Friday, December 31, 2010

The al-Huxtables

Forget the foolish notion that CBS's main journalist Katie Couric thinks a Muslim version of the Cosby TV show could somehow do for Muslim-American relations what it did between whites and blacks--it's her general cluelessness that warrants the clown hat.

Most people understand that while black people might have been pissed at white America for decades of injustice they weren't suicidally at war with the concept of America in general. They just wanted a fair piece of it, and to be treated fairly.

Is that what Muslims want? They don't have a long history of being treated unfairly here--most injustices stem back ten years or so to about the time some radical members of their faith tried to take out the government. Faisal Rauf is certainly being treated fairly--sometimes with kid gloves--yet he wants a version of Sha'ria law for America, not equal justice. How would a Muslim Cosby Show cure that?

More than likely it would turn into a cauldron of politically correct propaganda to advance certain agendas with little resemblance to reality.

But let's humor the journalist for second. How might a Muslim Cosby Show go?

First, there would be a few tough production decisions to make upfront about how this mythical al-Huxtable family would be depicted. Such as, would the dad be modern or fundamental in his religious pursuit? If not fundamental, wouldn't that offend the fundie branch to the point of perhaps sparking a real life fatwa from Awlaki? Hmm, maybe that could be an episode.

And what sect? Sunni? Shi'a? Sufi? They would have to be careful there, but that's at least three episodes, showing them fighting ala Hatfields and McCoys with their opposite-sect relatives!

How about the wife? Veil or not? Burkha? Hijab? Nothing? Maybe she could be an Americanized version, an ex hippie type who shunned her faith with her radical daughter deciding to wear the veil. Doing the reverse (daughter defying the veil) might cause a strong dad to have to do an honor killing but boy, think of the ratings! Sort of like who shot JR, does he or doesn't he.

How about all the things that tempt modern young boys? Would the son, let's call him Omar, be tempted by hot little white prostatots down at the corner bijou? How would they handle it?

And what of jihad? Taboo subject or would the al-Huxtable family condemn it? But if they condemn it wouldn't that land them with a real life fatwa from Awlaki? One might imagine Omar or another son grappling over whether to self-explode at the Christmas lightning festival, being counseled by some faraway Imam via email. Or the FBI. So many possibilities.

And Lord have mercy, what would they say about Miss USA? (I'd have to TIVO that one, btw)

Yes, yes, the above would be used by Couric to make her point--see, these rednecks really DON'T understand Islam in America. And maybe we don't. But most of us understand that the friendly guy down at work who smiles but talks a little too much about religion has been known to blow up or open fire at times. It's darn hard to identify the enemy sometimes. And the enemy right now is basically 100 percent Islamic. But hey, maybe an Islamic version of Cosby would clear that up a bit better, so heck, bring it on.

MORE 12/31/10

Here's an irreverent "Muslim year in review" from 2010 (or whatever year the Muslims are using). The list generally makes fun of people like moi, but you know, I could actually deal with an al-Huxtable show that made fun of people like me--a comedy--with perhaps an Archie Bunker character rooming with Abdul and Mohammed and the zany hilarity produced by their different worldviews. That might be fun, joking back and forth like Arch and the Meathead.

But notice she did a year-end review and never mentioned any of the American Muslims captured in jihad stings/busts or the turmoil produced by the package bombs, or the chilling words from Attorney General Holder. And that's part of the problem. While our soldiers fight 100 percent Muslim Armies in Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan, and American Muslims occasionally pop up in defense of the enemy, we have people doing their best to whitewash the true hate and turn it around on the victims as bigots. Even Archie wouldn't do that.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The "Taint" of ROTC

From a WaPo opinion piece on why ROTC should continue to be banned from universities despite the repeal of DADT:
I asked if he actually believed there could be a Christian method of slaughtering people in combat, or a Christian way of firebombing cities, or a way to kill civilians in the name of Jesus. Did he think that if enough Notre Dame graduates became soldiers that the military would eventually embrace Christ's teaching of loving one's enemies?

The interview quickly slid downhill.
Gee, really? Why would a former president of Notre Dame be offended at the accusation that our military is full of cold blooded killers fostering planetary war as opposed to peacemakers taking on murderous tinpots and regimes?
To oppose ROTC, as I have since my college days in the 1960s, when my school enticed too many of my classmates into joining, is not to be anti-soldier. I admire those who join armies, whether America's or the Taliban's: for their discipline, for their loyalty to their buddies and to their principles, for their sacrifices to be away from home. In recent years, I've had several Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans in my college classes. If only the peace movement were as populated by people of such resolve and daring.
Hey yeah- people who join the Taliban are just like our young men and women, and are to be applauded! "Bravo, Mullah Omar! A fine crop of young men from the madrassas you have there!" Of course, his admiration ends when these folks come into the military via universities because, quote, they "taint the intellectual purity of a school". Barf.

Maybe this pinhead writer (and ex WaPo columnist) Colman McCarthy can come back later and tell us how many gays will be joining the Taliban and AQ in the next year. Or how many women (not 12 year old girls who blow themselves up for the cause, probably admirable to him as well)?

MORE 12/30/10

As WaPo probably expected when they turned this nut loose on their page space, the column has caused a predictable response from the right. But what about the left? Are they down with this turd? Well, according to Memeorandum they aren't interested at all. A wise move.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blizzards Now Evidence of Global Warming?

