Friday, July 31, 2009

New Scare Force One Photos

The remaining scare force one photos were pumped out in a classic Friday afternoon doc dump today thanks to a FOIA. Here's one of the 146:


Retouched a bit in a photo editor. While I'm no expert they appear to be from a point-n-shoot. There's the window glare we saw in the original and some back lighting, but the larger issue is why they would run a low photo shoot with haze? Usually PR shots are done after a frontal passage when the air is most clear. Fire the meteorologist!

Gibbs was quizzed about it at today's presser:
Q Separate issue -- the release of the Air Force One photos today. Apparently an e-mail from Colonel Turner, of the Presidential Air Group, says that former Secretary Caldera and George Mulligan had both blessed the event and were to brief you and Jim Messina prior to it. Were you briefed?

MR. GIBBS: No. I think anybody can look back at the transcript of the day that I came out here and it's -- I don't think the transcript denotes maybe the look on my face, but I think the answer denotes -- and the report that we ultimately released says that unfortunately neither Jim nor I were briefed. Safe to say, I think if we were, we wouldn't have had those fancy pictures.
Safe to say if anyone can decipher that answer they deserve a medal. Safe to say the photographer won't get many more assignments, assuming this was actually a photo mission.

But it's nice to see the Times develop a sense of angst here months after the event and late on a Friday afternoon. On their blog.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Holder's Moment

At last check Eric Holder was still charged with determing whether to prosecute government officials who treated terrorists a bit too rough, although in the swirl of birthers and beers we haven't heard much on that for awhile. He's also heavily involved in the handling of the Gitmo shutdown assuming it ever occurs.

I don't say this very often but Debra Burlingame's Wall St. Journal piece on the Richard Reid and the Supermax is an absolute must-read speaking to the issue of detention. The jihad wages on no matter what Americans are discussing at any given moment, as evidenced by the busting of two recent homegrown cells. Here's an excerpt:
Reid’s own SAMs on correspondence had been tightened in 2006 after the shocking discovery that three of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers at ADX, not subject to security directives, had sent 90 letters to overseas terrorist networks, including those associated with the Madrid train bombing. The letters, exhorting jihad and praising Osama bin Laden as “my hero of this generation,” were printed in Arabic newspapers and brandished like trophies to recruit new members.
Meanwhile Attorney General Eric Holder was providing a shocking dose of reality to ABC News:
He noted, however, that the Bush administration "left us an infrastructure that I think is very good," and that national security officials are constantly striving to put the country in a safer position.

"The American people would be surprised by the depth of the threat, but also reassured to see the assets that have been deployed around the world," Holder said, adding that the United States interacts closely with its foreign partners.
It's refreshing and shocking to hear anything good coming from the Obama administration about their predecessors but it's hard to argue with Bush's decisions on battling terrorists. His pragmatic approach temporarily ignored the civil libertarians and civil rights crowd long enough for the government to get a handle on the problem and it worked. Now, as the threat has apparently subsided, the civil liberatarians and rights advocates are bobbing to the surface and demanding retribution and demanding Holder do something. But he knows things.

Ms. Burlingame's piece makes clear the importance of Gitmo versus domestic lockup after 9/11 (and I'd add the secret prisons as well) with examples of indicents involving terrorists given the right to communicate with their mates from jail (this mystery didn't get very much sunshine). Placed in context with Holder's mention of the 'depth of threats' it certainly merits consideration.

The Holder piece also delves into possible indefinite detentions despite his assertion that a closed Gitmo being safe for the American people:
"The possibility exists that there could be people who are held in a preventative way under the laws of war," he said. "If that happens, we'd only do so by creating a system that had due process.
Or put another way, the possibility exists that bashing Bush and closing Gitmo on day two was the mother of all political stunts, from the guy who promised to change politics as usual, and there's no way in hell they're letting KSM walk into a federal courtroom. After all, Holder now has a complete picture of the intelligence dating back to when he worked at Justice for Clinton and Janet Reno. He was there when KSM and bin Laden were plotting 9/11 under their noses. We can only hope it was a teachable moment.

Hey, Who Invited Joe?

Obama told everyone not to call the man-talk teaching session a "beer summit", then said:
It's a clever term, but this is not a summit, guys," Obama told reporters. "This is three folks having a drink at the end of the day, and hopefully giving people an opportunity to listen to each other. And that's really all it is. This is not a university seminar."
Three? How did Joe get into the picture? Maybe he saw the beer cart and followed it. Or maybe he was there as The Enforcer. Anyway, if it wasn't a beer summit maybe it was a local chapter meeting of the he-man women-haters club, since the other involved party, the witness Ms. Whalen who got labeled by some a racist, was snubbed.

Never can tell, maybe something good will come out of the meeting other than a photo-op. We'll see what the players say in their post-game interviews.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Errrr, Errrr

Sorry, just using the local slang. Hey--no hard feelings about Voinovich talking stupidly, consider it a teaching moment--for him. Let this be known as an official invite to for him to come down here to share a beer and some private man-talk. That's the official remedy now, right?

Actually this is a post about birtherism, the hot topic sweeping the nation right now that has some Republicans running for their lives.

Here's the way I see it (today):

1. If the presented Hawaiian certification of live birth, which is an abstract of the official certificate of live birth (certainly a confusing distinction to more than a few on both sides) is not phony then Obama is almost certainly a natural born citizen. The only way he's not is if the Hawaiians are in on the conspiracy, which is far too loony and dangerous, or the information submitted to the health department was phony, which would implicate a hospital unless he was actually born at home.

2. Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, who got famous by breaking the Dan Rather Bush National Guard fake docs story is simply wrong in his latest post about 'nirthers'. The closing flip-off does not comport with the obvious differences made clear by the two documents he presents as evidence of case closed. Until recently CNN was denying a vault version even existed, but there is clearly information available on the long form, such as hospital and attending physician, that isn't on the COLB. That's plain to see, so perhaps Mr. Johnson has become too invested in the ridicule to back off on anything.

3. There's nothing wrong with the peeps wanting personal background information on their POTUS. After all, he's got his finger on the football. Most presidential candidates come equipped with such background thanks to years of media inquires and features but Obama was an outlier, someone who we only knew through two self-written books and who has few living close relatives and the ones left ain't talking. So why is curiosity bad here? Obama-Biden called Bush the most secretive presidency in history and vowed sunshine, after all. If it's bad when family values Repubs have affairs and father illegitimate children then it's bad when new age politicians promising openness shut the windows.

4. No good deed goes unpunished--proven again. Her spirit is encouraging, though.

5. Armageddon--that's what many birthers seem to want. If somehow the vault copy were to be released and didn't contain a hospital or attending physician the POTUS would be in serious trouble as he's already claimed to have been birthed in a hospital. Therefore, even if he came into the world at a private home in Honolulu via a midwife and the BC is based on affidavits from his mother/grandmother the release would create an instant firestorm. Do we really need a firestorm right now?

With the economy teetering and that little flu thing to worry about, maybe not. Not only that, but if Abu the American is still paying attention from his cave that would be a good time to send another attack our way. So the negatives are strong.

