Associated Press. "This is not a theoretical thing that will happen 50 years from now. Things are happening now."


Acknowledging the truth is the easy part. Now, what are they going to do about it?

Tiller shooting suspect’s bond increased

"A judge took possible threats from the man accused of killing George Tiller seriously enough that he raised his bond to $20 million, according to a transcript released Tuesday. During the June 10 telephone call, Judge Warren Wilbert cited comments made by 51-year-old Scott Roeder of Kansas City to the media days earlier, saying those remarks cast “a different light” on the suspect. Roeder said on June 7, “I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal.” In raising the bond from $5 million, Wilbert expressed concern about whether Roeder would “perpetuate, participate or enact any more violence on his own or in concert with others.” He also found that Roeder was a flight risk."


Good. We need to take criminals at their word when they threaten further violence.

One less person to lecture us about "family values"

"Sen. John Ensign, considered a rising star in the Republican Party, yesterday acknowledged an extramarital affair with a former campaign staffer who is married to one of the lawmaker's former legislative aides. . . . He does not face reelection until 2012 and had taken preliminary steps to explore a run for the White House that year, making a trip three weeks ago to Iowa, the first testing ground on the presidential primary calendar."


Why do each of them believe that they're the one who will get to keep it a secret?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Iran's moderates

Remember, the Iranian "moderates" wearing green believe in stoning and whipping women for immodesty and promiscuity.

Anti-environmental Bush administration lifts protection from endangered gray wolves!

" A conservation group has sued the federal government over the recent removal of most gray wolves in the Northern Rockies from the endangered species list. Despite the predator's steady expansion across much the region over the last decade, the Bozeman-based Greater Yellowstone Coalition says in its lawsuit that the wolf's long-term survival remains at risk. The suit was assigned to U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula. Molloy also is presiding over a similar lawsuit filed last week by 13 environmental and animal rights groups. Endangered status was lifted on about 1,300 wolves in Idaho and Montana on May 3. 300 wolves in Wyoming remain on the list, after federal officials decided the state's wolf law was too hostile to guarantee their recovery. Wyoming has challenged the decision."


I'm sorry. It was the Obama administration. So, it's not newsworthy.

Taxing health benefits and cutting benefits for the poor and the elderly

"The White House is caught in a battle within its own party over how to finance a comprehensive overhaul of America's health-care system, as key Democrats advocate a tax plan that could require President Obama to break his campaign pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class . . . Obama and congressional leaders have vowed to pay for a sweeping expansion of the health-care system -- expected to cost more than $1 trillion over the next decade -- without additional borrowing. Much of the money is likely to come from reining in spending on federal health programs for the elderly and the poor. Obama has proposed trimming more than $600 billion from Medicare and Medicaid by 2019 . . . The rest of the cash will probably come from new taxes. . . . Obama has revived a tax plan he first offered in February: limiting itemized deductions for the nation's 3 million highest earners. . . . But many Democrats, particularly in the Senate, have balked at the idea, saying they prefer a tax . . . on the health benefits that millions of Americans currently receive tax-free through employers."


If you're poor or elderly, your health care benefits will be cut. If you get health insurance at work, your taxes will go up at least $200 per month.

Remember when Obama promised health care reform would be revenue neutral and would not require new taxes?

Prediction: If millions of middle class, union and civil service workers start paying payroll taxes on their hard fought for employer provided health insurance in January, 2010, the Democrats lose control of the House of Representatives in November, 2010.

Obama on Everglades: Big promises, no work

"The Obama administration has pledged to spend nearly half a billion dollars on Everglades restoration over the next two years, a record amount, including $103 million set aside for stimulus projects picked because they are ``shovel-ready.'' The shovels are indeed ready to go in places such as the Picayune Strand in Southwest Florida, where a massive subdivision that failed decades ago will be turned back into 55,000 acres of wetlands. But President Barack Obama's budget monitors aren't as ready to let the money flow. The White House Office of Management and Budget has blocked money for Picayune, first in line in a series of stalled restoration projects, over concerns about a new deal that state and federal agencies cut to split the bill. It's an accounting dispute . . . "


Promises are easy. Follow through is hard.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The "moderate" candidate

In rooting for the "moderates" in Iran, please remember that the folks wearing green are "moderate" only in the sense that Mussolini was moderate compared to Hitler.


