Friday, December 31, 2010

More Islamophobia

An Iraqi immigrant accused of helping plot an attack against a newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad said in an interview published Friday that he was an innocent man arrested while providing three other suspects with an apartment.

Abdullah Muhammed Salman was released a day after his arrest Wednesday due to an apparent lack of evidence. Three men taken into custody with him remain in jail on charges attempting to carry out an act of terrorism and possession of illegal weapons. Police said they found a submachine gun, a handgun and ammunition in raids and believe the men were plotting to open fire inside the Copenhagen offices of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which angered many Muslims by publishing 12 cartoons of Muhammad in 2005.

Remember, according to the U.S. media, the root of the problem is American Islamophobia.

Of course, I don't remember any Christians ever blowing up newspapers for insulting Christ.

Attacks upon migrants in Mexico

Mexico and Honduras have agreed to create a high-level group to combat all-too-common attacks on undocumented Honduran migrants.

Honduran Assistant Foreign Minister Alden Rivera says an estimated 10,000 of the 75,000 Hondurans who cross Mexico each year to reach the United States are kidnapped or held for extortion, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Rivera said Wednesday the group will include officials of both countries, and will focus on informing migrants about the risks they face and how to report such crimes.

The Mexican government protests when an American cop asks an illegal immigrant at a traffic stop for his driver's license.

But, in response to the kidnappings, physical attacks, rapes and murders of illegal immigrants in Mexico, that same Mexican government "will focus on informing migrants about the risks they face and how to report such crimes".

Why do we listen to the Mexican government?

Obama extends Hawaiian vacation another day

President Barack Obama has extended his Hawaiian vacation by another day.

The White House says Obama will now depart Hawaii late in the evening on Jan. 3, arriving in Washington the following day. The Obamas have already pushed back their departure once, changing their return from Jan. 1 to Jan. 2 after the president delayed his arrival in Hawaii to stay in Washington while Congress wrapped up the legislative year.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton says the president is trying to squeeze in more time with his family before returning to the nation's capital.

I'm sure all the unemployed Americans (16%? 17%? 18%?) are very happy for him. After all, it's not as if he ever gets to spend any time with his family in their Washington, D.C. taxpayer supplied mansion.

Obama extends Hawaiian vacation another day

President Barack Obama has extended his Hawaiian vacation by another day.

The White House says Obama will now depart Hawaii late in the evening on Jan. 3, arriving in Washington the following day. The Obamas have already pushed back their departure once, changing their return from Jan. 1 to Jan. 2 after the president delayed his arrival in Hawaii to stay in Washington while Congress wrapped up the legislative year.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton says the president is trying to squeeze in more time with his family before returning to the nation's capital.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's early but . . .

2012 looks like it could be another bad year for congressional Democrats.

According to the highly partisan, pro Democratic Daily Kos / PPP polls, the seven incumbent Senators facing reelection in 2012 with the lowest approval ratings are:

Joe Lieberman (I-CT)
John Ensign (R-NV)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Six of these 7 endangered Senators caucus with the Democrats.

"On the other end of the spectrum are the four most popular Senators up for re-election in 2012. Among those polled by PPP, the four top dogs split evenly between the Democrats (Minnesota's Amy Klobuchar and New Mexico's Jeff Bingaman) and the GOP (Maine's Olympia Snowe and Massachusetts' Scott Brown)."

Only half of the most popular Senators up for reelection in 2012 are Democrats. Almost all of the most unpopular Senators up for reelection in 2012 are Democrats.

That's not good news for the Democrats.

Guantánamo camps not closing soon

Candidate Obama promised to close the Guantánamo prison camps within one year of his swearing in. President Obama promised to do it within two years. Both of them lied.
The Obama administration acknowledged Sunday that it has no new timetable for closure of the prison camps at Guantánamo, while reiterating a White House talking point that the controversial detention center is an al Qaeda "recruiting tool."

One of President Barack Obama's earliest executive orders was to order the prison camps emptied by Jan. 22, 2010. But spokesman Robert Gibbs told CNN's State of the Union program that there's no end in sight

"It's certainly not going to close in the next month," around the first anniversary of the administration's failed closure timetable.

Democracy in Miami

The Miami mayor and county commission passed a controversial county budget that raised the property tax rate while giving raises to most county employees. This followed their vote to build a private baseball stadium with public money in the middle of a recession.

As a result, there was a recall drive against the mayor and certain commissioners, which garnered 95,499 valid signatures, far more than the 51,992 needed to call an election.

All that remains to be done is the setting of the recall election. But . . .
A special meeting of the Miami-Dade County Commission to set a recall election for Mayor Carlos Alvarez was canceled Wednesday for lack of a quorum. . . . six of 13 commissioners appeared on the dais, one short of the minimum required.

Democracy in Miami . . . if you don't like what they people want, just ignore them.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More Clinton "racism"

Congressman Danny Davis has a message for former President Bill Clinton: Don't take sides in the Chicago mayor's race or else.

Davis, a longtime friend of Clinton, warned the ex-president on Tuesday that he could jeopardize his "long and fruitful relationship" with the black community if he campaigns for former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel over one of the two leading black candidates running — Davis and former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.

Davis later said he intended his message to be a personal appeal to Clinton, friend to friend.

"You just wouldn't want your friends to be campaigning against you," Davis said. "I've enjoyed a great friendship and relationship and have a tremendous amount of affinity for both the Clintons . . . and I'd like to keep it that way."

In other words, if you oppose a black candidate running in the Democratic primary, for whatever reason, you jeopardize your relationship with the black community.

Obviously, this man is unqualified to be mayor of a multi racial, multi ethnic major American city.

They day after the day after tomorrow

In 2004, the film "The Day After Tomorrow" warned of the catastrophic effects of global warming - - a series of extreme weather events that usher in global cooling which leads to a new ice age. It took in over $500,000,000 at the box office.

Its purpose was to entertain and educate.

And, as it turns out, it set back the cause of those advocating steps to combat global warming.

Any warning of disaster "the day after tomorrow" is counter productive years later if nothing's changed. It's "Chicken Little" and "The Boy Who Cried Wolf".

Global warning advocates need to tone down the scare talk if they want to succeed.

After all, we can see that everyone's still skiing in the Rockies and New England. No one's skiing in Guatemala.

Just a reminder . . .

That big snowstorm which just shut down the East coast?

It's an anecdote regarding, not evidence in, the debate over global warming.