The GOP needs to think of a creative way to both keep this story on the burner and make it go away, otherwise the left will surely mold the story and the players before driving the whole thing off a cliff. A retreat wouldn't be the worst thing since one never know what events may transpire. For instance, maybe Obama's Aunt Z will inadvertently spill some beans at her upcoming third immigration hearing early next year. She must know for sure where Obama was born. If so conservatives would have cover enough to sit up and say 'hey"!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Powell on Gates

The General apparently has a different idea of what's teachable:
I would say, the first teaching point is when you’re faced with an officer trying to do his job and get to the bottom of something. This is not the time to get in an argument with him. I was taught that as a child. You don’t argue with a police officer.
Wonder if the pundits will call this strike two on the One from the big guy? Wonder if Gibbs will retaliate tomorrow? Whatever the case, it's nice to hear Powell back as the voice of reason.

As to the big beer bust on Thursday, why is Obama choosing a foreign brew, and why is the Times calling it "all-American"?

Tough Love Fantasies

In many ways the election of Barack Obama has been like the opening of a giant Pandora's Box. Years of pent-up liberal fantasies keep popping out, now suddenly possible, no matter how radical.

Check this one out, for instance. It's from the LA Times blog but represents the exact sentiment that scares the daylights out of so many people about government-controlled health care:
If you happen to be the 1-in-3 Americans who is neither obese nor overweight (and, thus, considered at risk of becoming obese), you might well conclude that the habits of the remaining two-thirds of Americans are costing you, big time. U.S. life expectancies are expected to slide backward, after years of marching upward. (But that's their statistical problem: Yours is how to make them stop costing you all that extra money because they are presumably making poor choices in their food consumption.)
This writer, probably skinny, wants to move beyond simply being grossed out over her neighbor's penchant for Krispy Kremes and Thickburgers to the point of actually controlling and punishing them for it. She's certainly not alone. How many self-identified lefties would have a big problem with the idea of the federal government operating as a giant set of brass knuckles to influence whatever cause du jour they happen to be pushing at the moment? Just don't listen to their phone calls or scan their email looking for terrorists and things are fine.

Decades ago ideas like this one would have been laughed off the pages:
Key among the "interventions" the report weighs is that of imposing an excise or sales tax on fattening foods. That, says the report, could be expected to lower consumption of those foods. But it would also generate revenues that could be used to extend health insurance coverage to the uninsured and under-insured, and perhaps to fund campaigns intended to make healthy foods more widely available to, say, low-income Americans and to encourage exercise and healthy eating habits.
Now they are reported seriously. As if healthy foods are not already available to 'low-income Americans'? It's called choice, something the left apparently only believes when it applies to fetuses living or dying. Or perhaps grandma. If it wasn't so judgmental it would almost be racist.

But it's the central core of everything being pushed--control. Cap and trade, health care, immigration, wealth distribution, and targeted lifestyle taxes are all about centralized control under the cover of saving the world, saving money, saving lives. There's probably an old book out there somewhere that predicted this stuff. Oh well, in leftyland the ends have always justified the means. They now control the lights, gates and ticket booths. Or as McCain is apt to say, elections have consequences, my friends.

Limbaugh warned of this stuff years ago (which is why they excoriate him and others like him) but it doesn't take a guy operating on half a brain to see the writing on the wall these days.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Boobs, Buds and Birthers

All seem to be in the news lately.

Boobs, as in people who fly off the handle at police officers who've shown up at their house to prevent a burglary. And boobs as in fake boobies, which the Democrats are now considering taxing along with other fake and real body alterations, which could disproportionately affect the Speaker. Yes it's a fun tax! Fun for the whole family. And yes, it's probably already buried somewhere in the bill they haven't read.

And Buds, as in marijuana, which California is apparently considering taxing due to the desperation of their financial situation. Hey, they say everything happens first in Cali then spreads. Just imagine it with a Vegas twist--casino cocktail waitresses passing out drinks and doobies while people gamble and glance at fake boobies up on the stage, all for the good of Uncle Sam and the children. Sounds rather Biblical somehow, as in right before the fireballs and pillars of salt.

And finally birthers, as in mostly Republicans except for Phillip Berg and Larry Johnson (who seems rather silent now that Hillary's run is over) that believe Obama is not a natural born citizen and therefore an illegitimate prez. They've been around awhile of course but are just now getting more attention for some reason, like in the White House briefing room today. It's utter craziness. Hey, maybe that 'chemtrail' stuff is for real! Or maybe just politics as usual.

This site has never shied from discussing conspiracies but birtherism seems pretty lame. There's no credible evidence Obama was born in Kenya, which is the only way the story has any meaning, unless one includes the various WND and Africa Press blog stories. Even if he was, his mother was a legitimate citizen and the most likely intent of the framers in this area was to keep people like Arnold out of the White House (he might even be mentioned in the Federalist Papers), ie, someone born to foreign parents in a foreign land who, during a war, might side with the old country.

Actually, the administration is likely playing a shell game here. They are mocking the birth cert folks to keep attention off real failures and even the real conspiracy--the refusal to release his college transcripts, which for all we know could indicate lousy marks in English making his authorship of "Dreams" even less probable. It also squelches the Khalid al-Mansour question or why they never released the Rashid Khalidi tapes while principled MSM crews were busy scavenging dumpsters in Wasilla looking for dirt on Trigg Palin.

As you read this there are right now beautiful people in Hollywood (some with fake boobs) who believe with every fiber of their beings that the Bush administration was involved in conspiracies about 9/11, Iraq and the anthrax letters without very much proof other than maybe a palm reading. Yet due to their resumes, their star alignments, and their awesome hotness they aren't called nuts, just eccentric slightly misguided patriots.

The whole thing depends on which flavor of conspiracy one chooses to believe, since these days nearly everything is in question. Or perhaps the real truth is that none of them are mature enough to handle the internets. Them, not us.

Oh, and in case you were wondering how all these things tie together, it's glaringly obvious, isn't it?

MORE 7/27/09


Any considerable reading from the two sides on this BC issue inevitably goes back to the announcement made by the Registrar of Vital Records in Hawaii verifying they had seen Obama's 'original' birth cert on file. The birthers claim this is evidence of a long form whereas in reality all that statement did was verify that the document floated on Kos was authentic, ie, they didn't invent the damn thing out of whole cloth. The statement has never addressed the part of the form not released.

Any Obamabots who are saying the short form shows everything they've got are wrong. States don't just destroy vital records, they put them on film or disk and one can request them for a fee. Matter of fact, Hawaii required people trying to verify ancestry to have the longer more comprehensive form until just last month, when they changed the requirement to include either short or long (and said the long wasn't available anymore). Interesting time to change that requirement and something completely ignored by the Palinmanic media.