Is the regime that is shooting students on university campuses for protesting election fraud really a government that we want to "constructively engage"?

There can no longer be any doubt that, at least as to Iran, Obama was wrong and dangerously naive.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a brutal regime, to be opposed and fought, not to be engaged in friendship.

Biden "guesses" wrong again

"Vice President Biden said Sunday that "everyone guessed wrong" on the impact of the economic stimulus, but he defended the administration's spending designed to combat rising joblessness. Biden said inaccuracies in unemployment predictions shouldn't undercut the White House's support of the $787 billion economic revival plan that has not met the expectations of President Obama's team. . . . Just 10 days before taking office, Obama's top economic advisers released a report predicting unemployment would remain at 8% of below through this year if an economic stimulus plan won congressional approval. Yet the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unemployment in May rose to 9.4%."


They "guessed"? They spent almost one trillion dollars on a "guess"?

Biden implies the stimulus package was not based upon precise economic statistics and modeling, but upon "guesses" designed for raw partisan appeal.

One thing we don't need to "guess" about - - Biden will not be on the ticket in 2012.

Way, way over the line

"CIA Director Leon Panetta says former Vice President Dick Cheney's criticism of the Obama administration's approach to terrorism almost suggests "he's wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point."


Like it or nor, there's always a degree of that.

Do you really think Obama and Pelosi were happy that the surge worked, and that they were proved wrong on tactics?

But, charges and fights like this are the job of the political wing, not the supposedly neutral reality based CIA.

I can't remember a CIA chief ever before engaging in such a blatant partisan political attack. Even if what Panetta said was right, Panetta saying it was wrong.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saudi "rehabilitation" for terrorists

"The Obama administration has begun shipping newly cleared Guantanamo Bay inmates abroad, including three sent at week's end to Saudi Arabia, to regain momentum in its effort to close the prison camp at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. . . . Authorities announced Friday that three detainees - - Khalid Saad Mohammed, Abdalaziz Kareem Salim Al Noofayaee and Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair - - had been sent home to Saudi Arabia. . . . The Justice Department said the trio will be subject to judicial review in Saudi Arabia before they participate in a "rehabilitation" program administered by the Saudi government."


We were attacked by Saudi terrorists.

Now, we're sending the terrorists home for Saudi "rehabilitation".

Words fail.

Remember when . . .

Remember when real increases in Medicare and Medicaid spending were considered cuts, if the increases did not exceed the rate of inflation?

Now, Obama plans to "slash" Medicare and Medicaid by $313 billion as part of "healthcare reform".

Where are all the Senators who fought spending increases at less than the rate of inflation as insufficient? as heartless? as "letting the poor and elderly die"?

Chris Dodd must go

Chris Dodd is a second generation corrupt Connecticut senator. (His father, Sen. Thomas Joseph Dodd, was a United States Senator and one of only six people censured by the Senate in the 20th century.)


As Banking Committee minority leader and then Chair since 2006, Dodd was charged with oversight and regulation of the banking and mortgage industry. We know how that turned out.

Instead of doing his job on the Banking Committee, Dodd took discounted loans from now defunct Countrywide as a "friend of Angelo". Dodd has been a consistent top recipient of banking and insurance industry campaign contributions. Dodd was the number one recipient of campaign funds from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while ignoring calls for their reform. Dodd was involved in a phony "Irish cottage" deal with a convicted felon, and understated his interest and profit in Senate disclosure filings. The list goes on.


Now, Dodd is filling in for ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy as chair of the Health Committee, which will soon start work on a health care reform bill. Of course, Dodd's wife Jackie Clegg Dodd currently sits on the boards of three health care companies, Javelin Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cardiome Pharma Corp., and Brookdale Senior Living. She earns hundreds of thousands of dollars in those positions.


The Obama Democrats would not stand for such appearances of impropriety from a Republican. Change? Not so much.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Is this a defeat?

We were told that a victory for the "moderates" (a relative term) was imminent in Iran's presidential election, and that this would be a victory for Obama's "speech to the Muslim world".

Instead, it appears the wackadoo Iranian president was overwhelmingly reelected.

So, is this a defeat for Obama?

