Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rhode Island School Prayer

The prayer that was removed..
OK yeah, it's a prayer.  It even says so.  But it's a pretty basic one, not espousing any specific denomination (and quite possibly not even exclusively Christianity sans the "heavenly father" part), with excellent goals that our kids sorely need everyday.  But nonetheless a prayer.

Now, here's the Preamble to the Rhode Island constitution:
We, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of government.
Just sayin'.

Did You Know?

That Obama killed Osama? 

It's clear the political push is on to remind voters....CBS 60 Minutes report this past Sunday; mention in the SOTU; mention by Joe Biden (who said he advised against); and now today a report that some of the bin Laden death photos may be released.
Dan Metcalfe, former director of the Department of Justice's Office of Information and Privacy, told The Atlantic Wire that according to the government's response to the lawsuit, there are parts of the records that are "legally required to be disclosed." This reopens that possibility that postmortem photographs of bin Laden will be released.
Would they do it?  Would it help the campaign more than it would endanger troops in the field?  Or would it blowback on them?  Or will they be forced to do it via FOIA, and if so, could it be seen as another public reminder of whose ass Obama kicked?  Maybe someone will ask the administration in the next Google town hall or something.

By the way, the same HuffPo report contains an interesting feature on what was also found in and around camp UBL: pot plants, porn, natural viagra, coke and pepsi.  Sounds like he wasn't that much different from Saddam after all.  That is, if we can believe the story.   It wouldn't be the first time we've tried to embarrass a dead or captured Islamic terrorist by insinuating he was a closet westerner.  Hearts and mind and stuff.

Finally, while Biden is making a big to-do over admitting he told Obama not to go into Pakistan after UBL, his long time recommendation to use counter-terrorism in Afghanistan rather than counter-insurgency appears to have been chosen as policy.   But really, wasn't that the plan all along? 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tweeter Madness

Don't our airport security folks have any common sense?  
Two British tourists were barred from entering America after joking on Twitter that they were going to 'destroy America' and 'dig up Marilyn Monroe'. Leigh Van Bryan, 26, was handcuffed and kept under armed guard in a cell with Mexican drug dealers for 12 hours after landing in Los Angeles with pal Emily Bunting.
The Department of Homeland Security flagged him as a potential threat when he posted an excited tweet to his pals about his forthcoming trip to Hollywood which read: 'Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America?'
This sounds outlandishly absurd.   Aside from the fact their joking Twitter conversations were logged in the first place, they even asked the detained girl if she was going to be a 'lookout' as the man dug up Marilyn's grave.

There darn well better be more than meets the eye on this story because if not it represents a sort of watershed moment for this country.  "Tweeter account"?  Jiminy Xmas, give those people a free round trip and 10,000 for their troubles along with a formal apology from Hillary.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Side Tracks

This is a cool version, but they won't allow embedding. Click if you wanna watch..

Strange Story, Strange Picture

Strange story, strange picture...

When asked what the men discussed and why it wasn't on the schedule, the White House released a statement saying, “The three men enjoyed a personal visit in the Oval Office – as they have done on previous occasions when President Bush is Washington.”
The strangeness isn't the fact a president would want to sit down with an ex-president and his ex-governor son, or that the press wasn't told about it (nor have they apparently been told about all such previous visits). The strangeness is that for some reason they have chosen now to release this information.

President Bush 41 has always been a great fan of maintaining the presidential fraternity in an effort to bring national unity, but it's a bit hard to imagine why they would want this released a few days ahead of the Florida primary.   How does this help Romney?  Unless the Bushes were ambushed. 

MORE  1/28/12

Since it's unlikely the photo release was an ambush the question becomes why.  Why would Bush 41 and Jeb want a nice friendly Oval Office shot with the enemy released days before an important primary?   It's most likely a message to the field, but not exactly sure what the message is, considering (as Politico said) that Obama just blamed Dubya for the food stamp increase and economic collapse.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Debate Debate

A bit more fun to watch when the audience is participating.  Note to NBC and Brian Williams--take note. Wolf Blitzten usually does a pretty good job moderating these things and doesn't try to make himself the focal point.  Usually.  No big surprises tonight, although it was clear CNN wanted the sparring not the substance. 

