Wednesday, June 30, 2010


From the Gibbs press briefing on Tuesday:
Q One quick -- Bill Clinton has apparently endorsed Andrew Romanoff in the Colorado Democratic primary. How do you respond to it? Are you amused, dismayed, infuriated? (Laughter.)

Q Those are your choices. (Laughter.)

MR. GIBBS: D, none of the above. (Laughter.)

Q And one last thing on that? Did you guys get a heads up? Did you know President Clinton was doing that, the White House?

MR. GIBBS: I will check with the political department. I don’t know the answer.

Q You did not know this?

MR. GIBBS: But that’s not to say --

Q Somebody in the White House might have gotten --

MR. GIBBS: I will check.

Q Will it affect the reset with Bill Clinton? (Laughter.)
Emphasis added for the punchline. Of course this should be a bigger story, since Romanoff practically charged the White House with bribery, and now he's being endorsed by Bubba (who's coincidentally in Moscow talking to Putin). And hey--it was Slick who they claimed was the go-between with Sestak. All forgotten in the misty mist of time. Clinton essentially told Obama to stop trying to emote and plug the damn hole (in slightly more polished verbiage)--and the WaPo is saying Hillary will be drafted to run as VP for 2012? Yeah, only if Bill has that Kenyan birth certificate lying around somewhere.

By the way, what's with all this reset stuff regards Russia anyway? Was our relationship with the ex-Soviets so terrible under Bush? If so, what harm was done? Putin helped us with terrorism per Afghanistan and didn't help much with Iraq or Iran, and didn't care much for our missile defense. None of that has changed under Obama, except our bailing out of missile defense. Now we have this new spy story.

Or maybe the russkies are correct and that was that the purpose of making a show of publicly rolling up the network. In the press briefing Gibbs came close to emphatically stating that law enforcement made the decision to take down the spies and not the president, although the president knew they were out there. He then referred reporters to the State Dept when asked about ramifications, as if the White House has no position on foreign spying while in the midst of resetting. It feels more like embarrassment than clever.

Time for Pushback

John Boehner's comments on raising the vesting age of Social Security to 70 could take the GOP two ways: thrill of victory or agony of defeat, but to win they have to take a stand. After all, the campaign president is doing his thing.

Pelosi and crew have predictably reacted like Dem automatons by playing the fear card, evidently thinking that by accusing Boehner of touching the political third rail it will be the death knell for the GOP in 2010. But their reaction sounds more 1980 than 2010:
"The House Republican Leader John Boehner and his GOP colleagues want to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70 and cut benefits in order to pay for George Bush's war and their failed policies of the past," House Democratic Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., said in a written statement. "Democrats will not stand for this."
As if Clyburn has any clout after his ridiculous conspiracy theory about Alvin Greene, but anyway, the boilerplate is old school--old, one-room schoolhouse old school. There's a new breed of swing voter in America today who never thought they'd see social security proceeds anyway and don't like the Dems spending their grandchildren into unsustainable debt. Just today the CBO announced our debt-to-GDP ratio is now the highest since World War II (when we were last fighting for our very survival). Yet the Dems act as if the economy is recovering and everything is fine.

We know Madame P has already dismissed the tea party as a bunch of nazi cranks; and we know she's out saying they are going to retain the House because they don't take any race for granted; but having a cavalier attitude about spending says otherwise. It's not like her poll numbers are very high and it's not as if the G20 members didn't just slap Obama and his Keynesian stimulus buddies upside the head.

Miss Nancy also knows Boehner's proposal was silky smooth in that by exempting people within 20 years of retirement it diminishes the typical third rail outrage from the targets of the scare tactics--old farts who vote. If it won't affect grandpa and grandma it's not as big a play while at the same time playing to the tea party mantra of 'stop spending, stop spending'.

Bush tried to reform SS by painting it as a personal account that could be placed into markets. The reason the Dems reacted so rudely.. because most of them see the program as a clever tax/redistribution scheme allowing politicians to do exactly what Pelosi is trying to do now--hold it over the population, and not a personal pension program. It's the same place they are trying to take the nation's health care. It's pretty clear their preferred reform--should they ever publicly express anything--would be to means-test the "rich" while also removing the pay cap, in effect publicly announcing it as a tax/redistribution scheme for everyone to see.

Yet they can't, because that too is part of the third rail. There's supposed to be a lock box. So Boehner needs to be asking the Dems just how the devil they plan to fix the problem. Ask and ask often. That forces Pelosi to either admit to the ponzi scheme or back off, or dig her hole deeper.

Whether Boehner has the toughness to do that or whether electricity is still coursing through his sun tanned veins remains to be seen--maybe Palin will have to come to the rescue again or better yet, Chris Christie. Or maybe more tea parties. But somebody has to smack this ball. If the Dems retain the House without losing many seats the GOP is toast. They have to either retake one house or come very close, because we know the same media now covering for Obama on the economy (and everything else) will call it a mandate for socialism otherwise. So it's only the future of America at stake.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Russian Spy Bust

In the Times story about 11 Russians spies being arrested across the country for impersonating suburbanites, we get the quote of the day:
“They couldn’t have been spies,” Ms. Gugigi said. “Look what she did with the hydrangeas.”
Heh, sorta the point, although they were evidently less successful in fooling the Feds.

The questions might be: who did they befriend, who was helping them, and what did they want from the "policyakers"? As to the latter, probably standard intel, such as reporting on coming policies unless they were trying to affect policies. They have been here a decade, meaning near or perhaps before 9/11. Many were around New York and Boston--did they know anything? Who tipped off the Feds to watch them? Or was it through the TSP or various NSA spy programs? Also, since they were seen receiving bags of cash it might be useful to know where some of it went (besides their daily sustenance).

