Thursday, September 30, 2010

God on Their Side

The Huffington Post has a breathless headline this morning:
Christine O'Donnell Says God Is Guiding Her Campaign (VIDEO)
The story goes on to point out comments she made about her faith guiding her in the campaign. But that's not the story. The article quotes Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President of the Interfaith Alliance, on the subject on politics and faith:
Candidates for public office are free to talk about how their faith informs their thinking, but should not imply that policy positions will be based on scripture rather than the Constitution. It has been my experience that when candidates intentionally insert faith into politics, the purpose is rarely to protect religion; rather it is done to enhance a political position.
Emphasis added to point out the dichotomy created by this statement just a few days ago, from the President of the United States, in response to why he became a Christian:
"It was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead -- being my brother's and sister's keeper, treating others as they would treat me," he said.

"And I think also understanding that, you know, that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings -- that we're sinful and we're flawed and we make mistakes, and that we ... achieve salvation through the grace of God."


"I think my public service is part of that effort to express my Christian faith,"
Hmm, sure seems like he might be trying to suggest the precepts of Jesus and the Bible have led to his 'policies', doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Not in My Backyard!

CNN reports the 'backstory' of how the Hatfield-Clubbs of Des Moines, Iowa got their backyard picked for Obama's backdrop backyard tour:
"It's like winning the lottery," Jeff Clubb said, "but without even buying a ticket."

The couple say they are baffled about how they even made the list to be considered. They are both registered Democrats who voted for Obama, but neither of them campaigned or raised money for the candidate. Jeff Clubb, a former Arizona resident, says he voted for John McCain for senator when he lived there.

The White House often looks for people who have a good life story and have benefited from the administration's policies. The Clubbs fit the bill, as middle-class parents of two young children, Tristan 11, and Skyelar 9. Jeff is a former firefighter who now teaches social studies and religion at Holy Trinity Catholic School. Sandy is the athletic director at Drake University.
Hmm, what consists of a "good life story"? Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck have good life stories--both came from 'working families' and both have overcome adversity. How about Sarah Palin? Would her backyard qualify? So maybe there's a backstory to the backstory. Scrounging Googles we find this feed:
White House staff asked Democratic state Rep. Janet Petersen, one of the first state legislators to endorse Obama, for names of potential hosts. "I wasn't given any parameters, like they've got to be Democrats or Republicans or independents," said Peterson, who lives near the Clubbs. After scouting the Clubbs' yard, White House staff said they were interested.
Yet she picked Democrats who lived in the neighborhood. What are the odds!? For some reason CNN didn't think that was part of the backstory. What are the odds!? More from the feed:
Sandy Hatfield Clubb said there's no backstory of a connection to the White House. [1] The guest list is about 80 names long, and the White House let the Clubbs choose all but about 20
Yes, all the stories made a point to note the couple were not political activists and didn't give money to Obama. Indeed, the net seems devoid of screeds under their names (or they've covered their tracks well). But does it really matter? As long as they weren't closet Birchers or birthers Obama only needed a nice prop to continue his down home message of how Destructive W. Bush screwed America and it ain't his fault...

Notice he is now claiming the Bush tax cuts are the largest part of the current deficit, even larger than his "emergency" stimulus spending that goes into the trillions. And he says the GOP didn't counter them with any spending cuts. Trouble! Yet immediately thereafter he launches into a back-pat over passing 8 small business tax cuts and proposing an extension of those very same Bush tax cuts, with no proposed cuts. Eh? Gee, doesn't anyone in the backyard get to ask a follow up or pose a rebuttal? Were the media tied up behind an oak tree or something?

Threat Interrupted?

That's what they're saying, at least:
US law enforcement officials say they have been told the terrorists were planning a series of "Mumbai-style" commando raids on what were termed "economic or soft" targets in the countries. Pakistani militants killed 173 people with guns and grenades during the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India.
The Eiffel Tower was evacuated again yesterday for the second time in as many weeks so even if they blame false alarms there's clearly some nervousness out there right now. As to picking up the threat, thank western intelligence:
Intelligence and law enforcement authorities in the US and Europe said the threat information is based on the interrogation of a suspected German terrorist allegedly captured on his way to Europe in late summer and now being held at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.
And thank the courts, including the Obama DoJ. There's a reason they sent him to Bagram instead of Gitmo, made clear in a recent ruling. Glenn Greenwald might envision a Utopia where terrorists are people too and get rights, but here in the real world they grilled the bastard and he spilled something. Hopefully lives were saved.

BTW, this is yet another example of president possum's shell game--while he focused everyone on the outrages at Gitmo and "torture" his admin kept rendition (apparently used here) and quietly pushed back against a lawsuit seeking habeas rights for Bagram prisoners, winning in part by using a Bushian state secrets defense. How many young skulls of mush even know this?
Yet he's out on the campaign trail warning voters about losing their civil liberties if the TeaGOParty takes over. Guarding the change, baby.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Defining Evil Again

The master prevaricator has struck again, dishing out another attack on Fox News the very day after a poll showed that Bill O'Reilly--and about any cable or radio channel--is more popular than network news.

Meaning? The odds on favorite is that Obama thinks a vast majority of Fox viewers are ignorant gun toting dupes, clinging to their bitterness. Likely voters seem to fall into this category based on the Politico poll. But that doesn't make total sense because not all Fox viewers can possibly be registered Republicans. He's now attacking moderates, it would seem. You figure it out.

Meanwhile somebody should ask Obama where he would recommend people get their news...which papers? Which networks? After all, Couric asked Palin so it's a legit question for presidential timber.

Monday, September 27, 2010

More Woodward

The WaPo has provided more snippet detail from "Obama's War" in support of their superstar's book tour. The internet headline mentions a "Vietnam legacy" hovering over the proceedings, as if to say further reading would reveal a president trying hard to avoid another one.

It's almost possible while reading this new insider scoopage to forget that Obama is the same guy who campaigned about Afghanistan being the central front in the war on terror, a place George W. Dimwit had underfunded and under soldiered but something he would fix. Yet here he is behind Woodward's curtain worried about the political impact of troop levels:
"Six years out from now, we're just back to where we are now?" said Obama in mild disgust. "I'm not going to sign on for that."
Do our leaders even discuss winning anymore? Here's another gem:
The military did not understand, he said. "It'd be a lot easier for me to go out and give a speech saying, 'You know what? The American people are sick of this war, and we're going to put in 10,000 trainers because that's how we're going to get out of there.' "
Yes, while many people might understand such a speech and agree with the sentiment they would also instantly understand that the president was BS'ing when he said getting bin Laden and not letting the place turn back into Talibanistan was job one. Worse, if Woodward has this framed correctly the notion O was playing political games with the lives of US troops is unavoidable. And yes, other presidents have probably done it, they just haven't been caught.

So that begs the question again--why let Hollywood Bob rummage around the White House digging up dirt on top secret national security meetings? Well, perhaps the reason is that banning him would have resulted in not only a more critical book but would have washed out any notion of transparent sunniness for good. They know none of this will shock anyone on the right, so perhaps the point was to show his restless core base (who contribute and stage fake rallies and such) he's actually a stalwart against warmongering generals and quagmires. After all, most of them probably knew he was just winking about Afghanistan all along as a way to beat Bush and McCain.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

From Across the Pond

Here's a very interesting but troubling story that will likely receive very little attention from the US media. In a nutshell, a British MI6 intelligence agent was recently found dead inside his apartment in a sack with a padlock on the outside. Thought to be a math/computer prodigy, he had been on loan to our NSA working to defeat cyber terrorism and was making trips back and forth before he died. Autopsies did not confirm cause of death:
The bureau has employed face recognition technology at US airports in a bid to establish whether Gareth Williams travelled in and out of the US any stage with a couple answering the description of two people Scotland Yard have appealed to come forward in connection with his death.