Quick take--Romney won.  He was focused and determined in his replies and shot down some of Gingrich's main attacks.  Santorum kept his head above water with formidable answers to almost every question, although he still suffers from "I, me, my" disease a bit.  Part of that is due to something beyond his control--he doesn't look presidential.  But he certainly succeeded in ruffling Romney over the health care thing.  And that keeps him in play.

The enigma continues to be Paul.  He is essentially running against all three opponents and the GOP at large, not Barack Obama.  Does he ever bash Obama?   And does he ever have to explain exactly what he'd cut with his first year trillion dollar budget decrease?  No, the alphabet media appears to have no incentive to grill him in that area, since his main usefulness appears to be acting as the token Democrat on the panel based on his foreign policy.  His basic answer to any question includes the gold standard, making friends with rogue nations through trade and ending the Fed, but it's his answers about ending the wars that really trips their trigger and turns on their Bush-bashing woody.  They know he can't win and could cut him down to a nub if they so desired.

Anyway, Mitt has some Mo going into Saturday.  If he wins Florida in a landslide it may be over.  Maybe for the GOP this fall as well.  Hard to imagine him withstanding the Obama incoming fire with moderators and commentators helping O at every turn.  That's what drew voters to Newt--they figured he'd been through the wars and could take the flak.  Nevertheless it's encouraging to see a bolder, brasher, and generally less smarmy version of Debate Mitt rather than the Bob Dole version. A little fire in that belly might finally get him more than 25 percent. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Again, Did we Win?

Did you catch this line from Obama's speech?
For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of Al Qaida’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken. And some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.
What does "most of al Qaeda's top lieutenants have been defeated" actually mean?  When someone is defeated it usually means they've been beaten or have surrendered.   Did we miss something?

Oddly, this same kind of statement was recently made by the president's 'brain' Valerie Jarrett while speaking on MLK day at Ebenezer Baptist.  She said we can all "rest easy".  Is it just their way of capitalizing on the UBL raid or are they trying to say we've literally won the war on terror?

Saying top kingpins are "defeated" suggests just that--we won.  But again, at last check bin Laden's very dangerous sidekick (it's doubtful he'd want to be called a lieutenant) was still out there in parts unknown, topping the Rewards for Justice hit parade with a hefty bounty.  Not only him, but the following individuals are still unaccounted for: Mullah Omar, Saif al Adel(number two), Abderraouf Jdey, Adnan Shrukrijumah (Jafar the pilot), Abu Du’a (leader of AQ in Iraq, who launched attacks to revenge UBL's death), and Yasin al Suri (operating from Iran to facilitate AQ recruits to the battlefields).

Speaking of Iran, the US Government has recently implied that Iran has been and continues working directly with the enemy that attacked us on 9/11, an enemy Obama promised to vanquish during his campaign.  Nobody seems comfortable asking him what he'll do about AQ working with Iran but nobody wants another war.  That doesn't mean the war is over and we've won.  Yet he seems to be saying just that.  Troops are coming home.

There appear to be two possibilities here. One, we've captured several HVTs since the bin Laden raid and are holding them secretly, and Obama plans to spring them to the public in the coming months to boost his campaign.  Or two, he's just saying this stuff to make it seem like the threat is over in order to justify bringing home troops to free up money to help 'nation build' in America, which is part of his reelection strategy.

Based on the US government's own current information about the state of terrorists/terrorism those two choices would seem to be the only ones. Both are bad, but number one is far preferable than number two, which would be grossly irresponsible and dangerous to boot.  From a political standpoint, just look what happened after Bush stood under the 'mission accomplished' sign.  It's a tad bit surprising nobody is pointing this out.

MORE  1/26/12

Maybe people did notice...
Asked by CBS news anchor Scott Pelley if al Qaeda had been defeated, Panetta -- who as CIA director presided over the operations that led to the death of bin Laden last May -- said the terror group was still a threat. "They're still a real threat," Panetta said. "There's still Al Qaeda out there. And we've gotta continue to put pressure on them wherever they're at."
Maybe Pelley will ask whether Obama believes this or not.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

State of the Union

Doing a little live blogging, so I can remember this.

"the Tollybon is broken"   Are they?  I thought we were negotiating with Mullah Omar.  BTW, where is Mullah Baradar, the number two guy?

