Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another Embellishment

Yep, it looks like Illinois Representative Mark Kirk, the Republican vying for Obama's old Senate seat this fall, embellished his military record just a tad. "Intelligence Officer of the Year" is hardly the same as getting a group award.

Ignorant, because it leads to the opposition saying stuff like this:
Kathleen Strand, communications director for the Giannoulias campaign, said Friday that Kirk "is lying or embellishing his military record," making him "the worst kind of Washington politician."
Right. Yet the guy who allowed people to think he served in Vietnam while actually serving at home doing Toys for Tots is still ahead in the polls in Connecticut. So what does that say about the voters?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bubba on the White Horse?

Gotta hand it to these guys--they are good:
Senior White House advisers asked former President Bill Clinton to talk to Joe Sestak about whether he was serious about running for Senate, and to feel out whether he'd be open to other alternatives, according to sources familiar with the situation.
And they are saying it wasn't SecNav but an unpaid advisor position to do with terrorism.

Well, looks like the left has outmaneuvered the right again using their vastly superior skills at political shenanigans. Here we have a figurehead Chicago machine politician getting together with Bill Clinton to solve a problem. It's like David vs Goliath. All this talk of impeachment is fruitless and counter-productive against such a juggernaut--alternatively, the event should become a rallying cry to flip Congress this fall and provide a power buffer since there will be no formal investigation.

Still, calling in Clinton from the bullpen shows how serious this deal really was. Byron York pointed out that Obama spent only 32 seconds answering Major Garrett's Sestak question yesterday, which is what, about 1/18th of the time he spend on most other questions? They were really being careful.

And for anyone who knows the background on Sestak and how he got to Congress, and who supported him, and why, this can't be a shock. He might have single-handedly saved Hillary's White House run by taking out the vocal Curt Weldon in 2006, who knows.

Sestak will now be asked about this, but whether he has to "answer the question honestly" remains to be seen. Surely they've gamed it out--here's what Huffpo reported last night about how the question first came to be asked, and how the White House initially responded:
"The phone did not ring from the White House until 6:45 am the following morning, which is about 15 hours later," Kane told me on Wednesday. In that call, a White House spokesperson flat out denied that Sestak had been offered a job. Later that day, according to Kane, the White House issued a second, stronger denial.
So we get to decide the meaning of the word 'job' now. How fitting for Slick Willie to be in the middle here with his grammatical experience. And Toomey? He must really be scratching his head about now.


And says that yes, Slick Willie called him. So the question needs to be asked of Sestak--why did he lead the voters on with the notion he'd been offered the Sec Navy job to get out when in fact it was just an unpaid advisory position where he could still keep the day job (presumably)? How is that offering a "job"? Sestak was pretty adamant about it being a job.

MORE 5/29/10

Will anyone in the media ask the White House why they waited until the day after the first press conference since July to release details they had known about for months? Rhetorical, I realize.
Meanwhile Byron York digs up something else they need to ask Gibbs on Tuesday (so he can say "I don't have anything more on that"). They are insulting the intelligence of the voters.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just Bad Karma, Man

Hot Air points to this WaPo piece by Anne Kornblut about how important events keep getting in the way of Obama's vacation plans:
The long-awaited Chicago visit comes at the end of a week of "horrible karma," one adviser noted, with the oil spill, the collapsing European economy, an escalating crisis on the Korean Peninsula and, on Wednesday, a stock market that closed below 10,000 for the first time in months. ("At least Elena Kagan is doing fine," joked the adviser, referring to the president's Supreme Court nominee.) Perhaps his Chicago friends are in on it: the last time Obama set out to spend vacation time with his inner hometown circle, over Christmas in Hawaii, a young Nigerian man tried to bring down an airplane with a bomb in his underwear.
Yeah, those darn terrorists, always messing up the tee times. Oh well, at least he only gets blamed for bad karma, with Bush it was shirking responsibility by clearing brush. But notice Kornblut didn't include Sestak in the bad karma hit parade.

And Joe will almost certainly come up in today's presser amidst all the talk about the apparently successful mud pie top plug thing capping the oil leak (and giving new meaning to "plug the damn hole"). We'll have to see if he lets this success reopen his opened eyes about offshore drilling in general or whether he sets sail for the Bush Islands by discussing his termination of the MMS Director in ways that bring back the good ole days of industry-friendly regulation.

As to Sestak, Obama can't very well take the position of "well, it happens all the time" after coming into office as a crusader for changing DC so it'll be interesting to watch the spin. Meanwhile Specter is dropping hints about flashing Obama the moon at the end of the gang plank re Kagen and other things. And he's just the bucko to do it. But why would he be mad when Obama was trying to clear the field for him? Could it be Specter thinks he was the victim of an inside job? Maybe some intrepid reporter can ask how Kane, the Philly reporter, got the scoop so he could get this ball rolling. That might be must-see TV.

Of course, all this talk of Sestak and vacations and such would disappear in a New York minute should any of an assorted number of real world events ever get in the way.


Looking around there seems to be no big buzz on the mainstream media sites about Obama's first big press conference since he acted stupidly last year. As of this writing even the White House web site didn't have the video (at least front and center) so You Tube to the rescue, although after watching the first two clips it could well be the lost cure for insomnia.

As to the oil spill questions, his was an exercise in bafflegab--far too much information for the questions asked but not necessarily all BS. He's just not concise like Bush and previous presidents, which is helpful not only for Joe and Jane Sixpack but also the press--some in the audience had some pretty heavy eyelids at times. That's probably part strategy and the rest Obama, coming right out of the faculty lounge.

For the record, I think the Feds are doing about as well as can be expected; yes, Obama was slow to the draw and was preoccupied with scoring points about the lost miners on 'day one' but he's a politician, and does what a politician must do (channeling Rev Wright, sorry). These kinds of huge events (like Katrina) will always prove the infallibility of a super competent government the liberals love to believe in. Eventually the industry-government team will come through and plug the damn hole but politicians as learned as Obama simply cannot take the full blame without blaming someone else, even when taking full blame. Today the learned one blamed both Bush and BP.

The action moment, such that it was, came from the Times reporter trying to catch Obama for saying they knew about the abuses in the MMS from day one and Salazar was trying to 'clean house' yet they issued new oil certs and started a new program of drilling anyway. Obama just filibustered until everyone was glassy eyed.

The real interest came last--what did he know about Sestak and when did he know it. Fox News was left to ask he question, of course. He said a report will be coming out soon about what they know; vintage O--surprising he hasn't set up a commission. Sestak was asked about it and claimed he has not been consulted but they spoke to his lawyer brother about the release. Anyway, Memorial Day weekend is always a great time for a document dump or a late night firing.


We get this:
For months, Kane had been hearing from sources that the White House had been "dangling" a job in front of Congressman Joe Sestak, so long as he would abandon his bid to unseat Senator Specter.
Then after the interview, this:
As soon as the interview ended, he called the White House and played for a press office representative the tape of the interview. He was promised that someone would "get back to you as soon as we can, probably within a couple of hours."