The couple, of 'Mediterranean' appearance, were thought to have visited Mr Williams's flat in Pimlico sometime in June or July. Scotland Yard believes the pair, in their thirties, were known to Mr Williams since neighbours do not recall buzzing them into the address.
Not exactly sure what "Mediterranean" appearance means in this case (as in which side of that water body) but can't help thinking this might be a revenge hit for the weird Israeli takeout of the Hamas leader in Dubai last year.

Whatever the case, this doesn't sound good considering the amount of top secret information this guy possessed--in his brain alone.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Side Tracks

Here's Blind Blake with an early version of "In the Jailhouse Now" that's a bit funnier than the more well-known Jimmie Rodgers yodeling version...

And with a reference to presidential voter fraud!

Change We Can Believe In?

Hmm, after just seeing a story about the FBI outrageously surveilling anti-war protesters during the Bush administration suddenly they have become fair game here in the enlightened age of O:
The warrant for the raid on Kelly's apartment, in the 1800 block of Riverside Avenue, sought notebooks, address books, photos and maps of Kelly's travels to the Palestinian territories, Colombia and in the United States on behalf of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. It also sought materials on his personal finances and those of the group, on Kelly's "potential co-conspirators" and recruitment efforts for the group.

The warrant also sought any information about efforts to support FARC, a guerrilla organization in Colombia, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Hezbollah, the political and paramilitary organization based in Lebanon.
Meanwhile the DOJ is claiming state secrets privilege to prevent discovery in a case brought against the feds by the father of terrorist leader Anwar Aulaqi, the guy Obama wants to kill without trial (as if we're at war or something). Woodward's new book alleges..
Woodward's book portrays Obama and the White House as barraged by warnings about the threat of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and confronted with the difficulty in preventing them.
Just a few days ago the same FBI Director at the helm in 2002 warned about increasing domestic terror threats related to AQ in 2010:
Also in September of last year, FBI special agents arrested Michael C. Finton in Illinois and Hosam Smadi in Texas for unrelated bomb plots. The FBI used online undercover FBI agents and confidential human sources who continuously monitored the activities of these violent extremist subjects up to the time of their arrests.
There seems to be a conundrum. Obama campaigned against Bush's draconian policies and even toyed with a commission to investigate them after his election, yet he's kept almost all of them in place to date. We're told his election has improved our worldwide image while domestic attacks and recruitment continue to increase, leading the FBI to openly pursue socialist anti-war advocates.

What can be made of this? Is Mueller going rogue? Is it now possible to pursue socialists with connections to terror groups now that a liberal president is in power? Or is this part of a plan to remove a Republican talking point regarding team O's terror toughness? Or are they simply worried that too many barbarians have slipped inside the gate?

MORE 9/25/10

One of the contacts listed on the subpoena for Kelly was Hatam Abuddayeh. From DTN:
“The U.S. and Israel will continue to describe Hamas, Hezbollah and the other Palestinian and Lebanese resistance organizations as ‘terrorists,’ but the real terrorists are the governments and military forces of the U.S. and Israel. The vast majority of the world sees and understands this, and are in full support of Lebanese, Palestinian and worldwide resistance to Israel and the U.S.’s naked aggression, war, imperialism and occupation.”
Digging around, Abuddayeh was listed as a guest speaker at a Caterpillar shareholder meeting in 2005, with his bio listing an affiliation with a group that protested the Republican National Convention in 2008 (he's on their national steering committee). CAT was under fire due to their selling bulldozers to the Israelis along with the Rachel Corrie death in Israel in 2003.

So he appears a garden variety Palestinian activist with roots in the Marxist peace movement--no surprises there. The president himself has rubbed elbows with people of this nature for years, which is why it's ironic Chicago was included in the raids. Obama's pal Rashid Khalidi (with former ties to the PLO according to Charles Johnson) (also see Audacity of Hope) was also once a Chicago resident and founded the AAAN.

And yes, it's well known that when Obama was in charge of the Woods Fund they gave the AAAN a cash grant, which was dismissed as nothing during the campaign. Those keeping track might wonder if Mr. Abuddayeh attended that secret going away party for Khalidi, a tape of which resides at the LA Times who refuses to release it. Why, apparently yes he was.

All of this was dismissed as slander of the black guy during the campaign, yet now the FBI is executing search warrants at the homes of peaceniks looking for links to Mr. Abuddayeh. Maybe they should contact the LA Times.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Truthiness over Substance

Click over to any mainstream media site this afternoon and type "Christopher Coates" in their search bar and see what you get. A quick survey showed not much... here's CNN (not on main page); ABC had a back page shortie from the AP as did CBS and MSNBC. The WaPo, to their credit, was the only main news outlet giving the story top billing first slot on their web page:
Former voting section chief Christopher Coates, who was transferred to the U.S. attorney's office in South Carolina in the midst of a controversy over the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case, testified Friday morning before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Justice Department officials strongly dispute his allegations against the agency.
The paper of record had nothing on Coates as of 5 pm CDT. But they did have a top page feature on someone who once testified in front of Congress, Valerie Plame. Maybe that was a tweak.

Of course the all had prominent front page coverage of comedian Stephen Colbert 'testifying' before a House subcommittee today. Now, a cynical person might think the Democrats were trying to hijack the headlines to shift focus away from what could be a very embarrassing story about the Holder Justice Department by bringing a clown to Congress. Not sure which one was scheduled first but Zoe Lofgren, the congressgoof who invited Colbert, claims he was invited to bring attention to the cause of illegal immigration.

There's nothing on Lofgren's Congressional page but her Facebook page has a post that 'explains' why she invited him wherein Colbert says he was there to stand up for those who leave their rights at the border and make a mockery of our rule of law by entering America illegally to pick fruit for cash to send back to Mexico (paraphrasing, of course).

So maybe there was no conspiracy but the fact is most of the mainstream papers felt a comedian in Congress other than Al Franken deserved much more coverage than potential fraud at the DOJ. If only Emanuel had fired a few US Attorneys.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

All Aboard...Or Else

Lurking under the surface amidst all the other daily outrages lies yet another potential extortion attempt against private business..
To save time and money, government officials want new high-speed rail routes to operate on the vast system of train corridors that already crisscross the U.S., unlike European and Asian countries that have built dedicated tracks for high-speed rail.
High speed rail on low speed networks. What could go wrong? Just call it HSR on the cheap, brought to you by Chicago machine tactics:
Federal officials call the money an unprecedented federal investment in the U.S.'s rail network, and say the high-speed rail funds will add capacity that will benefit freight railroads. John Gray, senior vice president of policy and economics at the Association of American Railroads, says the stimulus funding pales in comparison to the $460 billion railroads have sunk into their own infrastructure over the past 30 years.

"It is interesting money perhaps," he said of the federal funds. "But is it the kind of thing you sell your soul for? No."