All it means is that sometimes skiing in New England is terrific.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

More Islamophobia

Iraqi Christians on Wednesday called off Christmas festivities across the country as al Qaeda insurgents threatened more attacks on a beleaguered community still terrified from a bloody siege at a Baghdad church two months earlier.

A council representing Christian denominations across Iraq advised its followers to cancel public Christmas celebrations out of concern over new terror attacks and as a show of mourning for the victims of the church siege and other violence.

Church officials in the northern cities of Kirkuk and Mosul, the southern city of Basra and in the capital confirmed they will not put up Christmas decorations or hold evening Mass and have urged worshippers to refrain from decorating their homes. Even an appearance by Santa Claus was called off.

"Nobody can ignore the threats of al Qaeda against Iraqi Christians," said Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako in Kirkuk. "We cannot find a single source of joy that makes us celebrate. The situation of the Christians is bleak."

Of course, according to the American mainstream media (which ignores these stories as best they can), this must be the fault of Judeo-Christian America's vicious Islamophobia.

More "success" in Afghanistan

U.S.-donated medicines and pharmaceutical supplies meant to keep the new Afghan army and police healthy have been disappearing before reaching Afghan military hospitals and clinics, and the government said it is removing the army's top medical officer from his post as part of an investigation into alleged corruption.

I guess it's time for Obama to announce another policy review discussing how well we're doing in Afghanistan.

Wishful thinking as foreign policy

Senate approval of a nuclear arms reduction pact with Russia has boosted President Barack Obama's long-shot initiative to rid the world of nuclear weapons and salvaged his drive to improve U.S.-Russian ties.

Fulfilling his call for a "reset" of the chilly relationship with Moscow, Obama's victory could also help in two U.S.-led initiatives that rely on Russian cooperation -- to curb Iran's nuclear program and to prevent terrorists from stealing nuclear materials.

Anyone who thinks that a treaty with Russia will "boost President Barack Obama's long-shot initiative to rid the world of nuclear weapons" is a fool. It's like saying a gun control law will rid the city of guns. There are too many nuclear scientists, too many rogue regimes and terrorists, and too much uranium in the world to ever "rid the world of nuclear weapons".

Further, there is no evidence whatsoever that Russia has any interest in "curbing Iran's nuclear program and preventing terrorists from stealing nuclear materials". In fact, a nuclear armed Iran, and nuclear armed terrorists, distract America and thereby empower Russia.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Teen birth rate" or "illegal immigrant birth rate"?

The U.S. teen birth rate in 2009 fell to its lowest point in almost 70 years of record-keeping - a decline that stunned experts who believe it's partly due to the recession. . . . A decline in immigration to the United States, blamed on the weak job market, is another factor cited for the lower birth rate. A large proportion of immigrants are Hispanic, and Hispanics accounted for nearly 1 in 4 births in 2009. The birth rate among Hispanic teens is the highest of any ethnic group with 70 births per 1,000 girls in 2009. However, that rate, too, was down from the previous year.

As is the case with many of our other social problems, the "teen birth rate" is in large part the "illegal immigrant birth rate".

Everything Obama does is wonderful

So says the Miami Herald:
President Barack Obama's success this week in pushing the New START nuclear arms treaty to the verge of Senate passage is but the latest of an extraordinary string of victories he has won in the seven weeks since Republicans gave his Democrats a "shellacking" in the Nov. 2 midterm congressional elections.

His biggest win was shepherding passage of an $858 billion bipartisan tax cut package tailored to help the economy rebound along with his political stature.

Almost as stunning was the historic bipartisan Senate vote to repeal the military's ban on openly gay troops.

Obama breaks his campaign promise to repeal the Bush tax cuts, drops the economic policy of his first two years, and caves in to Republican tax cuts and supply side economics . . . and it's Obama's "biggest win".

Obama dithers for two years on "don't ask, don't tell", and repeal is saved by Joe Lieberman and moderate Republicans . . . and it's Obama's "stunning" victory.

It must be wonderful to have a press corps so biased in your favor that they editorialize in front page news stories.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bad census news for Democrats

After knocking on 50 million doors and handling tens of millions of surveys, the Census Bureau on Tuesday announced that the official population of the United States is now 308,745,538. . . .

Politically, Texas will gain four House seats due to a burgeoning Hispanic population and a diversified economy that held up relatively well during the recession. Other winners are GOP-leaning Arizona (1) and Florida (2).

Other states with increases are: Georgia (1), South Carolina (1), Utah (1) and Washington (1).

States that lose seats are: Illinois (1), Iowa (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (2), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (1).

The Ohio and New York losses typify many of the Democratic strongholds carried by Barack Obama in 2008 that saw declines in political influence.

And, for the first time in its history, Democratic-leaning California did not gain a House seat after a census after losing many of its residents in the last decade to neighboring states.

That's a 12 seat shift from mostly Democratic leaning states to mostly Republican leaning states. And, several of the states gaining seats - - Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Utah - - are now one party Republican dominated states.

The Democratic effort to retake the House in 2012 just got much more difficult.

Julian Assange: Phony

Freed from a London prison, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange now says he was set up in the Swedish sexual assault case and claims that the publication of over a quarter-million classified U.S. diplomatic cables was "a step forward."

"[I am] clearly the victim of a smear campaign," Assange told "Good Morning America" today. "There are intercepted SMS messages between the women and each other and their friends that I am told represent a set-up."

It's funny that a man famous for releasing stolen, confidential and unverified diplomatic emails and cables containing raw data and gossip is complaining that's he's the victim of smears and innuendo. Now he knows how his victims feel.

DREAM Act fail

Supporters of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2009 (S. 729), commonly known as the DREAM Act, have been let down again by Congress. The bill would provide a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants through attending two years of college or serving in the U.S. military. . . . . The final tally, at 2:30 PM today, was 56-43. Two Arkansas Democrats, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, joined the GOP in opposition, and Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska did not vote. Sen. Reid ultimately voted “nay” in a procedural move that will allow him to raise the bill again in the Senate.

In 2008, Obama, Pelosi and Reid promised to pass the DREAM Act.

But, they didn't bring it up when they had 60 votes in the Senate.

Instead, they waited until after they lost their sixtieth seat, and until after they lost the midterm election.

Who owns the failure to pass the DREAM Act?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Carcinogens in urban soil and water

A potentially cancer-causing metal made famous by the movie "Erin Brockovich" has turned up in the tap water of 31 out of 35 American cities tested, according to a study that urges the government to adopt tougher standards for the nation's drinking water.