"The phone did not ring from the White House until 6:45 am the following morning, which is about 15 hours later," Kane told me on Wednesday. In that call, a White House spokesperson flat out denied that Sestak had been offered a job. Later that day, according to Kane, the White House issued a second, stronger denial.
That would seem to suggest it wasn't the White House leaking to Kane if he called them afterward to inform and they strongly denied it. That would be the most bizarre inside job ever if they actually were leaking to Kane and didn't expect him to mention it, or did under the hopes it would torpedo Specter, whom Obama was backing. Surely the WH would have better control over a plan. So who else? Camp Billary? Would they dare knife Obama in the back like that? Then again, James Carville was pretty hostile the other day.

Whatever the case, the vice admiral was trailing by 15 points before he answered honestly then he won. Honesty is still the best policy! Specter had to sit on his tongue due to the insidious nature of the charge (collusion between him and Obama), proving that perceived crime that everybody does doesn't pay. But now what?

As the article points out, the White House has already strongly denied a deal so unless they want to claim incompetence themselves it would seem Sestak will have to go under the bus for misunderstanding them. Then again, maybe they shouldn't mess around the Joe.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mosque, er Community Center, at Ground Zero

This is a fascinating interview on the Behar show and this time Joy doesn't get in the way--it's about the proposed Muslim skyscraper mosque community center tolerance and diversity place with prayer space only 600 feet from ground zero:

The detractor was fantastic--calm, cool, collected, apolitical and she largely silenced the Huffpo stooge. Her seminal point is made at the end: wouldn't it be a great gesture of understanding for the Muslims involved in this to say "we understand the sensitivity and will go somewhere else"? Sounds more than reasonable. Interesting question from Joy--where is the funding coming from? Answer--spin. Here's some community reaction in case you missed it.

BTW, nobody on the panel mentioned the "Cordoba" part of the name and what it means. Patterico explains, and it has nothing to do with tolerance.

MORE 5/27/10

Here's Walid Shoebat on the Imam of the New York mosque, including among other things a reminder that he (like Reverend Wright and others) blamed America in part for 9/11. Now we are asked to trust him, at least when he speaks English.

And this is a shame, because a preponderance of Muslims are probably not behind a secret plan for Sharia law in America. It's those who practice taqiyya (it's permitted to lie for jihad) who give all Muslims a bad name, leaving those of non-Muslim descent to wonder if any can be trusted. After all as Obama says, we are at war.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Foul Game

Finally, the new movie about Joe and Val Wilson-Plame and the Plame affair, starring activist Sean Penn, is safely in the can. It was recently screened to liberal applause at Cannes, although they probably would have clapped at the opening credits.

The IMDB page shows no actor portraying the actual leaker, Richard Armitage. And wow, doesn't that sum up the entire affair? For those who didn't follow, the cliff notes might read like this--mainstream media types saw Wilson's tale as a means to their redemption for trumping up Saddam's dangerosity dating back to the Clinton years. Like the Democrats and neocons, they were on the hook for Iraq, too.

So the leaker was not really the story, the "Bush lied people died" was the story. And mission accomplished--that meme pretty much led to the downfall of GOP political control of America culminating in a man named Hussein occupying the White House. Rove admitted as much in his book.

Now we have another scandal with a White House billing itself as the most transparent ever lowering the cone of silence, and oddly enough players in the Plame affair are weighing in with comparisons. Here's John Dickerson:
But this situation is very different than the CIA leak case in the Bush administration. The stonewalling is the same, of course, but the issue at the heart of the two is not. What the White House is covering up now is a purely political act: trying to persuade someone not to run for office. It happens all the time in politics. At the center of the leak case then was an issue of national security: specifically, the principle that the identity of CIA agents should not be made public, especially as part of an effort of political damage control. It was an exceptional story. And it came at a time when the Bush White House was also defending itself in a host of other instances where it massaged facts to make the case for an unpopular war.
Ironically, Dickerson's own role in receiving leaks remains mysterious. At any rate, this Plame analogy seems to be making the rounds on a few liberal sites, which must be their desperate way to drag Bush back into what is purely an Obama mess.

Dickerson gets to his main point (after the requisite Bush bashing equivalency set-up), which is to say that "trust us" is never acceptable coming from any administration. He's correct of course, but that's not what happened in the Plame thing. In that case the CIA initiated the criminal inquiry whereupon Justice (Ashcroft) took steps to appoint a SP. There was going to be an independent investigation no matter what Scott McClellan said at the podium whereas there will be no such thing here. With Bush it was about the "lying", with this it's about the lack of accountability and promised transparency.

A better analogy for Dickerson therefore might have been the Blago affair, where nascent Obama officials investigated their own behavior with the disgraced former governor and found absolutely nothing wrong, telling everyone to move along and see nothing regardless of what the prosecutor had in the tapes. Yes irony of ironies--the same Patrick Fitzgerald that investigated Scooter Libby.

But such is the circle of life. If there's ever a serious investigation into this Sestak mess perhaps they should start with who supplied the initial leak to Philly reporter Joe Kane. Who gave him the knowledge to ask Sestak about the job? Who "leaked"? Why? Maybe we'll see -the three-day forecast for DC is calling for sunshine, but if past is prologue those weathermen have already looked into the crystal ball and verified there's nothing to see, making it safe to look. Either that or Rahm will be spending more time with the family very soon.


That's what some pundits are scribbling based on what hacks like Dick Morris are saying. But c'mon, is this really an impeachable offense? Quid pro quos happen on both sides and have been part of politics probably since Plato--and always will be. The deal here is Sestak's stunning boldness and what it means, and Obama's glaring hypocrisy after running to clean up Bush's corruption, etc.

At worse Rahm will have to find another job; in the least, he'll get a demerit. Sestak has been driving this boat since day one--the right would be idiots for not pursuing. But saying this rises to impeachment is only making the right look unhinged. Unless there's a helluva lot of there there we don't know about yet it's best to just keep asking questions and watching their spokesmen squirm and acolytes spin.

Teachin English in 'Zona

Another new controversy for Arizona: teachers with thick accents shouldn't be teaching English:
"The Arizona Department of Education recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English,"
This will of course get the juices flowing in the "they're a bunch of xenophobes" crowd. Such as this CNN reporter:
"Their accents reflect who they are and where they came from. What's more important? What teachers say or how they say it?" Phillips wondered.
Yes, apparently Ms. Kyra Phillips believes that not being able to correctly pronounce English words while teaching English is a non issue. And not only Ms Phillips, but a few of the teachers interviewed in her story, one of whom said there is no correct way to say English words. It's what the teachers say that matters (or says, whatever).

OK, wondering if the same should apply to math and science teachers. If a math teacher were to teach that 2+3=6 would that be OK as long as they said in a way that matters?