At any rate, the FBI deserves kudos for busting the ring, that is unless Hillary's re-set button actually smoked them out. As to how this might affect Russian-US relations going forward, just speculating, but probably not at all, since the media will likely let it die and Obama will never be asked a question about it. But I could be wrong!


This story, which seems a tad World Net Daily-ish, purports recent concern in the Kremlin for the socialist direction Obama is taking the country vis a vis a new anti-terrorism bill targeting home-grown terrorists. Don't recall hearing anything about it in the midst of the BP oil disaster (who knows what else might slip through while people are watching the oil) but then again it's possible the Rooskies are distorting its purpose. The long term goal of the Soviets was to destroy America from within, and how better to do it than by fostering derision against the president?

But then again, damn:
(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.
Didn't they just bring up a 'turn off the web' bill the other day? Hmm. Well, patriotic Americans must assume these bills are for our good, targeted towards real threats such as AQ or Hizb'allah sleepers, drug cartel members, former Weather Underground terrorists posing as professors or even pretend Russian suburbanites. But then again it's hard to tell anymore in this crazy world.

MORE 6/28/10

More coming out on their connections:
Cynthia Murphy last year was assigned the account of a New York-based financier described as a fundraiser "for a major political party" who is "a personal friend" of a Cabinet member's.

"Try to build up little by little relations with him moving beyond just (work) framework," said an intercepted communication from "Moscow Center."
So they got as close as a friend of a cabinet member. Nice. Well, with tensions high in the middle east, shall we question the timing on rolling up this long term espionage ring?

WAGs 6/29/10

Let's say the FBI is telling the truth that they had these clowns under surveillance as far back as 2004. What kind of hack spies are the Russians fielding? How could they go 6 years, using what sound like Hollywood spycraft, and not ever realize they were being watched? Keep in mind if we were watching them they weren't doing any harm to national security, by default.

So, let's say they knew they were being watched. Why were they here? As the former KGB guy says, it's a big waste. Well, maybe they were here as fake spies, meant to be popped out to embarrass some head of state or change the diplomatic dynamic. They start going to ground right after their meathead president was just over here eating hellburgers and Bill Clinton scheduled for an appointment today with Pooty? The timing simply must be questioned.

But if so, what bang for the buck are they getting? Obama's media coating of teflon will prevent much damage here, so maybe the answer lies in how the Russian people will react.

Finally, of course Obama knew about this before the visit. Bush clearly knew about the team as well, since the FBI tends to inform administrations of things like this. And no, none of this is man bites dog stuff with the expection of the timing of the bust. They say it was because one of the agents was slipping off to Russia but if they hadn't gained any intel, so what? Why was it important to publicly nab them, if they had been undercover for 10 years and largely ineffective?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Kill Switch for the Interweb?

On the surface it sounds so Kim-Jong, so A'jad, so Hugo C.--shutting down the internet for a declared national emergency for up to four months. I'm an internet user not an internet engineer--but something in this "Prison Planet" story Drudge linked to stood out:
As we have illustrated, fears surrounding cybersecurity have been hyped to mask the real agenda behind the bill, which is to strangle the runaway growth of alternative and independent media outlets which are exposing government atrocities, cover-ups and cronyism like never before.
True--it's much harder to hide dirty politics, business shenanigans and fishy media information with so many debunking sources available. I would add leaks--in particular Wikileaks--to that list as well.

Is it possible Obama could declare an emergency and shut down the web if they suddenly realized someone had leaked the holy grail of national security secrets to this Assange guy? Just a few weeks ago they were supposedly looking everywhere for him due to the presumed leak of 260,000 sensitive State Department cables to his outfit. No government can effectively operate under pure sunshine despite what Obama promised during the campaign. That's not to mention the blackmail and extortion potential.

At the same time, the potential for mis-using this power is obvious. Some may say, "well, if the president declares a phony national emergency the people will be in an uproar". True, but it won't be as easy to express outrage without message boards, chat rooms, blogs, emails and website comment sections. It will be harder to organize, period.

And it will be nearly impossible to get reliable information by depending only on the mainstream media and AM radio. The public at large will be pretty much in the dark as to any check on the validity of what the news anchors are telling everyone. Imagine for a moment the days after the 2000 election, 9/11, Katrina, etc, and how valuable the web was in understanding those situations.

Chances are if it ever happens things are going to be pretty bad and everyone will know it. Perhaps at that point the internet will be the last of anyone's concerns. But if they tinker with this for politics or other frivolous reasons they run a big risk not only of political fallout but of those dreaded public pitchforks... and that's not even counting the online merchandisers and porn outfits.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Side Tracks

The Wilson sisters, from back in the day...

And some undetermined amount of days later, sounding just as good..

Baghdad Bob Located..

And he's a member of Congress...

Jaw-dropping. Obama is an 'understated' president and doesn't tout his accomplishments on the stump? They don't give out talking points, yet he's created more jobs in one year than Bush did over his entire eight years? Wha?

And they call Beck a nutcase. At least he's just a TV guy. Some of the Dems seem to be losing it.

That Chris Dodd?