And did the GOP just boo or make strange noises when Obama delivered his signature line about fairness?  Something sounded weird.

And OK, Obama just predicted that the business cycle won't ever bottom out again.  That's called communism.  Then he said he would fight the policies that "brought on the economic crisis in the first place".  Wow, that means he'll be against artificially propping up the housing market with Government-backed entities (that turn out to be political Christmas presents and havens for lobbyists). 

GM--back on top as the world's number one automaker.  Because they could finally get rid of onerous union contracts!


BTW, that sincere inflection Obama uses in these speeches is grating.   It probably polls well, though.


He wants to change the tax code to punish companies like GE who move jobs to Chiner. 


Obama wants special financing for moving plants into areas that have seen lost businesses move out.  Maybe Solyndra should have relocated to Chicago.

He will 'go anywhere' to open new markets.  Romney says he has created zero new markets.

Wow, now he's mentioning that Dotcom dude and piracy.  And even China.   Creating some kind of new special unit or something to investigate Chinese hackers?  Is that what he said?  Well, Patrick Fitzgerald is free.


BTW, the state of the union is getting stronger!   Despite the Republicans.


Obama, asking for more money for community colleges.  So far he's yet to talk about the debt.  As for turning the unemployment system into a 'reemployment system', he'll hack every Republican with him on that one.


He's now asking for even more money, this time for teachers.  Getting the picture? Chicken in every pot.  He'll get to the debt when he gets to the 'tax the Richie Romneys' part of the speech.   It's their fault, ya know.  Meanwhile, he wants to make it a requirement for "ALL STATES to REQUIRE that every student remain in high school until they graduate or turn 18".  Isn't that what truant officers were for?  


Now Obama is asking for more money for students through various programs and aid.   Wait--he said we would "run out of money" as opposed to saying we've already run out.  Ron Paul must be cackling.   Now he's threatening colleges to lower their tuition fees or else lose federal dollars.  Sure.


Obama has stopped Juan at the border like no other prez-- comprehensive immigration reform--right now!  But don't punish the Juans brought here illegally by their parents, they should be rewarded.


Women.   Or Woymn.  They should be equal.


Expand tax relief to small businesses who are 'raising wages'.   What?


Science.  Republicans hate it, those fools.  Don't gut these university grants and gifts.  Wait, didn't he just threaten the universities?


Now comes the domestic oil part of the program, not featuring the Canadian pipeline.  Because after all, we need more ugly wind farms off the coast of Massachusetts.    And gas, natural gas.  Just don't pipe it anywhere.  Put it on BNSF freight trains brought to you by Berkshire Hathaway!


Wow, Obama is mentioning a wind turbine factory.   Now he's mentioning S o l y n d r a without mentioning it, saying he won't give up on these failures..   Still nothing about the massive debt crippling "Brian's" kids.  Yeah, now he's insinuating that the government is subsidizing oil companies so they should subsidize Solyndras.


Global warming time.   BTW, did y'all know there is still snow on Mt. Kilamanjaro?  Just updating everyone.  Obama just said he was mandating something, missed it.  Sorry.


Asking for more money.  Now it's for infrastructure.  He's listing accomplishments again.. but didn't mention the 'intercontinental railroad'.  Ooh, good line on "nation building here at home".  But he finally mentioned debt--take half the savings from losing the wars and put half on debt payments and the other half on spending, which seems like a wash.


Don't forget the evil bankers.  They have a deficit of trust.  They've always had a deficit of trust--they have all the money.

Housing market-- 'smart regulations to prevent irresponsible behavior'.  Good grief.  He's trying to regulate stupidity, common sense and business.   That's in addition to eliminating any possible down trend in the business cycle.  The only way to do such things is via a command economy.


Blasting oil companies again.


This speech is the mother of all smothering pie-in-the-sky government programs.


Blasting bankers again.   Mentioning his non-recess recess appointment of Cordray.  Face, I guess. 


Holder--  create another special unit to go after those who created the financial crisis.  Wow-- Holder may have to investigate Obama taking money from Fannie and Freddie.   Er, well, also Newt.  And of course Romney has stock in those companies.   Good luck with that.