MORE 5/25/10

BTW, the grammatical error above was intentional but the sentence was certainly written in a way that matters (not that this blog would ever flaunt its use of the written word). Anyway, what matters here is why--Arizona appears to be going after those who would teach forms of Spanglish or its derivative in an effort to protect the culture. It may well be a losing battle.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

More Sestak

Allahpundit twists himself into knots trying to figure out what Axelrod is up to re Joe Sestak:
I realize that they promised Specter they’d campaign for him, but to be so committed to him as to try to buy Sestak off seems bizarre in hindsight. It could be, I suppose, that they feared that a contentious primary would hurt their chances in the general regardless of who won, but that would be a miscalculation too. What kind of shop is Axelrod running over there?
Ok, well it's sometimes helpful to establish the facts.

  • One, Sestak is from the Billary wing of the Dem party. That could explain why they tried to torpedo his chances through a buy out.
  • Two, Specter is not someone the Dems could necessarily trust. And why should they? The GOP couldn't either. He seems too enamored with being the maverick whereas Sestak is a solid govt-provided health care loving predictable liberal.
  • Three, Specter would be easy to target in the general against Toomey due to his party flip-flop. Sestak less so. But Sestak didn't have the name-recognition or track record in politics going in.
The facts according to me, at least. With that it's time for speculation! Whereas Allah is a respectable pundit who wouldn't dare proffering a conspiracy theory lesser bloggers have less to lose, so here goes. How about this one: the Dems concocted the whole "Obama made me an offer" story so Sestak could then knock it down to appear independent and sympatico with the independent clingers, whose votes were needed to knock off the old fart? In the end they didn't want what amounts to two republicans running against each other for the win.

Ergo, there's really nothing for Obama to fess up to (except the phony offer), which is why Gibbs and crew must continue stalling until the cows come home or the friendly media loses their memory. They will eventually forget. Maybe that was it.

But everyone will not forget. And if the electorate feels in the mood to eject liberals this fall Obama that puts Toomey as the odds on favorite against the liberal. Meanwhile the story that won't go away can't be answered without resorting to more whoppers. Surely those 40 pound brains from Chicago would have considered such an angle. Again, unless they figured the pushback against Hussein would win a lot of middle votes, taking their chances in the general, etc. But we're back to blowback again.

Which means the narrative of 'Sestak blurted out something he wasn't supposed to and is now stuck with it' is plausible, leaving Joe's judgment in question. When 2012 comes Obama can say he never endorsed him!

Yet now Mr. Deniabilty is in the position of slapping Sestak's butt and cheering on his teammate even if the teammate tried to whistleblow on him, which is awkward as hell. Billary must be secretly smiling.

Hmm. Well, one has to wonder if we'll ever find out. Gibbs looks like a robot answering the questions and his boss remains under the cone of silence. Maybe Julian Assange has the real story in a can over at Wikileaks.

MORE 5/24/10

If the above seems confusing that's because the whole thing is confusing. Nobody knows anything or can say anything, but fear not--like the Blago affair the White House has looked into it and 'nothing inappropriate happened'. Hey, look over there--balloons!

"FLIGHT RISK" 5/24/10

That's what Sestak called Specter in this interview conducted March 20th, 2010. In other words, at least somebody was worried about Specter's loyalty as a Dem. In the interview Sestak kept comparing him to George W. Bush, over and over then pandered to the unions after it was mentioned that Specter was endorsed by one of the big ones.

You can play this recap and hear how the whole thing got started--a Philly interviewer--but the question is this, who got that first questioner to ask the question? Where did he get the leak?

KING 5/25/10

John King asked the 'appropriate' question of David Axelrod last night on CNN,

Notice that Axe acknowledges it was a serious offense and there were conversations, only that nothing inappropriate occurred, or better yet, Sestak might have misunderstood. Is that the escape hatch? Maybe.

Also notice that King loses all credibility at the end by apologizing.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Side Tracks

Here's Renaissance live (audio) at Carnegie Hall in the mid 70s..

The band is still around touring here and there.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Obama to get a Clapper?

A James Clapper, that is..
James R. Clapper, now the defense undersecretary for intelligence, is the White House's leading candidate to replace retired Adm. Dennis Blair, who is resigning, two current U.S. officials and one former military official say. Another candidate is Mike Vickers, the Pentagon's assistant secretary for special operations, officials say, but a Defense Department official says he has not been contacted for an interview.
Does he know that Clapper is the same guy who, while working in a Pentagon Mapping bureau during the Iraq war, claimed Saddam probably moved his WMDs to Syria?
In an interview in October, retired Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper Jr., who heads the U.S. agency that processes and analyzes satellite imagery, said he thinks that Saddam's underlings hid banned weapons of mass destruction before the war.

"I think personally that those below the senior leadership saw what was coming, and I think they went to some extraordinary lengths to dispose of the evidence," said Gen. Clapper, who heads the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. "I'll call it an 'educated hunch.' "
Hmmmmmmmm. And who knows, maybe this was the job they offered Sestak. After all, it was made in February, and the administration has been sitting on the SSCI report on the underbomber since, well, February.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Calderon, Assault Weapons, and West Memphis

No sooner had the Mexican president stood in front of Congress and blamed his country's recent drug violence on America's lifting of the assault weapons ban (and received a standing-o from some Congressmen for bashing the Arizona immigration law) a terrible event unfolded here in the mid-south, blamed on assault weapons:
A short time later and about a mile away, in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart, two deputies searching for the suspects came across a white minivan and were shot and wounded as they approached the vehicle, Shelton said.

"The suspects were using an assault rifle," he said.
How utterly horrible. Assault rifle or not, the thoughts of two murdered police officers left lying in the middle of the interstate for doing their jobs is haunting, tragic, and maddening. I've been to that Wal-Mart a few times. It's right off I-40, a particular stretch long known as a hot spot for police searching for dope runners and speeders.

As to the suspects, lots of speculation because they haven't released names or motive yet, or as AP asks, "why they were pulled over". This grisly picture posted in the local Commercial Appeal doesn't shine much light on anything but the fact one of them is a young man, although in the back of the vehicle is what appears to be a blue plastic storage bin. Maybe that's why they pulled them over, or maybe the police now profile young white scruffy guys driving mini-vans. Or maybe they were just speeding.

Details will come but right now there are some discrepancies per usual, such as what guns they had (reports now say a long rifle and handgun, not AK-47s) and how the traffic stop occurred (first officer pulled them over, second arrived, first officer was knocked the ground and the shooting started versus they just opened fire). And who tipped police to their final destination.

What has been released is the van's registration was to a "House of God's Prayer" in New Vienna, Ohio, a defunct church that according to reports was linked to the Ayrian nation in the 90s. We'll see if that makes the story take off.

MORE 5/21/10

Details coming in. Suspect sounds fairly paranoid, talking about bankruptcy of the US in '33, the moneychangers and such. Comment from their webpage:
Let's face it. If there wasn't a "traffic stop" no one would be dead!
Yeah, that's logical. In a crazyass kind of way. The police dash cam likely won't be released out of respect and sensitivity to the officers' families but it probably tells the story.

Speaking of respect for the deceased, did the Commercial Appeal go too far in showing the picture of the 16 year old lying on the ground beside the vehicle? It was such a grisly attack they probably figured people wanted to see, but there are murders in this city all the time and they hardly ever show crime scene photos on the front page.