The success of many of the projects depends on cooperation between freight railroads and states, Mr. Porcari said. "It is something we're going to insist on."
Emphasis added to make the point...these railroads better play ball and take the money because it's something the government is "going to insist on". Sort of like the healthy banks who had to take TARP money or Obama's new insta-regulation on the position of debtors in the GM bankruptcy. Or many of the shakedowns seen in the health care reform.

Those paying attention may have noticed all the TV commercials from the freight rail companies since 2008, which is weird since their customer base is fixed industrial. So why waste the money?

Most likely because they're trying to remind the masses that transporting freight by rail is the original 'green' way to move goods, something so eco-friendly that even Al Gore should approve. Therefore, when the liberals come brandishing pitchforks looking for easy right of ways to pursue HSR on the cheap, diluting the eco-friendly freight network, the masses will see that as a threat to the planet itself.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hollywoodward Strikes Again

What would a Bob Woodward book be without bombshells...
Mr. Biden called Mr. Holbrooke “the most egotistical bastard I’ve ever met.” A variety of administration officials expressed scorn for James L. Jones, the retired Marine general who is national security adviser, while he referred to some of the president’s other aides as “the water bugs” or “the Politburo.”
Say one thing for Biden, he never lets judgment or facts get in the way of a good ole emotional sound bite. But man alive, it sounds just as messy as the Bush White House. It also sounds like Obama is a bit distracted by fighting wars and defending America and chasing down bin Laden and such stuff..
Even after he agreed to send another 30,000 troops last winter, the Pentagon asked for another 4,500 “enablers” to support them. The president lost his poise, according to the book. “I’m done doing this!” he erupted. in a lot of political calculations being inferred where national security should predominate. Of course it might just be Woodward leaving that initial impression to sell books. He didn't talk about any slam dunks this time--apparently the president can't jump. But he also quotes Obama as telling Lindsay Graham he had to declare an Afghan timeline for withdrawal in 2011 or risk losing the Democratic party, presumably meaning losing reelection in 2012. Will anyone ask Gibbs to explain this?

And in that vein it'll be interesting to see how a Woodward book goes over in the age of O with all the Dem-friendly journalists. As to the revelation about the CIA's Afghan-staffed pursuit teams (CTPT) it sounds like the culmination of the feckless squads formed during Clinton's second term who were supposed to go after bin Laden but failed. Speaking of books, Steven Coll wrote about them extensively in his book "Ghost Wars", which BTW is a pretty fair assessment of the GWoT despite his avoidance of a few crucial players like Ali Mohammed or anyone remotely involved with Iraq.

MORE 9/22/10

Woodward's employer has a feature on the book today including more gossipy snippets of backbiting and infighting, including a few details from 'top secret' meetings. But it's useful to remember--most of what they told Woodward was relayed for a reason. Disclosing classified information is a crime and several quips are attributed to specific persons..
A new capability developed by the National Security Agency has dramatically increased the speed at which intercepted communications can be turned around into useful information for intelligence analysts and covert operators. "They talk, we listen. They move, we observe. Given the opportunity, we react operationally," then-Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell explained to Obama at a briefing two days after he was elected president.
Hear that, AQ? There was also the requisite "Pakistan is not our BFF" gossip, something everyone already knows and previously confirmed by Wikileaks. The WaPo article paints Obama as the decisive leader, staring down the military instead of being bowled over by them. The biggest bombshell is probably Obama's immediate desire for a way out of the AfPak theater after campaigning that it was the 'central front' in the GWoT, but again, who didn't know he was playing politics with the war as a way to beat McCain by running against Bush?

CONTEXT 9/23/10

A couple of other comments excerpted are making more news, mainly the "we're stronger after 9/11" and "America can absorb another terrorist attack". On the latter, John Dickerson echoes my feelings on the comment:
This led the president to talk about the need to prioritize. Objectively, the president said, you would want to be able to stop every attack, but a president has to prioritize. So what does the president put at the top of the danger list? A nuclear weapon or a weapon of mass destruction. Why? Because—and here's where the quote in question comes in—as bad as 9/11 was, the United States was not crippled. A nuclear attack or weapon of mass destruction, however, would be a "game changer," to use a popular cliché.
Again, this points out the communication disconnect present in the White House right now. Basically, we have a college professor as the Commander-in-Chief, and he thinks and talks like a college professor. He blurts out theory as if speaking to a class, not America.

Everyone should know that a president cannot expect to stop all attacks. And everyone should know that an NBC attack has to be priority one for any president because no, America may NOT survive one (especially in our precarious financial situation). Heck, the president might not survive one if planted in Washington. Once again he blew the mass communication aspect on relaying his thoughts.

As to the former (about being stronger after 9/11) this one's a head-scratcher and likely was uttered out of a need to suggest the American people survived, etc. But it's strange he would say America got stronger after years of bashing Bush on, well, just about everything.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Financial Revisionism

Limbaugh has been off the rails the past two days over Obama's town hall comment that he inherited two unpaid for wars and two unpaid for tax cuts (town hall snippets available in parts here).

El Rushbo's rants bring up a few important questions about how the president is shaping history on the financial downturn, a few highlighted below...

1. Obama says it took 10 years to get into the mess therefore it'll take awhile to get out.

This is clever phrasing. It leaves the impression that George W. Bush caused the greatest financial downturn since the depression but the reason he stipulates 10 years has more to do with the reforms signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1999 and 2000, which opened the door to the derivatives and other financial flim-flam instruments that were created to spread the financial risk around in an effort to support affordable housing initiatives. Of course we know Obama was wildly in favor of these programs and took more political money from Fannie Mae than any other candidate. Even Obama's new OMB candidate won't agree that financial deregulation was the entire cause of the bust.

2. He whines that he was given a 1.3 trillion debt wrapped up in a bow when he got to the White House.

Of course what he doesn't say is that 700 billion of it was from the TARP bailout that HE voted for, which was needed to bail out the financial industry for propping up the affordable housing boondoggle that was being exploited by just about everyone, including Democrats and Main Street.

It was the Bush administration who timidly tried to reform the GSEs but was thwarted by Congress, mainly by the Congressional Black Caucus, who saw such reforms as racist. Senator Obama was an honorary member of the CBC.

3. Obama says there were two wars and two tax cuts that weren't paid for that contributed to the debt he is now managing.

This is what really peeved Limbaugh and should peeve others as well, because he's in effect saying that wars are simple government programs and not national security responses to attacks. FDR didn't pay for his "two wars" either--and taxes were already maxed out by by early 40s. Using national defense to blame a predecessor for debt is an outrageous thing for a president to assert.

As to tax cuts, even Chris Tingles Matthews understands how silly Obama's logic is on saying they 'weren't paid for'. Tax cuts are simply the government not taking as much personal income from the governed. The money does not belong to the government, it belongs to the people. Right now we are operating under a law that sets a tax rate; it expires at the end of the year due to the way it was passed but letting it expire (similar to letting a transportation bill expire) would mean a tax increase, period. Obama is getting away with another rhetorical flim-flam by insinuating the expiration would not be an increase.

Meanwhile he's all over the place on tax cuts, boasting that he's given 8 so far and will extend the 'middle class' Bush tax cuts (remember when the Bush tax cuts were only for the rich?), yet at the same time saying they contributed to the financial collapse, presumably because of decreased government revenues, which is highly questionable as shown here.