Phony anti tobacco bill

Promising to sign new tobacco legislation, Obama "who himself has struggled to quit smoking" said the measure would “protect our kids and improve our public health” . . . he said the tobacco legislation was “a bill that truly defines changes in Washington” and one that “changes the way Washington works and who it works for” . . . The law would for the first time give the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products . . . Under the law, the FDA will be able to set product standards and ban some chemicals in tobacco products, but not totally ban addictive nicotine. The FDA will set up a new tobacco regulatory office financed by industry fees, which are expected to be $85 million in the first year and as much as $700 million annually within 10 years. The FDA would have the power not only to consider changing existing products, but also to ban new products unless the agency found they contributed to overall public health. The FDA is charged with imposing a ban within 15 months on tobacco advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds . . . Also, within one year, the industry will be banned from claiming products are “light,” “mild” or “low tar” . . . The law provides that by 2012, new, graphic warning labels must be designed and approved by the FDA and occupy 50 percent of the space on each package of cigarettes. . . . [and] will quickly ban most flavoring in tobacco and raise penalties for sales of tobacco to under-age buyers. . . . Some antismoking groups, particularly those representing African-Americans, had wanted the law’s ban on tobacco flavorings to include menthol. Mentholated brands are preferred by three-quarters of black smokers, who also have a disproportionate share of lung cancer . . . .Menthol is to be studied by the FDA by 2011, though, and the agency will have the power to ban it, if the evidence warrants. . . . “This bill is proof positive that the tobacco industry is no longer running the show on Capitol Hill and that the health of Americans is a top priority for our elected officials,” the group’s chief executive, John R. Seffrin, said in a statement.


A president without the will power or self control to quit smoking (but who makes sure he's never photographed smoking) is signing an "anti smoking" law that will result in a new bureaucracy and billions of dollars of new spending.

Unfortunately, the law does not require the removal of nicotine.

Nicotine is what makes cigarettes addictive.

If we were to simply pass a law requiring the removal of nicotine from cigarettes, cigarettes would no longer be addictive. All we would have to do is monitor and randomly test the processing plants, to make sure the nicotine was in fact removed. Nothing else would be required. Then, smoking would truly be an individual "choice", not a medically ascertainable addictive compulsion.

Of course, keeping the nicotine in cigarettes lets the tobacco industry keep earning (and donating) billions. And, the administration gets to put on another pretty show and hire more buddies for new government jobs in a new permanent bureaucracy.

Always remember, if a law doesn't provide for the removal of nicotine from cigarettes, it's a pro smoking, not an anti smoking, law.

Change? No change if you're a super wealthy donor

"President Barack Obama promised change, but he's following one time-honored tradition: doling out plum ambassadorships to friends and big-money party donors. So far, Obama's contributors and friends have been awarded with plum posts in Canada, France, England, Japan, South Africa, Ireland, the Bahamas, Denmark, Argentina and the Vatican. The Obama administration says that all of its appointees are qualified, but critics say the jobs should go to career diplomats instead of party loyalists. "It is the last vestige of the spoils system," said Ronald Neumann, president of the American Academy of Diplomacy. "We made it illegal to do this for our civil service on the basis that merit was important," Neumann said. "We don't do it for our military. And it is a little perplexing why we think that we should we able to sell ambassadorships."


The price of an Obama ambassadorship?

The United Kingdom cost Louis Susman $100,000 for Obama's presidential campaign and at least $300,000 for his inauguration. Ireland cost Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers) contributions of more than $152,400. France cost Charles Rivkin at least a half-million dollars for Obama's campaign and another $300,000 toward his inaugural committee. Japan cost John Roos at least $500,000 to Obama's presidential campaign (his wife has contributed at least $77,500 over the years, including $6,900 to Obama).

During the campaign, Obama called Bush's White House "the most politicized" in history, decried the appointment of Bush's friend Michael Brown to head FEMA, and declared, "The days of Michael Brown, Arabian horse judge, are over." Obviously, they're not over yet.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Obama and Sarkosy get along . . .

but I think their wives have issues.

Follow the link:


Be wary

"The largest medical insurers and drug companies spent 41% more on lobbying this year as Congress began debate on an overhaul of health care, which may include a public insurance plan the industries oppose."


They're not spending all this money in the public interest or to help the consumers. Don't be surprised if the new system is worse than the old system.

Holocaust museum slaying

The Holocaust museum slaying reminded us that the membership of the various hate groups exceeds 100,000. They're armed and dangerous, and must be opposed and fought. Yet, out of 360,000,000+/- Americans, 100,000 is not so bad. At one time, the Klan literally ran states in the south and midwest, and the Bund held rallies in Madison Square Garden. The numbers show the real progress society has made in opposing sexism and racism and anti semitism.