That said, Obama is clearly a natural born US citizen by common sense standards due to his birth in Honolulu in 1961. The dept of vital records would not lie about this. The birthplace on the short form is listed as Honolulu, which is no doubt what's in the 'long form' or digital data base, etc. Anything else is rank speculation. However, it's appropriate to ask why he won't release his college records, which could show his citizen status and the kinds of financial aid he received. That would be another whole can of worms related to Indonesia and/or some kind of fraud--all speculation at this point without any information. Since the Times won't bother maybe Dan Rather can poke around on it. Is Mary Mapes available?

Nat Geo Anthrax Show

Just watched the NatGeo show and it definitely favored the conspiratorial side of the house. That's usually what happens when the FBI cannot provide a spokesman to prevent their side--this is still an open investigation (for now). Of course it's also sexier.

Some thoughts: The handwriting expert they had on said the writing on the attack letters suggested a Muslim. Why? She didn't say, only suggesting a Muslim was ruled out because the date (9-11-09) used the standard US non-military protocol, as if a Muslim terrorist might not deliberately try to throw off the authorities by using our standard convention.

Also, the use of Ivins' former supervisor at Fort Detrick as a source of information--a man who believes he wasn't the killer--was a fairly powerful voice against the FBI version.

Other than that, the show really didn't provide much new information. I've always wondered why someone couldn't have parlayed a sample off one of the eight matching vials of RMR-1029 outside Ft. Detrick and how they would know this didn't happen.

And have we ever heard Steven Hatfill explain why he thought the FBI pursued him so vigorously and publicly? Wonder if he considers himself a foil for the government to keep people from worrying about the possibility of more attacks or just the victim of gross incompetence? A book would be interesting.

Anyway, the NatGeo show didn't interview Ed Lake or some of the other web sleuths who've covered this story forever. Checking his site there's nothing up yet about the show at the time this was written. He did link to this summary of the online debate, which no doubt includes those who believe the letters were done by a government lab and may even one day track back to Dick Cheney. Or even unravel the entire 9/11 attack itself as some kind of neocon inside job. C'mon, you know who you are!

At the same time some of those same folks are probably laughing hysterically at the Obama "Birthers". Scott Shane from the New York Times was interviewed extensively for the anthrax show and seems unconvinced of the official story. Meanwhile, his paper basically laughed off the birth cert thing over the weekend. Sure, parts of it deserve to be laughed off (for the record, I believe Obama is a natural born citizen) but it does seem weird that a near genius like Obama would so adamantly insist his college transcripts be hidden from public view. Perhaps Mr. Shane could do some digging around, if he has the time.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Guardian Sea Ice Scare

This is largely hyped nonsense:
The pictures, kept secret by Washington during the presidency of George W Bush, were declassified by the White House last week. President Barack Obama is currently trying to galvanise Congress and the American public to take action to halt catastrophic climate change caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
First they admit the photos were from a 'spy satellite' then say Bush 'kept (them) secret'. Well, I guess it's now outrageous to think pictures from a "spy satellite" might be secret. Good thing we've got Mr. Sunshine around to release spy photos! Maybe next he could release some shots proving whether OJ was the real killer.

The Guardian took what amounts to be evidence of an ice retreat that peaked in 2007 and turns it into a sign of the coming apocalypse:
One, taken in July 2006, shows sea ice still nestling close to the shore. A second image shows that by the following July the coastal waters were entirely ice-free.
The ice has definitely retreated from climatological norms but it's not as if we hadn't noticed--as if Bushco kept the satellites turned off during the past eight years to keep the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the dark. Sensationalizing these kinds of stories is why the majority of Americans are skeptical of global warming claims.

The only point here is the pictures provide scientists a very high resolution look at the ice fields. If spy satellite shots were released elsewhere they would get high resolution pictures from elsewhere. This is more a stunt concocted by environmentalists and helped along by a compliant Obama administration eager to pass a risky cap'n tax wealth distribution that has nothing to do with climate change scheme.

By the way, most people probably don't realize that large open areas can develop in the main sea ice pack, even near the North Pole. Here's the USS Hampton surfacing around the pole in 2004:


And if you think that proves global warming, here's an earlier surfacing:



And here's an older picture of the Seadragon and Skate from August 1962:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Worst Fans in Baseball At it Again

The same fan base infamous for throwing batteries at players reached a new low today. Click on image to see the video and get the story..



Hopefully they meet the same fate as these geniuses. Of course, unless somebody in the stands saw it and narc-ed them out they probably won't. LaRussa should protest, just to make a point (sorry).

Side Tracks

The Fifth Dimension were pop icons in the 60s and early 70s, and did this somewhat corny (but classic) medley on a variety show back in the day..



Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. are still making music.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cambridge Police Should Invite Obama and Gates

Instead of forcing the white police officer to attend what would have to be awkward moment at the White House with Obama and his professor pal Gates, or worse--be forced to turn down the offer and suffer the wrath of the media while making Obama look magnanimous by comparison, perhaps the Cambridge Police could invite Obama and Gates to attend a police function somewhere in the city. Do they still have Policeman's Balls? Or maybe a Just Say No seminar, or whatever they are called today.

Don't misunderstand--it's good the president backtracked off Robert Gibbs' Friday morning comments suggesting the police were a bunch of typical bitter McCain clingers. Bush never apologized for anything until forced by the press late in his second term when he was busy both wrecking and saving the economy. And never mind that Obama's comment wasn't technically an apology, it was close enough for government work.

But it's over. We can now get back to the important things, like news of Sarah Palin and her approval numbers upon leaving office (but not about her ahem, "independent" detractors) and of course, Dick Cheney.

CAN WE PLEASE HAVE SOME LEVITY HERE? 07/26/09

Maybe Obama's still ticked off about all those parking tickets. And good grief,
Bizarrely, he and the Cambridge, MA, officer who arrested him, James Crowley, both trace their ancestry back to the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages, a famous Irish chieftain.
He's a Mc. No wonder. He was probably drunk.

Wait a Minute...

Obama is now saying, both in Primetime Presser Four and during his interview with Ms. Perky that he's saved an economy on the brink of another Great Depression. From the Couric interview:
President Obama: I disagree that the stimulus plan is not working. Think about where we've been. I think people maybe have a selective memory here. It was only four or five months ago that people thought we might go into a Great Depression. We have gone through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

And, since that time, we have stabilized the financial markets. We have created the ability of businesses to borrow again. We have prevented thousands of layoffs in states all across the country. We have made sure that people have extended unemployment insurance.
Well, OK. If the White House admits the stimulus was more of a two year plan with most of the infrastructure jobs coming later (we don't hear 'shovel ready' very much anymore) and if raw economic numbers suggest job creation was inflated in earlier estimates and that the meager tax cuts in the stimulus haven't stimulated much, and that federalizing two car companies and a few banks has also not caused any significant upward swings, then what saved the country from the brink of depression?

Obama suggests it was his stabilization of the financial sector. So he must be talking about TARP, right? Which was a G.W. Bush initiative. The same man he blames for bringing us to the brink.