The Sestak Thing

Obama isn't taking many media questions these days. Some speculated a reason for his silence yesterday might have been because the man who claimed he was bribed by the administration not to run against Arlen Specter had won.

According to those same speculators, Obama called with his congratulations after the victory, pledging his full support. Weird--weren't they already on the same team?

So, who is this Joe Sestak? The Times explores:
Now Mr. Sestak — despite an initially rambling and occasionally bewildering speaking style — appears to be one of the Democrats’ best hopes for keeping control of the Senate. How a relatively obscure member of Congress, with a consistently liberal voting record, made it this far says a great deal about who he is.
Tom Maguire questions the Times on the length of that liberal voting record, which only goes back to 2006, by asking whether it included his time commanding the George Washington Carrier Group off the coast of Afghanistan (sic). True enough, Sestak is a former Navy Vice-Admiral (to be nitpicky, the Times and his own web site call him an Admiral) and the upstart who took Congressman Curt Weldon's 30 year entrenched House seat in 2006.

The Gray Lady goes on to detail some enemies he made in the Navy, which Specter tried to "Swift Boat" him with in campaign commercials leading to backlash. Of course anyone trying to make effective change in any organization is going to make enemies--but so do zealots trying to make change for the sake of change, or bad changes, so it's hard to tell what happened based on the Times story. The only evidence was his quick demotion and departure from the Navy as soon as Admiral Mullen took over in 2005, which could have been a personality conflict from past interactions.

Out of the blue (literally) he entered politics in 2006. Writer Jack Cashill had some interesting bits on Sestak's initial backers at the time:
Looking about for a new career, Sestak decided, improbably enough, on Congress. The nostalgic admiral eyed not the Virginia district in which he lived, but the Pennsylvania district in which he had last lived as a boy. More daunting still, he would be facing off against popular 10-term maverick Republican, Curt Weldon.

Despite the odds, the political novice proved master rainmaker----it must have helped to leave the Navy under a cloud--as he somehow managed to muster a $3 million war chest within months. Former National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, pitched in big time. Now a lobbyist—quelle surprise--Berger hosted a serious fundraiser for the admiral in Washington and lent the Sestak campaign his firm’s Director of Communications to serve as the official campaign spokesman.
He follows today with a reminder post:
Another interesting contribution came in from Mary O. McCarthy, recently dismissed from the CIA, reportedly for failing a polygraph on leaked classified information in regards to CIA prisons overseas. As it happened, a timely leak shortly before the 2006 election would ultimately do Weldon in.
Cashill continues:
Their reasons for supporting Sestak were transparent even to the local media. “A Sestak victory,” observed suburban Philadelphia’s Delco Times early in the campaign, “would muzzle a Republican congressman who blames Clinton for doing irreparable harm to America’s national security during the 1990s.”
Still, it's not entirely improbable that a man of his resume might want to enter politics. And some may dismiss Cashill due to his conspiratorial bent, but he was one of the few digging around in 2006. To be fair, some questioned whether Weldon had perhaps gone too far in his quest for the defense of America, including his passionate interest in Operation Able Danger and warnings about Iran and those who provided intelligence thereof.

In contrast, Sestak's views on Iran are more moderate and in line with liberal orthodoxy; this Jewish PAC endorsed him due to his two-state stance and diplomatic posture regarding Tehran:
Crucially, Congressman Sestak believes that the United States needs to pursue a “diplomatic surge” with Iran. He argues that Iran is strongly disinterested in having a chaotic Iraq located next-door and that as such, an American withdrawal can be used to create diplomatic leverage with Iran.
Anyway, a 2006 FBI probe into Weldon's possible shady dealings with his lobbyist daughter came at just the right moment for Sestak, who was behind in polls with only a month or so to go:
“It is a longstanding practice of the FBI to refrain from engaging in any dramatic action related to political corruption in the weeks immediately preceding an election,” notes Martin correctly, “out of concern that this would be regarded as an effort to interfere with the electoral process.”
Quotes Cashill of a story on the World Socialist Website, of all places. Ironically, Sestak himself had to return a pittance of money given by illegal alien criminal Norman Hsu, a former friend of Hillary, but there were no allegations of wrongdoing. Still, it was another dot connected to the Clintonistas.

In the end Weldon lost but was never indicted (sort of like Ted Stevens) and here we are today with another improbable Sestak victory after a sensational story of possible wrongdoing that will likely never be confirmed. But you know this had to hurt:
“That ad said there’s a real alternative to Arlen Specter and he’s not a kook,” Mr. Oxman said.
And who wants to be seen backing a kook? No wonder the cone of silence is down. But maybe the press is frustrating themselves with the wrong president. Sestak's biggest backers seem to be friends of Bill, and Bill is always ready to jawbone about current events. Maybe they could ask him why Sestak's win was "a victory for the people over the establishment" based on some of his initial establishment backers, who were there from the beginning.

THIS... 5/21/10

Is incredible stonewalling..

How long will it be before a Sam Donaldson figure emerges from this pack?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Globe May be Warming, but not Memphis

Hot Air links this commencement speech by Big Al, then cryptically asks if he's right based on big news out of NOAA:
The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was the warmest on record for January-April at 56.0°F (13.3°C), which is 1.24°F (0.69°C) above the 20th century average.
Yet so far here in 2010 Memphis is a whopping 7.3 degrees below normal for the period January-April based on departures from normal:
  • January = -2.8 F
  • February = -7.5 F
  • March = -0.9 F
  • April = +3.9 F
May is above normal so far, but not so much it would get us in the red numbers. And Memphis isn't the only part of America way behind the rest of the world. Take a good look at that graphic and you'll find that a bulk of the warming occurred in Saharan Africa and across the prairies of Canada, which was mostly snow covered during that period (except in April).

Still, short term warming is warming, even if it's not climate, so expect the greens to make a big production of all this.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Honesty is Still Available

By now you've heard about Richard Blumenthal, the candidate for Senate in CT, who has allowed a Vietnam service narrative to persist without bothering to correct it until busted by the New York Times. Turns out his five deferments are the same number as Cheney. And Joe Biden.

Yes, it's the same guy Glenn Beck destroyed during the AIG blowup..

He's predictably devolving into fantasyland as the noose tightens but why not try something novel? Something fresh and bold. Something honest. Just like in the movies....

That's about the only clip available but in a nutshell Eddie Bracken, coming home from WWII after getting booted out of the Marines for hay fever, allows a hero meme to follow him home and it continues to the point they want to elect him mayor. He finally gets enough of it and comes clean at the end in an emotional burst of honesty but the crowd warms to him even more. Who knows, it might work for Blumenthal. What does he have to lose?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Asylum is a Good Word for it

Over the weekend the big story was about the Mexican citizen living illegally in Georgia who was stopped by the police for a traffic issue and found to be driving with no license and no United States issued ID. After being sprung from an ICE facility and not deported, her immigration lawyers and advocates (most likely operating gratis) tried to subject her case into the national media to make a point about the Arizona law, and CNN cheerfully obliged:
"If I were to be deported, I'd have to start all over again," she said. "I'm hoping for the best."
Too bad CNN couldn't find as many reporters to cover the story about Holder having not read the bill yet. They must have been hustling to the immigration trial of Obama's aunt Z, who as of today is no longer an illegal alien:
President Obama's aunt from Kenya can stay in the United States, a U.S. immigration judge has ruled, ending a six-year-plus legal battle over her status.
"Six year battle"--clever wording for someone simply ignoring a judge's order to leave. Helps to have those gratis lawyers, too, who can set up the proceedings...