So say the experts.

OK, so what about the winters of 1976-77 and 1977-78? What did they tell us about climate?

The winter of 76-77 was brutally cold in the east, with cars driving on the Ohio River near Cincinnati at one point. It began with a massive lake effect snow assault centered on Buffalo that didn't let up til a massive storm in late January, prompting some 'action' by Grits Carter...

The following winter, 77-78 saw two snow monsters for the record book. The first one came in late January in Ohio and Indiana and set low pressure records, burying 18-wheeler trucks on interstates and requiring activation of the national guard. People died trying to get from the highway to isolated farm houses.

But it spared the east coast. Their luck would last about a week, as another monster formed and moved up the coast, known in weather lore as the official "Blizzard of '78"....

Over 50 inches of snow in parts of Rhode Island. But both were pretty bad, and came very close together.

And yet we're supposed to believe these storms were evidence of global warming, back in the 70s before the temperature began to spike? Now we're being told to expect snow due to warming. Of course, they had an explanation back in the 70s, too.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Aviation Update

That California mystery pilot who popped some security cell phone videos on You Tube appeared on TV today. He didn't do himself any favors. In an interview with ABC's GMA the pilot was asked why he didn't go to the TSA first--a logical question--and his answer was that he didn't know so many people were watching You Tube. Dude.

Not to say there aren't access issues--the Charlotte stowaway case is potentially troubling. But no system is perfect. Ground folks need to pass back and forth between public/secure a lot more often than pilots, some whom may pass through a particular airport once or twice a year. The better way to handle this dilemma would be to create a better ID card for flight crews that would preclude the need for normal screenings while going to work every day. Or maybe that was the point.

A Birther Thread

OK, not really a birther thread, a thread about a birther story. News out of Hawaii:
Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie said Friday the "dark side" is responsible for accusations Barack Obama is not or should not be president because he was not born in the United States. As governor Abercrombie is optimistic he will be able to quiet at least some of the questions surrounding Obama's birth place.
This has served to excite some lefties (perhaps even some who believed Bush stole both elections and lied us into war in Iraq) but why put out fires already smoldering? Not even Fox News is giving this birther story much coverage. So it's interesting--what does Gov Neal know? Why is he inflaming this story before even being sworn into office?

Even stranger, why is MSNBC's Tingles Matthews joining the fray:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Or the NY Times?

Perhaps they want to move the dialog back towards crazy as the new GOP House enters on duty next week. We know there are some congressmen who are birthers. Time will tell how far this goes or whether they attempt to smear the entire caucus by association, which could tell us something about Obama's feelings on working with Boehner and company in general. Marginalizing them on the front end doesn't really signal bi-partisanship.

Indeed, here's Abercrombie--someone present when Obama, Sr. was bamboozling Stanley Ann into producing Obama, Jr.--talking about the strategy he wants Obama to pursue in 2011:
Seeking consensus doesn't mean rolling over, Abercrombie said. The governor is among those calling for a more combative style from Obama, saying the president needs to resurrect Harry Truman's "give them hell" approach.
So you have that.

The other possibility is much more remote--this is a pre-emptive move to uncover any controversy now so the media can say they've already covered it come 2012. But that would mean there was actually a there there, emboldening the likes of Orly Taitz and forcing the media to backtrack.

Wait, what about Hillary? Scuttlebutt is she's leaving the SoS to retire to spend more time with the family, which consists occasionally of Bill, sometimes, or cough run for president cough. Recall it was actually that Berg guy and Larry Johnson--her supporters--who started the whole birther thing.

Or heck, maybe it's just a slow news week.

Whatever the case the timing is perfect. Obama just happens to be in Hawaii right now and reports are that his schedule is empty aside from hoops and links:
But this much privacy? Here's the official press schedule released by the White House:

The President will be in Honolulu, Hawaii, through Sunday, January 2, 2011. The President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing every day, but there are no public events scheduled.
Looks like plenty of time for a meeting with an old family friend, if nothing more than to say congrats or maybe thanks for defending him on the hospital controversy (we report, you decide).

Monday, December 27, 2010


Dana Perino carves up Palin with a smile..

The look on Kristol's face says it all (he had just praised Palin). And we also learned something--the whole panel shook heads in agreement that other politicians also have staffers write their newspaper op-eds.

But that's two Bushies slamming Our Sarah now, Babs and now Perino, both with smiles. The question is whether this is just the lingering low-level war between the Bushes and McCains or whether they're trying for an early elimination of Palin before she gets her campaign wheels on track. Who's up for a third party run in 2012?

The cunning in Perino's jab was her mention of Twitters and Facebook, knowing that Palin would fire back on...Twitter and Facebook.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

More from Across the Pond

Long story today in the UK Daily Mail about the life and mysterious death of an MI6/GCHQ spy who was also on loan to the NSA as an expert on computer security. Consider this:
It was on August 23 that police were called to Gareth’s flat in Pimlico, Central London, an MI6-owned safe house. He had been missing for more than a week. They found his decomposed body locked in a large red North Face sports bag.
Wouldn't the definition of a 'safe house' mean it was safe to some extent? Such as video surveillance or something similar? Or have we been fed too many Bond movies?

In an original story from the London Telegraph, now unavailable, it said a couple with "Mediterranean appearance" had visited him at the safe house in the months before his death without being 'buzzed in' by anyone, meaning he was familiar with them. It also said they were using 'facial recognition' technology in US airports to see whether he'd been here with them, which strongly suggests they know what these people look like (otherwise why use the technology).