Everyone knows he set the bar low coming in to get the stimulus passed (which may end up more of a vote buying scheme for the 2010 elections if they don't police it thoroughly) in order to take credit for the eventual business cycle uptick or if the country didn't collapse in three months. So here we are. Politics as usual.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Time for Bush

Apparently they got tired of putting Obama on the cover. Or maybe it's just a good time to change the subject to Bush, Cheney and Libby, where it belongs. Yep, this is about Time's article on the pardon that wasn't.

Cap'n Ed (no relation to Cap'n Trade) seems to buy this as an intriguing look behind the scenes. Consider me somewhat unsold.

No question the Time writers got them some amazing comments, quips, quotes from somebody privy to the players. The article covers the supposed last minute battle between Cheney and Bush over a Libby pardon in which Darth almost crossed the line (and punched Dubya?). Such inside goop is usually only reserved for the New York Times or the higher prestige journalists at National Enquirer so it's almost certain somebody from Texas passed this along for effect as per this Fire Dog, although we disagree on why. It's fun to watch her implore her readers not to believe an MSM rag because BushCo are still Nazis.

And she wasn't very appreciative of the litterings of liberal boilerplate throughout the article, including a Bush Chimpy picture on the sidebar and random links to unflattering 'top tens', or the dime store historical summary of how Joe Wilson came to write his "Bush Lied" story that began this whole charade and the downfall of Bush's presidency (and the rise of the Pelosi-Reid jiggernaut).

To hear these writers tell it, or not tell it, Wilson flew down from heaven on new angel wings riding a unicorn with the Goddess Plamura to save the world. Maybe one day we'll see a behind-the-scenes expose on the lefty players in Plamegate and their play by play, like how NY Times reporter Nic Kristoff met up with Val and Joe to get the ball rolling or what Woodward was up to.

Or perhaps we'll see some sinister innuendo come out about how Time's own former reporter Matt Cooper was compromised due to his marriage to former Hillary strategist Mandy Grunwald, or why Andrea Mitchell of NBC News told CNBC 'everybody' in Washington covering national security knew about Plame's CIA position yet for some reason nobody ever told Russert, even though they told him everything else.

Ah well, Cheney's seminal defense comes on page four:
The Vice President argued the case in that Oval Office session, which was attended by the President and his top aides. He made his points in a calm, lawyerly style, saying Libby was a fall guy for critics of the Iraq war, a loyal team player caught up in a political dispute that never should have turned into a legal matter. They went after Scooter, Cheney would say, because they couldn't get his boss. But Bush pushed past the political dimension. "Did the jury get it right or wrong?" he asked.

Cheney replied that the conviction for obstruction of justice was based on what amounted to a case of "he said, he said," a disagreement between his longtime aide and a journalist. Libby had told the grand jury he remembered first hearing Plame's name from NBC's Tim Russert. But notes obtained by prosecutors indicated that Cheney had been the first to identify her to Libby. And Russert denied at Libby's trial that he had mentioned Plame to the defendant. The jury sided with Russert. Cheney, however, considered it an open question. "Who do you believe, Scooter or Russert?" he asked Bush.

And Cheney went further. Even if Russert was right, Libby may have honestly forgotten what was said during a single conversation in a typically busy day. Memories are fallible. Only an overzealous prosecutor and a liberal Washington jury would criminalize a bad one, he argued.
It's clear--if we can believe even one morsel of this tale--that Cheney was using a greater good argument with the Decider, ie, Libby's value as a terror warrior outweighed any kind of silly process crime committed to stop a political stunt that featured the use of national security to score cheap and desperate political points. At least it is to me.

To lefties it might come off as Cheney trying to remind Bush that Libby was a crucial neocon worker bee in their quest of lies and deceit to get Iraq's oil or take over the world for PNAC, or something. Not sure how moderates might describe it other than with a yawn. In truth there's probably some truth here along with some misunderstimation.

Anyway, it might be interesting to know who leaked all this. As the article mentions (paraphrasing) the Dems have Eric Holder on call over at Justice stirring a big smoking pot of torture trial while a judge might grant CREW a FOIA request of Cheney's conservation with Fitzgerald, so the threat is out there looming although it's more directed at the Emperor than Darth (using the chart from Time's competition).

And since this is presumably the kind of access only a Bush person would have--even the Dems wouldn't be bold enough to invent this stuff out of whole cloth or even partial cloth--that suggests a pre-emptive strike from Texas to position the former president in a principled and out of the loop light while Cheney gets positioned as Cheney.

But if Libby did fib to save the bosses the story lays out some of his potential reasons through Cheney, which might be useful at some point, I suppose. Whomever leaked it also had to know that Time would never point out Scooter's service in support of our country after the worst terror attack in history, so I just did.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another Obama Policy Meeting

For such a dynamic speaker he certainly can get pretty deep in the wonk. As O'Reilly said after it was over, "what the hell did he say?" Which is the problem. He'll never sell the American people unless he can bring it down to a more simple level. Even George W. Malaprop was capable of that.

The press was their normal docile self but even so Obama seemed a bit snarky, in his own silky smooth way of course. He subtly went after doctors (yet still refuses to bash lawyers in this affair) and even a few cops. Reporters weren't immune from his quiet wrath, as he seemed to suggest they were to blame for not getting photos and sleuthing out the attendees at his health care meetings rather than apologizing for not releasing the visitor logs. A Cheney by any other name?

But unless these reporters are being blackmailed they should be embarrassed and ashamed for an utterly limp attempt to ferret out the truth of this plan. It's doubtful public perceptions on this thing--that it's socialized medicine; that people will be fined if they don't want health care and don't sign up; that small business will be surtaxed; that illegal aliens will get free care while old sick people are denied; that abortions will be provided from the state; that it will drive private insurers out of business; that the state will eventually have to mandate which field doctors enter based on need; and that it will bankrupt the country, were changed. And this ain't just coming from the tea baggers this time.

The Stanley Thing

File this under "local news that might make a national splash due to the titillation and hypocrisy potential". Word of a blackmail attempt on local state Senator Paul Stanley, R, Germantown, hit the press late yesterday. The blackmail involved a 22 year old intern. At this point it's unclear as to whether we have a little league Mark Sanford or a legitimate victim here, but today Stanley resigned from his powerful committee post, which makes him appear somewhat more guilty than victim.

To make matters worse for the GOP, Stanley was a vocal advocate of family values and even tried to oppose gay adoption (not adopting gay people but them adopting kids) in the legislature (ruled unconstitutional). So the hypocrisy well runs deep here.

Although we don't have all the details yet; and even if Stanley didn't have sex with that woman, Miss Morrison; the notion of nude pictures of her in his apartment does enough damage.

There are questions, of course. Who took the pictures? Who put them on a memory stick? What was the boyfriend doing in Stanley's apartment, or did the paramour provide him with them? If so, why wasn't she charged as well? Is Stanley a complete moron? Or was the entire thing a setup/shakedown? Was Morrison sent to Nashville under deep cover to take down a Republican or was she the innocent victim, manipulated by an older man?