The Environmental Working Group, an independent, Washington-based research organization, conducted the first nationwide analysis of hexavalent chromium, otherwise known as chromium-6, in drinking water. The substance was regularly used as an industrial chemical until the early 1990s and still appears in some plastics factories. It can also seep into groundwater from natural ores.

The metal has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals, and the National Institutes of Health defined it as a "probable carcinogen" in 2008.

The same federal government recently enacted school nutrition legislature encouraging locally grown food in urban areas - - food grown in that same carcinogen laced urban soil and water.

They're so busy regulating things that they don't even notice when their regulations are at cross purposes.

Lieberman bill overturns military ban of gays

In a landmark vote, the Senate on Saturday ended the Clinton-era ban on gays serving openly in the military, marking a major triumph for President Obama, liberals and the gay community.

The liberal and progressive communities claim victory, but they hate Joe Lieberman, the architect of their victory.

Will they challenge him again in 2012, or forgive him for his past liberal heresy?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dozens more militants dead?

Twenty-four militants were killed in suspected U.S. drone missile strikes in Pakistan today.

The attacks occurred on the Afghan border in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber region.

There have been four suspected drone attacks in the past two days in Pakistan.

Washington wants Pakistan to take stronger steps against militants within its lawless tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan.

Again, this is getting stupid - - if these daily reports were true, wouldn't they all be dead by now?

Rick Scott

Lacking a single hire to staff Florida's government, incoming Gov. Rick Scott on Friday asked most of Gov. Charlie Crist's administration to rescind their resignations and stay up to three months.

The about-face leaves in place agency heads and mid-level staffers from an administration Scott repeatedly criticized from the campaign trail as unresponsive to private business and ill-equipped to foster job growth. Scott's transition team initially asked for hundreds of resignations, more than Crist did when he succeeded former Gov. Jeb Bush.

And it's the first public indication from Scott's secretive team of a transition clogged under the leadership of Enu Mainigi, his personal attorney and most important hire to date.

Rick Scott was elected governor of Florida with his own money, beholden to no one, without any Republican party machine or media support. The newspapers almost unanimously opposed him, in their opinion columns and editorials and in their supposedly neutral "news" stories.

They can't handle that he won, and they're trying to destroy him before he's even been sworn in.

Regardless of ideology, if you're opposed to self selected political and media elites acting as gateways to public office, you should be rooting for the success of the Rick Scott administration.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Seven more suspected militants killed

An unmanned U.S. aircraft fired a single missile into a vehicle in Pakistan’s restive tribal region along the Afghan border, killing seven alleged militants on Thursday, a Pakistani security official said.

The drone strike was carried out in the Khyber district, one of the seven mountainous tribal districts that are known hotbeds of Taliban and al-Qaida militants.

These daily reports of enemy kills are ridiculous - - if true, either they're all dead by now, or there's more of them than we suspected.

Success in Afghanistan?

A long-awaited White House review of the U.S. troop buildup in Afghanistan lays claim to progress in the fight against the Taliban insurgency, but it also acknowledges challenges to building a stable Afghan government and in eliminating militant sanctuaries in Pakistan.

The review, released Thursday, says President Barack Obama's military strategy is "setting the conditions" for a reduction of U.S. forces beginning in July 2011 and affirms the policy that Obama implemented just over a year ago. It suggests no changes to American troop levels in the region, according to an early summary released by the White House.

. . . The White House acknowledges Afghanistan's army and police will not be able to take over responsibility for security until at least 2014.

It's such a successful strategy that we'll be there until "at least 2014".

That sounds like failure, not success.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cuba's Stalinist regime

Represented by an empty chair draped with a Cuban flag, dissident Guillermo Fariñas was awarded the Sakharov prize -- the EU's main human rights award -- on Wednesday.

Havana's refusal to allow him to attend the award presentation in France "is the most irrefutable evidence that, unluckily, nothing has changed . .. in the neo-Stalinist regime," Fariñas said in strongly worded video message he sent to the European Parliament, which awards the prize.

For some inexplicable reason, certain liberals and progressives, including some in the White House, continue to tolerate, if not outright support, Cuba's Castro regime.

Only 13 percent approve of Congress

Americans’ satisfaction with Congress has hit an all-time low in a Gallup Poll released Wednesday.

Just 13 percent said they approve of the job Congress is doing, while 83 percent said they disapprove.

The lowest approval rating for Congress in a Gallup survey prior to this poll was 14 percent in July 2008.

Among Democrats, 16 percent approve of Congress, down from 29 percent in November. Republicans are less positive, with 7 percent saying they approve of the job Congress is doing.

No one has ever blown overwhelming political support and popularity like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Anti Asian violence in Philadelphia

City school district officials agreed Wednesday to state and federal oversight for the next 2 1/2 years to address anti-Asian violence at a troubled high school that prompted a student boycott and a Justice Department investigation.

The city's School Reform Commission unanimously agreed to the consent decree involving South Philadelphia High School, where 30 Asian students were injured in racially motivated attacks last year.

The school district acknowledged no wrongdoing in signing the settlements with both the Justice Department and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, but agreed to 27 pages of reforms and reporting requirements. The oversight will be in place through June 2013.

For the first time, Asian-American activists said, high school officials will be held responsible for keeping students safe from racial and ethnic violence.

About 22 percent of the student body is Asian, some of them new immigrants.

. . . About 70 percent of the students are black at the high school, where an English as a Second Language program draws immigrants from South Philadelphia, Chinatown and other parts of the city.

Asian students have complained in recent years of relentless bullying, primarily by black students, and said school officials turned a blind eye to their pleas for help.

If the attackers were white, it would have been front page news around the world.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Your tax dollars at work

Independent groups that do not disclose the identity of their donors spent $132.5 million to influence elections nationwide this year, accounting for about a third of all spending by outside groups in the 2010 election cycle, a report released Friday found.

The analysis by the office of New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio aimed to quantify how federal campaigns had been affected by the Supreme Court's so-called Citizens United ruling. The ruling, handed down in January, cleared the way for companies and unions to spend unlimited funds to influence elections, often using money from anonymous donors.

This should be obvious, but it is not the government's job to spend tax dollars to collect data in support of a political effort to reverse a Supreme Court ruling, regardless of the merits of the effort.

Elections have consequences

When Gov.-elect Rick Scott stood in a church last week and dropped a policy bomb on the education establishment -- a plan to essentially give vouchers to any family that wants one -- 900 voucher kids in the audience cheered. But from South Florida to Tallahassee, apocalyptic thoughts began raining on traditional public education advocates.

Vouchers for everybody?

Not even former Gov. Jeb Bush went there.