At any rate, previous leaks and the story today paint the picture of a kind of a super genius prodigy who couldn't connect well with the ladies, which frustrated him, so it's not hard to envision a domestic, non-espionage explanation for his demise in a place like London. Indeed, this Metro UK story from September claimed:
It is thought that investigators on both sides of the Atlantic have concluded that Mr Williams's death had nothing to do with espionage.
But that seems to leave the following scenario: valuable and patriotic near-genius spy (head of GCHQ attended his funeral and a plaque was erected there memorializing his service) was murdered (they seem to have ruled out suicide) and padlocked into his own sports bag--in his own MI6 safe house apartment--one that apparently had surveillance (since they seem to know the faces of two persons of interest of Mediterranean descent), who had been recently given a new identity while being detailed to US spy agencies as a counter cyber terrorism expert in the midst of Climategate, Wiki Leaks, Chinese hackers, and the Stuxnet worm--but they ruled out espionage almost immediately. Where is Angela Lansbury when you need her?

Friday, December 24, 2010


We wish you a merry one...

There's always hope. And here's hoping we get a little white stuff.. even if the odds are near zero.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hallelujah It's Finally Over

With Christmas in the crosshairs the GOP finally blinked and Obama got a good week, something he's more than happy to explain:
Taking a victory lap at the end of what he called the most "productive post-election period" in decades, the president celebrated the raft of new laws passed in the final weeks of the year, including the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," which today he signed into law.
And taking a second look at gay marriage now, too! It's surprising this president can admit that his position has 'evolved' on anything, but then again, everyone knew he was only blowing smoke on gay marriage during the campaign to keep the black vote intact and appeal to crossover conservatives. And only a Democrat would be impressed by a "raft of new laws passed" in a lame duck session, bills that should have been given much more sunshine.

Oh well, as things wind down here's one version of a scorecard:

Omnibus - Loss
That he'd even consider signing this puff ball of pork in our climate of deficits is rather illustrative, especially for someone who campaigned to end earmarks. Guess his position has evolved.

Extending Bush Tax Cuts - Loss
This made Bush look wise and him look a fool, but he did get some cover from MSM on the narrative so it wasn't a total loss. By the way if the economy grows next year the Bush tax cuts will quickly become the awesome Obama tax cuts.

DREAM Act - Loss
This one could go either way, since a loss will be spun as a win. We all know both sides will be fighting to suck up to the Latino vote so don't be surprised if ICE agents are ordered to distribute 100 dollars bills at the border before 2012. And Meg Whitman's illegal maid will probably file suit against the government for harassment. And win.

DADT repeal - Win
One thing nobody is talking about--maybe fewer radical Muslims will join now that gays have been allowed out of their foot lockers. But isn't this creating more terrorists in general?

START treaty - Win
Again, continuing another Bush initiative that won't be framed that way.

FCC control of net - Win
Not a Congressional act, an even bigger win as well as a nice Holiday gift for the Marxists who pushed this concept.

GITMO trials - Loss
Gitmo trials? Yes, Obama is talking about indefinite detention for terrorists as the press and Bush haters yawn. Apparently Gitmo may itself be open indefinitely.

9/11 Responders bill - Win
Should have been a tie because the GOP wanted this too, except with more safeguards against waste and abuse. Therein lies the win--the Dems' successfully painted that pushback as coming from a bunch of evil rich uncaring bastards who hate firefighters and only care about 9/11 when it's time to invade countries or torture brown people. The media and Jon Stewart helped of course, so it's an even bigger win.

By this count the lame duck was a push at 4-4. Yes, that counts as a win using Obama-Reid-Pelosi new math and a Time/Newsweek algorithm.

At least the Worst Congress Ever can now go home and lament the fact they saved all this important junk til the lame duck with the intention of defying the will of the people and sneaking it through while everyone was watching football or the Charlie Brown special. OK, lament might not be the right word. Meanwhile Obama can spend Holiday in Hawaii relaxing and letting his thoughts evolve all around in circles, maybe about former girlfriends or jobs, jobs, jobs. And let's damn well hope somebody is watching the ship on day 365..

MORE 12/22/10

Here's Dana Milbank on the "comeback president" although with tongue roughly inserted in cheek (he's trying to give the prez some advice):
More! Most! Biggest! And when he wasn't praising his accomplishments, he was praising himself: "One thing I hope people have seen during this lame-duck, I am persistent. I am persistent. You know, if I believe in something strongly, I stay on it."
And to think--just last week he was begging Dems to help extend the Bush tax code to save his presidency. Now breathless reporters are wiping away that history to call him a comeback kid--all in the LAME DUCK session. Lame duck sessions are named that for a reason--they are not supposed to be about 'getting things done', especially when the voters have spoken and tossed Congress like a salad.

They should be reporting on that. Instead we're seeing firsthand evidence of how far up this man's behind they really are. Milbank is only trying to curb the embarrassing enthusiasm.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nothing to Fear

In the past few days America has seen the following from its top counter-terror officials:

-Attorney General Holder proclaiming that domestic terror threats began to ramp up 2 years ago, oddly concurrent with Obama's inauguration;

-Homeland Security Director Napolitano reassuring us that US terror warriors are out there fighting "24/7/364";

-And Director of National Intelligence Clapper sitting stone-faced silent when asked about the 12 Muslims arrested in London (maybe this was supposed to be Clapper's one day off). His comment about "outreach" didn't produce any warm fuzzies, either.