But, what still really concerns me is that the president considered this guy a friend and mentor and father-substitute through most of his adult life:

"President Obama's controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is blaming "them Jews" for keeping him from speaking to the president. Wright, the former pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, said he hasn't spoken to Obama since he became president. "Them Jews ain't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office," Wright told the Daily Press of Newport News following a Tuesday night sermon at the 95th annual Hampton University Ministers' Conference. "They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. ... I said from the beginning: He's a politician; I'm a pastor. He's got to do what politicians do."


Fight them all and take away guns from crazy people, but I'm more concerned about anti semites in power than about nuts who read neo Nazi web sites.

Attacking Supreme Court nominee could hurt GOP?

The story in all the papers and on all the news shows is the same: Attacking Supreme Court nominee could hurt GOP.


Of course, this is being said by most of the same experts who said, "Attacking Iraq War policy could hurt Democrats".

The opposition never loses by opposing things.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


"Cuba's U.N. ambassador in Geneva says Human Rights Watch and other groups are "mercenaries" paid by the U.S. government. Juan Antonio Fernandez Palacios says groups criticizing Cuba in the U.N. Human Rights Council perform a "clown act." The groups had accused Cuba of trying to silence critics. HRW spokesman Philippe Dam said, "Human Rights Watch receives zero percent of its funding from public money, and 100 percent from private money. This is evidence that we are fully independent of any government, and that Cuba's remarks are totally unfounded." The New York-based group says Cuba violates the right to fair trial, free expression and political association."


Funny, no one questions their motives when they criticise the U.S.

There was a time when . . . .

women's rights groups would have defended a prominent woman from attacks based upon her appearance, dress or sexual practices. No more. Now, you're only worthy of protection if you agree with them on all issues, not simply because you're a woman being unfairly attacked.

"Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took a second swipe at David Letterman on Wednesday, calling the CBS “Late Show” host’s jokes about one of her daughters “disgusting” and “sexually perverted.” . . . Her husband, Todd, added in the same statement that “any ‘jokes’ about raping my 14-year-old are despicable. Alaskans know it, and I believe the rest of the world knows it, too.”


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Clinton called Cuba's bluff

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton negotiated a deal with the OAS for Cuba's re-admission - - Cuba could rejoin if Cuba took steps toward democratisation.

No one could argue with that in good faith.

Cuba's response?

"Cuba made its first official public announcement Monday regarding the Organization of American States' decision to withdraw its 1962 suspension from the hemispheric group: No thanks. . . . At the U.S. State Department's behest, the official resolution readmitting Cuba to the OAS says the next step should be Cuba's, and that the hemisphere's last communist country should abide by the group's "purposes, practices and principles." The wording was an effort to stem critics who argue that Cuba's human rights record and one-party rule should prohibit it from joining the OAS, which promotes democracy. . . . "They are looking for pretexts. Now Cuba is choosing to continue as a pariah in the region," said Human Rights Watch Americas director José Miguel Vivanco. "Given the choice to participate in the region or continue to violate human rights at home, they prefer to violate human rights."


When was the last time you heard Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International support the actions of a U.S. Secretary of State?

P.S. - Note how the media remains blindly anti Clinton. They say "the State Department" or "the Secretary of State", because they can't bring themselves to mention or credit Hillary Clinton.

Balanced budgets with $2.5 trillion worth of exemptions

"President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed budget rules that would allow Congress to borrow tens of billions of dollars and put the nation deeper in debt to jump-start the administration's emerging health care overhaul. The "pay-as-you-go" budget formula plan is significantly weaker than a proposal Obama issued with little fanfare last month. It would carve out about $2.5 trillion worth of exemptions for Obama's priorities over the next decade."


I don't think it needs to be said that a balanced budget with $2.5 trillion worth of exemptions is not a balanced budget.

But, please note that yesterday was a "twofer" - - two promises broken. They broke the "pay-as-you-go" promise, and they broke the "pay for healthcare reform with cost containment" promise.

Remember the good old days, when Bill Clinton balanced the budget by raising taxes to cover all deficits, and then started paying off the national debt by cutting spending to levels lower than income? That gave us a decade of peace and prosperity.