Clearly, Obama likes using town halls because he can control the audience and perhaps the moderator, and will not get tough follow-up questions after his syrupy filibustering answers, which he knows will make TV. He's entirely in his element, perhaps the best ever.

But imagine if the crowd were filled with fair-minded journalists. When asked if he might debate Boehner using the same town hall format, as Clinton did with Gingrinch in the 90s, he dodged by saying that since he doesn't think Boehner will become Speaker, there's no point.

CRAP 9/22/10

I could have saved myself a lot of time in typing by just pointing the reader(s) to this.

GZ Imam Now in Hiding

Wondering where the GZ imam has been lately?
The imam behind the proposed Islamic center and mosque near ground zero is largely avoiding New York City because of security concerns and is receiving protection from the New York Police Department, according to those close to the imam.
Lots of 'crazies' out there, the story goes on to say, which is why they claim he's now in a secure location. Funny, the imam himself recently spoke about radicals after returning from the Middle East:
Now, he said, the "discourse has been, to a certain extent, hijacked by the radicals," making the decision on whether or not to move the mosque, "very difficult and very challenging. "My major concern with moving it is that the headline in the Muslim world will be 'Islam is under attack in America'," he said. "This will strengthen the radicals in the Muslim world, help their recruitment."
Radicals here, radicals there, but he makes very little distinction between the two. Who are the radicals over here? Does he consider surviving family members of 9/11 victims as such? Talk show hosts? Average Americans polled and opposed? Who, exactly? Or has he realized that accusing average folks of being radical because they don't like being shaken down with veiled threats about what moving the mosque might cause the real radicals to do was not textbook bridge-building?

Well, we are left to wonder how long the imam will remain in seclusion. Muslim leaders met regarding the mosque this past weekend, without Rauf, and said this:
“We ask that this should be done as soon as possible because time is not our side,” Awad said of Park51. “Because this conversation has went way out of control.”
"Has went"? But OK, they want an expedited schedule despite the conversation being out of control, which sounds bassackwards. Meanwhile so long as the imam remains in hiding he can't very well appear on the number one rated cable commentary show in America and reach all those yahoos in need of educating. Of course, there's no doubt Bill O'Reilly would ask him to explain his comments to Ed Bradley and various audiences as to why America was an accessory to that huge hole in the ground two blocks away from his important project. Maybe that's the real security threat he's hiding from.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Economy vs the Extremists

That's apparently what Decision 10 will be coming down to if the Democrats decide to pursue one of the range of options ideas available to AxelRahm:
President Obama’s political advisers, looking for ways to help Democrats and alter the course of the midterm elections in the final weeks, are considering a national advertising campaign that would cast the Republican Party as all but taken over by Tea Party extremists, people involved in the discussion said.
Of course the article was a trial balloon because no party would give away a strategy so easily. The White House is now 100 percent denying it. Maybe the guilt-by-association slam campaign didn't focus group well. Nevertheless, the story is out--tea party extremists=GOP. Mission accomplished for today.

Meanwhile Richard Trumka, the AFL-CIO chief enforcer and keeper of the faith even if he's not good at ciphering, has already sent out 2.5 pieces of angry mail targeting TEA members. He's been on the attack for several months now. And who are the extremists again?

Yes, yes, everyone knows it's all the Democrats have. They can't run on takeovers and cram-downs with unemployment still 9-10 percent. "It's the economy, stupid" still holds sway as always sans some kind of imminent security threat. With so little substance we can expect a lot of Alinsky Rule 5 activity, perhaps with the presidential participation (this stuff really trips his trigger). Wildcard one is whether the big media will do their part by focusing incessantly on O'Donnell and other conservatives they believe are ripe for intimidation or public mocking or will they play it more even this time.

Seems if the GOP is to counter this coordinated blizzard of innuendo and smear they need to circle the wagons and keep hammering a message that the real extremists are already in power and have nearly bankrupted the country--and if given a mandate will raise taxes and enact cap and trade and a variety of other budget busters. Here we have wildcard two--it's not clear they can do it with cracks already showing between the TEA caucus and the GOP establishment.

Wildcard three would be the faux conservative Dems up for reelection in 'Red State' districts. A super negative campaign could easily blow back on them and make them turn cartoonishly right, which could be exploited via pointing out their votes. But here we have wildcard four--the Dem machine has a lot of money. It ain't over til it's over.

The Rove Thing

I can clearly understand Karl Rove's position on O'Donnell. Like it or not she has baggage, and it might prevent her from winning the primary against the RINO Castle. Oh wait--it's over. She won. So what the hell is Rove doing?

Some have said this might be a top drawer political black ops job designed to set him up as a foil so O'Donnell ends up running against the evil Rover and not the 'bearded Marxist', who's up by 11 in the polls. He's been known to use the Atwater playbook. If so, well kudos to the 'architect' I guess.

But c'mon. If he's on the level then what's to accomplish aside from burnishing a consulting rep (if she loses) if this isn't a warning shot from the GOP establishment across the bow of the ship of TEA? There are always going to be disagreements in every party on how to win, but how is arguing about it in public helpful? Doesn't make sense.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bits and Pieces

"Guard the change", eh? Is it just presumed now that all black people are de facto Obama voters, controlled by the One? It must be hard to be a black conservative. Anyway, not sure why blacks in general should be energized to guard a change that has done nothing to arrest a high unemployment and low investment scenario in their neighborhoods. Shouldn't they be demanding 'change that matters'?

As to Drudge's headline about Obama going to church today, that's his business and not for others to judge. My guess is that Obama really believes that God is on his side in this change business, just as reverend Wright sees biblical backing to 'black liberation theology'. To them spreading the wealth and defeating capitalism and 'white man's greed' is probably the highest of callings. And it blends nicely with that anti-colonialist worldview D'Souza was mentioning.


Strange. With A'jad in New York spouting propaganda to CNN, Iran's Fars News Agency claims that seven US troops were captured along with two Iranian civilians near the Iranian-Afghan border in the province of Sistan-Baluchestan. Then PressTV comes out and 'rejects' the original claim. The DoD is saying everyone has been accounted for.

BTW, that region is largely Sunni. Some have even speculated that they sided with Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war. Master Baluch terrorist Ramzi Yousef once operated from there, laying a bomb in a Shiite mosque that killed dozens, and of course he and his uncle were instrumental in planning the destruction of the WTC. Just a few years ago there was an assassination attempt against A'jad in that area. Another more recent attempt was blamed on firecrackers. The leader of the Baluch terror group Jund'Allah, was recently captured and executed in Evin prison while his brother had previously been done away with at the border town of Zahedan in the same general vicinity as this story.

So, what if? WAG'ing wildly, how about a Special Forces team with Iranian guides? Maybe they were trying to work their way towards Sabzevar. Or maybe somebody in Tehran was at play while the mouse was away.

On a separate political note, would an October surprise capture of bin Laden or Zawahiri before the mid-terms change the current tea party dynamic? Just asking because the liberals always asked during the Bush years.