The teachers' unions, and teachers generally, put all their eggs in the Democratic Party's basket, with endorsements, donations and campaign volunteers. In exchange, the original stimulus bill gave them raises at the height of the recession, when more than 10% of their fellow Americans were losing their jobs.

Republicans know they have nothing to lose from offending teachers. Expect to see more payback.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Afghanistan outlook "unclear"?

One year after President Barack Obama ordered a troop buildup to halt the Taliban's momentum, the war in Afghanistan has not broken decisively in favor of U.S.-led forces - at least not yet.

While NATO forces have routed insurgents from their strongholds in southern Afghanistan, the Taliban's strongest region, the militants have opened new fronts in the north and west and have stepped up attacks in the east.

At the same time, the surge has exacted a high price: More than 680 international troops, including at least 472 Americans, have been killed in 2010, making it the deadliest year of the war. Hundreds of Afghan civilians have also died, most as a result of Taliban attacks.

There has been little progress in dislodging the militants from their sanctuaries across the border in Pakistan. A corrupt and ineffectual Afghan government remains a fragile pillar of the U.S. war strategy. And many Afghans expect the Taliban to return to their southern strongholds when the winter snows melt.

The outlook is very clear - - we're wasting lots of money and lives and accomplishing nothing.

And, if "the war in Afghanistan has not broken decisively in favor of U.S.-led forces" after almost a decade, there's no reason to think it ever will.

Charlie "No Labels" Crist

Elected officials from across the country are kicking off a new group aimed at reducing political partisanship.

The inaugural meeting in New York of the group, called No Labels, attracted some 1,000 attendees on Monday.

They included New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who's a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, also participated.

So did Florida's Charlie Crist. He was elected governor as a Republican in 2006 and recently lost his independent bid for Senate.

"Confirmed bachelor" Charlie Crist started out his career in Florida state politics as a doctrinaire conservative Reagan Republican.

With an eye on national political office, in 2008, the fifty plus year old Crist finally found the gal of his dreams, married a wealthy younger divorcee with two young children, and gained an instant photo ready family.

But, after the Democratic sweeps in 2006 and 2008, Crist guessed wrong - - he shifted to the center and became a moderate Republican.

When Crist's new moderate stance started alienating his conservative Republican base, he dropped out of the Republican primary and ran for the U.S. Senate as an independent.

When middle of the road independence wasn't working, Crist ended the 2010 campaign season with an appeal exclusively tailored to Democrats, and attempted to become the de facto Democratic candidate.

None of his tap dancing worked, and Crist lost, badly.

Over the years, in his pursuit of political office, Crist changed his ideology, his political party, his sexual orientation and his marital status.

If Crist is a poster boy for "No Labels", it should be called "No Integrity".

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

School lunch . . . and breakfast and dinner

Thousands more children would eat lunches and dinners at school and all school food would become more nutritious under a bill President Barack Obama signed into law Monday, part of an administration-wide effort to combat childhood obesity.

Many, many kids already get free breakfast in school.

Now, they're also going to get free lunch and free dinner at school.

This will be at federal expense pursuant to federal mandate.

No one can any longer seriously contest the theory that the federal government is getting involved in too many activities beyond the scope of its proper limited role.

The healthcare mandate

A federal judge's ruling that a key provision of President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare law is unconstitutional moves the mandate that Americans buy insurance coverage one step closer to a Supreme Court showdown.

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson, a Republican appointee serving the Eastern District of Virginia, said that Congress had exceeded its constitutional power when it imposed the health insurance requirement.

"Despite the laudable intentions of Congress in enacting a comprehensive and transformative healthcare regime, the legislative process must still operate within constitutional bounds," Hudson wrote.

The insurance mandate -- which would compel even healthy young Americans to obtain coverage or pay a penalty -- is considered key to the plan's financial feasibility.
Should the courts ultimately reject the mandate, it would be "very difficult if not impossible" for the rest of the overhaul to work, said a senior administration official, whom the White House allowed to speak to reporters only on the condition of anonymity.

Obama spent an entire year assuring everyone that his healthcare reform would save money, and would not require or impose any new taxes.

Ironically, the Obama administration now attempts to counter all arguments that the insurance mandate is an unconstitutional penalty by arguing that it is in fact . . . a new tax!

Still pushing for civilian terror trials in NYC

The Obama administration Thursday urged Senate leaders to reject a legislative ban on the transfer of Guantánamo prisoners to U.S. soil, a move meant to corner the White House into staging a Sept. 11 trial at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.

The House of Representatives included the clause in a catchall spending bill Wednesday that passed by a 212-206 vote. The Senate has yet to vote on it.

Apparently, the administration still favors a civilian prosecution in NYC, notwithstanding the crippling security measures and high costs if the trial were staged in lower Manhattan, not far from where the World Trade Center once stood.

By now, they should have realized that this is a democracy, and the people don't want any part of that.

Jim Morrison pardoned for indecent exposure

Forty years after Jim Morrison was convicted of exposing himself at a wild Miami concert, this is the end: Florida's Clemency Board, egged on by departing Gov. Charlie Crist, pardoned The Doors' long-dead singer Thursday.

Some people who were at the Miami show March 1, 1969, insist even today that he exposed himself, though others in the audience and Morrison's bandmates contend he was just teasing the crowd and only pretended to do the deed. Crist, tuned in to the controversy by a Doors fan, said there was enough doubt about what happened at the Dinner Key Auditorium to justify a pardon.

The board, which consists of Crist and a three-member Cabinet, voted unanimously to pardon Morrison on indecent exposure and profanity charges as they granted several other pardons Thursday. At the hearing, the governor called the convictions a "blot" on the record of an accomplished artist for "something he may or may not have done."

This is who they're concerned about - - not living people wrongfully convicted or impressively reformed, but long dead rock stars.

No wonder every member of the board lost their bid for higher office last November.

Monday, December 13, 2010

One fourth of Guantanamo releasees return to terrorism

About one-fourth of all released Guantánamo detainees have been confirmed or suspected of engaging in terrorism or insurgency activity, the vast majority of them freed in the Bush years, according to a new U.S. intelligence report.

Remember when they were all portrayed as innocent shepherds wrongfully turned in by avaricious neighbors looking for a reward?

More Islamophobia

A bomb blast in a holy Indian city has killed a toddler and wounded dozens of other people.

The bomb exploded at a crowded bathing point in Varanasi one of India's holiest Hindu cities.

The explosion occurred at one of the city's many ritual bathing areas on the banks of the holy Ganges river, which was crowded with hundreds of Hindu devotees.