Another promise broken

"Offshore oil and gas rigs could move dramatically closer to Florida's coastline -- nearly within sight of pristine Panhandle beaches -- under a provision approved Tuesday by a key Senate panel. The amendment, tacked onto a massive energy bill in Congress, would renege on a compromise won by Florida lawmakers just three years ago and radically reduce no-drilling zones in the eastern Gulf of Mexico -- from 125 miles down to 10 miles off the Panhandle and from 235 miles down to 45 miles off Tampa and coastal communities to the south."


Cuban spies

"As a couple accused of spying for Cuba head to federal court Wednesday, Cuba watchers say the latest case of espionage could crimp the Obama administration's efforts to renew talks with the government in Havana."


Hopefully, eventually, the Obama administration will realize that the Castro government cannot be trusted and is not an honorable partner.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chrysler deal on hold

"The Supreme Court issued a temporary freeze Monday on the Obama administration's planned sale of bankrupt Chrysler to Fiat, leaving lawyers, politicians and South Florida car dealers to ponder the fallout from a delay. The high court agreed to a request for a stay from Indiana state pensioners and some public interest groups, who alleged the speedy bankruptcy process and administration rescue of Chrysler trampled on long-established rights of creditors and misused taxpayer bailout money. ''Do contracts and financial law still mean anything or are we moving in a different direction?'' Thomas E. Lauria, a Miami lawyer with White & Case representing Indiana pensioners, asked in an interview. "


It's about time.

Yes, terrorists in prison camps have due process rights. And, they're entitled to insist upon the government's adherence to established rules of law and procedure.

But, investors and bond holders are also entitled to due process and statutory protections.

It's absolutely amazing that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the only person (so far) who has insisted that the Obama administration adhere to the established laws of contract.

(By the way, this lawsuit wasn't brought by fat cats and Wall Street investors. It was brought by pension funds. Who did you think holds auto stocks and bonds?)

Another disgruntled group

"The Supreme Court refused on Monday to hear a legal challenge to the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, a decision that allows the Obama administration to continue its slow, back-burner response to liberal activists who want gays to serve openly in the military. During last year's campaign, President Barack Obama indicated that he supported eventually repealing the law, but he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January. The White House has said it won't stop the military from dismissing gays and lesbians who admit their sexuality."


When your base of support includes both African American church ladies and pastors, and gay rights activists, someone's going to be disappointed. Obama's political advantage has always been his lack of a record. As he develops a record, he will lose support.

Obama's friend Chavez

"Venezuela is clamping down on criticism of Hugo Chávez that circulates through the military ranks. Officers and soldiers in the Venezuelan army must now report messages considered offensive, critical or contrary to the government, according to a recent official order. The crackdown on critical comments comes as Chávez is tightening his grip on the country by targeting opponents, questioning the loyalty of former supporters, and nationalizing the economy. The military measure, which has no precedent, is generating fear in the ranks and violates Venezuelan law, experts and analysts said."


Hopefully, eventually, the president will figure out that playing nice with guys like Chavez only encourages their bad behavior.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tiller's killer: Would enhanced interrogation techniques be appropriate?

"The man charged in the shooting death of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller warned Sunday that more violence is possible. Scott Roeder, being held on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in Tiller's killing one week ago, called The Associated Press from the Sedgwick County jail. Tiller, whose Wichita clinic was among only a few in the U.S. performing third-trimester abortions, was shot while serving as an usher at the Lutheran church he attended. "I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal," Roeder said. He would not elaborate."


There is so much hypocricy in our politics.

I'd be willing to bet that pro choice progressives would suddenly be in favor of enhanced interrogation techniques to find out the details of this conspiracy. Of course, anti abortion, pro torture conservatives would suddenly object.

North Korea back on terrorism list?

"The U.S. is considering adding North Korea back to a list of state sponsors of terrorism . . . The Bush administration agreed to remove North Korea from the U.S. list of terrorist states after the North said it would dismantle its nuclear weapons facilities."


Putting North Korea back on the terrorism list, or passing sternly worded resolutions, will not stop North Korea from building more nuclear armed intercontinental missies capable of reaching Japan and the Middle East and Alaska.

And, whether you are on the terrorism list should depend on whether you engage in terrorism, not on whether you deserve to be punished for anything else.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Some people need to go away

Our politics would be better if some people just went away.