Yet another alleged spy problem at Los Alamos:
According to the 22-count indictment, Mascheroni told the undercover agent he could help Venezuela develop a nuclear bomb within 10 years and that Venezuela would use a secret, underground nuclear reactor to produce and enrich plutonium, and an open, aboveground reactor to produce nuclear energy.
There's nothing to indicate Chavez was contacted or trying to engage this traitor (who should be hung as one if convicted), just that an Argentinian-born nuke scientist working in our top secret lab thought enough about Hugo to offer his services, or was whoring himself for cash. It's unclear if he ever actually made contact and whether Chavez would have been interested--ironically Venezuela just ended their twice-monthly joint code share flight with Iran Air between Caracas, Damascus and Tehran. Just a coincidence, probably.

Ah well, plenty of football and even baseball to distract attention away from the world today. Off to the distractions!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Side Tracks

I don't do many soundtracks but after watching John Wayne westerns all morning one seems appropriate. Here's the quintessential cowboy theme...

Speaking of quintessential, how about Neil LeVang doing Ghost Riders in the Sky, from way back when..

By the way, for those who figured the Allmans or CDB were the first to popularize electric guitar harmonies, think again (maybe those guys were secret admirers of the Welk show).

Counting on the Unions

It's a given that Obama, Pelosi and Reid are beholden to powerful labor unions for their survival. Such a postulate is easily proven by looking at the Stimulus, health care bill, auto bailout, cash for clunkers, recent state aid bill and the proposed infrastructure stimulus--all had significant perks for unions, including restrictions on some that forbade non-union companies from competing. And of course Joe Biden, who probably wouldn't have been chosen had he not appealed to 'the working man'.

So it's interesting to see this headline in the New York Times today about union influence:
Unions Find Members Slow to Rally Behind Democrats
The column hits mainly on the disappointment union members are feeling after devoting so much time and effort into getting a Democrat super majority. Here's a comment that might sum up the entire mid-term political situation:
For the union brass, turning around voters like Mike DeGasperis, a steelworker from Martins Ferry, Ohio, could prove difficult; two years ago he was motivated by his “anti-Bush” feelings.

“We heard everything was going to change, but there hasn’t been much change and the unemployment is still bad and the area we live in is still really depressed,” said Mr. DeGasperis, who was laid off for 10 months last year.

He said he had not decided whom to back in the House, Senate and governor’s races — all key in Ohio, a pivotal swing state. “I’m going to keep my options open.”
Guess it wasn't "change that mattered" for him. Notice also the motivation--'anti Bush feelings', which is quite strange since Bush wasn't running. He was clearly energized by a combination of the left's successful demonization of Iraq and by the last minute collapse of the housing market in 2008, which was also blamed on exclusively on Bush. He voted to get rid of a marketed culture of evil and failure.

So what does his recent change of heart mean, exactly? It's hard to say for sure, but it could be interpreted to mean there's a better way to create jobs aside from demonizing Republicans, printing money or confiscating it from those who create the jobs. Regardless, it points out how difficult it's going to be for the Dems to run on an economy they completely own--the GOP voted against every one of the socialized programs.

That's not all, though. The story wanders into an area many Democrat and union bosses are loathe to go--loyalty in the booth. Many rank and file union members simply have a hard time pulling the lever for someone like Pelosi. According to the story 37 percent of union members voted for McCain. Many union men and women are patriotic down to earth Americans who don't like the country being run down, or the perception thereof.

So it'll be interesting to see if the Dem party leaders and various union spokesflacks like Richard Trumka can convince people like Mr. DeGasperis to vote against Bush one more time. It's really all they've got. Perhaps the bigger question might be how far they are willing to go to get it done--the stakes are ridiculously high.

MORE 9/19/10

Here's an interesting take on GM's former Delphi unit and the pension debacle that developed as GM began to teeter towards bankruptcy itself. Seems the UAW workers got the gold mine while their white collar salaried employees got the shaft. The WaPo asks if it was politics or crisis management... gee, if it was any other president aside from the one who told the plumber he wanted to "spread the wealth around" that might be a tough question to answer.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kenyaist Economics in Dinesh D'Souza's Forbes article that claims Obama is not really a socialist but took great influence from the dream of his Kenyan father, who by most accounts leaned more towards Marxism than free market economics.

How dare someone claim Obama might have an African perspective or anti-colonialist leanings. Howie Kurtz details the outrage in his WaPo column today, including a fact check of sorts:
Reached separately in New York, D'Souza, 49, who worked in the Reagan White House, says his argument that the president was heavily influenced by the late Barack Obama Sr. is a "psychological theory." But, he insists, "the idea that Obama has roots that are foreign is not an allegation, it's a statement of fact."

The facts are also these: Obama Sr. abandoned the family when his son was 2, and the future president saw his father only one more time, during a visit in Hawaii when he was 10. Obama Sr. died in 1982.
Well yes, except for the four years in Indonesia with the other Muslim (agnostic?) father who apparently didn't inspire any dreams. Gibbs quickly calls this stuff innuendo; ie--stealth birtherism, because we all know any mention of Obama's roots other than by Obama himself is birtherism, especially when coming from someone who used to work in the Reagan White House. The only worthwhile ex-Reaganites are the ones who agree with Democrats--who doesn't know that?

Howie seems to be saying there was no time for Obama'a father's dream to wear off on him since he left at 2 and they didn't stay in touch. But the book, Tattoo, the book! Obama often trumped his foreign roots to burnish his reputation as someone who understood the world unlike Bushhitlerburton--but that was to get elected; does he really have an African anti-colonial perspective? Well, last year he said this:
Mr Obama, the son of a Kenyan, added: "I'd say I'm probably as knowledgeable about African history as anybody who's occupied my office. And I can give you chapter and verse on why the colonial maps that were drawn helped to spur on conflict, and the terms of trade that were uneven emerging out of colonialism.

"And yet the fact is we're in 2009," continued the US president. "The West and the United States has not been responsible for what's happened to Zimbabwe's economy over the last 15 or 20 years.
See? The evil colonialists have been out of the business of carving up Africa since at least 1990!

Whatever, the White House is apparently in nervous breakdown mode today, requesting a meeting with Forbes Mag to complain of fishiness while simultaneously denying that Michelle Obama said what Carla Bruni's unofficial biography said she said about life in the White House. It's officially heaven on earth, and with that little blue Democrat transit seal stamp of approval to prove it (and perhaps a new slogan--"it's now change that matters, unlike the change we've just seen").

Funny how Gibbs never jumped right out and rebuked Christopher Andersen's book for alleging that Bill Ayers helped write "Dreams". Not a peep.

And Dreams contained a lot of jabberwocky about economic inequities both in Africa and America--D'Souza himself admits basing the article on the book. But the White House is claiming his facts are wrong. Do they mean his facts about Obama's time outside the US or his ponderings of white man's greed in a world of need? Maybe Gibbs can now point to Andersen's book--which claims Ayers actually wrote Dreams--as his new defense.

It might work. Anything beats talking about the record foreclosure repo rate, unless they can spin it right.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Insurgents and Losers

Just gleaning from headlines about "Tea Party" upsets in the primaries last night, where the Times referred to them as 'insurgents' while CNN was already sorta hinting about what it means. CBS was leaving no doubt..

Would like to say "unbelievable", but it really isn't.

BTW.. 9/15/10

The new Democratic logo looks like a train station sign.. the "D Line". Horrible graphics.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

If We Can Just Get Past This..

First we have the 60 Minutes thing where imam Rauf calls the US an accessory to 9/11. Then later in Australia he says our killing of Iraqi children through UN sanctions helped fuel the bin Laden we helped to create.

He did so by referencing Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.

