Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Visionary Messiah

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Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the possibility of troop withdrawal was based on the continuance of security improvements, echoing statements that the White House made Friday after a meeting between al-Maliki and U.S. President Bush.

McCain’s team put out a statement tonight, too. Quote:

Let’s be clear, the only reason that the conversation about reducing troop levels in Iraq is happening is because John McCain challenged the failed Rumsfield-strategy in Iraq and argued for the surge strategy that is responsible for the successes we’ve achieved and which Barack Obama opposed. Unlike Barack Obama, John McCain has never ignored the facts on the ground in Iraq, he’s never avoided the warzone before proposing new strategy, and he’s never voted against funding our troops in the field. If John McCain was following Barack Obama’s lead on foreign policy, the United States would have already withdrawn from Iraq in a humiliating defeat at the hands of al Qaeda.

Of Blushing Pharoahs

This is the thinking of a child — or the rhetoric of a demagogue, take
your pick.

Electric supply systems have to meet market
tests — consumer satisfaction and investor confidence. There was no market test
for the Apollo Project, because its goal was not commercial but geopolitical —
to beat the Soviets in the Cold War space race. Gore might as well say that if
we can put a man on the moon, then we can also cure cancer, eradicate poverty,
and end war — all in ten years.

Planet Gore readers owe Al
Gore a big thank you. The scale of Gore’s project would make even the Pharoahs
blush, and executing his plan would require a literal Energy Czar. Never before
has the global warming movement’s ambition to control and dictate and commander
been so prominently on display. Never before has the movement’s flight from
reality been more open to public view.

The Moon Is Brilliant Compared To Our Politicians

This is about the coolest thing ever, and as a side-effect makes visible something I’d known academically: the moon’s surface is actually very dark. The usual gee-whiz statement is that with an albedo of around 7 percent, the Moon is really “as dark as a blacktop parking lot.” While true, this is a little misleading. What is true, though, is that the Earth’s albedo, at something over 30 percent, is way higher than the Moon’s, and you can see that easily here.

Mayor Daley Without Lipstick

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I can report that Indy Mac was run honestly, and did not grant loans
imprudently. But when the normal loan to value ratio on a mortgage is 80%, and
house prices drop by 30% (as in Los Angeles, where Indy Mac was headquartered),
the loan becomes over 100% of the house’ value, and the borrower may just walk
away. Indy Mac could have sold its remaining assets and gradually gone out of
business, but Senator Schumer made sure he released his letter to the press -
the financial equivalent of crying “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Why would he do
this? First, Schumer is a publicity hound: the only Seator whose name is a verb,
“to Schume” is to rush toward the nearest microphone or camera, regardless of
the consequences. Second, Schumer is the head of the Senate Democratic Campaign
Committe, and this is his way of shaking down the remaining bankers for campaign
contributions: contribute or I’ll put you out of business too. Think of it as a
protection racket, financial McCarthyism and extortion.
This is corruption pure and simple. Shumer should be locked up for many, many years. Period.

And, no, it doesn't matter even if IndyMac was the new Enron -- which I highly doubt. This is vicious and corrupt behavior on stilts.

Which reminds me of what a friend says about how we should change political election terms to work: Get elected for some amount of time and it comes with an automatic jail sentence for the same amount of time after you leave office.

I think I'm going to start a petition drive for it. I'm out of better ideas...

Whoops! And Down The OMemory Hole Goes Iraqi Abstract Reasoning ... Which Has Now Become More Advanced Than The Fascifists For Sure...

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The fact that Maliki thinks the war was good for Iraqis doesn’t mean it was
good for America, needless to say, but Obama fans eager to exploit the timetable
bit may want to mull this before baptizing his judgments with Absolute Moral

SPIEGEL: Mr. Prime Minister, the war and its consequences have cost more than
100,000 lives and caused great suffering in your country. Saddam Hussein and his
regime are now part of the past. Was all of this worth the price?