For instance:

"On July 7, 2007, at approximately 7:15 p.m. at Jefferson and M Street, Northwest, in Washington, D.C., defendant [Marcus Epstein] was walking down the street making offensive remarks when he encountered the complainant, Ms. [REDACTED], who is African-American. The defendant [Marcus Epstein] uttered, “Nigger,” as he delivered a karate chop to Ms. [REDACTED]’s head."


A stoned out Marcus Epstein physically attacked a black woman on a public street for no reason, and called her a racial slur. (He pled guilty.)


Marcus Epstein is obviously mentally unstable and a racist. You would think Epstein would be fired from any public policy or government job. You would think that any public figures or organizations with which Epstein is associated would separate themselves from him.

Instead, Marcus Epstein still works as the executive director of Tom Tancredo’s Team America PAC, alongside Bay Buchanan (Pat Buchanan's sister).


Bay Buchanan acknowledges that she knew all along about Epstein's crime and that she nonetheless kept him on staff at the organizations she chairs. Further, Buchanan defends him as a victim of a "modern day lynching" who "deserves to have his good name returned to him."


I won't argue what Epstein deserves. That's for the courts. But, people who share any of Bay Buchanan's beliefs deserve to have her shut up and go way. She hurts her causes, she doesn't help them.

4,311 U.S. troops killed in Iraq

"A U.S. soldier has died following a grenade attack on his patrol in Diyala province, northeast of the capital Baghdad and one of Iraq's most dangerous areas, the U.S. Army said on Friday. The soldier survived the attack Thursday but died later in the evening, a statement said without giving further details. The army is only weeks away from a June 30 deadline to leave Iraqi cities and major towns ahead of a complete withdrawal from the country by the end of 2011, as part of a security accord signed between Baghdad and Washington. In a separate statement, the U.S. military said a marine had died in a non- combat related incident Friday. The deaths bring to 4,311 the number of U.S. troops killed since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein but sparked a deadly insurgency, according to an AFP count based on the independent Web site http://www.icasualties.org/."


If anyone had told you in 2006 that a Democratic-led Congress would fund U.S. troops in Iraq for another 5 years, until the end of 2011, would you have believed them?

Worse yet, since the "anti-war" presidential candidate won in 2008, we've not only retained the Bush/Cheney military leadership, but we've stuck by the Bush/Cheney Iraq war policy.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jobless rate hits 9.4 percent

"[T]he nation's jobless rate rose to a quarter-century high of 9.4 percent, and it likely will keep rising into 2010, possibly within striking distance of its post-World War II peak of 10.8 percent."


When they passed the stimulus plan, they promised that the stimulus plan would prevent the unemployment rate from going over 8%.

Now, we face trillion dollar deficits, and 11% unemployment.

Heck of a job.

Relocating Guantanamo detainees

The Obama administration is irked that Germany won't take any detainees after Guantanamo is shut down.

"President Barack Obama said Friday the U.S. hasn't asked Germany to take specific detainees from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and that Chancellor Angela Merkel hasn't made any ``hard commitments.''


The real problem is that none of Obama's cabinet members would allow released Guantanamo detainees into their states. As long as former Kansas Governor and now HHS Secretary Sebellius effectively opposes the use of Kansas' high security Leavenworth military prison, why should Merkel volunteer Germany?

Better relations with Cuba?

""Walter Kendall Myers spent more than two decades deep in the bureaucracy of the U.S. State Department until this week, when federal authorities accused him of a life of intrigue and espionage as a clandestine agent for one of the United States' longtime antagonists: the communist government of Cuba. The 72-year-old retired State Department employee -- who had enjoyed top-secret security clearance -- and his wife, Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers, 71, appeared in federal court Friday, charged with serving as illegal agents for Cuba for nearly 30 years and conspiring to deliver classified information to its government. They pleaded not guilty. According to documents unsealed Friday in Washington, Myers, a former analyst on Europe for the State Department, and his bank employee wife agreed in 1979 to deliver U.S. secrets to Cuba. Federal authorities called the couple's spying for Havana ``incredibly serious.''


Friday, June 5, 2009

People are crazy II

"A Kentucky pastor is inviting his flock to bring guns to church to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment. New Bethel Church is welcoming "responsible handgun owners" to wear their firearms inside the church June 27, a Saturday. An ad says there will be a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information on gun safety. "We're just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation," said pastor Ken Pagano. "And we're not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms — without that this country wouldn't be here."