The explosion set off a stampede, with many people hurt in the blasts.

Along with the two-year-old toddler who was killed, several foreigners were also among the wounded.

Other major Indian cities, including Mumbai and New Delhi, were put on high alert directly following the blast which shook nearby buildings and damaged a nearby Hindu temple.

A home-grown Muslim militant group, Indian Mujahedeen, which also calls itself "the militia of Islam", claimed responsibility for the blasts in an email sent to media outlets.

According to the media, the root cause of the problem is American Judeo Christian Islamophobia.

So, how do they explain bombings of Hindus in India by "Indian Mujahedeen", the self styled "militia of Islam"?

Our Afghan allies

When Bibi Aisha's nose and ears were cut off by her husband and her in-laws, no one expected much to be done about it, especially because it happened in a remote area under Taliban control. . . .

Now it appears that, while Afghan law enforcement did not have a long enough arm to reach into the village that Aisha had fled, the police nonetheless did have long memories and this week arrested one of the suspects. . . .

Aisha's case came to prominence in August when Time magazine used a picture of her on its cover, with the suggestion that this was what would happen if the West left Afghanistan. A child bride, Aisha had fled her arranged marriage to a Taliban fighter but was captured and returned to the village, where her husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law carried out the mutilation, after approval by the local Taliban mullah. Left for dead, she said, she then fled to the safety of a women's shelter in Kabul run by Women for Afghan Women, which publicized her plight a year later. . . .

It is rare for the police in Afghanistan to intervene when local villagers impose punishments for social crimes, even severe ones such as flogging and stoning, which are allowed under Shariah law, the legal code of Islam based on the Quran. There is no Shariah law provision, however, for cutting off the nose and ears of a runaway child bride.

If they had simply raped, beaten, whipped, flogged, imprisoned, chained, tortured, enslaved and sold the runaway child bride, they would have gotten away with it. In fact, it would be considered perfectly socially acceptable action in Afghanistan

But, "there is no Shariah law provision . . . for cutting off the nose and ears of a runaway child bride." So, this one time, the groom and his family went too far.

For some reason, our government believes that we can get these people to convert to Western style secular democracy if we simply police their cities and drop enough drone bombs on them.

Haiti rioting again

Expert: UN Brought Cholera to Haiti
Nepalese base blamed for epidemic

A French researcher has reached the same conclusion about the Haitian cholera outbreak as rioters did: United Nations peacekeepers are the likely source. The expert—sent by the French government to help Haiti investigate the epidemic that has killed more than 2,000 people—believes the disease probably spread from a base used by Nepalese peacekeepers, according to a report obtained by AP.

There are many island nations in the Caribbean.

Haiti is the only one which is a complete and total hell hole, unable to govern itself or support its people.

The Haitians can scream and yell and riot and demand international assistance, but the primary fault for their predicament, and the chief cause of their problems, is themselves.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Voter i.d.

The next time N.C. voters go to the polls, they may have to offer more than their names and signatures. They might need a photo ID.

Republicans who take control of the General Assembly in January want to make North Carolina the 10th state requiring voters to show a driver's license or other photo ID. House leaders hope to pass a bill in their first 100 days.

Supporters call it a common-sense way to avoid voter fraud.

"It's necessary to ensure the integrity of the entire system," says GOP Rep. Ric Killian, a Charlotte Republican who sponsored a similar measure in 2009.

Skeptics fear it would dampen turnout, particularly among the elderly and disadvantaged, who tend to vote Democratic. Some say it's simply unnecessary.

Why is this a partisan issue?

If you can show your driver's license or other government issued identification to board a plane, check into a hotel, cash a check or use your credit card, you should be willing to show it before you vote.

Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards, the estranged wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, died Tuesday after a six-year fight with cancer, her family said. She was 61.,0,5250192.story

Elizabeth Edwards ran John Edwards' online campaign efforts in 2008.

These online efforts primarily consisted of rehashing the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and spreading new unfounded rumors regarding Bill and a movie star and Hillary and a campaign aide. In fact, Bill was too sick to fool around, and Hillary is not a lesbian.

While overseeing these efforts, Elizabeth Edwards was fully aware of her husband's career ending extracurricular activities.

The last years of Elizabeth Edward's life define the word "karma".

More liberal hypocrites discuss rape

The bizarre saga of WikiLeaks yielded an arrest and yet another unexpected wrinkle on Tuesday: One of the Swedish women who has accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of sex crimes was revealed to be a supporter of Cuban dissidents.

Anna Ardin's links to Cuba were posted on several websites Tuesday after Assange surrendered in London to answer a warrant issued for his arrest by Sweden. He is wanted for questioning after Ardin and another woman accused him of having sex with them without a condom and without their consent.

Last year, Hollywood liberals told us it wasn't "rape rape" if a preteen is slipped some pills and liquor and anally violated by a movie director.

Now, we hear it isn't rape if the victim supports Cuban dissidents.

Would it be rape if she wore a Che t-shirt?

Friday, December 10, 2010

First African lawmaker elected to Poland's parliament

Poland's parliament is getting its first ever African lawmaker, a teacher and Christian pastor from Nigeria who has lived in Poland for 17 years and proven himself a popular local leader.

John Abraham Godson is a councilman in the central city of Lodz. The 40-year-old will fill a seat in the national parliament vacated by a fellow lawmaker from the Civic Platform party.

That lawmaker, Hanna Zdanowska, was elected mayor of Lodz on Sunday. Godson was her runner-up in the 2007 parliamentary elections.

He said Monday that he feels honored and believes it is a "historic moment" for Poland. As a lawmaker he plans to support technological innovation in Poland and bolster ties with Africa.,0,3411851.story

All we ever hear about is the bigotry and racism and prejudice and Islamophobia of North America and Western Europe.

But, in reality, the West accepts and embraces immigrants from other lands.

Genocide is practiced today mainly in the South and East, in Africa and Asia.

Another day in Afghanistan

A suicide blast hit a flea market set up outside a joint US-Afghan military base in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, officials said, killing at least two Afghan soldiers and wounding foreign and Afghan forces.

Gulam Dastagir Rostumyar, deputy provincial police chief in Paktia said the blast tore through the bazaar in Gardez, the provincial capital.

"In a suicide attack in a flea market outside the military base, two Afghan National Army soldiers were killed and four were wounded," he said.

Does anyone really think our presence is having any positive effect?

Nice, but . . .

Poland's president lit a Hanukkah candle and distributed gifts to Jewish children on Sunday, continuing a tradition started by his predecessor of marking the Jewish holiday.