Maliki: The casualties have been and continue to be enormous. But anyone who
was familiar with the dictator’s nature and his intentions knows what could have
been in store for us instead of this war. Saddam waged wars against Iran and
Kuwait, and against Iraqis in the north and south of his own country, wars in
which hundreds of thousands died. And he was capable of instigating even more
wars. Yes, the casualties are great, but I see our struggle as an enormous
effort to avoid other such wars in the future.

The Memory Hole Swings Into Action

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Update: A commenter notes that Spiegel has rewritten the translation
of the exchange about withdrawal to read as follows. There’s nothing in the
article calling attention to the change; they’re trying to put one over on their
readers, it seems.

SPIEGEL: Would you hazard a prediction as to when most of the US troops will
finally leave Iraq?

Maliki: As soon as possible, as far as we’re concerned. U.S. presidential
candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right
timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes.

They’ve dropped the contingency about positive developments continuing,
although it’s still implied by the part about potentially changing the plan. Did
Maliki contact Spiegel and ask them to drop that part so that the quote would
sound more assertive back home? Hard to believe the original translation would
have been so off as to include a bit about “positive developments” that he never

The Corrupt Saint Al (Part 8,437,972)

Futures trading driving up the price of oil is a signal, not the cause, of the
success of this effort.

the wager is that aggregate demand will increasingly outstrip aggregate
supply: A pretty safe bet as long as China and India are industrializing while
the United States, where much of the world’s untapped fossil fuel resides, is
legally off limits to further development.

Self-interest is at work
here. Politicians want money and political support from the green lobby. Green
venture capitalists, like Kleiner Perkins general partner Al Gore, stand to make
billions of dollars on “cleantech” investments, but only if oil prices continue
to climb. A lot of venture portfolios are in trouble the day after Congress
permits unfettered domestic oil exploration. And these folks are nothing if not

I once again insist that AOPA withdraw its support for
SOS now.

Self-interested? Al Gore? The sainted Al Gore?

Who'd a thunk it?


I'm pretty sure this is photoshopped, but either way it says volumes about Obama's vapid sloganeering:

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Friday, July 18, 2008

36 Gigawatts Average

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In order for "alternate energy" to become feasible, it has to satisfy all of the
following criteria:

1. It has to be huge (in terms of both energy and
2. It has to be reliable (not intermittent or unschedulable)
3. It
has to be concentrated (not diffuse)
4. It has to be possible to utilize it
5. The capital investment and operating cost to utilize it has to
be comparable to existing energy sources
If it fails to satisfy any of those, then it can't scale enough to make any
difference. Solar power fails #3, and currently it also fails #5. (It also
partially fails #2, but there are ways to work around that.)

The only
sources of energy available to us now that satisfy all five are petroleum, coal,
hydro, and nuclear.

My rule of thumb is that I'm not interested in any
"alternate energy" until someone shows me how to scale it to produce at least 1%
of our current energy usage. America right now uses about 3.6 terawatts average,
so 1% of that is about 36 gigawatts average.

You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

The purpose of modern government is to take money from the folks who save and
pay their bills and live within their means, and use that to hire government
workers; and to keep their power by using the money to buy votes from those who
do not save and pay their bills and live within their means. And of course the
money comes from those who work and save and pay their bills and live within
their means -- who else will have any money for the government to take?

Or am I unduly cynical? But you ain't seen nothing yet.

Did I Forget To Mention The "Liberties"?

GUANTANAMO VS. NUREMBERG. "In short, the procedural protections afforded the Guantanamo detainees under the statute before the Supreme Court in Boumediene . . . substantially exceed those accorded the Nuremberg defendants. Obama's unfavorable comparison of the legal treatment of the Guantanamo detainees with that of the Nuremberg defendants suggests either that he does not know what he's talking about, or that he feels free to take great liberties with the truth."

What Do You Do, Sir?

I DEVOTED six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian Greenhouse Office. I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia's compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.