Not crazy enough?

"[The pastor] said recent church shootings, including the killing Sunday of a late-term abortion provider in Kansas, which he condemned, highlight the need to promote safe gun ownership. The New Bethel Church event was planned months before Dr. George Tiller was shot to death in a Wichita church."


At least some people are sane.

"John Phillips, an Arkansas pastor who was shot twice while leading a service at his former church in 1986, said a house of worship is no place for firearms."A church is designated as a safe haven, it's a place of worship," said Phillips, who was shot by a church member's relative for an unknown reason and still has a bullet lodged in his spine. "It is unconscionable to me to think that a church would be a place that you would even want to bring a weapon."Phillips spoke out against a bill before the Arkansas General Assembly that would have permitted the carrying of guns in that state's churches. The bill failed in February."


Of course, you have to ask why there ever was a "bill before the Arkansas General Assembly that would have permitted the carrying of guns in that state's churches".

People are crazy

"The man charged in the slaying of late-term abortion provider George Tiller says he's "being treated as a criminal" even though he hasn't been convicted of anything . . . [and disputed what he called "broad brush" characterizations of him as being anti-government. "I want people to stop and think: It is not anti-government, it is anti-corrupt government," Roeder said. . . . Roeder also is accused of assaulting two witnesses before leaving the church and driving away. Roeder was arrested a few hours later, near Gardner, about 170 miles northeast of Wichita. "I haven't been convicted of anything and I am being treated as a criminal," he said in a telephone conversation that lasted about three minutes. Roeder said he has made it through the first several days of his incarceration but is concerned about the media attention his family, particularly his elderly mother, has been getting."


Roeder killed a church usher in church during services, assaulted two bystanders, and is now upset because he's being "treated as a criminal" and his elderly mother is getting unwelcome publicity? He really must be crazy.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Those pictures

Many are demanding the release of the "torture" pictures.

Of course, there is another set of pictures and videos that have never been released - - video of people jumping from the top floors of the World Trade Center in a desperate attempt to escape a fiery death, and pictures of the burnt and mangled bodies and body parts uncovered by the rescue workers. These pictures and videos were also never released, out of respect to the families and to protect public sensibility and sensitivity.

I support the release of the torture pictures. And, I support prosecution as required. But, you really can't understand one set of pictures without looking at the other.

How about if we release both sets at the same time? Maybe splice together one video, and switch between the 3 terrorists who were waterboarded and the thousands of dead and dieing innocent victims in the Twin Towers? It would probably put things in context.

More thoughts on the "Muslim speech"

I know Obama's operative theory is that "every president stank until I came along".

However, he should have stressed the Clinton administration's authorization of the first US military operation in Europe since WWII - - to protect the Muslims of Kosovo and Bosnia from genocide by Christian terrorists after the break up of Yugoslavia. If we're looking to get in good with the Muslim world, wouldn't that be a good starting point?

And, not every Arab is Muslim, and not every Muslim is Arab (only about 1/3 of Muslims are Arabs). European Muslims generally like us because of the Bosnian operation, Asian Muslims generally like us because they hate Russian and Chinese genocidal imperialism, and African Muslims get along with the U.S. just fine. (In fact, it's not unknown for an African Muslim to come to the U.S. on a scholarship to study, meet an American girl, have a kid . . . )

Obama seems to conflate Arab and Muslim, and that leads him to conclude "all Muslims hate us because of Israel", which is as silly a world view as any prior administration's.

Cuba: The right decision

"The lifting of Cuba's 1962 suspension was the result of weeks of back-room brokering, plus an hours-long private meeting in San Pedro Sula with foreign ministers, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It ended Wednesday with the OAS' leftist bloc accepting a paragraph that refers to Cuba abiding by ''practices, purposes and principles of the OAS,'' words that Cuba's allies had just the night before flat-out rejected, sources close to the negotiations said. . . . Retracting Cuba's suspension does not mean the hemisphere's last communist country automatically rejoins an organization that prides itself in being the region's leading promoter of human rights and democracy. The resolution lifting Cuba's suspension says Cuba has to take the next step by initiating dialogue with the OAS and its participation would be ''in conformity with the practices, purposes and principles of the OAS,'' a key paragraph that Washington lobbied to include."


If and as Cuba moves towards democracy, Cuba may move towards reintegration into the international community. Once more, the positive accomplishments are coming from Clinton's State Department, not Obama's White House.