Gaffes? Sure. But gaffes are not what people expect on this topic. They expect competent, well-spoken individuals projecting some level of surety. Gaffes and clueless looks were supposed to be the signature of George W. Bush (the left still uses the 'My Pet Goat' picture to bash) but as Holder seemed to say, we didn't worry so much about homegrown jihadists at the time.

Redneck not Racist!

It's almost as if the Journolist is still around with this simultaneous burst of liberal outrage over Governor Barbour's comments about the history of Mississippi. Just how dare this closet KKK cracker comment on the history of his own state! Doesn't he know Hollywood and most liberal college professers have settled all of this long ago? Does it take a lecture from WaPo columnists like Jonathan Capehart to set this rube straight?
Despite his just-released statement of contrition, Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.) has a blind spot the size of the Confederate flag when it comes to race. I'm not saying that this son of the South is a racist.
Let's see, Confederate flag, race, but not a racist. By gosh he is a Republican though, you can tell by that prominent "R" Mr. Capehart inserted beside his name. Surely he treats every politician he writes about the same (er, no he doesn't).

Anyway, "a blind spot the size of the Confederate flag"? How big is that? Does he mean this one, or maybe these?

No, of course he means big like a big whopping battle flag flying over the state house big. Let it be recorded, this 21st day of December, year of our Lord Gaia 2010, that fat rednecks can never hope to win the presidency again in America. That is unless said fat redneck comes from a place called Hope and has a "D" beside the name (even if said fat redneck were to proclaim a memorial day for Robert E. Lee on the same day as that of MLK, or to support a "Confederate Flag Day" in his state). Anything else would be evil.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lunar Logic

Not getting this "darkest day in 456 years" story. So help me out here...

1. The full moon will occur on the exact day as the winter solstice, shortest day of the year, the first time since 1999.

2. During this full moon on the solstice there will also be a full lunar eclipse. The last time that occurred was 372 years ago, in the year 1638, according to the US Naval Observatory. They are the moon experts, by the way.

3. So why are Drudge and others saying 456 years? Well, they are crediting NASA, but I can't find any numbers on NASA's web pages. True, I could be missing some kind of Muslim conversion factor.

4. The media is making a big deal about it being the 'darkest day'. It'll be pretty dark during the short period of time the full moon is in eclipse, then it will be a full moon again, and pretty darn light. For nighttime, that is. A very long night.

5. But wouldn't it be darker during a New Moon? You know, that one day a month when the ole man completely shuts off the light all night? When was the last time a new moon occurred on the solstice?

But OK, who am I to poop the party? We can get into the weird here. Some will see it as a sign of the times--or maybe that our cosmic visitors have arrived. Others may see a sign--of the end times. Others will make fun of the whole thing while others wonder 'which moon'? I'm just wondering whether it explains why that Giants punter punted the ball like he did.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Don't Ask, Do Tell

A new era begins for the US military. Let's hope it works--it's only national defense!

Relatives serving have said this will be bad; history says gays have always served, albeit undercover, so it's hard to tell (pardon the pun). Will there be no noticeable impact, or tickle parties on submarines?

And what about Hollywood and the far left? One has to wonder whether this new way forward will change their attitude about service in general. So far Hollywood hasn't made one patriotic movie about the GWoT, well maybe one, but nothing near the propaganda churned out after the last surprise attack in 1941. They won't even identify the enemy. So who knows, maybe with teh gays in there fighting and winning medals they'll suddenly wake up and recognize the sacrifices and bravery going on since 2001. Hopefully it won't just be the sacrifice and bravery of people like PFC Bradley Manning, though.

Speaking of which, he's locked up in a brig without formal charge, sorta like Jose Padilla. Why haven't they charged him with treason yet, or in the least, busting his clearance? Makes it appear they were afraid to do anything before the DADT vote. Now, after it's been repealed, will the administration still have the stomach to fully punish him?

Side Tracks

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons' Greetings to all..

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What About the 20 Billion?

So Holder is suing BP and several other oil companies in civil court for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for "unspecified damages", although the Times speculated on specification--tens of billions.


Why would BP agree to a 20 billion fund to help victims if they thought they would later be sued for billions?

And wasn't the MMS (gov't) accused of engaging in corruption with the oil companies they were regulating? Weren't they in charge of making sure such blowouts didn't occur? Can the government sue itself?

Well OK, these oil guys are rich (evil), which means they never commit accidents or suffer from human error--it's always an intentional screwing of the little guy even if it means losing billions to do it. Which makes it very strange that Halliburton wasn't named in the suit, especially when they've already admitted some fault. Or maybe they saving Halliburton for the criminal prosecution. There's always room for a Cheney card!

Meanwhile the Times decided not to mention this tidbit:
Wednesday's move by the Justice Department follows the Obama administration's decision not to open new areas of the eastern Gulf and Atlantic seaboard to drilling. That marked a reversal from an earlier decision to hunt for oil and gas, an announcement the president himself made last spring three weeks before the spill.
Remember all that stuff about energy security? All nullified by that one blowout, evidently. Meanwhile--shockingly--crude and pump prices keep rising, jeopardizing any notion of a recovery by perhaps nullifying a payroll tax cut. Apparently Obama's "magic wand" is actually a subpoena. Of course there's no outrage in the media or from Pelosi about this, but one can always retain hope the story will get legs around January 5th when John Boehner is sworn in.