Whatever the case he's still innocent until proven guilty, except on the internet and within society at large. And while he seems a likable guy (it's always hard to say with politicos) it's normally a safe bet to assume his family will suffer the greatest damage from any proven peccadillo, which would be the true tragedy.

But at the same time the GOP really needs to refine their message going forward before every single member spontaneously erupts. Their family values apple cart has made it far too easy for sneering Dems who want an anything goes society to turn them into pinatas when they fall short (and they will), which hurts the entire program. How about a bit more humility and less judgment? After all, God recommends it. And it can be done. Despite all the slings and arrows over eight long years George W. Bush maintained his 'compassionate conservative' posture throughout. Then again..

Monday, July 20, 2009

Entrance, Stage Left

It's crunch time and Obama's big health dreams are on the line. Time to call out the dogs of war:
"I know the blogs are best at debunking myths that can slip through a lot of the traditional media outlets," he said. "And that is why you are going to play such an important role in our success in the weeks to come."
Aside from the hilarity he obviously doesn't mean all the blogs, such as the right leaning blogs currently debunking health care myths now. He means the lefty versions schooled in rolling debunkers, intimidating the media, and scaring the politicos.

Studying Obama's message it's clear his use of the phrase "debunking myths" in regards to the traditional media is ludicrous considering the fact they've been bending over backwards (and sometimes bowing forwards) to help his health care agenda get top billing. Nor is he necessarily targeting the right wing bloggers, since if they held much sway the Stimulus would have never passed. So who's standing in the way?

Not the Republicans. The Democrats could roll right over them and pass a bill tomorrow with no dissent and 60 votes for cover. Gotta be the Blue Dogs. Obama's threat to use a party line vote is surely a bluff but it signifies a fear that he's afraid he'll be left standing there with Pelosi, naked, holding the socialized medicine flag as things come crashing down. A change as massive as government health care requires political cover and the Blue Dogs surely aren't gonna jump on a liberal chuck wagon if it costs them reelection. Hey- Obama can only blame Emanuel since he's the one who recruited DINOs to win back Congress in 2006. Payback and such.

So what to do? The Chicago way might involve implied threats, which some of these bloggers have shown a talent for in the past. But chances are they will be used to define a working theme (coordinated through the Journo List?) that can be fed to the MSM in an effort to turn the polls around before August. If the polls turn, the Blue Dogs can more safely turn back left. If not there's always time for some Chicago action later. As DeMint said, a Waterloo is looming.

CNN -- Conspiracy Busters

CNN spent the weekend tackling a few conspiracy theories. No, not the 9/11 mystery plane (hmm, "interesting") or the anniversary of TWA800, they stuck to the more important 40th anniversary of the moon landings and a certain birth certificate.

First, reporters took a somewhat serious look at Al Gore's favorite comparative device-faked moon landings, and in the process provided some light entertainment:
Kaysing theorized NASA sent the Apollo 11 astronauts up in a rocket until it was out of sight, then transferred the lunar capsule and its three passengers to a military cargo plane that dropped the capsule eight days later in the Pacific, where it was recovered. In the meantime, he believed, NASA officials filmed the "moon landing" at Area 51, the high-security military base in the Nevada desert, and brainwashed the astronauts to ensure their cooperation.
Wouldn't it be wild to watch the military transfer astronauts from a capsule traveling thousands of miles an hour to a transport plane flying around 500? That might be better than a moon landing itself. The article did mention some soon to come incontrovertible proof--pictures from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter expected to show some of the toys still parked up there. But who needs it? There's no way to compartmentalize such a massive project and keep the Soviets from leaking it to the Times. Well wait check that, it was a Kennedy legacy. Even still...

CNN also tackled the Obama birth certificate conspiracy with the seriousness they thought it deserved:



That's the same lawyer representing the Army Major (now joined by two others) in the lawsuit against Obama. She appears somewhat wacky. Not sure about Keyes but his point about releasing everything and anything to answer the questions sounds fairly prudent for a president who espouses sunshine in government, that is, assuming the birthers would accept the evidence if it didn't go their way. Even if they didn't the saga would be closed for most people, that is unless it was released on the Daily Kos again.

THE SKEWED VIEW 7/20/09

First Rosie and fire, now Whoopie and the lunar wind. Loons.

By the way, most people still remember where they were when Armstrong stepped out of the capsule and onto the lunar surface (or according to Whoopie, the surface of Area 51). I was home from school. We had been watching the coverage on TV there earlier. Everyone was excited.

Like many other kids I had become a rocket nut, purchasing and building scale models of the Saturn Five and the LEM and flying them around the back yard. It was a time when it seemed America could do anything.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tom Time Traveler

Everyone kept waiting for him to do the el-foldo. And he finally did, on the last hole in regulation over a ten foot potential winning putt. It was there he lost the British Open and golf lost the chance for history. The four hole playoff was really an afterthought--who would take odds on a 59 year old geezer beating a 36 year old in the prime of his career? Now THAT would have been miraculous.

But it's doubtful Watson would claim his day as verification of Twain's lament. He'll take some ribbing from his Senior Tour buddies but then again, they don't have five Claret Jugs. So congrats to Stewart Cink for a clutch first major victory, and to Mr. Watson, "better than most".

Walter Cronkite

It's not nice to speak ill of the dead but this quote from Obama...
"But Walter was always more than just an anchor," Mr. Obama said. "He was someone we could trust to guide us through the most important issues of the day; a voice of certainty in an uncertain world. He was family. He invited us to believe in him, and he never let us down. This country has lost an icon and a dear friend, and he will be truly missed."
Doesn't really go with this one from Cronkite in 2004:
In fact, I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing. The advantage to the Republican side is to get rid of, as a principal subject of the campaigns right now, get rid of the whole problem of the al Qaqaa explosive dump. Right now, that, the last couple of days, has, I think, upset the Republican campaign.
He was essentially saying Karl Rove was in charge of the bin Laden tapes, or in other words apart from his news job he was a typical far lefty. Did any of that bleed through to his news copy over the years, even if only in a subtle manner?

At any rate, RIP Mr. Cronkite, you did the news very well in your day. But that's no longer the way it is. The way it is now is that citizens have multiple sources of news information and can make up their own minds in a manner of their choosing based on their own perceptions and filters.

By the way, it's hard to find any comment from Obama on this years' passing of another broadcast legend--Paul Harvey. Not hard to find something from Bush, though.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Side Tracks

"Stevie" Winwood made a big comeback in the early 80s with a string of hits. Here's one of them..



And some Petty..



Never lose hope for a better tomorrow....

Friday, July 17, 2009

13 Years Ago This Evening

It was thirteen years ago this evening, a warm July night off the coast of Long Island, when a Boeing 747 broke up and tragically plunged into the ocean. After years of inquiry the NTSB and FBI now seem satisfied with their findings that TWA 800 for some reason spontaneously combusted during climb-out, probably due to a frayed wire in the center fuel tank.

Some are still not convinced. Various descriptions have been applied--kooks and charlatans looking for a quick buck; political operatives determined to smear Bill Clinton; military haters going after the Navy. Or is it something more? Judge for yourself. My thoughts over the years are contained on the tag below.