Obama's "Message to Muslims"

He refers to himself as Barack Hussein Obama.

He discusses his Muslim father.

He discusses his education and youth in a Muslim land.

Of course, during the campaign, it was bigotry to mention any of that.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Fouth of July

"In a new overture to Iran, the Obama administration has authorized U.S. embassies to invite Iranian officials to Independence Day parties they host on or around July 4th."


And what will be the response when they toast to the destruction of Israel?

Obama open to taxing health benefits?

"President Barack Obama is leaving the door open to taxing health care benefits, something he campaigned hard against while running for president, according to senators who met with him Tuesday. . . . The president adamantly opposed health benefit taxes during the campaign, arguing they would undermine job-based coverage, and he criticized Republican presidential rival John McCain for proposing a sweeping version of the same basic idea. But since taking office he and members of his administration have indicated openness to almost all suggestions from Congress on health care, including taxing benefits."


Assume your benefits are worth at least $500 per month. You'll get a tax increase equal to approximately one quarter to one third of that, which is much more than the amount of any of the miniscule "middle class tax cuts" previously announced.

Obama falsely promised to reform health care and expand coverage without increasing costs. He told everyone what they wanted to hear. Now, he's in this bind.

Why not simply tell the truth - - quality universal health care is expensive, to do it right will probably require a 1% payroll tax, and it's worth it.

Cuba issue tearing apart OAS

"Cuba came closer Tuesday to ending its 47-year suspension from the Organization of American States, but after working throughout the weekend, diplomats failed to come up with a way to readmit the communist nation in a way that satisfies both its leftist allies and those who insist on democratic principles. Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said the divisive issue threatens the very existence of the OAS, a hemispheric group founded in 1948 that serves as the region's principal multilateral forum. . . . The issue put the Obama administration in a delicate spot as it took a leadership role in keeping Cuba from being brought back into the diplomatic fold while at the same time publicly initiating dialogue with the Castro government on long-dormant topics such as immigration and direct mail."


This is what happens when your rhetoric doesn't match your policies. It may work as a campaign strategy, but not as a governing strategy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Remember Katrina?

The same people who no longer care about US troops being killed in Iraq . . . no longer care about Katrina survivors.


After the years of criticism of the prior administration over their handling of the issue, wouldn't you have thought homeless Gulf Coast hurricane survivors would be a top priority of this administration?

Taxing employer-provided health benefits?

"A Senate chairman who has a major role in writing health care legislation said Tuesday he hopes to convince President Barack Obama that taxing some employer-provided benefits will help control escalating costs. . . . Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. . . . said the tax-free benefit packages Americans now enjoy are a big factor in the high costs of the country's health care system, because they provide workers free or low-cost access to too many health care services."


The senate finance chair thinks "tax-free benefit packages" "are a big factor in the high costs of the country's health care system, because they provide workers free or low-cost access to too many health care services"?

I thought the whole idea of health care reform was to provide more workers with more free or low-cost access to more health care services.

Contrary to campaign promises, the focus continues to shift from expanding coverage to containing costs.


Uighurs. "[T]he men whom a federal judge ordered released from these remote prison camps in October 2008. Instead, the military moved the men to a small razor-wire ringed compound called Camp Iguana."


Uighurs. The men candidate Obama promised to release.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Not a good idea

"White House spokesman Robert Gibbs is declining to say what it cost for President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, to eat dinner and take in a play in New York over the weekend."


Flying at taxpayer expense to New York for a night on the town is never a good idea.

Flying at taxpayer expense to New York for a night on the town the weekend before you force GM into bankruptcy and destroy the lives of thousands is a particularly bad idea.

The murder of Dr. George Tiller

Dr. George Tiller was one of the nation's few providers of late-term abortions. He was repeatedly investigated by publicity hungry prosecutors, and repeatedly acquitted. He was shot and killed Sunday in a mainstream, mainline church, where he was serving as an usher.


The murder of Dr. George Tiller guarantees abortion (including late term abortion) will remain legal for at least another 10 years.

The murder of Dr. George Tiller guarantees that all future Obama court appointees will be expressly pro choice.

And, the murder of Dr. George Tiller guarantees that all the extraordinary terrorism fighting powers granted the executive since 2001 will be used to fight domestic anti-abortion terror.

These are all things which Dr. Tiller would have wanted.