MORE 12/16/10

Speaking of Halliburton, lefties are giddy over this Guardian story revealing a settlement between Cheney's former company and the country of Nigeria over charges of bribery. Recall Nigeria had threatened to sick Interpol on Darth (and if that didn't work, thousands of emails). Quoting one of the Fire Dogs..
“So, Cheney Halliburton is bribing Nigeria to drop bribery charges?”
That, or a notoriously corrupt African government was shaking down Halliburton for a bribe in return for stopping a bribery charge and using Dick Cheney as a high-profile lever. If they really cared about justice why would they settle? Which was sheer disappointment around the globe:
Campaigners in the Niger delta expressed disappointment at the plea bargain. Celestine AkpoBari, programme officer at Social Action Nigeria, said: "I would have loved to see Dick Cheney in chains in our court and facing justice in our prisons. That would have been a very big point that would have lifted Nigeria out of its woes."
Maybe they can go after Karl Rove next. Or maybe even some alleged criminals in their own country. And there's always politics to consider:
There could be political calculations at play in the new charges. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan faces a coming primary election in the nation's ruling party against former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

Critics have tried to connect Abubakar to this bribery case in the past and the charges come as the election looms. Abubakar has denied any involvement.
That would be the same Abubakar loosely connected to William Cold Cash Jefferson, who maintained a mansion in DC with one of his four wives. How about that.

Hey, not to say ole CEO Darth didn't know about this bribery scheme the Nigerians were running as a pay to play for gas and oil companies, but doesn't everyone pay to play these days?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Richard Holbrooke

Obama called him a "tough son-of-a-gun". He certainly looked the part. Said Kissinger:
"If Richard calls you and asks you for something, just say yes," former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said. "If you say no, you'll eventually get to yes, but the journey will be very painful."
Whether you agreed with his politics or not he served America with distinction. Yes, he had a curious background for a Democrat, one that might have caused some unease at late night professorial political discussions over tea and weed in Hyde Park:
Holbrooke was the vice chairman of Perseus LLC, a leading private equity firm. From February 2001 until July 2008, Holbrooke was a member of the Board of Directors of the now almost bankrupt American International Group. During his time as a member of the board of directors of AIG the firm engaged in wildly speculative credit default insurance schemes that may cost the taxpayer hundreds of billions to prevent AIG from bringing down the entire financial system. He is a member of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and formerly served on the Advisory Board of the National Security Network. He is also a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Citizens Committee for New York City, and the Economic Club of New York. Holbrooke was a member of the Trilateral Commission, and he is still listed on their membership roster as one of their "Former Members in Public Service"
That sounds like a nightmare for Ron Paulians as well, but being a Democrat those affiliations will not be allowed to define him--as it should be. Because they are not evil affiliations. The fact he worked at Lehman or AIG during the run-up to the financial crisis will also not be given the Cheney-Halliburton treatment, nor will they make hay with his wealth amidst the current pitchfork populist demonization of Wall Streeters or anyone making over 250,000 per year. It's just a fact of life--Democrats get such a pass.

Then again, most Americans will not hear about this either:
In January 2001, Holbrooke said that "Iraq will be one of the major issues facing the incoming Bush administration at the United Nations." Further, "Saddam Hussein's activities continue to be unacceptable and, in my view, dangerous to the region and, indeed, to the world, not only because he possesses the potential for weapons of mass destruction but because of the very nature of his regime. His willingness to be cruel internally is not unique in the world, but the combination of that and his willingness to export his problems makes him a clear and present danger at all times."
Guess that makes him a neocon as well. No, more like a realist--this same man brokered the Dayton Accord and generally tried to end wars. Ironically his sentiment was shared by boss Hillary Clinton, who told the press on 9/11 that the United States would eventually have to do something about Saddam (oddly, evidence of which now seems unavailable even to Julian Assange). Hillary never apologized for her vote because Hillary knew enough to know better.

Speaking of stolen cables, one has to wonder how Mr. Holbrooke was taking the revelations after putting in over a year of effort on America's behalf in the war zone. Evidently some referred to the press perception that the Taliban were being invited to share power in Afghanistan, to which he flatly denied. Surely he more than anyone else knew the value of maintaining secrecy in diplomacy.

His bulldogged determination to get things done in negotiations perhaps didn't leave him with a large fan club--even on the left (Biden was quoted as calling him an egotistical bastard in Woodward's book), but robust enemies are often a sign of robust effectiveness. Personally, I'll gladly take a Richard Holbrooke working on my behalf over a Julian Assange any day of the week.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Clinton Mini-Coup

From the WTFork department...

On one side of town Bernie Socialist is doing his best impression of Mr. Chavez goes to Washington, rambling and railing against the rich in general and against Obama's deal with the GOP devils specifically.

On the other side of town the guy who DID raise taxes in the 90s and to whose tax rate the Democrats, including Obama, have longed to return to lo these many ten years--Bill Clinton--is bizarrely given the briefing room helm again by the current president in an effort to convince the rest of the liberal caucus (and press) to forget about Bernie and those salad days of higher taxes and focus on passing an extension of the Bush tax code because it's vitally important to the nation. Say what?