In February, Onyango arrived at an immigration court in a wheelchair and testified before the judge for more than two hours, her representative, Amy Cohn, told CNN at the time.

Two doctors, including her personal physician, also testified on her behalf. Onyango's medical condition was part of her legal defense against expulsion.

Isn't it fortunate Obama passed health care reform just in time so his relative now has great free care, almost as free as she enjoyed when she wasn't a citizen. Just something else to remind the Chinese.

Torn on Rima Fakih

On the surface this is one of those red meat stories that conservatives usually tear up. Typical reactions include, "I can't believe it--an Arab Muslim Miss USA, what next, a Kenyan president?". Or "it's fixed--they are clearly coddling to the terrorists". Or maybe "another Trump PR stunt".

And that was just from me. Then some deeper thought followed...
Well, if her victory is a sign the terrorists have won then let the surrender begin. It's not like she's wearing a suicide belt (won't go into the underwear thing but we'll have to assume Trump checked for security reasons).

Matter of fact, by doing her own thing, including the display of bare arms, legs, and shoulders, she is now a beacon to those Arab or Muslim women across the world who might harbor the same female desires but cannot express them. The NOW ladies, who tend to abhor beauty pageants anyway, could not have had a more effective spokeswoman for womens' rights.

So while there was probably some tendency to pick her because of her Arab/Muslim heritage and how it relates to our image around the world, she's still hot. We can only hope the radical Wahhabists don't put out a fatwa on her. They simply must to be consistent, mustn't they?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Side Tracks

Groovy, man..

I have to admit never putting that one together. C'mon, it was the Association.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Defending Holder, Sort of..

One thing can be said--he might be a moron but at least he's an honest moron..
Have you read the Arizona law?

ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I have not had a chance to, I’ve glanced at it. I have not read it.
It's rather shocking he would admit this, but perhaps he realized that by saying he had read the bill, while under oath in front of Congress, and after previously saying it was "divisive" and might as enacted lead to civil rights violations, he would likely get trapped in a lie causing more trouble.

As it stands, the mainstreamers are largely ignoring this story today. Just checked the front pages of CNN, ABC News, MSNBC, WaPo and NY Times and none of them have the story. ABC does have a video tease entitled "can strippers save schools?" and MSNBC has one entitled "balloon boy parents get balloon back". So apparently the Attorney General admitting in front of Congress that he hasn't read a 10 page bill his department might file suit against isn't newsworthy to them. As Holder surely could have figured.

But that said, the bill is somewhat troubling in how it federalizes Arizona police into doing the job of the Border Patrol/ICE. Even if police don't racially profile (and of course, all police in Arizona aren't white cops that look like they came from Adam-12) it won't stop the rights groups from clogging the courts with frivolous charges that they are, which could clog the system at large.

I continue to believe the law was more a flare sent up by the Arizona government over fiscal and logistical problems due to immigration in hopes it would get the national debate going to push for a fix. Sure enough, the public debate is back on immigration.

And I continue to believe that fixing the problem should include some kind of provision for illegal aliens to work and live in America temporarily presuming they travel back to the nearest border, obtain paperwork from US Consulates, then re-enter legally at an official border crossing with a worker visa. I'll even waive the fines if they do so before a set date.

Saying it's impractical to have them go back is interesting in that many traveled thousands of miles to reach far-flung US destinations and are sending thousands of dollars back home to relatives in the countries of their citizenship. Surely they can respect our laws enough to trouble themselves into making one more trip back to the border to get themselves legal if the provision is offered.

That sets up a situation where those who refuse to get legal before the deadline will be deported as soon as it becomes evident they are illegal. All future entrants would have to stop to get the paperwork at the border, and if they come across illegally after the one-time deadline, they're gone when caught. Liberals prize fairness--isn't that fair?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

More Boycott Insanity

Fox is running a story about an Illinois High School who has canceled plans for their girls basketball team to attend an Arizona tournament later this year due to the school district's dislike of the new immigration bill:
Now, after winning their first conference title in 26 years, the girls are being denied the opportunity to play in the tournament over safety concerns and because the trip “would not be aligned” with the school's “beliefs and values,” Assistant Superintendent Suzan Hebson told the Chicago Tribune.
The same school has sent students on trips to China. But nevermind, the bottom of the story has the explanation:
The district said in a statement Wednesday that is legally required to provide an education to all children within its borders regardless of immigration status and is responsible for their "safety, security and liberty" when they travel.

"The selection of a varsity basketball team for the 2010-2011 winter athletic season will take place in November, 2010. The team has yet to be selected," the statement read. "We cannot commit at this time to playing at a venue where some of our students’ safety or liberty might be placed at risk because of state immigration law."
So let's get this straight: the high school is basically saying that if an illegal alien makes the next team (there are no illegals on the current team), and if that team travels to Arizona and the illegal alien gets involved in an altercation with the police and is asked for ID, and is found to be an illegal alien, and is deported, that represents a threat to the hypothetical illegal alien's "safety and liberty"?

And of course the only rational thing to do is to cancel any trips out there. And the reason is that allowing such exposure to their illegal alien students doesn't align with the "beliefs and values" of the school system, which apparently seem to be aiding and abetting criminal violations of United States immigration law. Man, every day a new outrage.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Afriqiyah Airways 8U771

Another horrible crash outside the US, this time an aircraft nearing final approach. Since the weather was fine it sounds like a mechanical issue but every time I see this comment from a government official on day one it raises an eyebrow:
The minister also said an investigation would be launched to establish the cause of the crash but he ruled out a terrorist attack.
How could anything be ruled out at this point? Offhand, the plane was a Libyan-owed African Airlines craft hauling mainly Europeans. The LIFG terror group operates in the area, which used to be an AQ-affiliated group opposed to Qaddafi although recent stories suggest they've backed off AQ and gravitated towards the dictator. Does anyone ever leave AQ?

Still, one has to consider the A330-200 series involved here, which was close to the same model that crashed over the Atlantic (Air France 447) last summer where preliminary indications suggested a pitot tube problem affecting the instrumentation. If a similar problem occurred on this flight so close to the ground--at night--on a non-precision approach--it could explain the crash. They would not have known anything was wrong until hitting the ground unexpectedly.

However, according to this report it would appear something was wrong in the air, and they knew it:
Images of the crash scene suggest that the plane went down “hard and fast.” According to Dutch sources the pilot radioed ahead to have ambulances ready at the airport. A passenger also “twittered” from the plane that he saw something wrong with one of the wings.
Would like to see that tweet before it goes down the memory hole. If there was "something wrong with one of the wings" that could bring in non-mechanical explanation.