Obama demands the payroll tax cut should be passed without delay after nixing the pipeline.  The guy has balls, I'll give him that.


Warren Buffet's secretary time!   Wonder how much she makes a year?  Anyway, he's talking about paying down debt, finally, and will of course couch it around punishing Warren Buffet and Mitt Romney, and himself, because they don't pay their 'fair share'.  Of course nobody mentions the fact that over 40 percent of workers pay zero tax, which is apparently 'fair'.  Paying no tax is the new fair.

This ain't class warfare, bub.  It's fairness.  Fairness!  Got it?   And he's the only one standing between those unpatriotic sapsuckers and the pitchforks.   And that's how the deficit gets reduced.  And the only way.


Wow!  He uttered a universal truth!  "Nothing will get done this year".   Now he's blaming the downgrade on the Republicans.  And zap-- he just zapped ALL OF THEM with a proposal for a bill banning insider trading in Congress.  That was good, folks.

Now, like all liberals he's using the old ploy-- 'we all are part of the partisan problem, so let's fix it right now (when it benefits me)'.

Reverend Obama time.  Too much division (Republicans).  Barack ain't no partisan, Barack wants common sense solutions (mine).   We all sin (you GOPers want earmarks, too).  We can make progress with or without the Congress.  Wait, what?


Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to defeat more enemies and win the war in Afghanistan.  We are winning and the troops are coming home.  Somehow they will never host another terrorist training ground, though, somehow, even after we're gone.  The Arab Spring is going well (despite Islamists taking over in Egypt and chaos in Libya and Syria, with AQ taking over towns in Yemen).  Well I agree we have to stand with those seeking freedom, especially within the swamps, but we must also be practical when those reforms threaten US national security.

And Iran-- listen up-- no options are off the table (even though we are secretly negotiating).  Our alliances are stronger than Bush, and we have never been closer to Israel than we are now, or something.

This is long, by the way.

But yeah, America is back.  We are back dammit, and if someone says otherwise they are stupid.  Because of me!  Yes, we're back because of me!  I did it.  And as long as I'm president it will stay that way.  But if you elect one of those GOP trolls there's no guarantee.   


Kudos to the military.  Indeed.   There's a parade for returning Iraqi vets in St. Louis on January 28.  Did you know that? 


Now Obama is making an analogy between combat troops going into battle, looking out for each other to survive, and the how government should function, diverting into the UBL kill raid.  Nice way to promote socialism, dude.   No, this nation is great because WE ARE ALLOWED TO PURSUE HAPPINESS AS FREE PEOPLE.  

That's enough. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Just a minute now...

Various news outlets are reporting on the charges against former CIA employee John Kiriakou for leaking to the press and lying to the CIA about his endeavors involving terrorist Abu Zubaydah and the enhanced interrogation issue. He could go to jail for 30 years.  The Obama administration is setting records for charging people with leaking. 

So what's going on here?  Why is F. Patrick Fitzgerald of Libby/Plame fame suddenly back in the news?  Or is this a bona fide leak investigation?

For history go back to ABC News, who had the Kiriakau exclusive in 2007 where he claimed waterboarding was a necessary evil that worked great.  They even hired him as an analyst for awhile.  Not surprisingly ABC doesn't seem giddy about the airing of this laundry but they've been doing some shuffling since April 2009:
Kiriakou now says he too was stunned to learn how often Zubaydah was waterboarded, in what Kiriakou says was clearly torture.
That walk-back was included in another exclusive outing two CIA contractors who allegedly designed the waterboarding program.  Not clear whether one of those 'sources' was Kiriakou.  Ironically the 2009 feature was only a day after Obama first called Bush a torturer.  Weeks earlier he had given immunity to CIA employees involved who followed DoJ orders after the threat of prosecution, while also releasing memos detailing the enhanced procedures to the angst of Dick Cheney.  Holder held on to the investigation through mid 2011 before finally dropping it. 

Meanwhile about a month before the ABC 2009 story aired Kiriakou began working as a staffer with the Senate Foreign Relations Investigation Committee run by Democrat John Kerry.  The CIA's criminal referral was triggered by one of the unnamed journalists allegedly feeding the names of CIA employees involved in the waterboarding to ACLU lawyers working to free the Gitmo terrorists.  That particular flim-flam is receiving very little scorn in the media at the moment.   