Obviously some big questions here. The sight of Bernie in the well was mildly funny; the sight of Clinton in the briefing room by himself was not. Quite the photo-op and probably orgasmic to some in the press room no doubt, but somewhat disturbing. Why would they want to purposely make the commander-in-chief (the current one) look weak? Or did they just act stupidly? Which is worse?

Maybe the average person should believe the entire thing was a screw-up originally intended to show Obama with Clinton at the podium (perhaps appealing to moderates) but that Clinton, once up there and feeling that ole love again, just couldn't tear himself away and decided to grandstand awhile even after the real president dropped a huge hint by saying he had to leave, normal protocol being "hey dummy, time to wrap and run, m'k?" Yet Bubba just stood there.

Or perhaps the average person should believe this was some kind of highly orchestrated stunt to announce Obama's new turn to the center after a GOP mid-term shellacking, just like Clinton. But if that were the case it failed miserably.

The president should have never left the room without Clinton right in front of him. Whether he thought Clinton would take a hint and didn't, or whether this was entirely orchestrated is hard to say, but the outcome as it relates to the average person is not very good. Darkly humorous maybe (and prescient to some!), but not good.

MORE 12/12/10

Looking around at the mainstream news sources none of them are particularly troubled by the optics of Obama turning over the briefing room to Bill Clinton. As stated above, some seemed thrilled by the prospect.

Wonder what the headlines would have been had Bush 43 escorted Bush 41 into the briefing room in late 2002, said he was consulting with dad over the Iraq thing, let dad start talking then after 10 minutes looked at his watch and excused himself to go to a Christmas party with Laura? Exact same reaction?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Side Tracks

Here's a clever twist on a couple of classics (in case you haven't seen it yet..)

HT Memphis Morning News

Thursday, December 09, 2010


As everyone marvels at the final days of the Worst Congress Ever the administration has thrown the first bomb of the year--at Ohio and Wisconsin:
The nearly $1.2 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail projects that newly elected governors in Ohio and Wisconsin rejected has been redirected to other states, with New York receiving up to $7.3 million of the amount.

The money was redistributed to states in proportion to their initial high-speed rail awards, with California receiving up to $624 million, Florida in line for up to $342.3 million, and Washington State getting up to another $161.5 million.
Welcome to doing business the Chicago way, guys. Of course both will be hammered in TV ads beginning in 2012 for turning away these important boondoggle funds.

And yes, high speed rail is a boondoggle and for one main reason--no competition. Unlike the original rail and airline networks the government helped fund, HSR will feature only one track, one line, between two points. There will be no Delta versus Eastern, no New York Central versus Pennsylvania RR to spur better service and on-time performance. All the employees will be either state or federal government based and all decisions will be made by politicians or politically-controlled boards. The entire thing will be a black hole of tax funds.

Not to mention this kind of thing, which occurred in Memphis in 2008.

But maybe a miracle will happen and it will be the most successful program ever. Meanwhile the Worst Congress Ever will end the year bloviating about money wasted given to the rich in the form of "tax cuts" through extending the current tax rate, which otherwise would have caused a tax increase. And the president, who campaigned vigorously against tax cuts for the rich is now for them in the most vigorous way (even though they aren't tax cuts) to the point of demeaning those in his own party who disagree, causing outrage. All while actually raising taxes on the poor. You figure it out.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Hold on a Sec!

Olbermann ticked? Angry phone calls shutting down the Capitol switchboard? Wild vows to primary the weak, unprincipled leader? Never fear, the New York Times is here!
Mr. Obama effectively traded tax cuts for the affluent, which Republicans were demanding, for a second stimulus bill that seemed improbable a few weeks ago. Mr. Obama yielded to Republicans on extending the high-end Bush tax cuts and on cutting the estate tax below its scheduled level. In exchange, Republicans agreed to extend unemployment benefits, cut payroll taxes and business taxes, and extend a grab bag of tax credits for college tuition and other items.
Question--if the "Bush tax cuts" are ever extended, say by Obama through reconciliation for another ten years, will they still be called the Bush cuts or will they become the Obama cuts even though the rate will be the same? Just wondering.

But yes, of course there's a stimulus in there. There's also a tacit admission that the idea of a "lock box" existed only in the fantasy region of Al Gore's brain. Obama, when challenged by the stunned and deflated White House press democrats, also screwed up and admitted that the important thing about his health care reform is that it's there, not the scope, since like the initial versions of Social Security and Medicare which were quite small at the start, health care may also one day balloon into an ugly, uncontrollable monster at some point. Give it time, liberals!

Oh well, when (if, hopefully) the economy improves in 2011 Obama can now take credit for it via his own supply side initiatives, dismissing the "Bush tax cuts" as meaningless to the recovery since they did nothing demonstrable between 2008-2010 (at which point Mitch McConnell should call a presser and declare they saved 3 million jobs and make skeptics prove otherwise).

If the economy doesn't come back Obama can say look, tax cuts don't work, and proceed to go crazy on tax increases for the rich to help enlarge Obamacare while 'cutting the deficit'. It's a win-win.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Harsh and Immediate

As Assange fights the Swedish honeytrappers his associates keep releasing classified cables, including a revelation today that Colonel Quaddafy threatened "harsh and immediate action" if the Pan Am 103 bomber died in prison in Scotland. Guess the Brits really wanted that BP deal because surely the empire isn't now afraid of some rough treatment of their diplomats.