Regardless, stories say the French investigative group BEA will lead the inquiry; we are still waiting for some kind of finding from them regards Ethiopian 409, a Boeing 737-800 that crashed off Beirut just after takeoff earlier this year, and Yemenia 626, an Airbus 310 that crashed while circling to land just off the coast of Comoros last year (which also featured the miraculous survival of a lone child). Let's hope the families and loved ones get an answer to what happened soon.

MORE 5/16/10

The first pilot error theory has arrived:
The sources said that as the pilot approached Tripoli International Airport, he took the plane off auto-pilot hoping to manually land the aircraft. He realized he was in trouble and tried to pull the plane up and turn the auto-pilot back on to give it another try, the sources said.
Guess these were different Libyan sources than the ones who initially said the weather was "good". As to the autopilot explanation, not sure they are basing that on the CVR or something else. In America the investigative bodies usually release transcripts but recent crashes investigated by BEA have not featured such transparency. So we'll see.

It certainly doesn't square with the above-mentioned report of someone tweeting about a wing problem, but there are many reasons why that could mean nothing, including a nervous passenger who saw the slats extend for the first time, etc. The main thrust of that narrative was the "Dutch sources" who claimed the pilot radioed ahead to have emergency equipment standing by, something that would never occur with the most recent go-around auto-pilot theory.

Donna Brazile's Crazy Dream

Yeah, seems her idea is to ban all pundits and replace them with 'experts' to help tame our political divide. In other words, stop people from just spouting off their opinions. OK, well aside from the obvious (Beck, Rush, Hannity, Savage, O'Reilly) and excluding Olbermann and Maddow, that would seem to include a few online pundits, like the Insta and the Allah. How about Dennis Miller? Bill Maher? Tavis Smiley?
Some pundits could remain as political analysts. (I'm not crazy, am I?) There is insight to be gained from the dark, secret knowledge they hold from their decades pacing the political corridors. But let's not mistake the gallery for the game.
In other words Donna Brazile, "a Democratic strategist and campaign manager for Al Gore's presidential bid in 2000, is a frequent on-air contributor to CNN, NPR and ABC.." could stay to provide that important dark political information to help the gullible masses understand.

OK, this is such an overt draconian Chavez-like idea that it has to be a meme. So she's not crazy-crazy, just crazy like a fox. Her very suggestion to ban pundits because they are incendiary is itself incendiary, which means she's likely doing it to cause more division, knowing this kind of Beckian red meat is just the kind of thing to put some "mad hatters from the 'tea party'" back in the streets in hopes they'll come with racist signs and maybe hurl a few phantom n-words so the Democrats can exploit them in the fall. After all, like Karl Rove she is a political strategist.

Then again with this administration it's never easy to say these things with absolute certainty. Maybe she would like to live in that world. Obviously such a dream would require a decider guy, maybe one who said the following at a recent commencement speech:
With so many voices clamoring for attention on blogs, on cable, on talk radio, it can be difficult, at times, to sift through it all; to know what to believe; to figure out who’s telling the truth and who’s not. Let’s face it, even some of the craziest claims can quickly gain traction. I’ve had some experience with that myself.
This same man went to war with Fox News while asking citizens to rat out their neighbors over passing fishy emails about a health care bill Congress couldn't even understand. He's perhaps the most publicly judgmental president in recent memory. As they say, just sayin'.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Connecting Dots on Pakistan

Is something up?

In January the Pakistanis captured Taliban Number Two, Mullah Baradar. After weeks of speculation about his removal to our custody he remains in the custody of the Pakistani ISI. Nobody knows what he's spilled or if they do, they aren't saying.

Move forward to April and an attempted attack on Times Square from a naturalized American citizen of Pakistani origin. At first blush (after the mid 40s balding white guy misdirection) our Homeland Security director calls it a "one off" (lone wolf), followed by clarification, followed by leaks about Pakistan's involvement. That was beaten back later in the week by a statement from General David Petraeus that no, he was most likely a one off. Which was followed by the Attorney General two days later saying his ties run so deep up Pakistan's rear as to see the heart beating (or thereabouts).

In between Hillary was barking about 'consequences' towards the Pakis for their involvement, including comments about them knowing the whereabouts of bin Laden and Omar.

Then the very next day somebody in the DIA leaks to writer Brad Thor that Pakistan has silently captured Numero Uno, the Big Mullah himself, Omar. But the leak suggests that only parts of the military intelligence apparatus know and the info has been withheld from State and CIA. Hmmm, as the bloggers say.

Well, that leads to a few obvious questions, why being the first one. It makes sense to believe Omar might be in custody (protective even) since his right hand man was said to be singing like a male canary after his capture and the Pakis would probably want to do damage control on any ties they had to things like, oh, 9/11.

But would the Pakis want to withhold such a bombshell from their so-called US allies, especially after an attempted terror attack with the Secretary of State promising retaliation?

Or could the entire thing be a coordinated ploy to give the administration time to figure out what the hell to do with such a HVT? Remember, Holder laughed off the possibility of ever catching UBL alive, so perhaps they don't have a politically acceptable plan of justice yet.

The second obvious question is whether any of these captured Talibanis knew in advance about the Times Square thing? Such a revelation would knee-cap the whole "law enforcement approach" to terror paradigm the Obama folks have re-established from the 90s. Could that explain why Holder was hinting about loosening Miranda rules?

Well, surely the Pakis understand our pickle--and they have their own security to worry about. They weathered the storm after 9/11. Besides, the Paki Taliban aren't even on our State Dept. list of terrorists man-causers.

Monday, May 10, 2010


From Elena Kagan's Columbia Princeton thesis:
In addition to her bemoaning the fact that the Socialist Party could not get off the ground in the early 20th century, Kagan further identifies one of the 'common enemies' of Socialists--the Christian Church.
No surprise there, both represent a god figure--one the god of government and other, God. But we'll leave it to her to explain her religious beliefs if she so desires. Of more import is her disappointment that sectarianism scuttled the 20th century socialism movement. Wonder what she thinks of things in 2010?

For instance, does Obama's penchant for throwing radical friends under the bus count as stick-togetherness today? After all, those thrown under the bus have yet to write vindictive tell-all like Paul O'Neill did with Bush. Taking one for the team is another way to put it.

She's probably a shoe-in, but GOP Senators need to keep a stiff backbone in their advice and consent session and ask some real questions. There's nothing wrong with a left of center president nominating a left of center justice--it's expected--but a socialist nominating another socialist under the cloak of something less radical is another matter. At 50 she could potentially serve for another 40 years.

As to other things Kagan, they say she has a short paper trail and like Obama spent time with Leroy Brown on the south side of Chicago. Hillary is from that area, too. So is Rahm. How ironic. And she's supposedly a "rabid" White Sox fan, at least when she was in Chicago. More karma. Maybe they can sneak Bob Costas onto the panel, or better yet, Ken Harrelson.