And who can believe it--the Obama Justice folks actually had the temerity to investigate those ACLU lawyers for passing the clandestinely received information.  No worries though, we can all rest easier knowing they were cleared of any wrongdoing in passing this information to the various enemy scumballs who would just as soon kill them as the rest of us if they ever get the chance.  Focus is on the leaker.

And Kiriakou does seem like a bad guy here, discounting other interpretations. For instance, maybe the Obama gang is doing this to calm the Glenn Greenwald crowd since Kiriakou was initially billed as a defender of waterboarding.  And how about John Friggin Kerry or other Senators on the committee?  Will they be interviewed?  Surely they will say they can't comment, which will be enough for our watchdog press.

At any rate, Holder just announced he would be heralding the grand accomplishments of the Global Contingency Operation over the next few weeks, including rationale for one-offing Awlaki and Awlaki, Jr.  While some are saying bring it on (and it sounds fun) with these guys it's hard to tell what might be up their sleeves. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Enthusiasm Teetering

Can any of these clowns beat Obama?   Not to precisely agree with Andrew Sullivan, but it's starting to look like the GOP has decided to save it's best for 2016.  Newt Gingrich may be able to handle a debate with the One but can he croon like Al Green?  Can he dance on Ellen's show?  Can he hobnob with the cool crowd of Hollywood, who often shape popular culture and influence the great unwashed moderate vote?  Can he escape his past or his divisive rhetoric?

Or Romney, the John Kerry of the GOP?   Or Santorum, who still has that boy next door that delivers your paper look and doesn't believe in contraception?   Or Ron Paul, who many view as a crazy uncle?   Take it as defeatism or whatever, but the enthusiasm for any of these people remains thin.  The eventual nominee will need enough pizzazz to get the voters out despite Hollywood, the elite media, and the billion-dollar Obama attack machine (aimed at moderates and soccer moms) telling everyone how great things have been for the last four years while pointing the horrible un-coolness of the Republican candidate.

Granted, unforeseen events could change the picture. Or maybe, as in 2008, it will come down to the VP nominee to arouse the enthusiasm again.  Let's see, Herman Cain was in South Caroline this past week doing a show with..... Stephen Colbert.   The bloggers say hmmm. But still..

So with that it's time for a musical selection.  Obama was channeling Green, maybe Romney could get up there and do his best with this..

BTW, don't miss the awesome guitar solo at 1:27! Romney could air guitar it, maybe.
MORE 1/21/12 Missed this the other day. Newt has already addressed the popularity issue and admitted the obvious, pointing out the obvious in the process. The question for Newt is whether he can effectively make this case amidst a blizzard of incoming fire while defending his past.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Meanwhile, at GITMO

A pre-trial hearing in the al-Nashiri tribunal (suspected USS Cole bomber) occurred yesterday..
According to the defense motion, the Gitmo authorities have determined that only communications from counsel bearing their signature are legal mail. Any attachments (such as discovery, court opinions, expert witness CV's, news articles) attached to the letters are not and must go through a screening process which significantly delays the detainee's receipt of the material. As the defense points out, historically all mail coming from counsel is legal mail which can be opened only in the presence of the inmate and checked for contraband and to ensure it really is from counsel. No further inspection is allowed:
So it appears the defense wants to allow all kinds of stuff to be included in the prisoners' mail as long its deemed "legal mail". Meanwhile, Jihad Watch reports..
"U.S.: Al Qaeda magazine got into Guantanamo cell," by Richard Lardner for the Associated Press
Well, hopefully it was the special edition of "Inspire" that reported on the death of al-Awlaki. But hey, who knew the tribunals were underway down there at closed GITMO? Al-Nashiri's trial has begun, and five others will soon follow (supposedly) including that of KSM.  Maybe Obama's plan is to execute those dudes thereby eliminating all vestiges of the legacy AQ before the election.  Such trials could make it easier to focus on UBL while allowing pot shots at RomneyNewt through Bush, especially if the trials break down into legal quicksand due to torture. But there are also good reasons to delay them again, so we'll see.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We won?