Fast forward to today. Steven Emerson, the Paul Revere of warning about radical Islam in America, has an expose on the former partner of Rauf, a Sufi Mulsim named Faiz Khan. Who's also 9/11 truther:
In an essay on the Alliance's website, he argued that "the prime factor for the success of the criminal mission known as 9/11 did not come from the quarter known as 'militant Islam' although the phenomenon known as 'militant Islamic networks' may have played a partial role, or even a less than partial role - perhaps the role of patsy and scapegoat."
But, since guilt by association is not cool just consider this another question for Bill O'Reilly to ask when he does his Rauf interview. And he will of course--because Bill has the biggest cable reach in the business and therefore can help Mr. Rauf build a huge bridge all across America with exactly the kind of people he wants to reach.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Defining Radical

Imam Rauf was once again in front of the media--the friendly fire media at least--defending his veiled threat that moving his Cordoba Center will cause an 'explosion' of bad will, or maybe literal explosions, across the Islamic world:
RAUF: I have never made a threat. I've never made a threat, never expressed a threat, never -- I've never -- I would never threaten violence ever, because I am a man of peace, dedicated to peace.

We have two audiences. We have the American audience and we have the Muslim audience. And this issue has riveted the attention of the whole Muslim world. And whatever we do and whatever say and how we move and the discourse about it is being watched very, very closely. And if we make the wrong move, it will only expand and strengthen the voice of the radicals and the extremists.
Simple solution--since he's already a State Dept Ambassador to the Moslem world just send him back out on a tour to explain why it was moved (a tidbit of wisdom from the mostly disinterested but better half of the McCloud ranch sitting across the room). He can explain that he originally never thought it would cause problems and was later shocked, shocked at the outcry, and would not have proposed a mosque in such a location had he known it beforehand, and in retrospect cannot erect a facility to build bridges if it's just being built to appease Islamic radicals who might erupt in flame.

But hey, before wasting more taxpayer money it would be nice if he'd just explain why 'Cordoba House' is an appropriate symbol for a Ground Zero Islamic center mosque rabat, since the facility at Cordoba Spain was the westernmost point of Islam's middle ages conquest and represented the first European capital seized.

Of course we're still waiting for an explanation of how Mikey Moore's movie worked its way into one of his lectures when discussing American complicity in 9/11, or where he comes down on the Gaza flotillas and what he thinks about Obama's friend Rashid Khalidi's participation in another vessel called "The Audacity of Hope".

Or how we created bin Laden by helping liberate Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Kuwait. Then further inflamed things by re-liberating Afghanistan and removing the scotch drinking dictator of Babylon. Again, maybe he's saving those replies for his appearance on cable's number one commentary show on cable's number one news network.

Or maybe he considers that network, along with the 9/11 families not in support and a majority of New Yorkers and Americans against his project, as part of the "radicals" exploiting this for the November elections (but certainly not Captain Strawman!) and not worthy of any peace building efforts. It's hard for the average radical American to know based on selected interviews with the likes of Soledad O'Brien and Christiane Amanour.

Blessed are the true peacemakers and it's a hard job, but every good peacemaker has to convince everyone they are truly interested in peace. Dialogue is helpful, such as having the imam participate in a televised panel discussion with real questioners. If he continues to use select mainstream media hamsters with their eyes on helping their favored party maintain power in November (which might include labeling Sarah Palin as an Islamophobe) the only peace bridges will be those between himself and the true radicals.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

On Unity

It's appropriate for leaders to call for 'unity' in times where there's not much. As another 9/11 anniversary arrives it's hard not to consider our progress, or lack thereof, since the attack.

We've learned that just the threat to burn Qurans coming from an unknown holy roller preacher in Florida brings more media flack to his front yard than the entire membership in his church. They clearly sense the potential ratings bonanza of such a recruitment bonanza along with the ability to promote their usual narrative--why, did you know the preacher hails from the same town as Rush Limbaugh?

Preacher Jones' constitutionally protected future act triggered worldwide Interpol warnings, outrage from noted international bodies and got him a friendly visit from the FBI (to remind him of what the otherwise peaceful folk might do to him--no beer summits for preachers). He even got some attention from the Secretary of Defense, possibly on behalf of the big guy himself.

Meanwhile a majority also think a mosque planned two blocks from ground zero is needlessly provocative and insensitive to the families of the victims, despite the right to do it. The minority in favor tend to point in lecture style to the constitution above all, leaving the insinuation that anyone opposed is also opposed to the American way itself, in effect letting the terrorists win (despite the imam's reluctance to call certain terrorists terrorists). Or at least it seemed that way after listening to the president's Iftar dinner speech. After all, the place will have a pool and a basketball court.

Some in the press have actually noticed the dichotomy between the two stories.

ABC's Blotter recently interviewed the mother of another unlikely enemy combatant (look at his picture) about her son, apparently a very high value target. Here's how she explained her son's passion:
"The intention is to alarm America," she said, "to recognize that America has forgot about God Almighty and he is the one in rule and control."
Yet she believes Bush was responsible for the 9/11 attack. But in actuality, wasn't the reverend Jones also trying to wake people up?

And that's the way it is, this Saturday September 11th, 2010--a nation and world of dis-unity. As we squabble the man who planned the attack is still at Gitmo. Gitmo is still there. The man who blessed and inspired the attack still hasn't been sent to hell or anywhere else we know of. The Taliban who facilitated him have been defeated once but continue to send zombie legions out of Pakistan, a country less accessible than the dark side of the moon. Iran gets closer to a nuke every day.

Oddly, the man previously blamed for dividing America and enraging the world is no longer president. His Iraq 'diversion' has been declared officially closed. America subsequently and proudly elected a man with Muslim heritage, a Muslim-sounding name, and one even assumed to actually be a Muslim by 1/5th of the respondents in a recent poll. In spite of all this the global division is perhaps wider than ever--the German chancellor just gave a press freedom award to the Mohammad cartoonist as Obama was compelling the Quran burner to stand down.

But maybe the solution for re-unification is is as simple as capturing the man who caused all the division in the first place. Perhaps his capture--alive--is the best closure the world could hope for to complete the bridge and put this horrible chapter in history behind us. Author Lawrence Wright envisions such a thing:

What better way to show the world we aren't at war with Islam? Bin Laden's fatwas and plots have resulted in the deaths of many more Muslims than infidels so surely an international tour of courtrooms would finally allow the moderates to stand up and disavow extremism on live TV. One might think the Islamic countries would be the most in favor of such a display since it would be a teachable moment to show ignorant hillbilly American preachers about the true nature of Islam.

In America all but the most rabid nuts agree that bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 so it's hard to believe we couldn't get together on such a thing. KSM and his cohorts could then be hung, or even tried in court, without much fanfare.

That is, unless such displays would produce a recruitment bonanza for extremists. We must avoid that at ALL COSTS. Perhaps if he's caught it would be better to extradite him to the the Hague for a seventeen year trial, including requisite formal condemnations of American policy and calls for wealth spreading and a one-state solution for Israel, etc, etc. Who knows, by then the Freedom Tower might be near completion.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Loving and Hating the First Amendment

As the proposed Quran burning day draws near and the world's intelligensia are expressing their mock indignation while US flags burn in some quarters, president Obama has called the proposed burning a recruitment bonanza for AQ. Why he didn't preface it with "yet another" is unknown at this point. Meanwhile Interpol, yes Interpol, has pushed this future act to the top of their case list:
Interpol on Thursday issued a global alert to its 188 member countries, warning of a "strong likelihood" of violent attacks if the Quran burning proceeds.
Not just them, but the UN, international dignitaries and other bigwigs have all weighed in with quivered warnings. Doesn't this tell us something about the Muslim world in general? Imam Rauf is now saying he was shocked, shocked that his victory mosque would upset anyone and that he'd move it except for the fact it would be a risk to national security (exploding Muslims around the world). Seems the press is burying the lede.