As to the sexual stuff, that's her private business. She appears to be against gay marriage, again, just like Obama.

Big Old News

Said the Attorney General on Sunday:
“We’re now dealing with international terrorists,” he said, “and I think that we have to think about perhaps modifying the rules that interrogators have and somehow coming up with something that is flexible and is more consistent with the threat that we now face.”
Why Jake Tapper wouldn't push back on the odd notion that somehow the Attorney General has just recently noticed the international component of terrorism is puzzling, especially since Holder was at Justice when they sentenced US citizen Ali Mohammed for helping bin Laden, but nevertheless this has political stunt written all over it. But it also has desperation written all over it.

First, the problem--what to do with American citizen terrorist suspects? The HIG was set up for foreign terrorists but as we saw with Jose Padilla, it's not so easy to handle domestic foreign terrorists without trampling the spirit of the founding documents. The terrorists know this--many, like KSM and Mohammed, have lived in America.

Bush decided to classify them as enemy combatants, an option that is still practically available despite it's status as political napalm. Then again, having Obama decide whom to classify an enemy combatant doesn't exactly produce a warm fuzzy based on his recent demonization of little old ladies sitting in lawn chairs on main street at tea party protests.

Anyway, Holder's big news (a BFD?) can be taken several ways. One, it allows a comparative argument between the Arizona illegal law and it's slipperiness with a possible reversal of both pleasing the far left at some point, or in other words, both proponents can say they were forced into their decisions by an untenable situation with the hope of federal intervention.

Two, it could appeal to some conservatives critical over using the standard law enforcement approach to stop the Shahzams of the world while also allowing them a modicum of "told you so", something that could work on moderates come November.

And three, it stops short of going back to black sites and enhanced interrogation, which would be so Bushian as to cause a massive nuclear head explosions in the leftist intelligensia and at the least cause open warfare between the radical bloggers and the administration.

Then again, it could be nothing more than an administration flailing wildly after another lucky break, tacitly admitting they don't have the tools in place to thwart these plots ahead of time anymore due to their law enforcement approach rooted in their demagoguery over Bush's solution in order to gain political power.

More digestion is needed here--at first blush it's hard for anyone to be in favor of suspending the rights of American citizens based on the determination of local law enforcement upon arrest, but declaring suspects enemy combatants without the right to representation seems to the only other choice, and in some respects it's a Faustian bargain.

TRUE? 05/10/10

This is blazing through the web like a wildfire, "Exclusive: Mullah Omar Captured". Let's rejoice and assume it is. Now what? Does the HIG finally get a workout or does he get read Miranda?
Military Commission or trial in lower Manhattan? Gitmo in the interim?

Seems completely unbelievable to think Pakistan has had him since March and we didn't know, or they were holding it. Why? Something else about to blow open? Surely the Pakis interrogated him in a less than gentle fashion, did he give up the cave dwellers?

MORE 5/11/10

While we wait for the eventual walking back of this cat two recent stories may shine some light on the chaos that perhaps lead to this leak. On Friday General Petraeus issued a statement saying that Times Square Shahzam might have been inspired by Pakistani terror figures but likely had no contacts, while Holder came out Sunday and unequivocally said he most certainly did have contacts. Don't they coordinate? Sounds like there's an issue between the military and the administration. Imagine if this was going on during the Bush years, the press would be rabid in playing up the division, especially if it included General Powell. Now? Well, we basically have no press.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

A Man and his Truth Meter

What an odd article, including this:
"You're coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't always rank all that high on the truth meter," Obama said at Hampton University, Virginia.
How about the irony meter? The lecturer-in-chief continued:
He bemoaned the fact that "some of the craziest claims can quickly claim traction," in the clamor of certain blogs and talk radio outlets. "All of this is not only putting new pressures on you, it is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy."
Certainly he doesn't mean this blog, but new pressures? To what, gain the truth from sources who aren't functioning as arms of the government? Sounds a wee bit Chavezish, as if he's setting the tone for disarming those crazy truth benders. Shall we prepare for "Mr. Ayers in the Neighborhood" in the old Beck time slot?

And talk about epistemic closure, his comments go round in circles. We have a crackberry addict using Jefferson quotes to scold the graduates about a lack of participatory democracy due to Ipods and internet distractions, right after bashing people for getting their political information on the internet or talk radio (instead of from bowing Brian or other non-fishy Obama-approved pundits)? Hmm, what was that mybarackobama and fightthesmears stuff all about? And those millions in donations from small donors, including some in the Middle East?

Good Lord, is he really bashing people for not being engaged, unless they are engaged with something he doesn't like such as Tea Parties, at which point things get dangerous and threaten democracy? Or is it really just "put away those iPods, kids, and help me rock the vote again this fall because otherwise we're going to get our rears handed to us by these dangerous people"? I'm taking doors number one and two.


Sweetness and Light reminds that the O, who feigned ignorance on iPods and chastised the internet, once mocked McCain for not being internet savvy.

And here's Right Truth responding to the accusation that people aren't engaged, making the same point made above. Web of lies!

And diversions are bad. No, they are good!


And the hits keep coming.. from Hot Air via Zippers.. Obama advertised on the Xbox. Does he think those kids are so stupid they can't use the internet or an iPhone to Google all this stuff?

Change For Sure

So Tiger Woods dropped out of the Players Championship after 7 holes and no hope to win due to a stiff neck? Insert your own joke--we promise not to use tasers.

On second thought, maybe he's just taking the prez seriously.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Side Tracks

This poll is creating some buzz, not only about the number of 'birthers' in America but how those polled viewed the importance of the president's birthplace.

Now, I'm not gonna delve too deep into these numbers but odds are if a poll returns evidence that 32 percent of people believe O was born outside the country, with 1 in 7 of those being democrats/liberal....and those who never attended college are 2 times more likely to believe the non-citizen line, I think we can conclude that some Democrats are stupid birthers who hate the constitution. And since Obama presumably went to college (although records are scarce) that means he's less likely to believe he was born outside the country. Or thereabouts.

As for me, I definitely believe Obama was birthed, most likely in Honolulu, probably at a hospital (as was slipped out by the state's governor recently, and presumably without the permission of Obama, who wants none of his vault records released). And yes, yours truly went to college and has the mediocre grades to prove it!

Anyway, calling someone a birther is easy to do nowadays--it's usually based on the slightest hint of disbelief in the official Kos-approved narrative (or what Hillary might screamingly call patriotic dissent). My question then: if someone were to wonder why Barack "pops" Obama, Sr. would ever consider marrying Stanley Ann Dunham when he was already married to a woman in Kenya does that make them a birther? Or wonder when exactly Stanley Ann realized that the man of her 'dreams' was actually a two-timing bigamist? If so, then I'm a birther.

Oh well, since this is the music post--why not...

Aloha and Mihalo and book 'em Danno.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Flood of 10

Take a look at this map of the rainfall over Tennessee this past weekend..