Most have commented or seen the "Valerie Jarrett speaks at Ebenezer Baptist" video, where she helps the church push the boundaries of their IRS tax-exempt status (maybe Holder will investigate). But she also made a rather interesting comment to do with terrorism. Here's the video again..

Notice the line, "we all sleep a little easier at night knowing that Usama bin Laden and his lieutenants are not plotting a terrorist attack". Bold added to highlight the question--are there no more AQ lieutenants?

Sounds like BIG news if true, since the Rewards for Justice site still shows a number of very dangerous lieutenants wanted by the FBI.  And AQ members just took over a town in Yemen.  Yet according to Jarrett we can all rest easier.  Strange. 

It's understandable that a politician would want to leverage a major success in the global contingency operation by suggesting there might not be anymore man-caused disasters on the horizon. But "might" is a key word.  There were no mights in Jarrett's statement. What came through was "rest easier folks--it's over, we did it".  So either she spoke way out of turn, or didn't get the memo, or slipped out something.  Or maybe just made a dopey political generalization to help her boss. 

Of course, there's always the possibility that the administration has actually rolled up several main operatives in AQ and are holding the information back until the right moment for political reasons--and she just couldn't help herself.  If so, nobody seemed to catch it.  Hmm, has anyone heard much from Zawahiri lately?   

Or maybe it's more in the vein of what this writer thinks about AQ--that it has sort of slipped back into the jetstream of basic Islamic terrorism, no different than Hizballah or the Tamil Tigers.  Maybe that was Jarrett's underlying drift, ie, no real leadership and everyone cut off so they are inept.  Dang though, if we're so much safer can't we ease up on TSA restrictions a little?!   No need to pat down granny if we can all rest easier. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Reverend King

Today is the King holiday, the celebration of a religious man who spoke out for civil rights in a non-violent way using scripture to make his point.  As seen in his "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" (My Dear Fellow Clergyman), Reverend King believed that equality was very much a biblical tenet.  Indeed, Black Liberation Theology takes some of its roots from King's ideology.

Yet for some reason today he's more often referred to as "Doctor" King rather than a reverend.  Maybe that's an attempt to respect his educational achievements but it's almost as if the modern narrative seeks to reduce the faith-based aspect of his message and instead concentrate on its largely political by-product: "social justice" (not all reverends or Christians believe as King did on the definition of social justice within our system). However, the popular definition lines up much better with mainstream liberal orthodoxy, even to include projecting King's blessing of Occupy Wall St. and the like.

It's true King's use of Christianity wasn't just fodder for a sermon, it was in part an appeal to the white (predominately Christian) majority to see the plight of the Negro from a biblical perspective.  Ironically, secular humanists today see no problem celebrating King's legacy while taking no issue with his worship of an invisible sky man.  For instance, we're told that one cannot cherry-pick the Bible, ie, if referencing Matthew one must also defend the anti-homosexual passages of Leviticus, so perhaps the Reverend King would find it harder to promulgate his message in today's world.  Theoretically, at least.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Side Tracks

A Nashville version from two great singers..

Angry like a Fox

The whole Michelle Obama, angry black woman™ narrative seemed to pop out of nowhere as soon as the Jodi Kantor book "The Obamas" came to light. Kantor was recently interviewed on CNN and was shocked, shocked that her book could have possibly triggered such a reaction!

Kantor says her writings were based on what Michelle's 'closest aides' told her. She defends what she calls a 'turnaround' in Michelle Obama's attitude about being First Lady (amidst interruptions from O'Brien) between 2009 and 2010. She also points out that the 'FLOTUS' had not read the book when she made the angry black woman comments. So it seems the entire brouhaha was manufactured by someone opining on a book they hadn't read, based on a narrative that really has never existed in any widespread form other than reaction to campaign comments about "being proud" of her country, etc.

Perhaps the more instructive part of this clip is how O'Brien defends the administration, even against otherwise 'friendly' sources--in this case a New York Times reporter getting fed information by White House aides for an overall flattering book on the Obamas.   The last in-depth flattering portrait of the marriage based on close friends came from Christopher Andersen, whose book also contained a few minor unflattering details, details which caused the White House to defer comment and most major media to ignore it in their book review sections, with the requisite outrage from Media Matters. In that case Howie Kurtz of CNN was one of the few to ask Andersen about some of those details (that the White House had no comment on):

In both cases the books came from friendly writers based on friendly sources. And in both cases the more controversial events were not completely refuted.  It's hard to tell whether these manuscripts are really just clever ways of getting out uncomfortable information for the benefit of crisis management at some later date or just sensationalistic renditions of mundane events for the benefit of selling books.  