Meanwhile, as officials warn of KKK style violence here in the states CAIR is on the scene, exploiting this non-event for all it's worth as well:
CAIR has been working with attorneys, and no basis has been found to stop the burnings under the law, he said, but he added that if the plan is going to incite violence, the government should step in.
Hmm, since the Qurans would have to first be lit on fire to actually trigger the violence, how could the government 'step in'? Where is Obama to support the First Amendment?

Meanwhile, local officials are poised to arrest Jones if he starts a fire without a permit. Makes sense--no community wants that bullseye (besides the fact Jones seems a little off) but what if he puts them in a fireplace? What if wraps the Qurans with an American flag before flicking his bic?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


1. If imam Rauf was a fire and brimstone type Islamic preacher, spouting off about how Islam is the way and that the infidels should submit, and how Shariah is the right way for America, would he still be able to build a 15 story mosque in the debris field of GZ? Would Bloomberg still hold onto the First Amendment, or is it really subjective?

2. Will Obama come out and defend the First Amendment rights of the fundie Christian preacher in FLA who wants to burn Qurans? Isn't his right to freedom of expression a bedrock of our system of government, regardless of the 'wisdom' of it?

3. Will anyone ask Mr. Rauf what he meant when he said we were an accessory to 9/11 due to the starving of Iraqi children due to Maddy Albright, or that we created bin Laden and therefore have more blood on our hands then does he?

4. How can people in the administration call the FLA preacher's act "un-American", when it's as American as apple pie in that he's got the constitutional right? Yes, it's an ugly, provocative act and nothing Jesus would likely do, but calling it "un-American" is dangerous and disturbing. Right?

4. CNN is playing it fair and balanced:
But Imam Feisal is not the first person in history this has happened to. Mahatma Gandhi was called seditious, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela branded dangerous communists.

Each of them, in the spirit of their respective religions, forgave their tormenters and achieved their dream.
Yet this same writer once wrote:
The video displays the Van Jones I know, not the one caricatured on cable talk shows. He speaks of skilled machinists in Detroit, out of work and down on their luck. "I know there's a future out there for them," Van says. "Let them make the wind turbines and the smart batteries and the solar panels to repower this country." He talks about a woman in Appalachia, at risk of losing her land. "Let her put those wind turbines up, let her grow an energy crop ... let's get everyone involved in repowering America."

And then he invokes a Biblical image in the national interest: "For a country that beautiful, that prosperous, that innovative, that united, I am willing to walk through fire and brimstone."

Classic Van, I thought to myself. Van wasn't hit by an accidental house fire, he was a victim of arson, and yet there was no whiff of 'woe is me' in that speech at all. Other people would have used that stage to vindicate themselves, even attack their attackers. But Van was doing what he'd always done - use the platform he was given to lift other people up.
Except when he's calling Republicans 'assholes'.

So, which to believe? And figuring out whom to believe is where this breaks down for many people. It's difficult to know who's telling the truth when our enemy is generally making a point to blend in with society, ala Mohammad Atta, Major Hasan, Feisel the Times Square would-be bomber, etc. Yet anyone who expresses this concern is immediately labeled an anti-American bigot, etc. We are fighting an army overseas who are not shy at all about why they fight--it's for Allah. No bones about it.

Deep down we know that all Muslims cannot be lumped into the terrorist pot. But when it's so hard to determine the players doesn't that call for an internal struggle to change things? Rauf has said he doesn't think Islam needs a reformation, well maybe he really does and this is his secret way of accomplishing it--without them realizing it. After all, he above all knows there are people who don't react kindly to certain accusations. Surely when he appears on Bill O'Reilly the answers will come.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Let the Games Begin, er, Continue!

Obama is making all the late Labor Day internet mainstream news headlines with his "fired up" Milwaukee speech. The picture at left is a composite of his demeanor during the Iraq speech and today's barnburner (it's clear what animates the man). Here are a few headlines..

Obama Revs Into Campaign Mode in Wisconsin

Obama assails GOP, promotes new jobs program

Fired Up Obama Pushes $50 Billion Infrastructure Plan to Create Jobs

ABC also had a subheadline.. "If I said fish live in the sea, Republicans would say no", which was included in the speech along with the normal blevy of knocked over strawmen and the requisite analogy about cars, ditches and keys. It's almost as if Obama has forgotten he was once a member of a Democratically controlled Congress in 2006 and got all that money from the GSEs.

Anyway, it's "game on". Obama will be working every hour of every minute of every day to save jobs--mainly those held by his various ideological friends in Congress.

BTW, the 50 billion infrastructure fund is interesting, since the original Stimulus was billed as both a jobs program and had about 50 billion for infrastructure. Forgotten, or spent elsewhere?

And what up with the railroad thing? The original stimulus had billions for rail. Where are the bullet trains? And no he doesn't mean freight rail since most lines in America are privately owned and issue stock and are in good financial shape despite the downturn (thanks to deregulation). Besides, the Senate recently passed a bill giving tax breaks for private capital investment in the freight rails. That means it's not from you--unless you want it to be. In other words, the American way.

No, Obama probably will send some of the money to subsidize transit unions via commuter rail and Amtrak, the latter of which just got through with a nasty union fight over losing a commuter rail contract in Virginia. If it ever happens, that is. Chances are this is another strawman; a bill offering goodies that the GOP cannot possibly sign onto, so when they don't Obama can continue to blame them for the failure of the original stimulus they just said no to.

DOG DAYS 9/7/10

The right blogosphere has gone to the dogs over Obama's dog comment. But it's obvious what he's doing here. The reason he goes off script when attacking strawmen and big business/bankers and not during national defense announcements is because it's where his passion, hope and change lie. Clearly O wants to exit, stage left from all the wars so he can focus every hour of every minute of every day on the one campaign promise he's managed to keep more than any others--transforming America. Spreading the wealth around.

He even compared success in general to greed, saying that's not what made America great. Does he include Google and Microsoft in that? He should know that 'greedy' corporations were a large part of making America great. There's a difference between common sense regulation and simply taking their money and giving it to someone else.

It's all for the working man, which means union man, as if nobody but union people actually work. That's another false illusion designed to create an image of us versus them. That's not what made America great.

Obama was also animated back during the AIG crisis when he told the corporate dogs that they better watch it, because he was the only one standing between them and the pitchforks. An open threat, which resulted in the government appointing people to break bankruptcy precedent and make their own rules. That's not what made America great either.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Hooper and Media Fanning Flames

Maybe Obama can amend his abuse report to the UN Commission on Human Rights and condemn America for abuses that haven't yet happened to Muslims on 9/11/10. Might as well, according to CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper. Here he is on CNN:
"There's a whole cottage industry of Muslim bashers now who would seize on that," he said. "Unfortunately, these are the times we live in."...