But with all the talk these days of the CIA being a pack of liars one has to wonder what Nancy Pelosi might have said had the Bush administration elicited the assistance of the CIA to help explain a domestic aviation accident. Will any sort of Congressional investigation explore this?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Right on Health Care

The time is now for Republican leaders, whomever they are, to make a stand and force more debate on this insane health care bill:
Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.
Obama has repeatedly said that if people like their current coverage they can keep it, but he's also on record with other Dems of wanting to do away with private insurance altogether. This bill sounds like the on-ramp to that highway, meaning there's a giant flim-flam taking place.

While conservatives stand along the wall liberal proponents are putting on a tug at the heart strings campaign by bringing people to Washington who've apparently been on the receiving end of Mr. Potter-like treatment from faceless private insurance monoliths:
"And this is my message to everyone: The insurance companies are not going to decide who is going to live and who is going to die," Sarkisyan said
Most Americans (except Dick Cheney, who is the source of all evil in the universe) can generate empathy for such predicaments based on their own experiences or those of family/friends but the alternative is to let the government decide who lives or dies. Why is the left, who railed on Cheney's dangerous power for eight years, not deathly afraid of such a scenario? Make no mistake the government, which will depend on tax increases to fund such a system, will at some point use a faceless bureaucrat to decide who is 'viable' based on costs. Fail the viable test and it's Soylent Green time.

If Republicans can't make at least a similar coherent vocal stand to this IBD reporter...
Washington does not have the constitutional or moral authority to outlaw private markets in which parties voluntarily participate. It shouldn't be killing business opportunities, or limiting choices, or legislating major changes in Americans' lives.
...then they deserve little support going forward, especially when the Blue Dogs are already out there barking. Most people simply want reform, not a takeover, but if the right doesn't speak out it'll be the moderate Dems who end up saving the day. Who knows, maybe that's part of Axelrod's master plan here, along with shaking the trees enough to get the insurance companies to bend. But whatever the case, the GOP needs to position itself properly on this issue based on core values or risk a rocky road ahead.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How Much for a Carton?

I know the Dems are trying to tax smokers to pay for childrens health care, but this is ridiculous..



This wasn't just happening in Memphis. From the main story, perhaps the funniest thing was the 15 dollar fee for having a 'negative balance'. A balance exceeding the GDP of the entire world. Hopefully that was done by a computer.

"We're Out of Money"

Words from Obama to Joe Buck in the broadcast booth of last night's All Star Game. Clearly the Dems say he was joking in response to Buck but it's one of those unintentional lapses into the truth politicians sometimes wander into, and in this case it couldn't have come at a better time:
House Democrats today unveiled legislation totaling about $1 trillion that would expand health care to millions of Americans over the next decade by raising taxes on the wealthiest households. The Senate has yet to agree on a bill as Democratic lawmakers struggle to get Republican support.
The full court press is on, with Democrats working hard to demonize the insurance industry in their ongoing war on capitalism.
There's technically no way for the GOP to stop this if the Dems want to collectively walk out on the plank and take full responsibility for any chaos that ensues from health care reform, but it's likely a bluff. They NEED GOP cover on this issue going forward.

It's interesting that nobody has seriously studied the Tennessee health care plan. TennCare was an utter disaster, which resulted in major fraud and several politicians going to jail:
Part of the story those who favor some sort of government run health care repeat is that private health care is very costly. They point to the costs incurred by the U.S. compared to other countries such as Canada, the U.K., etc. They note that the U.S. pays much more per person but supposedly gets lower health care outcomes (measured rather dubiously via things like life expectancy).

The problem I have with this narrative, aside from the rather dubious reliance simply on published cost figures from these governments and the reliance on statistics like life expectancy, is the idea that government is suddenly going to be more efficient than the private sector. Government’s primary job is the creation of “red tape”. The idea that we can actually switch to the government and get less costs strains credulity past the breaking point.
We've now got a Chicago politician running America, a "hello" moment if there ever was one.

Which sets up a fork in the road for Republicans. They can roll over and help the Dems get this through with amendments designed to protect big donors, which will give the liberals the cover they need. Or, they can stand firm as a body, including the RINOS in the northeast, and force the Dems to take full responsibility for their change.

If they take the bi-partisan cave-in route on a bill their opponents are now threatening to force through on a party line vote many conservatives might well find themselves in a third party come 2010, or in the least voting for an entirely new crop of Republicans. Palin's name keeps bouncing around for some reason in all of this. Not sure why or where, though.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All Star Politics

The TOTUS crashes to the floor while Obama gives a speech on the economy. His first pitch in the All Star Game is apparently a 59 foot change-up scooped out of the dirt. Hopefully neither of these are omens.

It must be too early to get good video of this. The Fox website has this story but no ready video on their front page yet. YT has several clips from the Fox broadcast that shows him on the mound but doesn't show the completion of the toss. Conspiracy!

The more interesting part was his stint in the booth with Joe and Tim afterwards, where during a conversation about the hapless luck of the National League Joe mockingly suggested they wouldn't be getting a bailout, to which Obama answered, paraphrasing here, "there's nothing left". Paraphrasing because it's hard to find video or a transcript yet. But his answer begs the question of how he can justify the rest of his spend-rific agenda if there's nothing left. Unless of course it was a joke.

Meanwhile, the American League wins again, getting home field advantage in the Series, again. Maybe we should impeach Bud Selig. But even he couldn't screw up a pretty good game. Apparently nobody noticed Sotomayor actually behind the plate calling balls and strikes and Pat Leahy in the stands selling programs.

UPDATE 7/14/09

Here's the exact quote in response to Joe Buck: "we're out of money". See, this is why TOTUS was put in charge to begin with, to stop wild off the cuff honest remarks like that. It looks more and more like the teleprompter was taken out by a Cheney hit squad.

But let not your bleeding heart be troubled. Tomorrow Kerry will show up on TV and explain it was only a botched joke.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hard to Explain

So Panetta canceled a top secret CIA program dreamed up by Cheney to send covert assassins into foreign countries (probably with or without their permission) to kill top al Qaeda leadership, and the Democrats get their panties in a wad because nobody told Nancy? And he did so without first consulting Obama?

Well then, what are we make of this promise...



Biden said "he lives in Pakistan" before correcting himself, meaning that in order to send him to hell we'd need to send people into Pakistan. With or without their permission, as Obama so often said. So, if not with the 10th Mountain Division, and not via covert CIA assassins, how then?

The official press spokesman was asked today for illumination:
So what is the degree of the President's knowledge about this situation? How has he been briefed? What has he learned about this himself in the last couple of days?

MR. GIBBS: He has been -- I'm not going to get into a lot of details, but obviously there have been --

Does he have a reaction that you can convey to us?