MORE  1/14/12

If the Kurtz video above is restricted, here's another version.   As to the Ayers section, when pushed on who told Andersen that Ayers was involved in the book he replied, "NEITHER ONE OF THEM denied it". The deal here is that Ayers has been asked and (whether jesting or not) has confirmed it; the president has not been asked.     

Friday, January 13, 2012

Obama the Venture Capitalist

CBS continues to be the only major news network pursuing the Solyndra story and they broke more news today..

So while both sides are carving away on Romney for being an evil venture capitalist nobody is paying attention to the fact that Obama was giving risky loans to risky businesses (that happen to be in line with his green energy platform), who were then going bankrupt and putting people out of work while dumping the bill on taxpayers.

No doubt the major media will all report on his new plan to acquire higher presidential powers for the sake of streamlining the bureaucracy to his liking, since they know it's really nothing more than a campaign trap aimed at Congressional Republicans.  If they object Obama will say they are hypocrites who don't really want to cut government.  If they give him the power the TEA Party will object, and later Obama will campaign as a cutter of government waste.

This same media--such as the New York Times, who just recently questioned their readers as to whether they should challenge non-factual statements when gathering news--will probably not ask why Obama waited until now to suddenly ask for these powers instead of several years ago when he growing both government spending and employee rolls and running up massive debt. 

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Burnett is Correct

Erin Burnett of CNN breaks it down..

Conservatives may not like the way she blasphemes the Gipper with a comparison to Obama but she's correct--if the the unemployment rate falls even a little he'll probably be reelected. And that will occur with no small help from the Erin Burnetts of the media, standing by ready to turn any minor trend into another morning in America (that shining city on a hill).

Such will especially be true if the GOP contender is Romney since Mitt's entire platform is based on fixing the economy.  He's not a strong conservative, hasn't talked as much about debt as the others, and isn't particularly liked by the Tea Party (who faces a conflict in supporting him). Maybe that's why Donna Brazille claimed he was the Dems' candidate of choice. They know if the economy gets better Mitt will be left to twist in the breeze of all his former flip-flops while explaining why only Massachusetts residents deserve Obamneycare.


Yes I know, Romney won and won big. But in coming in second with over 20 percent Ron Paul's performance has to be scored as a victory. This is the guy everybody ignores! Some are saying he was the beneficiary of an 'operation chaos' like effort by liberal-leaning indies and dems to poison the well, but I don't think that accounted for most of his numbers. A lot of conservatives are simply not satisfied and they like Paul's austerity, at least to some degree. Paul's post-election speech got off to a roaring start--certainly more passionate than Romneybott's--with proclamations about saving liberty (good stuff) but true to his enigma he soon veered off into the fiat currency zone and lost me. But he won't lose his rapid supporters.

And that begs a question--does Paul and his increasing following portend any trouble for Mitt? I think it's sizable enough that if he jumped to a third party run he could scuttle the GOP's chances against Obama, so perhaps he might want something. Is it possible Romney would choose a guy like Paul as a VP? Or even Paul's son Rand? That might turn off some indies but how many? As mentioned, a lot will go for Paul if he decides to bail. As to favorables, Romney should do well with women, better than Paul, but so does Obama. If Romney picks a woman we'll see the same gang tackle as with Palin, especially if the woman is more conservative. If he picks a less conservative woman the Tea Party won't like it. They'd rather see Rand Paul. If he picks someone vanilla like Pawlenty they may put half of America to sleep before election day. Something to think about, at least. Paul has so far been awfully nice to Mitt.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

White House's ABC Bureau says...

That Obama is going to "do whatever it takes" to create more jobs.   Citing the 'better than expected' jobs report last month, ABC tells us that Obama's awesome move to defy Senate protocol (and perhaps even the constitution) is wicked important because now we have a new consumer watchdog in place to keep the evil enemy at bay (capitalists).  Or as Kent Dorfman would say, this is gonna be great!