Bronislaw Komorowski welcomed members of Warsaw's Jewish community to his residence on the fifth day of the 8-day-long festival of lights, saying he believed the president's home should be a meeting place for different traditions.

"I am happy that you wanted come to our home, that you come with what is beautiful in the Jewish tradition - with what brings people together," Komorowski said during the ceremony at Belvedere Palace.

That was a very nice gesture. But, it hardly compensates for a millennium of discrimination, brutality and killing which culminated in Polish complicity and cooperation with the Nazi slaughter of 3+ million Polish Jews.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

More trouble in Iraq

Foreign fighters have been slipping back into Iraq in larger numbers recently and may have been behind some of the most devastating attacks this year, reviving a threat the US military believed had been mostly eradicated, intelligence officials said.

It is impossible to verify the number of foreign insurgents entering the country. But one Middle Eastern intelligence official estimated recently that 250 came in October.

US officials say the figure is far lower but have acknowledged an increase since August.

At the same time, Iraqi officials said there has been a surge in financial aid to Al Qaeda’s front group in Iraq as the US military prepares to leave by the end of 2011.

They said it reflects fears by Arab states over the growing influence of Iran’s Shi’ite-led government over Iraq and its Shi’ite-dominated government.

It's absolutely amazing how the US keeps getting everything wrong in Iraq.

We'll be leaving behind a proxy war between Iran and al Qaeda.

Whoever wins, we lose.

Iran mining its own uranium

Iran delivered a resolute message Sunday on the eve of talks with six world powers: We're mining our own uranium now, so forget about stopping our nuclear ambitions.

The Islamic Republic said it has produced its first batch of locally mined uranium ore for enrichment, making it independent of foreign countries for a process the West fears is geared toward producing nuclear arms.

No matter the U.N. sanctions over the program, "our nuclear activities will proceed and they will witness greater achievements in the future," Iranian nuclear chief Ali Salehi told state-run Press TV.

And Obama's response is . . . more talks.

I guess talks will end when Iran sets off its first nuclear bomb.

Let's hope it's a test, and not an attack.

Flippin' 'n' floppin'

The Obama administration is reversing its decision to push for oil and gas exploration off Florida's coastline, recalibrating its offshore drilling strategy in the wake of last spring's devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Under the new policy, announced Wednesday by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Florida's Atlantic coastline and the eastern Gulf of Mexico will remain closed to drilling at least through 2017. Instead, the agency will focus on areas already leased for drilling, including 43 million acres in the western and central Gulf.

Actually, the Obama administration is reversing its reversal of its decision regarding oil and gas exploration off Florida's coastline. They were against it before they were for it and now they're against it again, all in less than 2 years.

That's no way to run an industry, an economy or a country.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More Islamophobia?

Authorities say an individual has been arrested in the Baltimore area for plotting to blow up a military recruitment center.

Antonio Martinez, a Muslim convert who called himself Muhammed Hussain, was arrested and will appear in federal court on Wednesday, Fox News confirms.

An official told Fox News that the arrest was part of a sting operation and that there is no threat to the American public. The official said the suspect, who is reportedly a U.S. citizen, was given a phony bomb and was arrested after trying to detonate it.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the suspect's goal was to blow up a military recruitment center in Baltimore County.

I'm sure Time magazine will do an O.J. and go off looking for the "real criminals" (as always, non existent Islamophobic bigots).

Because no one else ever points it out, I'll repeat myself again - - the freest, richest, most educated, safest, most secure and most privileged Muslim community in the history of the world is the American Muslim community.

Our friends the Afghans

An Afghan border police officer opened fire on U.S. troops during a training mission in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing six of them in one of the worst such attacks in the past year, according to Afghan and NATO officials.

The shooting occurred along the border with Pakistan in the Pachir Wagam district of Nangarhar province at a facility to train Afghan security forces, according to Ahmad Abdulzai, a spokesman for the provincial governor. A senior police official said the shooter had been recruited into the border police two years ago.

"I think the Taliban has worked on him," the official said.

The Taliban issued a statement praising the police officer, whom the group identified as Izzatullah, for the killings. The group said the man "joined the police force of stooge regime in pursuit of an opportunity to eliminate any number of U.S.-NATO invaders until he got one today."

It's bad enough that Obama is throwing our children's lives away fighting for the Afghans.

It's inexcusable to allow them to be killed by the Afghans.

Obama's Club Fed

The imposing steel and concrete building known here as Camp 6 once was the bane of Guantánamo detainees and human rights groups alike.

Built in 2005 for $38 million, it was a grim collection of darkened cellblocks where detainees were locked into their cells most days for 22 hours. Food was passed to the captives through a slot in the steel door, and guards peered inside every three minutes, to make sure none had hanged themselves. Lawyers said the rugged regime amounted to solitary confinement and drove the detainees mad.

Now, however, Camp 6 has become the lockup of choice for captives. Inmates can lounge in the cellblock, watching big screen televisions or chatting with each other. Meals, delivered in bulk, are parceled out by the detainees themselves and leftovers are stashed in a pantry in case a detainee feels the urge.

Perhaps most important, say military officers, when a detainee tires, he can retreat to his private cell and close the door.

It's the guards now who are confined to cages, small enclosures at the edge of each cellblock where they watch detainees, but rarely have the need to be in close physical proximity.

Candidate Obama promised to shut down the Guantanamo prison camp, labelling it a recruiting tool for terrorists.

Instead, he turned it into a Club Fed for terrorists, complete with video games and athletic programs.

He really is a failure, isn't he?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

That's the embassy's job

Argentine politicians defended their leader's mental health, Bolivia denied its president had a tumor and Venezuela accused the United States of dividing the region, as WikiLeaks continued to rile Latin America with the release of some 251,000 confidential and secret U.S. diplomatic cables.

Among the disclosures this week are reports that Cuban spies have a direct line to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez -- often overshadowing Venezuela's own intelligence agency -- and that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires to delve into the psyche of Argentina's President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

. . . Delving into the personalities of foreign counterparts may be integral to modern diplomatic give-and-take. But the bluntly worded cable asking about the Argentine leader's "nerves" and "emotions" may further test up-and-down relations between Washington and Buenos Aires.

Why are people surprised that our embassies gather raw intelligence, including often speculative rumors and gossip? That's their job.

Is Israel killing Iran's nuclear scientists?

Iran's president accused Israel and the West of being behind a pair of daring bomb attacks that killed one nuclear scientist and wounded another in their cars on the streets of Tehran on Monday. He also admitted for the first time that a computer worm had affected centrifuges in Iran's uranium enrichment program.