MR. GIBBS: No
Clear?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Torture Investigation Trial Balloon

The recent release of the CIA's double secret non-program and the subsequent leak that it was Darth's idea; the IG report to Congress about the TSP; and now this Newsweek trial balloon about possible torture investigations suggests the Dems are actually getting serious about a Bush era kangaroo court. From the AG:
But in late June Holder asked an aide for a copy of the CIA inspector general's thick classified report on interrogation abuses. He cleared his schedule and, over two days, holed up alone in his Justice Depart ment office, immersed himself in what Dick Cheney once referred to as "the dark side." He read the report twice, the first time as a lawyer, looking for evidence and instances of transgressions that might call for prosecution. The second time, he started to absorb what he was reading at a more emotional level. He was "shocked and saddened," he told a friend, by what government servants were alleged to have done in America's name. When he was done he stood at his window for a long time, staring at Constitution Avenue.
Trying to fill some mid-summer dead air and deflect from the less than anticipated economic recovery that's "working as intended"? Maybe, but these latest leaks suggest something might be afoot and this something would be serious--Holder is talking about a prosecutor, whose goal is to put people in jail.

And what of Obama? He's made repeated admonitions against such backwards vision while leaving open wiggle doors and long leashes. The Newsweek article takes the ball and suggests Holder is indeed on his own (hence the article's title), which is supposedly meant to suggest Obama is totally out of the loop, something nobody but the WaPo and New York Times will end up buying. The Newsweek article itself says Obama felt he was being 'sandbagged' by Justice lawyers when they used the State Secrets defense in the Binyam Mohammed case and demanded to be more in the loop. As if. No, if this goes forward there's no doubt it will have his blessing.

So what's the play? Can the economy be so bad they'd risk the enormous public blow-back over what might be seen as a banana republic witchhunt? These are prosecutions, not post-mortems.

On a global scale it's possible Emanuel senses a once-in-a-lifetime opening to crush the GOP, at least long enough to give Dems some time to get a few key socialist-lite initiatives passed without much interference (wonder if this is where Palin comes in?). It's hard to believe Holder would press forward on such a thing without a few advantages up his sleeve. After all, this will be a choice if it goes forward.

And it will be a choice made despite the predictable charges of hypocrisy over Holder's own dealings with the Marc Rich pardon and FALN terrorists, with some conservatives reminding the media that George W. Bush put an unceremonious end to GOP investigations of Holder's actions during his early first term. That says they either don't fear the media at all or may have some bullets in their partisan pop gun to play with.

On a tactical scale this effort will disappoint Ron Paul fans since it won't be a truth investigation of the overall GWoT, just a targeted affair designed to force Yoo, Addington and others to turn state's evidence against Cheney and Bush to save from spending their remaining days in lockup. Mercy sakes, a general GWoT investigation might involve opening the CIA vaults, which could even spill a few embarrassing pre-Bush era intelligence failures dating back to Holder's own stint at Justice in the 90s. No way he voluntarily chooses that route. They can better keep the lid on a targeted investigation since it'll only focus on actions post 9/11 and only on Bush folks.

Cheney knows this, and has the next move. It'll be interesting to watch since he's currently writing a book, and with his tenure in DC a book is more a threat than a payday. Presumably such an investigation could involve giving him the coveted CIA docs he's been denied, which might suggest they know what's in them and it ain't what Cheney has advertised, calling his bluff. Perhaps if the memoirs slide a few years we'll know what happened. But he's not one to roll over easily.

It'll also be interesting to see the CIA reaction. Obama has already promised no prosecutions for the rank and file, which generally amounts to a blanket immunity allowing them to go to town on former bosses all day and Sunday. But will they? Will all of them feel that backstabber urge? Will any of them consider the precedent? There could be a lot of blow back in that area if they aren't careful. Panetta might have a sense of that right now--surely that's part of why he was sent there.

Meanwhile, all this isn't going on in a world vacuum. Certain elements out there in caves still desire a hit on America, and a hit right now would be rather crippling what with the stimulus working so well and all. The elapsed time between the first and second WTC attacks was 8 1/2 years.

MORE 7/12/09

Regards the IG report that CNN and other news outlets heralded on Friday afternoon, Andy McCarthy points out a few tidbits that weren't heralded. This one is worth a blockquote:
Before Gonzales and President Bush's then chief-of-staff, Andy Card, went to see Attorney General Ashcroft in the hospital (where he was being treated for pancreatitis), President Bush directed his administration to meet with top congressional Democrats and Republicans (Senate leaders Frist and Daschle, Speaker Hastert and House minority leader Pelosi, Roberts and Rockefeller from Senate Intel, and Goss and Harman from House Intel) to alert them that Ashcroft's deputy, Jim Comey, had refused to sign off on intelligence activities that Ashcroft had previously approved. Advised of the problem, the Gang of Eight did not agree to a quick legislative fix but, according to Gonzales's contemporaneous notes, agreed that the intelligence activities should continue. (Three years later, after Gonzales's testimony, Pelosi, Rockefeller and Daschle claimed that they hadn't agreed.)
Emphasis added to point out what seems to be a lie by top Democrats to help their party's political chances despite the national security aspect of the affair in question. It would seem President Bush and AG Gonzales might be owed an apology by a few people. After all, the report must be true since it singles out John Yoo and others for their legal findings on torture.

MORE VOICES 7/12/09

Mac Ranger thinks this is going about as far as the old SST program. I have to agree, being of that opinion for awhile now. But if they're not going to do it they sure are treading close to the water's edge. Marc Ambinder thinks the goal might be to rearrange the rules for future presidents--I think--while Glenn Greenwald seems to be arguing with himself as to whether a prosecutor would be confined to only going after the low level interrogators that Obama said he wouldn't go after.

HIT SQUAD 7/12/09

So it was a hit squad, just as Raw Story had been saying. But does anyone believe it was only targeting AQ leaders? Perhaps the real raw story is what defines an 'al Qaeda leader'.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Side Tracks

UK was a trio band circa 1980 featuring King Crimson vocalist John Wetton. Here's a cut from their live album cut in Japan..



And here's Pat Metheny with Anna Maria Jopek in 2002 singing about America:



The song was written by Metheny and David Bowie for the 1985 movie "The Falcon and the Snowman" about Christopher Boyce, a former altar boy employed in the defense industry who fashioned himself a freedom fighter after seeing some classified CIA documents about the Australian government, causing him to turn into a Soviet spy. Not sure the intention of the song was bi-partisan, but it certainly could be--much to the chagrin of some.

The Panetta Smoke Bomb

The Panetta revelation about a double secret CIA program (Rawstory's hit squad?) seemed to be suspiciouly timed to coincide with this Congressional report, which apparently blames John Yoo for just about everything related to counter intel.

Here's Fred Thompson discussing the issue with Pete Hoekstra, who thinks they're covering for Pelosi. Indeed, chatty Nancy didn't have much comment.

But in reality it seems like they're running interference against current events, like the economy. Stimulus-I ain't doing so well. Matter of fact, it's looking so shady the administration says it now needs to spend 9 to perhaps as much as 18 million to get the promised Recovery dot gov web site up to speed so it can show the lack of impact in more detail. That's a lot of geeks and pizzas.