And with that, this week's video selection..

Thursday, January 05, 2012

A T-shirt Printed with the word Fascist..

That was one of the best clips ever of the Olbermann show.  Nobody watches him anymore now that he's on the Gore network (literally, perhaps?) but one wonders what he said about Harry Reid's bold move back in late 2007 regarding recess appointments.  Here's what some of his compatriots were saying..
But Democrats appear dead set against allowing any more recess appointees, who would serve until the end of the next Congressional session — that is, essentially through the end of Mr. Bush’s term. So unless there is an agreement between the White House and Democrats, it appears likely the Senate will not be in formal recess any time through 2008.
From CNN..
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, announced December 19 that he would keep the Senate open with a series of pro forma sessions through mid-January. Talks had just broken down with the White House on a deal that would have allowed the president to make dozens of those appointments if he agreed not to appoint one controversial official, Steven Bradbury, as the permanent head of the influential Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department.
And from the Firedogs..
And for challenging this President on his recess appointments, Senator Harry Reid, I say: Thank You. This is some of the hell we were asking for when we shouted “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!” and waved all those signs at YearlyKosOne in Las Vegas. I’ve still got my “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!” sign on my fridge, although you’ve sorely tempted me to tear it down several times this past year….
Now recess appointments are a w e s o m e and endorsed by the WaPo (amusing how some Democrats manage to acknowledge partisanship but only want to end it when one of their guys is in power). Certainly not indicative of a budding dictator and a rant from Keith, wherever he might end up.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Home Sweet Homes

Isn't that nice.  The NY Times Home and Garden section has a feature on the GOP hopefuls homes.  Most appear fairly modest, actually.  But using the word "homes" was intentional:
Of all the candidates, Mitt Romney has the most houses. He recently sold two homes, one in Belmont, Mass., which he replaced with a nearby condo, and another in Park City, Utah. In addition, he has the oceanfront house in California, and a stone and wood compound on Lake Winnepesaukee, pictured, in New Hampshire.
Isn't that just what one would expect from a filthy rich 1 percenter?  Of course this puff piece was a sneaky way to get some class warfare and age-old stereotypes into play through the side door.  By sticking it in Home/Garden they have at least some plausible deniability should anyone accuse them of bias, ie, 'just giving our readers an idea of how they live'.  And actually that's just fine, supposing Home/Garden also covered Chris Dodd's home in Ireland or Obama's palatial Chicago estate via felon Tony Rezko back in 2008; or if they've ever featured the homes of their own columnists Tom Friedman or Paul Krugman.  Surely all have lovely gardens. 

Negotiating with Terrorists

The NY Times has a front page web article today heralding the Taliban's offer to open a "peace mission" in Qatar, in which the following was seemingly stated as fact:
American officials have said for years that the war in Afghanistan ultimately required a political solution, not a military one. The “surge” of additional troops ordered by President Obama at the end of 2009, and the sharp increase in kill-and-capture missions against the Taliban’s midlevel leadership by special operations forces over the past two years have largely been aimed at getting the Taliban to the negotiating table.
Does anyone remember Obama announcing the surge as a way to primarily get the enemy to the negotiating table, as opposed to kicking their ass (as Bush had not)? Wait, the ass-kicking comment was about the BP oil spill, sorry.

Yes, yes, it's possible this is just more kabuki theater designed to put pressure on Karzai by fostering the impression we might leave him to the Taliban wolves.  It's also possible the administration is a bit too eager to negotiate an 'end' to the war before November for political reasons.  Such is above the pay grade of most bloggers here in bitter-clinger land.

But we've always been told the United States doesn't negotiate with terrorists.  Will anyone bother to ask why the United States would think of negotiating a peace treaty with the terrorist facilitators of the group that attacked us on 9/11 and a longtime proxy of Pakistan? After all, the Pak ISI created the Taliban.  The Times story goes on to say the Oatar office is a way of "lessening Pakistani influence over the talks" without explaining why, as if they don't believe Talibanis can use an iPhone or Blackberry or that any deal wouldn't include Islamabad.   Well, let's hope they know what they are doing.  It's only our national security at stake.