Dodd? Chris Dodd? Leading the charge on banking and financial reform (which likely includes all kinds of goodies we won't be told about until after the bill becomes law?) This Chris Dodd?
Senators Christopher Dodd, Democrat from Connecticut and chairman of the Banking Committee, and Kent Conrad, Democrat from North Dakota, chairman of the Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, refinanced properties through Countrywide’s “V.I.P.” program in 2003 and 2004, according to company documents and emails and a former employee familiar with the loans.
But it doesn't stop with him:
Other participants in the V.I.P. program included former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and former U.N. ambassador and assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke. Jackson was deputy H.U.D. secretary in the Bush administration when he received the loans in 2003. Shalala, who received two loans in 2002, had by then left the Clinton administration for her current position as president of the University of Miami. She is scheduled to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom on June 19.
Shalala is the president of the University of Miami and of course Holbrooke was made a special envoy to AfPak (which some might consider punishment). Meanwhile former Bush official Alphonso Jackson would not be given a position as a doorman at the Capitol in this government, but he was recently cleared of wrongdoing to nearly zero fanfare.

But back in the day his resignation was an insight into the culture of GOP corruption while Dodd, a friend of Angelo whom a former company official testified knew he was getting VIP treatment while sitting on powerful committees regulating the banking industry, would later run for president then keep his spot in the Senate and committee chairmanship and be placed in charge of reforming the very same industry he evidently personally profited from.

Some might consider that chutzpah. Others might say it's what happens when the press chooses sides in the affairs of state. Without fairness in government and media there's no hope for informed members of the public to maintain trust in our system.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Victory Week in Review

From the New York Times, top left, lead web story:
Mr. Obama’s remarkable victories in little more than a week, nearly a year and a half into a presidency that was saddled from the start by two wars and a terrifying financial plunge, may not prove to be lasting.
But oh boy.. they were remarkable this week!

Perhaps I missed the past week because the 'victories' they talk of seemed awfully pyrrhic. The oil gusher is still gushing and we still don't know exactly why BP acquiesced (or received) on the escrow fund, because the details of their secret energy meeting haven't yet been released. But they have promised to get them out soon.

As to McChrystal, we still don't know whether he purposely fell on his sword or just acted stupidly. Why allow a Rolling Stoned journo to follow his staff around to bars while keeping everything on the record unless he was trying to self-extract himself? It's possible he was just a little too trusting or a bit short on common sense when it comes to journalists in general, but does the Army not give their four-stars media training these days?

As to the mitigation, whom other than General Petraeus was Obama going to appoint? Joe Biden? But oh yes, the brilliance.

This may sound like gratuitous partisan bashing, and you the reader can make up your mind on that, but my sense is that the fly landing on Obama's upper lip was more emblematic of the past week than anything else. McChrystal/Petraeus was a no-brainer, and the BP come-to-Jesus meeting was at least a month late, and they are still not skimming the oil off the Gulf. The Joint Chiefs are now talking about the national debt, which sounds like a signal of coming withdrawals.

But thank goodness we have mainstream press to find victory in the places an average man can't see.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Think Globally...

Act locally? Was Gore taking his warming theory a little too literally? And what does it say about America when the paper of record is now the National Enquirer?

This woman seems a bit melodramatic but seriously, "Mr. Stone" and abdominal massages? Sounds like code, in a foot tapping under the stall kind of way. Good thing the Portland paper had the guts to spike the story while the New York Times was embarrassing itself over the McCain affair story while the Dems were riding high. But I digress.

MORE 6/24/10

Gore is of course presumed innocent and hasn't been charged with anything to this point. We conservatives usually get mad when smears are run against our guys, so it's best to keep some perspective.

But part of the perspective is how this story is being handled, and was handled when it became known. Presuming the very same charge/evidence, had the subject been Cheney (or just about any known Republican) it's pretty likely the media would have reacted quite differently. After all, they knew about the Edwards affair and stood by mute as he ran for vice-president. So it's natural to assume they might be covering up here, too. It's akin to the glowing press yesterday about Obama's appointment of Petraeus as "brilliant" or a "masterstroke" when he was left with little choice.

Anyway, the commenters on JOM (linked above) are probably having a bit too much fun with this story, but they dredged up an oldie from the 2000 debates that probably cost Gore a few votes, claiming it as perhaps an insight into his personality..

I've always thought it was more an insight into his political handlers, who were probably telling him he needed to be more macho--and not necessarily his personality. But it was a creepy moment for sure. And again something, if done by a Cheney-type figure, could have spelled the end of a career.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Politicking the War

So McChrystal is out and we're screwed, but Petraeus is in, and he's the hero who brought Iraq back from the brink when guys like Obama had lost all faith. How bitter the irony for the "Betrayus" set.

This feels like a wash but then again you're not reading words being written by an expert on the matter.

But there is something every citizen has a right to ask--is Afghanistan worth pursuing anymore? If we are mainly staying just to save face and not let the terrorists 'win' is it really worth the lives lost? And if we're only staying to fulfill a political campaign promise with intentions of leaving when the first opportunity arises, win or lose, shouldn't we pick up our toys and come home ASAP?

Imagine KSM sitting in court bragging about whose ass he kicked. Could we stand it? Or would the loss of leadership in the global struggle against terrorism be so irreparable as to threaten further lives down the line, making it a never-go-there choice? After all, the commander-in-chief has said as much.

Yet under the cover of the McChrystal thing Obama could certainly have made the case, at least to some people, for pivoting out right now. Things are not looking good, Karzai is an idiot, there are people besides him to blame and the major media will cover him on it.

But if we leave and the next 9/11 comes will any politico have the stones to go back and really finish the job? To coin a phrase, make no mistake, another big attack will come if we leave without some kind of victory. And if we leave AfPak is there any reason the mujahideen won't simply flood back to Iraq waving our paper tiger flag and take down that country as well?