Interesting too that the UK didn't fear harsh and immediate action from Washington as a result of bowing before that dopey tinpot, unless one considers feigned outrage to be harsh and immediate.

It's clearly a case of realpolitik, but as a result the victims now viewing the bus's exhaust pipe are not other politicians or governments, but the family members and survivors of terrorist attacks. It really seems like the impact of Pearl Harbor Day is decreasing more with each passing year.

MORE 12/7/10

After reading Charlie Martin's piece on the nuts and bolts of classification and whether there was a "second spy", the Gareth Williams spy case pops to memory:
Mr Williams, a computing and maths prodigy whose funeral on Friday was attended by Sir John Sawers, the head of MI6, had made regular trips to the United States, where he worked on secondment to the US National Security Agency (NSA) in Fort Meade, Maryland, helping to create defences against cyberattack on banking and infrastructure systems.
He was found dead inside a bag with a padlock on the outside.
Mr Williams is understood to have been a key member of a joint team assembled by MI6, GCHQ and the NSA at Fort Meade, where he was helping create defences for both Britain and the US against cyber attack by hostile countries.
His disappearance occurred sometime in mid-late August; the WikiLeak leak on Afghanistan dumped out on July 25, 2010. Perhaps he was working on mitigation under the premise that more leaks were coming. When the British Independent reported on this in late August they also simultaneously reported on a think tank piece about the need for less secrecy in government to prevent conspiracy theories from running rampant, which WikiLeaks was designed to counter. The article itself contains dozens of comments about 9/11 being a conspiracy.

Speaking of the NSA, a story recently surfaced about a possible mole at Ft Meade, although no indication was given of any linkage to WikiLeaks or Williams. They do mention the Russian spies fingered last summer--late June to be precise--and the story also highlights the defection of the Russian official who supposedly did the fingering. Shall we forget that business about the FBI having them under surveillance for 10 years?

Irony of ironies, one of those spies was using a British passport and just this past Monday a Russian spy was uncovered working for a liberal MP in the UK's House of Parliament. Dots all over the place.

One thing these stories tend to show--that the tone of the leaks regarding Moscow is pretty accurate. Or in other words, while the hammer and sickle may be gone from Red Square the Russians are still a force to be reckoned with around the world, especially when they're 28 and red-headed. Qudaffy better do a background check on that Ukrainian 'nurse' real soon. And is it any wonder Hillary wants to reset retire?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Time to Release the Khalidi Tape?

If mainstream media figures like Jeff Jarvis, Richard Stengel from Time and Mark Mazetti from the LA Times are fine with publishing pilfered classified material from the US government, defending Julian Assange's right to publish (as they told CNN's Howie Kurtz), then why not release the Rashid Khalidi going away party tape featuring Obama, Ayers, Dorhn, Khalidi--the one the LA Times sat on before the election? After all, Obama is president now so it would not affect the outcome of the election, unlike what Assange did in Kenya.

In the past the Times has argued that the leaker didn't give permission to reveal it, but why should that matter in this new age? Doesn't the right to know trump all now? And if not, does cherry-picking the release of certain sensitive information based on how it plays ideologically really improve the transparency of governments or foster peace on earth in general?

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Pitchfork Politics

The political world is going nuts. We have two wars still raging across the globe with a gay advocate for gays in the military leaking troves of US secrets (as if to point out how great things will be if it's repealed) to a globetrotting hacker nerd with power never before seen from his ilk. The cables point out how deceitful everyone is, including those who usually call us the enemy (we suspected), while his supporters (cough Ron Paul cough) demand total transparency for everything government, perhaps to include online access to the nuclear football.

And now the recent coup de grace--the Democratic Party, with a straight face, trying to call a tax increase a tax cut.

In support of this chicanery (other than the usual media figures) we have one of their own, a US Senator from Missoura, threatening that if this tax increase called a tax cut doesn't pass it will justify the taking up of 'pitchforks'. Presumably she means storming the capitals or storming the subdivisions or gated communities, or the Tea Party.

But let not your heart be troubled--in this wacky world we have someone who'll save those evil rich from the pitchforks!


Should sunshine principles also apply to Presidential visits to war zones? Maguire wonders whether some media outlets had other motives, but he sometimes likes to be facetious in making his points. Worth noting:
In fact, according to TVNewser, Fox News Channel was the only major news outlet to strictly honor the Obama security embargo, reporting the president's arrival in Afghanistan two minutes after White House press aides gave the official OK.
Oh, the humanity.

MORE 12/5/10

The New York Times piles on:
The approximate amount that extending the Bush tax cuts on income above $250,000 a year — which Congress seems on the verge of doing — will cost a year, in inflation-adjusted terms. On average, the affluent households that benefit from these cuts will save $25,000 annually. What else might that $60 billion a year buy?
Of course, they could have phrased it as "what will a 60 billion tax increase buy us", but why mess up a perfectly good device, especially with added benefit of "Bush" in it? Never before has the prospect of a MASSIVE TAX INCREASE gotten such favorable cover. No matter what happens, it's Bush's fault!

Side Tracks

It's December and time for some Christmas tunes. This year will start out with TSO doing a modified version of Pachelbel's Canon..