Of course, anything that goes wrong in Iran is blamed on "Israel and the West".

But, let's hope that this time they're telling the truth.

And, let's hope that Israel teaches America how it's done.

To the shores of Tripoli

Alan Gross has dropped 90 pounds from his 250-pound frame, is losing feeling in his right foot and spent most of his summer watching Cuban baseball on TV.

The American arrested a year ago for illegally bringing Internet to Jewish groups in Cuba kills time with musical jam sessions with his jailers and by mapping out an economic recovery plan for the country that has held him without charges.

. . . Despite the public appeals for his freedom and letters to Castro -- Gross and his mother wrote him, too -- Friday will mark exactly a year since the world-traveling development worker found himself trapped in a diplomatic conflict between two nations.

The Cuban government recently rejected the Gross family's plea for a humanitarian release, and insisted that the case is moving forward like any other.

. . . Some have suggested that the Cuban government is holding out to pressure the United States to release five intelligence agents jailed in federal prison . . .

Gross has emerged as a pawn between two nations that severed diplomatic ties decades ago. His arrest appears to have stalled any momentum that may have existed for Havana and Washington to begin building bridges. Experts say Gross now serves as a symbol of both a nation that lacks the rule of law, and another's misguided efforts at promoting democracy.

The minimal basic duties of a national government do not include school lunch programs, the collection of estate taxes or mandating individual health insurance coverage. A nation may exist without any of those things.

The minimal basic duties of a national government do include the protection of citizens abroad. That's why Jefferson and Adams sent the Marines "to the shores of Tripoli" to protect Americans abroad from the Barbary pirates. In fact, the U.S. wasn't truly respected as a real nation until we fought and defeated those who kidnapped and enslaved American citizens on the high seas.

We're losing that credibility every time an American citizen is wrongfully seized and held abroad, whether in Cuba or Iran or any other despicable third world dictatorship.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Remember when we were told to be more like Europe?

Swiss voters on Sunday approved a plan to automatically deport foreigners who commit serious crimes or benefit fraud, in a significant victory for the nationalist party that pushed the proposal against the will of the government.

Some 52.9 percent of voters backed the proposal put forward by the nationalist Swiss People's Party. The plan was opposed by 47.1 percent of voters.

A government-backed counter proposal failed. It would have required case-by-case review by a judge before an individual was deported.

The government will now have to draft a law requiring automatic expulsion of foreigners found guilty of crimes such as murder, rape, drug dealing or benefit fraud.

Immediately kick out foreigners who murder, rape, deal drugs or commit welfare fraud - - what a concept!

Tunnels under our unprotected border

A sophisticated cross-border tunnel equipped with a rail system, ventilation and fluorescent lighting has been shut down by U.S. and Mexican officials — the second discovery of a major underground drug passage in San Diego this month, authorities said Friday.

The tunnel found Thursday is 2,200 feet long — more than seven football fields — and runs from the kitchen of a home in Tijuana, Mexico, to two warehouses in San Diego’s Otay Mesa industrial district, said Mike Unzueta, head of investigations at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego.

In Mexico, the tunnel’s cinderblock-lined entry dropped 80 to 90 feet to a wood-lined floor, Unzueta said. From the U.S. side, there was a stairway leading to a room about 50 feet underground that was full of marijuana.

This tunnel was used to smuggle marijuana.

Consider who and what else could be smuggled through tunnels across our unprotected southern border.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

President Flip Flop

The man of few principles and little backbone strikes out again.
Obama has signaled that he will bow to Republican demands for extending tax cuts at all income levels, and his remarks capped a day that lurched between political conflict and talk of compromise on an issue that played a leading role in last month's elections. . . .

Any deal would mean a reversal for Obama, who said in the 2008 presidential race and this year that he wanted to let cuts expire above incomes of $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.

"Bow to Republican demands"?

"Any deal would mean a reversal for Obama"?

How embarrassing!

The war on bake sales

He failed in his fights against al Qaieda, the Taliban, unemployment and deficits, so now Obama lowered his sights.
A child nutrition bill on its way to President Barack Obama — and championed by the first lady — gives the government power to limit school bake sales and other fundraisers that health advocates say sometimes replace wholesome meals in the lunchroom. . . .

"This could be a real train wreck for school districts," Lucy Gettman of the National School Boards Association said Friday, a day after the House cleared the bill. "The federal government should not be in the business of regulating this kind of activity at the local level."

The legislation, part of first lady Michelle Obama's campaign to stem childhood obesity, provides more meals at school for needy kids, including dinner, and directs the Agriculture Department to write guidelines to make those meals healthier. The legislation would apply to all foods sold in schools during regular class hours, including in the cafeteria line, vending machines and at fundraisers.

Putting aside the issue of whether public schools are the appropriate parties to be handed federally funded responsibility for feeding our children their breakfasts, lunchs and dinners in an institutional communal cafeteria setting, it is obviously over intrusive for the federal government to regulate the frequency of or "even ban bake sales". They really should have more important things to worry about in Washington, D.C.

And, the logic behind the proposed regulations and bans of library cookie sales and band pizza sales is ridiculous:
"These fundraisers are happening all the time," Wootan said. "It's a pizza sale one day, doughnuts the next... It's endless. This is really about supporting parental choice. Most parents don't want their kids to use their lunch money to buy junk food. They expect they'll use their lunch money to buy a balanced school meal."

Got that? In order to "support parental choice" of those who don't want their kids eating "doughnuts", we're going to preclude all parents from choosing to allow their kids to participate in school bake sales (and the activities they fund).

I guess "free choice" in Obama-world is the freedom to follow the mandates of the busy bodies and bureaucrats.

Missing radioactive packages

Workers at FedEx are breathing a sigh of relief after the company found a package containing radioactive material that had been missing for more than a day.

"It never left our custody," a FedEx spokesperson told Reuters.

The package, which contained radioactive rod used in CT scans, went missing from a shipping station in Knoxville, Tenn. on Thursday.

Earlier this month, FedEx predicted it would ship more than 223 million packages over the holiday season. But the one with radioactive material seemed to be the wrong one to lose.

The rod had been placed in a rectangular box which was then placed in another box, according to CNN. But somehow the box with the radioactive material got separated from the one with shipping information.

If you were a terrorist, and you read this article, you now know how to deliver your dirty bomb.

Friday, December 3, 2010

More bad news for people who hate the Catholic Church and the Pope

The Vatican on Thursday released documentation showing Pope Benedict XVI sought as early as 1988 to find quicker ways to permanently remove priests who raped and molested children but was rebuffed.