Not to forget Iran who, like the terrorists, would also feel they defeated the United States if we were to draw-down without a win. Their nuke days are coming and without a massive US presence in the region Israel will feel compelled to act singularly to de-nuke them; yet without our forces the likelihood of a massive counter-attack leading to regional conflagration seems more sure. Then we'd have to return anyway.

In the past few months we've learned that the leader of Jund'allah is in the hands of the Mullahs; that Mullah Omar might be in captivity in Pakistan; that Osama might even be in Iran. Strange leverage situations might be in play, among other things not ready for the brutal honesty that Obama foolishly promised America. I'm left with hoping and praying General Petraeus can do some wonderful things again, but Afghanistan is not Iraq.

MORE 6/23/10

Obama's speech in the Rose Garden was perhaps one of his better ones on national security yet. He showed resolve, said all the right things, and honored the service of a great soldier whom he had very little choice but to fire. It would have been better had Biden stayed on the opposite lawn and played with his super soaker (his fidgeting was a distraction), but all in all, a decent speech.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On Praying for the Gulf

Here's Keith Olbermann last night on Sarah Palin's recent call for prayer over the Gulf oil spill:
"Pray baby pray...So there you have it, a Palin presidency in microcosm, 'oh crap, something bad happened, don't worry God will fix it'. A quick miracle and presto chango, the oil stops."
And here's the end of Obama's recent Oval Office address on the oil spill:
Tonight, we pray for that courage. We pray for the people of the Gulf. And we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter day. Thank you, God Bless You, and may God Bless the United States of America.
Does Olbermoron actually hear the words leaving his lips or are some lefties so reflexively programmed to ignore any Obama references to religion as just pandering to the small people that they auto-dismiss them? Wondering.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Rahmbo Pivot

So the same guy tangentially involved with Tony Rezko and Rod Blago...the same guy who likely offered Joe Sestak a bribe to stay out of the Pennsylvania primary...the same guy who threatened representative Massa in the shower over his health care now the same guy trying to focus the BP oil disaster on congressman Barton for foolishly admitting the obvious? Shocking. Maybe they can release the transcript of the BP come-to-Jesus secret oil meeting so we can all get some transparency on this.

A desperate move, but never sell the mainstream media short in their attempt to make it a legitimate meme. Still, Rahm is facing a possible appearance in the Blago circus trial, which appears to be a dose of sunny disinfectant on the hot dog factory known as Chicago politics. He wants to run for mayor there, so maybe it's time to leave, over that alone. Or maybe there's another disagreement?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Toast to the Wee Irishman

An Irishman has won the US Open golf tourney. It's almost like the Cubs winning the world series, except that Chicago didn't invent baseball. Well then again, neither did Ireland. It was Scotland. Maybe. Whatever, a great accomplishment by a steady Mr. McDowell, whose father embraced him on the 18th green after the victory putt. For those with fond memories of playing golf with their father, it's always a touching scene, especially today.

So thank heaven we have a president who understands the historical importance of the sport and it's uncanny non-partisan ability to bridge cultural gaps, reduce stress, and stop oil leaks, if one is a Democrat. I mean, at least he didn't go sailing for crying out loud. Just imagine the terrible image if the first golfer was a Texas oilman. Whew. It's hard enough having to endure Johnny Miller.

Anyway, hope all the fathers had a happy father's day. Hit 'em straight--and not in the lake!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Side Tracks

Ragtime. You just don't hear much ragtime anymore..

BP's Inside Lawyer

Almost completely lost in the shuffle of the great Obama/Biden BP shakedown for the small people extravaganza was this factoid:
The oil giant brought its top brass and even came armed with a top Clinton administration Justice Department official, Jamie Gorelick, whose name was floated as a possible attorney general pick for Obama.
Yes, that's the same Jamie Gorelick famous for increasing the 'wall' between law enforcement and intelligence cited as a failure by the 9/11 Commission, helping lead the failed Fannie Mae, and defending Duke University from the wrongly accused Lacrosse players. The noted civic leader must have experienced some deja vu sitting across the table from her former Justice associate Eric Holder.

Her influence notwithstanding, the team was bullied by Don't Mess with Joe into agreeing to over 20 billion even though US law only calls for millions.

But wait, don't we small people have the right to see the transcript of this secret oil meeting? If Cheney were present wouldn't Henry Waxman be rapping his gavel somewhere and demanding it? For instance, it might be nice to know if BP agreed to anything else in return for their cooperation on the escrow fund, or whether it was just a down payment to keep the pitchforks away.

MORE 6/19/10

Cap'n Ed on the revelation they were having trouble with the well as far back as February (and had informed MMS thereof):
This may not change anything in terms of addressing the disaster in the short run, but it’s certainly good context to keep in mind when assessing the long-term consequences of this catastrophe and the potential solutions to prevent a repeat of it.
OK, but it also goes towards Obama's recent statement that he was told that deep water drilling was "absolutely safe". Byron York is asking "who told him", which opens some questions.

Based on the Hot Air story it would appear MMS knew there were problems with the rig before Obama made his drill-baby-drill announcement in late March. Did the former chief, Liz Birnbaum, know about any of this? Was she the one who told the administration it was safe? Not to say BP wasn't constantly reassuring MMS it was safe, but Obama's new crop of watchdogs was supposed to be leery of the oil companies.

Hmm. Well, this could explain the sacking of Ms. Birnbaum. Perhaps she was not passing concerns up the chain and kicking enough a** in her industry-friendly agency, as everybody seems to think Interior Sec Salazar instructed her to do. Well, not everybody:
Friends of Birnbaum countered that she was never instructed by Salazar to clean house. Instead, she spent much of her nine months on the job promoting renewable energy, particularly the contested issue of putting a wind farm off Cape Cod.