When I started that job in 1999 the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty good: CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the old ice core data, no other suspects.

But since 1999 new evidence has seriously weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause of global warming, and by 2007 the evidence was pretty conclusive that carbon played only a minor role and was not the main cause of the recent global warming. As Lord Keynes famously said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

1. The greenhouse signature is missing. We have been looking and measuring for years, and cannot find it.

Ignoring The Real Problem

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We should keep in mind that local and regional climates respond not only to greenhouse gases, but primarily to changing land-use patterns. Civilization has a long history of dealing with unintended regional climate change caused by large-scale deforestation. The present deforestation in the Amazon basin and in Indonesia threatens to repeat the many mistakes made in the past. The incessant emphasis on CO2 and its effects on globally averaged temperatures leads many to ignore the fact that changes in the distribution of precipitation are far more threatening to agriculture and biosphere than any slight temperature changes. In precisely that part of the problem, however, the predictive capabilities of global climate science are practically nonexistent.

Fortunately, the time rate of climate change is slow compared to the rapid
evolution of our institutions and societies. There is sufficient time for

The Church Of Global Warming (Part 96,237)

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We’ve got two processes here, described by two different verbs: driving and
amplifying. Even though the planet is warming naturally (Fact #1), which would
naturally tend to increase CO2 levels anyway, human-emitted CO2 is “driving” the
greenhouse effect.

This is an amazing feat when you consider that human-added concentrations of
CO2 are only about five per cent of natural carbon emissions every year from
factors like rotting vegetation, volcanoes, outgassing from the oceans, and the
like. And amazing considering that 90 to 95 per cent of the greenhouse effect is
produced by water vapor, not CO2.

Never mind. For the Hadley Centre, five per cent of a trace gas like carbon
dioxide (CO2 is only 380 parts per million in the atmosphere, to which human
emissions add about 10 ppm every five years) is “driving” the greenhouse gas

It’s unlikely, especially considering that the planet warmed about the same
amount from 1850-1940, when human carbon emissions were still relatively low.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Finally Driving The Truck

McCain and the Republicans have finally found an issue — oil drilling — exposing
how the Democrats oppose drilling virtually anywhere that there might be
recoverable oil. Not in Alaska. Not offshore. Not in shale deposits in the West.
The Democratic claim that we "cannot drill our way out of the crisis in gas
prices" begs the question of whether, had we drilled five years ago, we would be
a lot less dependent on foreign market fluctuations.

The truth is that
the Democrats put the need to mitigate climate change ahead of the imperative of
holding down gasoline prices at the pump. If there was ever a fault line between
elitist and populist approaches to a problem, this is it. In fact, liberals
basically don't see much wrong with $5 gas. Many have been urging a tax to
achieve precisely this level, just like Europe has done for

Obama said that he was unhappy that there was not a period of
"gradual adjustment" to the high prices, but seems to shed few tears over the
current levels.

What Went Wrong


What went wrong? The illusion that the companies were doing virtuous work
made it impossible to build a political case for serious regulation. When there
were social failures the companies always blamed their need to perform for the
shareholders. When there were business failures it was always the result of
their social obligations. Government budget discipline was not appropriate
because it was always emphasized that they were "private companies.” But market
discipline was nearly nonexistent given the general perception -- now validated
-- that their debt was government backed. Little wonder with gains privatized
and losses socialized that the enterprises have gambled their way into financial

Plus some cautionary observations for similar ventures.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Look Out Below

Mexican law enforcement officials are walking into U.S. ports of entry in increasing numbers to seek political asylum, and the flow may soon become a flood as Mexico's battle with the drug cartels intensifies. Our first instinct is to welcome them, but there is more at stake than humanitarian sentiments.
The unpleasant truth is that this new refugee problem is the sign of a deep crisis not in the Mexican economy but in the Mexican political system itself. Mexico exhibits mounting signs of a "failed state," a political system that cannot satisfy the most basic conditions of civic order such as safety in one’s streets, home, school, and workplace. Failing states begin to hemorrhage people and their assets. The middle class begins to flee – doctors, lawyers, accountants, business owners, teachers, and of course, law enforcement officials, who are the first targets of criminal organizations.