A 1988 letter from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger could serve as the Vatican's best defense to date that the future pope wanted to quickly remove pedophile priests but found himself stymied by church law.

In the letter, republished in Thursday's Vatican newspaper, Ratzinger complained that church law made it exceedingly difficult to remove abusers if they didn't request to be laicized voluntarily. He asked to get around the problem by finding "a quicker and simpler procedure" than a cumbersome church trial to punish those priests who "during their ministry were found guilty of grave and scandalous behavior."

He was turned down on the grounds that the priests' ability to defend themselves would be compromised.

The documentation was included in an article in L'Osservatore Romano explaining an upcoming revision of church law, which was last updated in 1983.

Got that? The (still relatively new) Pope didn't cover up the sex abuse scandal or protect abusive priests. In fact, more than two decades ago, before he was Pope, he tried to kick the molesters out of his church.

According to the mainstream media, Islamophobia is bad, and Judeo-Christophobia is good, so I guess good news about the Pope is bad news.

One way to get rid of illegal immigrants

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano lobbied for the DREAM Act Thursday saying immigration enforcement will be improved if Congress approves the bill that would legalize hundreds of thousands of undocumented students brought here illegally by their parents when they were children.

I guess she's correct - - if you legalize hundreds of thousands of undocumented students brought here illegally by their parents, it would be easier to enforce our immigration laws, because there would be hundreds of thousands less illegal aliens.

By that logic, if we legalized all illegal aliens, or repealed all immigration controls, it would be very easy to enforce our immigration laws. Of course, that would be stupid.

A new oil drilling oversight agency?

The presidential panel investigating the massive Gulf oil spill will likely recommend to President Barack Obama next year new ways for both the federal government and the oil industry to oversee offshore drilling safety.

Experts with the presidential oil spill commission on Thursday recommended that oil and gas companies drilling off the U.S. coast set up a safety institute similar to the one the nuclear industry formed after the 1979 Three Mile Island accident. The institute would address lapses that led to the Gulf spill.

They also said the federal government needed an independent agency to ensure offshore workers, drilling rigs and production platforms operate safely.

What BP did was illegal and subject to penalty under existing criminal, administrative and civil law.

We don't need a new agency with new government employees generating more government spending.

We need existing law enforcement employees to strictly enforce existing laws.

Stupid Cleveland

The freezing weather outside Quicken Loans Arena was nowhere near as bitter as the reception inside for LeBron James.

Cavaliers fans took every opportunity Thursday to let their former King know exactly how they felt about his departure, filling the arena well before the opening tip and directing everything from vulgarity to clever chants in his direction.

From the moment he stepped on his former home court, James heard a chorus of deafening boos. Every time he touched the basketball, he received the same treatment.

The signs and T-shirts also spoke volumes, with one T-shirt reading ``Loyalty over Royalty,'' and one sign reading ``LBJ: Play like it's Game 5,'' referencing the Game 5 Cavaliers loss to the Celtics last postseason, in which James was accused of quitting on his teammates.

The Cavaliers helped egg on the crowd, showing anti-LeBron signs on the big screen, as well as giving Charles Barkley, one of the more vocal critics of the way James exited Cleveland, plenty of face time on the big screen. Barkley received a raucous standing ovation, as did Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

Perhaps the most-asked question entering Thursday's contest was if James would do his pregame powder toss that he popularized as a member of the Cavs. James did complete his normal routine, even as the entire arena booed.

Imagine what could be accomplished if the citizens of Cleveland put as much time and effort into improving their terrible public schools, lowering their horrendous unemployment and crime rates, and cleaning up their dangerous poverty plagued ghettos.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Only in Washington, D.C. would this be considered controversial

Social Security taxes would rise and benefits would fall under proposals from the co-chairmen of the special deficit-reduction panel that's due to report to Congress this week.

In the rest of the country, people understand that you need to earn more or spend less when your bills go up.

Al Qaida is still in Iraq

Eleven people have been killed across Iraq in separate drive-by shootings and bombings including one that targeted members of an anti-al-Qaida militia, Iraqi officials said Wednesday. In the most deadly attack, a roadside bomb killed four people in the town of Shurqat, 155 miles (250 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad. Three of the dead were members of the Sons of Iraq, a Sunni militia that has been instrumental in lessening al-Qaida's deadly role in the country. Members of the group are often targeted by al-Qaida out of revenge and to intimidate others from joining them.

We invaded Iraq to take out Al Qaida.

So far, we failed.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Do Nelson and McCaskill really think this will help?

Only seven Democrats voted for the earmark moratorium in the Senate on Tuesday, including two who are likely looking ahead to their 2012 re-election bids.

Of the 23 members of the Democratic caucus who are up for re-election in 2012, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) supported the ban.

Their votes show that they are guarding their right flank on spending for their next campaigns. Spending -- and the national debt -- has become a dominant political issue in both Missouri and Florida, both of which look more red after the election results this year.

Two weeks ago, Nelson defended earmarks. At the Florida State Democratic convention last year, Nelson blew off my concerns about the deficit.

These politicians need to realize that people are not impressed by cynical politically motivated flip flops. In fact, when politicians demonstrate such a lack of integrity and conviction, such flip flops hurt. It's how you create an "enthusiasm gap".

No, this does not negate the evidence of global warming

A powerful storm that pummeled much of the West is promising to bring its chaotic mix of snow, sleet and ice to much of the Dakotas on Thanksgiving Day. The system closed roads and delayed flights from Anchorage to Salt Lake City on some of the busiest travel days of the year.

Meteorologists warned residents in the Dakotas to expect a range of messy wintery weather, from freezing drizzle in the eastern two-thirds of South Dakota to a possible blizzard in eastern North Dakota.

And, it doesn't prove it, either.

It's just another anecdote.

Of course, you should hope the weather heads west to the Utah and Colorado ski mountains.

Afghanistan: Negotiating with a fake

If it sounded too good to be true, that's because it apparently was. Afghan officials and Western diplomats acknowledged Tuesday that a man claiming to be a senior Taliban leader, who was flown to the Afghan capital in a NATO aircraft for talks this year, was almost certainly an impostor.

The incident was an embarrassment for Western military intelligence and for the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, both of whom were at least temporarily taken in by the ruse.

Our fake democratic, fake ally Karzai was negotiating our defeat with a fake Taliban official.

Things are going so badly in Afghanistan that we can't even find the right guy to accept our surrender.

Of course, this story got less coverage than the "Dancing with the Stars" cheating allegations.