“She still doesn’t get it,” an acquaintance of Birnbaum told Greenwire. “She still doesn’t understand she’s being made the poster child for all this. She thinks [her firing is] on the merits.”
In retrospect it might have been interesting to hear her testimony to Congress--the testimony that was scuttled on the very same day she was fired resigned. Perhaps Waxman can find some time on his kangaroo court schedule to call her back.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Here and There

Came across this commercial shown on the Super Bowl a number of years ago..

It took me until the second viewing (live) to say, 'what the..?' Anyway, E-trade is better off with the talking baby, but I thought this was funny considering some of side-effects they prattle off during med commercials.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Break Time

Taking a bit of a break this week so blogging will be light but wanted to mention the new show that premiered on AMC this past Sunday night. "Rubicon" follows another really good show called "Breaking Bad", which ended its season Sunday in a thriller (and has become must-see TV for me).

The Rubicon premiere was very good but I'm wondering where the show will go. It seems to be bordering on a Bilderberger/Trilateral Commission angle, which would be harmless (X Files was a conspiracy show but focusing on aliens was harmless as well) but with the main character's wife and child having been killed in the WTC on 9/11 they may go in a more twoofery direction.

Another troubling aspect--the show had several mainstream media papers sending a coded message message (about something) through their crossword puzzles, which starts a train of mysterious happenings. Whether these messages were sent by lower level employees in the papers or their owners is unclear at this point but the show ended with a group of older white guys celebrating someone's death in their upscale home, so we'll see.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

On Cozy Relationships

From this CBS story it would appear the MMS had a far too cozy relationship with those they were assigned to inspect:
Marcus Mouton inspected Deepwater Horizon June 9, 2009. Mouton told federal investigators he participated in skeet-shooting fundraisers where "various offshore companies sponsored a five person team.

"He said he had thought participating in the events was acceptable because many MMS employees including senior managers attended and participated in them. He explained he did not think offshore companies received any favors in exchange for inviting MMS inspectors to these events."
This is never a good idea, and management officials running MMS (and their Congressional overseers) should have developed a strong culture of avoidance. For Pete's sake, wining and dining the inspectors is the oldest trick in the book. So there is legitimate outrage over MMS's apparent failure to maintain that divide.

But if folks are outraged about that cozy relationship, why are they not equally outraged about behavior such as this from the people assigned to provide oversight on our federal government? These same folks seem to have lost interest in pursuing the potential bribes offered to Sestak or Romanoff and haven't the faintest bit of curiosity as to whether the president lied about the departure of his appointed chief of the MMS, Liz Birnbaum. The CBS story linked above doesn't even mention her.

Instead they see no problem frolicking at White House pool party with some of the people they're assigned to cover. As Dana Milbank recently alluded, despite her clear lefty biases and anti-semetism at least Helen Thomas was a professional reporter in the White House pool due to her adversarial style. Now even she's gone.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Forest... Trees

This is hardly surprising coming from a financially teetering weekly magazine that tracked left long ago...
Alvin Greene, the surprise Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina, has a way with words. It’s the way, though, of Sarah Palin and George W. Bush—a tortured relationship with the English language that prevents him from making his points, and that says to voters he may not be up to the job.
They just can't see the point. It's actually on their head. Like Bush and Palin, Greene is a winner, regardless of his rhetorical skills. He won. Meanwhile the guy with the gift of gab is polling under 50 percent as he stammers and yammers his way through gaffe after gaffe exacerbated by less than gifted leadership qualities. In other words, talk doesn't always equal action.

Perhaps this can be a teachable moment for this Newsweek reporter. Ya think?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nowhere Man

Alvin Greene, that is..

This is such a joke the Democrats in his own state are calling it a Republican plot (after seeing the hijinks surrounding Nikki Haley they might be right). So, since nobody knows what's going on it's time for blog speculation!

First off, even the SC GOP can't be dumb enough to foist a shill only to risk getting caught later and harming DeMint. Clyburn is also a dummy, since an investigation might even cause more embarrassment--he's basically saying the Dem voters of his state are stupid for electing this unknown even if he was a GOP moby. No sir, the embarrassment belongs with the SC Democratic Party, unless they can somehow blame it on the Diebolds. Surely can't blame ACORN.

Besides, who's going to order the investigation? If his own party does and they determine he was duly elected with no fraud it makes them look un-supportive, un-American, and perhaps racist for picking on someone who just wanted to run for office in the year of the Tea Party.

C'mon, Democrats are the party of Mr. Smith goes to DC. They live for the little guy who speaks truth to power and takes on the big establishment capitalists and such. He sounds almost perfect, an uncorrupted unknown representing the real folks who has a kinky streak for the young girls to boot--hey it's only sex.. everybody lies about sex!

Whew. It will be interesting to see how they get rid of him without causing a ruckus now that he's a nationally known figure. Wait, isn't Michelle Obama's family from South Carolina? Curioser!

MORE 6/11/10

Here's some local goop from SC, including three conspiracy theories...
Theory three: The ballots were flipped.

The theory goes that in many polling places the calibration of the machines could have been off and people meaning to vote for Rawl unknowingly voted for Greene. That could be backed up by the fact that Greene won Richland County, a Democratic voting area with a largely informed electorate where Rawl had campaigned and was a major presence among Democrats. Greene also won in areas with large non-black voting populations.

Rawl, however, won his home county of Charleston.
Unless a big smoking gun emerges soon the Dems are in deep doo-doo in pursuing this as a scandal. Perhaps the closest thing to a smoking gun, or at least a motive, is the fact a liberal Democrat somehow ran against DeMint in his primary. Hey, it's SC.