But perhaps another stimulus package, concurrent with a truth investigation of Bush/Cheney's fight against terrorists bent on destroying America, might take the public's mind off unemployment, or our president's socialist tendencies, or the utter failure of the Democratic-led Congress since 2006 and place it squarely back where it belongs--on Dick Cheney. As the MSNBC anchor said, gotta sweep out the "cockroaches". And remember, we were told that Cheney was the most dangerous VP ever...by this guy.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

In Which Previous War...

Have we released enemy combatants during an ongoing conflict for such flimsy reasons:
Explaining why Zakir was released from Gitmo, the defense official said, "We were under incredible pressure from the world to release detainees at Gitmo. You just don't know what people are going to do.
Well, that sounds like a nice face shot to the international peacenik set. But by saying 'we' is he outing himself as a Bush admin holdover, disgruntled over the releases? Wouldn't a normal Obama admin spokesman be trying to blame this on Bush? Or are they looking forward...
"He was no worse than anyone else being held at Gunatanamo Bay," the official added. "He was not going to be tried for war crimes so we decided to release him. Either he was not thought to have committed a crime or we didn't have enough evidence to prosecute him."
In other words, if the others at Gitmo are still just as bad we can't possibly release them before years' end with an offensive taking place. Or in other words, Obama may need a waiver on his vow to close Gitmo to keep these dangerous warriors off the streets. Besides, since nobody will take them--and even when they do, they sometimes get released back to the field--they have to be kept somewhere.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Aafia Siddiqui Goes To Court

Illustrating the bizarre nature of trying terrorists in court, suspected al-Qaeda scientist Aafia Siddiqui was in court yesterday, responding to charges she was investigating WMD attacks for the big boys.

Other than outright contradicting her lawyer's official insanity defense plan (she asked that he be removed, which seems to be terrorist SOP), they found a defense witness to make the most amazing claim:
The defense witness, Dr. L. Thomas Kucharski, however, testified that some of the written materials found in her possession revealed a delusional woman. Kucharski noted that her notes also described viruses that could only hurt adults and not children, others that would kill only certain ethnic groups, and a plot to infect U.S. poultry supply with an antibody that made the animals resistant to salmonella, and thereby sicken Americans who consumed chickens. For a woman with a degree from MIT and a PhD in neuroscience, Kucharski testified, these theories and fantasies were not the product of a healthy mind.
What a helpful guy. We already know AQ terrorists are fundamentalist nutcakes--that's kinda the point. Seems he just cooked her goose.

By the way, ABC seemed to gloss over the fact they let her testify in a full hijab that covered everything but her eyes. Sounds a little unfair to a jury if they're trying to ascertain facial expressions or body language.

Towards the end she made a political statement, giving the president a ringing endorsement from al-Qaeda:
Before the hearing ended, Siddiqui addressed the prosecutors directly, telling them, "Your President wants to make peace, but you guys are not acting on it."
Which is probably a call out to her defenders and an effort to sway Obama-loving Boston liberals who might choose not to believe her story. Well, here's a suggested reply - "nuts".

Monday, July 06, 2009

Getting Darker in the Western Sky

I really don't know any other way to describe such a concept:
To fairly divide the climate change fight between rich and poor, a new study suggests basing targets for emission cuts on the number of wealthy people, who are also the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, in a country.

Since about half the planet's climate-warming emissions come from less than a billion of its people, it makes sense to follow these rich folks when setting national targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions, the authors wrote on Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
It's really not important as to how they could possibly police such a fascist scheme let alone the likelihood of it coming to pass anytime soon. The important thing is that it's not being laughed off the national stage. These nuts will be taken seriously in the coming global climate control talks.

My late grandmother once made what I thought was a strange comment when I was staying at her home as a kid--she said 'one day they'll find a way to tax the air". It didn't make sense then.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Crisis in Tegucigalpa

The Zelaya showdown is underway in Hondoras as of this writing as the former (or current) president flies towards Tegucigalpa. In looking around for information about the airport I came across this cockpit view of the approach to the Toncontin airport, which rang a bell. Tagucigalpa is one of those famous world airports for plane spotters:



They say the flight has been redirected now, perhaps but it was surely a symbolic attempt anyway. And no condemnation from Washington--yet.

President Utopia

The Times Reports:
In the depths of the cold war, in 1983, a senior at Columbia University wrote in a campus newsmagazine, Sundial, about the vision of “a nuclear free world.” He railed against discussions of “first- versus second-strike capabilities” that “suit the military-industrial interests” with their “billion-dollar erector sets,” and agitated for the elimination of global arsenals holding tens of thousands of deadly warheads.
Obama attended Columbia? Who knew! Actually we've been there, done that. Such naivete isn't surprising coming from a 21 year old Utopian dreamer dope smoker, or for that matter any other liberal who believes human beings will one day bring heaven down to earth. Surely the president has evolved from that position after 20+ years of reality, right? He addressed it in Prague:
“I’m not na├»ve,” President Obama told a cheering throng in Prague this spring. “This goal will not be reached quickly — perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence.”
So it's more classic Obama--he's trying to lead by example by tearing down his own country to gain leverage from 'the world' in order to achieve his goals. At the same time he's throwing another confuser to the right; who among them can come out strongly against achieving a world free from nukes? They are left to root for nuclear destruction.

So it's bold. But it's also risky. Reagan said "trust but verify" for a reason. This is not child's play or some Harvard bull session. Surely the leader of the free world doesn't really believe we can ever effectively put the nuclear genie back in the bottle, does he? Hmm....
“I don’t think I was that unique at that time,” the president said of his Columbia days, “and I don’t think I’m that unique today in thinking that if we could put the genie back in the bottle, in some sense, that there would be less danger — not just to the United States but to people around the world.”
Back in reality Americans are already standing on the verge of new climate change taxes, socialized medicine and nationalized automobile companies--all of which will produce a massive public debt into infinity. In his Independence Day address Obama urged all citizens to call up the Spirit of 76 to help form a government so bloated and controlling that Jefferson would pop every vein in his body.

And now he wants to downgrade our nuclear deterrence--the very same power that helped win the cold war (proving his 1983 essay an error in judgment). As Colin Powell recently said, the man be juggling a few too many balls.

But he doesn't seem to hear. He'll be visiting the country he wrote about in that 1983 fairy tale this week, one who recently--out of the blue--gave the US overflight rights into Afghanistan. Why? What has Obama promised the Russians in return? It's almost as if he's hell-bent on giving up what Reagan never had to to win during the 80s, regardless.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Memphis Tea Party

A Tea Party was held at Patriot Lake in Memphis today, and yours truly got on the radical protest clothes and attended. Here's a sample snapshot...



I've stashed the others here.

The crowd was light but well-behaved. There were no premier speakers that we noticed, just people exercising their rights of peaceable assembly on the most patriotic day of the year.

Side Tracks

This one just seems musically fitting for some reason right now..



Being Independence Day here's a clip from HBO's John Adams (featuring Paul Giamatta):



Would that be subversive to DHS? Surely this isn't:



Happy 4th..