CAIR's Hooper said that some mosques fear attacks because of Eid and the 9/11 anniversary next weekend. He said his group is encouraging mosques to request stepped-up patrols from local police and to review security procedures.
..on ABC News:
"The issue I can sense brewing on hate sites on the Internet is, 'These Muslims are celebrating on September 11,'" Hooper told The Associated Press. "It's getting really scary out there."
And in the New York Times:
“Victims are reluctant to go public with these kinds of hate incidents because they fear further harassment or attack,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “They’re hoping all this will just blow over.”

Some Muslims said their situation felt more precarious now — under a president who is perceived as not only friendly to Muslims but is wrongly believed by many Americans to be Muslim himself — than it was under President George W. Bush.

Mr. Patel explained, “After Sept. 11, we had a Republican president who had the confidence and trust of red America, who went to a mosque and said, ‘Islam means peace,’ and who said ‘Muslims are our neighbors and friends,’ and who distinguished between terrorism and Islam.”
Red America? Interesting description. Meanwhile, CBS News was running a story about Afghan response to the nutbar 'pastor' who wants to burn Qurans on 9/11:
Hundreds of Afghans railed against the United States and called for President Barack Obama's death at a rally in the capital Monday to denounce a Florida church's plans to burn the Islamic holy book on 9/11.

The crowd in Kabul, numbering as many as 500, chanted "Long live Islam" and "Death to America" as they listened to fiery speeches from members of parliament, provincial council deputies, and Islamic clerics who criticized the U.S. and demanded the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.
Perhaps Obama could make a quick trip to a mosque over there and explain that our media is simply trumping up a non-story from a nut, and that's not really what Jesus would do.

Anyway, the Florida Quran-burning story can be spun in a variety of ways; lefties will say it's now fair to associate it with Christianity in general since red America has erroneously associated bin Laden and AQ with Islam; righties might point out that even if that association is made despite the paltry number of followers this guy has, at least the nutbar Christians have never called for mass murder in return.

But the likely real reason this flame is being fanned by so many in the big media (while ignoring stories like this one) is to paint anyone with a natural sense of suspicion of their peaceful Muslim neighbor who may one day explode in the shopping mall not as legitimate Americans reacting to a war, but intolerant racist Islamophobes. This gives them license to then subtly pin the hate on the Tea Party in general, which slops over onto anyone who votes right.

The idea is to get the fence-sitting moderates who will sway the mid-term elections uncomfortable about hitching their wagons to the right, assuring victory for their party in November. And yes, it's their party--they helped elect them. Shameless, really.


Speaking of Cordova (yes, actually it's Cordoba) .. it's a suburb of Memphis where a new Islamic Center/mosque is being built--mentioned in the link above. The new imam is Sheikh Yasir Qadhi. This video will introduce you to him, should you care to view his passionate defense of his faith spurred by the show "Undercover Mosques" that aired on Britain's Channel 4 a few years ago.

He seems a rather pleasant fellow, making a point to clarify that it's not only Wahhabist Muslims who denounce homosexuality, but all Muslims. That includes pre-marital sex and adultery, just like Christians and Jews. But around the 11 minute mark of the linked tape he seems to dip his toe into Jews vs Palestinians squabble, which should really have nothing to do with American Muslims. Perhaps only a coincidence, but a number of years ago he was convinced the Holocaust was faked. He later apologized and moved on.

The linked site with Qahdi's message also includes a tape from Bilal Phillips, a Canadian-born convert who was supposedly once a teacher of Ali al-Timimi, now serving a life sentence for sedition. You read that correctly--sedition. When is the last time someone was successfully prosecuted for sedition in America? Interestingly, Mr. Timimi was studying computational biology at George Mason University in 2001, allegedly in the same proximity as a former director of USAMRIID and former Soviet bio-weapons guru (and defector) Ken Alibek, when he stirred his small band of followers thusly:
"(he) stated that the attacks may not be Islamically permissible, but that they were not a tragedy, because they were brought on by American foreign policy."
How is that much different that what Imam Rauf said in Australia and on 60 Minutes, or what bin Laden used for his 1998 fatwa? Or what Saddam Hussein said after 9/11, or what Reverend Wright and others have said--that somehow America invited the attack (can we blame Bill Clinton?).

So there you go.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Aviation Update

Another cargo plane down, and another on the Arabian peninsula within the past 2 months. More information is coming in on the tragic fate of UPS flight 6:
Just over 20 minutes into the flight, air traffic controllers in Dubai received word from officials in the nearby Gulf nation of Bahrain that the plane was on its way back after reporting smoke in the cockpit. The jet was "unable to maintain altitude," the report said.
This lines up with previous reports about smoke in the cockpit and even witnesses seeing flames from the aircraft itself. UPS is not denying this at present.

Aviation observers will no doubt point to Swissair 111, which crashed off the coast of Newfoundland back in the 90s due to an onboard fire. Dubai officials are saying the CVR was recovered but they are still looking for the FDR, which figures to be much more critical in determining cause on this one. Based on the location and the fact aviation has been a 40+ year target of extremists, 'sabatage' can't be ruled out, and UAE officials did not immediately dismiss it unlike many other recent crashes.

That said, many factors are in play. If the AP story is correct and the crew "couldn't hold altitude" (and they came in very high) it might suggest damage to the hull or control surfaces, or simply too much fire damage to cockpit instrumentation. However, they were able to communicate with ATC, so some things were functioning. Witnesses said the engines were spooling and it's clear the aircraft made a bank on approach and again after it missed, meaning the pilots were able to execute turns (although turns can performed using differential thrust). And obviously being a cargo plane they will have to look at the cargo for clues.

This crash will be felt hard in Louisville, just as the Fed Ex crash in Narita Tokyo was felt hard in Memphis last year. As soon as the FDR is found and analyzed the NTSB experts and other officials will get a good sense of what happened, so let's hope they find it soon.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

No Worries

Fareed Zakaria is probably paid well as a pundit to say stuff like this:
Nine years after 9/11, can anyone doubt that Al Qaeda is simply not that deadly a threat? Since that gruesome day in 2001, once governments everywhere began serious countermeasures, Osama bin Laden’s terror network has been unable to launch a single major attack on high-value targets in the United States and Europe. While it has inspired a few much smaller attacks by local jihadis, it has been unable to execute a single one itself.
Not to say he doesn't have a point with some of the kneejerk security measures that border on a police state (cough, airports) and the crazy new levels of security in the workplace and public areas, which should be carefully scrutinized themselves, but thinking back this article appeared in the New York Times on July 10, 2001:
Judging from news reports and the portrayal of villains in our popular entertainment, Americans are bedeviled by fantasies about terrorism. They seem to believe that terrorism is the greatest threat to the United States and that it is becoming more widespread and lethal. They are likely to think that the United States is the most popular target of terrorists. And they almost certainly have the impression that extremist Islamic groups cause most terrorism.

None of these beliefs are based in fact.
Just sayin'. As Krauthammer suggests, the push may be on to funnel the money back to liberaland. If so, one might think it would help to have noted elite pundits declaring the threat overblown so as to help pave our way back home.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Side Tracks

A day early, but it's the start of the Labor Day weekend, it's finally cool in Memphis, I'm off, and all is well.. so to kick it off, here's the Boston Pops doing some hog calling music with Ricky Skaggs..

yeeee haawww! Have a great weekend, all.