Maybe this is just an elaborate hoax perpetrated by 'the Onion' to see how close people were paying attention. But have to wonder--if it's a law that candidates must file with the FEC when running, and Greene did not, why don't they just enforce the law? Otherwise, what's the point of a law?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Osama Now in Sabzevar

The Debkafiles are about as reliable as a supermarket tabloid so there's really no reason to believe this..but here it is:
debkafile's intelligence sources disclosed Monday night that Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan and his intelligence chiefs are well aware that Bin Laden and Zawahiri are hiding in Iran. The leak to the Kuwait paper was intended to show the Obama administration that the Turkish leader's ties with Iran had grown intense enough for him to be fully in the picture of Iran's secret sanctuary for the authors of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
Here's an overhead view of the beautiful Sabvezar, including a blow-up of their amusement park..

How about a MEMRI version:
The Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa reported on June 7, 2010, that Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and five other high-ranking Al-Qaeda figures have been hiding for five years in the mountains of Sabzevar, a city in Khorasan province in northeastern Iran (220 km west of Mashhad).

According to Al-Siyassa, the information, which came from a source linked directly to Iranian security apparatuses, was that bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri had entered Sabzevar at the invitation of Iran and through the mediation of Lebanese Hizbullah.
Stories are saying they allowed the release of some of the terrorists through Syria, although Iran shares no border with Syria. So there's that. I've always been intrigued by this Porter Goss interview in 2005 where he was asked about bin Laden and responded:
"That is a question that goes far deeper than you know," he said. "In the chain that you need to successfully wrap up the war on terror, we have some weak links. And I find that until we strengthen all the links, we're probably not going to be able to bring Mr. bin Laden to justice.

"We are making very good progress on it. But when you go to the very difficult question of dealing with sanctuaries in sovereign states, you're dealing with a problem of our sense of international obligation, fair play.
Most figured he meant Pakistan, and he probably did, but the same could apply to Iran. Here's a previous 'bin Laden in Iran' story, including the mention of Falconry.

On some levels it might make sense for them to sanctuary there--after all, much of his family ended up there after Tora Bora, including his "late" son Saad, and there's no way we can put boots on the ground in Iran. But Tehran would be playing with serious fire by harboring the big boys. The Mullahs are nuts, but are they that nuts? Would this signal they are ready to rumble? Or is it just another bluff--Hillary said to expect a stunt in the next few days due to the prospect of more sanctions. She's right, every time they get sanctioned something seems to happen. So maybe somebody is trying to kneecap their stunt with this story.

As to the Kuwaiti paper, it's in Arabic. But we don't need it, we've got this entry in Wikipedia..

Case closed..

Monday, June 07, 2010

President Kick-A......

Well, we finally got the other half of the "taking names" thing...

Guess he took Spike Lee seriously. But will anyone take his false bravado seriously? I mean, just the other day they were running around the White House lawn playing with super soakers.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Eyes in the Sky

Ryan Mauro has an interesting piece today in Pajamas Media that ties Obama's new pick for DNI, James Clapper, with recent reports about increased aerial surveillance of Syria's Bekaa Valley:
Which Western intelligence agency requested satellite photographs of secret Syrian military installations near the border with Lebanon over the past two years?

A small patch of territory in northwest Syria has been photographed on at least 16 occasions. The images were procured by satellite imaging service DigitalGlobe, which the Western company hired.
The story says the same kind of thing occurred before the small nuke facility was blown up by the IAF a few years ago.

This doesn't prove any weapons transfers occurred, and as Mauro states, Charles Duelfer is convinced they did not. But let's assume for a moment that some agents of Saddam's arsenal were moved to Syria before the war. Why would the administration not want to push such a story, seeing as how it could vindicate their actions and knock down the Joe Wilson "Bush lied" meme that helped propel the Democrats into Congress and Obama into the White House?

Well, for one, it would be highly irresponsible for the Bush government to exercise such a petty defense if they knew that dangerous WMDs were still out there, existing in a neighboring state and within range of Israel (possibly in the hands of Hizballah). Two, it would represent a political blunder, since they went in to eradicate the WMDs, not allow them to survive somewhere else. And three, if such transfers were made, and if the Russians or Chinese or other countries were involved in helping move them, then screaming about it from the rooftops would only make future diplomacy more difficult. So there would have been good reasons to bite the bullet. Or in other words, the 'greater good' theory.

Speaking of which, in researching Clapper's comments I came across this Meet the Press exchange between the late Tim Russert and current Vice President Joe Biden along with ex Pennsylvania Congressman Curt Weldon. It's easy to see why Weldon could have been seen as either a dangerous truth-teller or a man gone over the edge by reading his revelations, or perhaps fantasies, in the transcript. But Biden never challenged him during the interview, and it was mentioned that both went on a fact-finding trip together to the region. I'm pretty sure I heard Biden later tell an interviewer the weapons might have been moved, but it's not easy to find on the net.

Ironically, the very same year this interview was recorded (2oo5) former Vice Admiral Joe Sestak saw his Navy career come to an end due to the insertion of Admiral Mullen as the Chief of Naval Operations, and within a year he would be recruited by former Clintonites to put an end to Weldon's political career.

As to Joe Biden, he's well-known as being a bit of a "free speaker" (as noted lately) and once told Russert that the notion of WMDs was "not some Cheney pipe dream". Now he's in the White House, and James Clapper is likely the next DNI.