That's upwards of three months of rainfall in one weekend for some spots, and river levels never seen before. People are still drying out from Memphis to Nashville, where perhaps a billion dollars of damage has occurred. Yes, with a B. Not to say this story hasn't been covered by the national press but even Google will ask if you really meant "a million" when entering "Nashville a billion dollars damage" in their search string.

Opryland will be closed for six months. The Navy base at Millington was swamped with hundreds of service people displaced and their important records system under repair causing the suspension of personnel actions across the system. A house floated down I-24. All fairly important stuff, but I guess a potential terror attack in Times Square was, too. Still, it's pretty bad when the mainstreamers can't even get interested enough to make the obligatory global warming comparisons, even down here in flyover Jesusland.

Oh well, as Hank Jr. says, country folk can survive, with or without crying mainstream media reporters. But if you'd like to help the many families who didn't have flood insurance because they weren't planning on a 500 year flood, here's one way..


This has nothing to do with the flooding, but just caught me as a bit ironic. Speaking above of Google thinking the billion in damages was a typo for a million, the stock market spike of Thursday originally featured the explanation that a typo was made where a trader pushed a B for billion instead of an M for million.

Then lo and behold, in today's Memphis paper we have a story where a criminal defendant was given a "billion dollar bail". I actually heard this on the radio yesterday it was literally a laugh out loud moment while in traffic--just a tad overdone maybe? Now today they explain it was only supposed to be a million. Hey, millions, billions, trillions, who can keep them straight anymore?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

UBL in Iran and other Conspiracies

Fox recently brought back the old story that a well-known Falconer who worked with many Arab shiekhs claims bin Laden has been hiding in Iran since 2003. Ken Timmerman and Michael Ledeen have made the claim, and yes, the 9/11 report says they should take a deeper look at Iran's possible involvement.

And yes, members of UBL's family were definitely in Iran, under 'house arrest', including his son Saad. But last year Saad was released (or escaped, or pushed out) and was promptly sent to Allah by an American drone when he reached southern Afghanistan, which doesn't seem to fit the narrative (unless Usama was being punished).

The last time we saw bin Laden on TV was beyond bizarre. The tape was poorly edited, parts of it with the shiekh frozen as if in a still picture while the audio rolled along (click pic above for alternate interpretation video). Back when Bush was in power the lefty conspiracists, including the late Walter Cronkite, blamed the CIA on the puppet strings of Karl Rove; now that Obama is in charge those claims can be seen as ludicrous so doesn't it make sense for the crazy Mullahs to be behind such klaptrap based on what we see in their media?

Right now Tehran is holding the leader of Jund'allah, a terrorist group based in Baluchistan the west was supposedly leveraging against Iran. Why would we do that? How embarrassing might his 'testimony' be if they put him on TV? They supposedly picked him off a flight with the help of Pakistan. Why would they help Iran?

Other circumstantial evidence exists. For instance, among the group who still argue about the anthrax letter attacks, attorney Ross Getman has long believed it was the work of terrorists, specifically AQ, and he points to some very compelling anniversaries. The first batch of letters were mailed around September 17, 18, 2001, and the second (and more powerful dust) was sent between October 6-9. The September days are close to the anniversary of the Camp David Accords, the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel signed by Anwar Sadat and Manachem Begen. The October dates are close to the anniversary of Sadat's subsequent assassination in 1981.

And guess whose group was involved in that? One of Getman's main culprits, Ayman Zawahiri and his al Jihad group, which morphed into Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ/Vanguards of Conquest). Zawahiri would later work with KSM and others to acquire WMDs for AQ dating back to the late 90s.

Meanwhile the trigger man in the Sadat attack was Khaled Islambuli, who had a street and stamp named after him in Iran:
Iranian animosity grew when Egypt backed Saddam Hussein's Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88). Approximately two thirds of Egypt's military exports went to support Iraq during the war. Concurrently, the Islamic Republic began celebrating the martyrdom of Khaled al-Islambuli, the army officer executed for the assassination of Egypt's President Sadat on October 6th, 1981. Shortly after President Sadat's assassination, Iran issued an official postage stamp bearing Islambuli's image, named one of Tehran's main thoroughfares in his honor, and posted a large scale mural on the side of a prominent building in Tehran, memorializing Islambuli as hero of the global Islamic resistance movement. Egypt also maintains that for years, Iran has been sheltering fugitive "members of violent Islamist organizations" convicted by Egyptian courts (Al-Ahram Jan.15-21, 2004).
Fast forward to the anthrax letters. The text used the old familiar chant heard in Tehran--"death to America, death to Israel". The FBI tried to dampen this by claiming Dr. Ivins left a message in the letters by darkening or overwriting several letters in the message, but this hardly seems conclusive since a few 'o' s are clearly overwritten that were not counted. Otherwise their lone wolf theory is quite solid (except for someone actually seeing him make or mail the powder) but like everything else to do with this war nothing is ever 100 percent solid.

But for the sake of argument let's say Getman is correct, would something like bin Laden hiding in Iran ever come out formally? Not likely. Obama would not want it out since he's currently hamstrung in his ability to affect any change there vis a vis their nukes, and such a revelation might force immediate pressure for someone to attack. That's likely the same reason Bush wouldn't have wanted it out, not to mention it ruining their political narrative of no attacks after 9/11. But Bush did at least manage to surround them.

MORE 5/5/10

One advantage of having the leftist media around is that occasionally they can coddle dictators enough to get them to do interviews, whereupon there's a chance some things can be learned. George Stephanapolous did the honors with A'jad and asked about the bin Laden in Iran story, which produced this idiotic back and forth:
AHMADINEJAD: Our position is quite clear. Some journalists have said Bin Laden is in Iran. These words don't have legal value. Our position towards Afghanistan and against terrorism is quite clear.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is it true or not?

AHMADINEJAD: Maybe you know, but I don't know.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm asking you. You're the President of Iran.

AHMADINEJAD: I don't know such a thing, you are giving news which is very strange.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, let me ask it a different way. If you did know that Osama bin Laden was in Tehran, would you show him hospitality? Would you expel him? Would you arrest him?

AHMADINEJAD: I heard that Osama bin Laden is in the Washington, D.C.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No, you didn't.

AHMADINEJAD: Yes, I did. He's there. Because he was a previous partner of Mr. Bush. They were colleagues in fact in the old days. You know that. They were in the oil business together. They worked together. Mr. Bin Laden never cooperated with Iran but he cooperated with Mr. Bush--
The entire interview sounded like a conversation off a message board. Wonder if A'jad is out there in cyberspace somewhere, debating anonymously, maybe on Sean Hannity's site? He argues just like some American liberal college professors.

As to the question, it was edgy and his reply couldn't have been any more juvenile and truthery but clueless George botched the entire gotcha by not mentioning bin Laden's family being there under "house arrest". After the idiot has already railed about border laws and bin Laden being in Washington it would have been fun hearing him defend housing bin Laden's family in a compound other than a jail, and how they came to be in Iran in the first place.

Anyway, after hearing his wild answer the conspiracy seems a lot more convincing than before, but then again, maybe that's what he wants us to believe!