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Nigeria Wants Cheney

And the left is about to have a field day..
If Nigeria has its way, former Vice President Dick Cheney will be next on Interpol's international "wanted" alert, for bribery charges related to his time as the CEO of Halliburton.

Nigeria's anti-corruption agency says it plans to file charges against Cheney in connection with $180 million in bribes a Halliburton subsidiary paid to Nigerian officials to help secure a $1.2 billion contract during his tenure as head of the company. "We are filing charges against Cheney," Femi Babafemi, the country's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission chief, told Reuters today.
But not so fast, says this site:
Political implications of arresting a former vice president aside, Obama and company are presented with two choices.

First, it can ignore the warrant, thereby straining relations with resource-rich Nigeria, and also undercut its current leadership role in Interpol, which is currently headed by American Ronald Noble, who worked for the Treasury Department during Bill Clinton’s presidential tenure.

The second option: move forward and nab Cheney. This would only inflame the right wing, though, and not simply because of revered Cheney’s elevated status among the conservative set.
Imagine Obama pressing the arrest of Assange, current target of an Interpol Red Notice, while not directing Holder to arrest Darth heart patient. Or vice versa. All while the lame duck Dems bicker over tax increases and the stock market prepares to crash over the coming taxmageddon. Get the popcorn ready, folks..

Fair Haired Games

The Plame movie is out, and Jack Cashill has some comments for Sean Penn. Here's one:
In the film’s funniest moment—I spontaneously guffawed—the Wilson character claims that he and his wife had no interest in publicity.
The rest are better. As for me, I still have two main questions...

1) If Wilson knew there were no WMDs in Iraq after his February 2002 visit to Niger why did he sit silently until May on 2003? He claims to have yelled at someone in State after the sixteen word State of the Union speech yet waited until June to drop his Africa story (anonymously at first), conveniently after Miller had returned empty-handed from her WMD embed. She had Wilson's contact number in her day planner along with "Valery Flame" written as well, which she served jail time for refusing to answer about. As Cashill points out, after the invasion (but before May) Wilson spoke to a peace group and said Saddam still might use his WMDs. He was a TV analyst before the war yet never mentioned his insider knowledge.

2) What transpired during his breakfast meeting in May 2003 with NY Times reporter Nicholas Kristof in which Plame was also in attendance? According to reports she didn't speak but if so, how did Wilson explain his trip to Africa? In his later NY Times Op-Ed he made it seem like Cheney sent him--did he tell Kristof this lie? Even the movie called that a deception (lie). What did Plame say other than good morning, and why would she even attend other than to give his story credibility?

There could have been deeper things going on. After all, both the Times and CIA had everything to gain from a "Bush lied, people died" meme after providing all the daily briefings and via reports from folks like Judith Miller and Tom Friedman. If the Times couldn't shift the blame they would soon become a target of their own far left clientele, perhaps to the point of being called war criminals (or even worse, Bush facilitators). Oh well, maybe we'll get a Wikileak on this one day.

UPDATE 12/5/10

Evidently the WaPo editorial board reached their limit of Plame movie chicanery this past Friday and penned this:
"It's accurate," Ms. Plame told The Post. Said Mr. Wilson: "For people who have short memories or don't read, this is the only way they will remember that period."

We certainly hope that is not the case. In fact, "Fair Game," based on books by Mr. Wilson and his wife, is full of distortions - not to mention outright inventions.
And it gets better from there. Fair game? Here's another famous term--"case closed".

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Air India

This is the summary of a treacherous dive event that occurred on flight IX-212, which is simply unbelievable:
The co-pilot of an Air India Express 737 sent the jetliner into a terrifying 7,000-foot plunge in May when he accidentally hit the control column while adjusting his seat, investigators report.
Sounds like something out of Airplane! (RIP Leslie Nielson, btw). Does that inspire any confidence in Air India Express? How about this:
The aviation agency report concluded that the 25-year-old co-pilot had not been trained in the specific scenario the jet encountered and “probably had no clue to tackle this kind of emergency.”
In other words they freely admit that a first officer had 'no clue' on how to get an aircraft out of a dive on an airplane he was technically certified to fly. Is that a joke or does it need a Wikileak? At one point the first officer was evidently pushing down on the yoke while the pilot came back from his pee break (after having to negotiate the locked cockpit door) and started pulling up. Imagine that scene.

Actually it sounds somewhat like Egypt Air 990 that went down into the Atlantic shortly after leaving JFK airport on Halloween day 1999. The captain had left the cockpit to visit the lavatory when the airplane suddenly pitched down. From the NTSB report:
There was no apparent reason for the relief first officer's nose-down elevator inputs.

The relief first officer's calm repetition of the phrase "I rely on God," beginning about 74 seconds before the airplane's dive began and continuing until just after the captain returned to the cockpit (about 14 seconds into the dive), without any call for help or other audible reaction of surprise or alarm from the relief first officer after the sudden dive is not consistent with the reaction that would be expected from a pilot who is encountering an unexpected or uncommanded flight condition.
They have not released their names or the voice recordings. Ironically this event occurred just a few days after the horrific crash in Mangalore. The Indian transport ministry also recently released the probable cause of that one, which allegedly involved a sleepy pilot:
His snoring, at times, was so loud it was picked up by the in-flight recorders.
Wow, let's assume nothing sinister happened they aren't telling us (both flights originated in Dubai, as did UPS flight 6 and one of the package bombs), why is this airline still flying?