BTW, for those interested, I once posed a few questions to Ryan Mauro and he was kind enough to provide his thoughts, which you can read here.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Side Tracks

Instapundit links to a column about the secret to looking younger...and getting more web hits:
Demi Moore has also said that the fact that she looks like she is in her thirties at age 48 is due to many sessions dancing the horizontal tango with husband Ashton Kutcher, 32.

"I would say that a lot of sex helps,” the 47-year-old star divulged about her glowy youthful look. “It’s the endorphins! But there’s more than that, it’s also sharing a quality life with someone. I know I have someone who loves me for who I am and who I’m not. He loves me for my imperfections, and that makes me feel so happy.”
Did you catch that? She lost a year during the interview itself. With that, here's some themed music...

Yee haw.

Friday, June 04, 2010

More on Clapper

Here's a Politico story about the improving possibility that James Clapper will be the next DNI, including a curious reference to the pushback from some Senators, namely Diane Feinstein:
But Clapper could face an uphill battle in the Senate, where he has already generated bipartisan skepticism. In May, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) issued a statement urging the White House to select a civilian for the DNI post.
Hmm, well, since he retired from the service 15 years ago he IS a civilian. Does she mean a civilian with no military experience like Obama and Biden, or a civilian with military experience like Leon Panetta, who served in the Army in the 60s?

Other opposition comes from Republican Peter Hoekstra of the House, who thinks General Clapper doesn't believe in a Congressional oversight process of intelligence in general (which sounds a bit oxymoronic). That notion seems to have come from a trip he took to Yemen right after the underbomber to investigate the al-Awlaqi connection wherein the congressman claims the US Embassy there was told to dummy up, believing the order came from Clapper's office in the Pentagon.

That would suggest there's something about Yemen they'd rather not see spread around right now, and who better than congressmen to spread things around? Lots of folks have been milling around in Yemen lately.

And here's another interesting tidbit:
Clapper is a personal favorite of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who selected Clapper as undersecretary of defense for intelligence in January 2007. When he stayed on in 2009, he became one of the few holdovers from the Bush administration in a top policy position.
So if Hoekstra's tale is correct the order could have come through Clapper from Gates. Anyway, an endorsement from the current SoD suggests Clapper is not prone to outlandish conspiracy theories, giving more weight to his thoughts on the demise of Iraq's WMDs as explained back in 2003, and alluded to in this interview by former DCI James Woolsey:
So you think it is quite possible that some biological weapons haven’t been found?

You have to distinguish between weapons and agents. Weapons suggests loaded-up artillery shells and rockets and bombs. But you don’t load anything up with biological or chemical agents until the last minute. So most of the more sophisticated discussion about this talks about agents rather than weapons. Kay said that it is possible— indeed, I think he said it was likely— that something connected to WMD may have been smuggled out to Syria. And the same thing was said some weeks ago by James R. Clapper, the head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency.
Now, consider the import of this--some of Saddam's weapons in the Bekka Valley of Syria with the powder keg setting up around Israel at the moment. And we have a guy with an apparent affection for secrecy and admiration for tough interrogation (included the enhanced kind) being nominated by a dove president who can't even say the word terrorism or jihad. Hey, just sayin.

This Man..

...sounds like a dumbass:
“She’s a f#!king raghead,” Knotts said.

He later clarified his statement. He did not mean to use the F-word.

Knotts says he believed Haley has been set up by a network of Sikhs and was programmed to run for governor of South Carolina by outside influences in foreign countries. He claims she is hiding her religion and he wants the voters to know about it.

“We got a raghead in Washington; we don’t need one in South Carolina,” Knotts said more than once. “She’s a raghead that’s ashamed of her religion trying to hide it behind being Methodist for political reasons.”
Ole tiny is not only giving the south, South Carolina, and the GOP a bad name, he's giving the Knotts name a bad name. Too bad somebody like Deputy Fife couldn't haul him in to see Andy for an attitude adjustment--but then again, Andy and Barney were from the good Carolina--the northern one.

Wow, it's as if the South Carolina GOP is actually an arm for the Democrats operating under deep cover. That's about the only hope for Republicans there it would seem, aside from Haley.

ht Hot Air

Thursday, June 03, 2010

This Should be a Bigger Story

Right Truth posted this today..

The Imam's ties, especially his vocal support for convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, should have been a red flag for Governor Patrick. Yet he decided to reach out anyway and accept a check towards having Massachusetts state police receive sensitivity training.

Readers are free to make up their own minds as to why he would reach out in that way, politics or otherwise. My theory is that some liberals saw 9/11 as America's fault and decided the only way to fix the problem was to turn us into a giant cuddly socialistic teddy bear who will never threaten anyone again. This obviously misses the point vis a vis Islamic terrorism yet we have many in the current government who seem to think this way.

That's not to say liberals are aligned with terrorists; if anything the far wacko right is more ideologically apt to side with those who decry women's rights, think homosexuality is a mortal sin punishable by death, and the blood on the hands of the Jews (which is why it's not preposterous to believe the Oklahoma City bombers could have been helped by Islamic terrorists). Both are missing the point, just in different ways. Christians try to convert people to Jesus, Muslims try to convert people to Islam, but the price for refusal is a little different when both are based on respective fundamentalist thought.

Anyway, the group who put up the video is here. Some will point to it's founder being a Jew and make the obvious assertions but at least he's trying to reach out in the correct direction. Besides, pre-judging anyone is wrong, right?

The center's latest story details ties between the 'peace activists' on the Gaza flotilla and the Boston Islamic Center.


Paul McCartney, with some historical thoughts after his Gershwin Award in the White House:
Later, after the TV cameras had left, he expressed appreciation for the Library of Congress and added a zinger: "After the last eight years, it's great to have a president who knows what a library is."
Too bad the cameras were gone--it would have been must see TV to watch the current occupant's reaction. Probably about the same as the Washington Post newsroom when his victory was announced. But hey, O knows what a library is after spending most of his Columbia years buried in one, according to the book he co-wrote with a former domestic terrorist.

Anyway, the former Beatle played a lot of his great hits. For some reason left out this one..

If nothing else it could have been a sort of self-reflective piece.

MORE 6/3/10

Contrary to what HuffPo said there were some cameras rolling. It cut off pretty fast, but the crowd seemed appreciative. So who has the reaction shot?

MORE 6/4/10

Althouse is running a poll on O singing Hey Jude--hey, it doesn't bother me. Bush did some silly things, as do all presidents. Apparently after all the singing, praise, and raucous laughter about the former president died down Obama retired to the mansion and ended his day thinking of nothing but the oil spill and jobs, jobs, jobs.

In her comments section people are recommending other appropriate Beatle songs Paul didn't play: Taxman, Back in the USSR, Nowhere Man, Fixing a Hole.. I'd add "Help".

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


I don't use the term often, but I think WTF might apply to this:
Alexander Bortnikov, the chief of the FSB, the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, gave no further details about the attempts or which groups had sought the materials.

"We have information which indicates that terrorists are continuing to attempt to get access to nuclear materials (and) biological and chemical components," he was quoted as saying by Interfax.
Why would this be blurted out of the clear blue, in a three paragraph report without details? Right now? It almost sounds as if they are trying to get out ahead of something.

Strange Things about the MMS Firing

A funny thing was inserted in the CNN article entitled "Charge to Obama: Go off!" (about Spike Lee telling Obama to get mean with the spill). About 2/3rds of the way through the article this paragraph appeared:
The president has been actively engaged in the crisis -- firing the head of the Minerals Management Service, extending the moratorium on further offshore drilling and increasing the federal presence in the region.
Interesting they say he fired Ms. Birnbaum. When asked at last week's presser he appeared to not know exactly how she came to be terminated. One might think if he actually 'fired' someone, he'd know. But now, according to the New York Times (who asked the question at the presser, btw), the MMS Director supposedly fired herself:
Minerals Management Service Director Liz Birnbaum might have kept her job a little longer if she'd stayed in her office and kept her phone on the hook yesterday...

...Someone from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's office called and said the secretary did not want her to attend the House hearing. Following a harsh New York Times profile that highlighted her low profile in the crisis, that might have seemed like a bad omen.

But Birnbaum, the former veteran congressional staffer, was worried more about stiffing a committee chairman than what this meant for her job. She called Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, where she was supposed to testify, to tell him she would not be appearing.

Moran called Salazar, who then walked out of his sixth-floor hallway with Deputy Secretary David Hayes. They went one floor down and four hallways over to Birnbaum's office in 5400 corridor of Main Interior and asked her to resign.
Hmm. So summarizing, "someone" from Salazar's office called and told Birnbaum not to testify; she, apparently being a conscientious type, called the Congressional chair to notify him of her no-show; he then called Salazar, who walked down the hall and fired her? Presumably for not testifying? Or was it in general? Bizarre.

Then, later that day at the presser Obama feigned dumbness about the whole thing while simultaneously declaring himself fully in charge from sunrise to sunset and in between. Odd. It would be interesting to know why CNN said Obama fired Birnbaum.

There's a Robot Loose in the White House

This robot is affectionately referred to as 'Gibbsy' but unlike Johnny Five his intelligence level is limited to what's programmed into his response circuit..

Oh wait, sorry, wrong robot, here he is..

And here he is again..

Seriously, this kind of stonewalling should really be appalling. After all, the same robot recently proudly proclaimed his administration as the most transparent in history. Are they transparent enough to use the Memorial Day weekend as a cover for scandals, too? Nobody seemed appalled by that, either. And it must have worked--only a few minor reporters were in action Tuesday (instead of the Tappers, Garretts and Reids)--too many new stories to report on, besides, Holder has much bigger fish to fry along the gulf coast. There are Halliburton oil villains out there to capture!

Anyway, here's a pertinent part of Tuesday briefing:
Q Thanks, Robert. Just a couple of quick things on the Sestak thing again. The counsel’s memo on Friday said that efforts were made in June and July of 2009. Were there multiple efforts and were all those made by President Clinton?

MR. GIBBS: Whatever is in the memo is accurate.

Q Okay, but, I mean, with regards to June and July, I mean, were all those President Clinton or --

MR. GIBBS: I think the relationship on how that happened, yes, is explained in the memo.

Q Joe Sestak said he had one conversation with President Clinton.

MR. GIBBS: Let me check.
Elementary. The memo indicates multiples contacts; Sestak said he had one with Clinton, so what about the others? We know the robot won't check. Will anyone follow up? Will anyone question Bill Clinton? Anyone? Hello.. echo..

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Border Comes to Memphis

Notice how the local official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement described a recent raid in Memphis that rounded up 26 illegal aliens:
"The perception is that we're just going out and grabbing everybody we can who may be illegal," said John C. Johnson, assistant special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Memphis. "But that's not what this was. This was specifically targeted toward gang members."
Well, it's unclear where this 'perception' came from since this is a new story--maybe in the illegal community--but it's very clear these guys don't want to be associated in any way with Arizona.

The bigger takeaway is that illegal immigration is obviously promulgating gang activity and crime in America at large, not just in Arizona or the other border states. Yet we have the President of the United States and his Department of State publicly berating elected officials for trying to do something about it.