The solution has been TOCs (Tactical Operations Centers, milspeak for "war
room") for everyone, from company commanders, on up. Each of these TOCs have
lots of laptops, showing either real-time video, or other data useful to the
mission, and people answering queries from the commander
The new procedures have eliminated a lot of the micromanagement nightmares
of the past. Lower ranking officers, especially company commanders and platoon
leaders, are largely left to get on with the battle (or raid, or whatever).
Interrogations of prisoners indicate that the enemy is in awe of what they
are up against, often attributing the seeming omnipresence of the Americans, and
accuracy of their weapons, to some kind of magic. But there are many ways these
new drills and procedures could be exploited by an enemy who knew what they
were. So details remain secret. That secrecy is further enhanced by the rapid
evolution of the TOC, both in terms of equipment and procedures.


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Obama released a national ad saying he has
"fast-track alternatives" to imported oil. On closer examination, those turn out
to be his proposal to spend $150 billion over the coming decade on energy
research. Ten years doesn't sound all that "fast" to us, and there's no
guarantee that the research will result in less oil being imported.

Sen. Barack Obama's campaign released the ad and said it would run on national cable TV
networks starting July 17. According to the news release, the 30-second spot "underscores Barack Obama's
understanding of national security in a new century." Perhaps so. Much of what
it says is accurate enough, but on one point we find that it strains the truth
and could easily give viewers a false impression.


Obama has been so uninterested in Afghanistan that when he went to Iraq and
other countries in the Middle East with a Congressional delegation in January
2006, he skipped the opportunity to continue on to Afghanistan, which was taken
by others who made the trip with him, including Kit Bond and Harold Ford. And,
in an embarrassing gaffe, Obama claimed on May 13, 2008, that we don't have
enough "Arabic interpreters, Arab language speakers" in Afghanistan

Worst of all, far from being committed to victory in Afghanistan, Obama voted
to cut off all funding for all of our military efforts in Afghanistan on May 24,
2007 (H.R. 2206, CQ Vote #181), thereby seeking to bring about defeat there as
well as in Iraq. His current effort to portray himself as a wolf in sheep's
clothing on Afghanistan is a complete fraud.

It is possible that at some point in American history there may have been a
major politician as dishonest as Barack Obama, but I can't offhand think of such
a miscreant.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Vast global flows of money threaten unintended side effects. Foreigners own more than $1 trillion of debt issued or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reports economist Harm Bandholz of UniCredit. In the past six years, he notes, foreigners have purchased $5.7 trillion of U.S. stocks and bonds. Bandholz says the inflow of money cut U.S. interest rates by 0.75 percentage points. So: Surplus savings from Asia and the Middle East, funneled into U.S. financial markets, may have abetted the "subprime" mortgage crisis by encouraging sloppy American credit practices. Too much money chased too few good investment opportunities.

Today's global economy baffles experts -- corporate executives, bankers,
economists -- as much as it puzzles ordinary people. Countries are growing
economically more interdependent and politically more nationalistic. This is a
combustible combination.

Kagan Iraq Update

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Recent comments by some Iraqi leaders about the current negotiations for a status-of-force agreement -- made in the context of an increasingly heated election season in Iraq, and with the desire to improve Iraq's bargaining position in the negotiations -- do not call the U.S. partnership into question. As we recently found in Baghdad, even the most outspoken advocates of rapid American force reductions strongly insist on a strategic partnership with America that helps Iraq stand up to Iran. Most of Iraq's military leaders are unequivocal about the need for a continued U.S. force presence.

The Iraqi government and people -- whose surging anti-Persian feeling is more
obvious every day -- have already shown their willingness to push back against
Iranian intervention.
victory in war is never certain until the war is over, the odds are strongly
with us for once -- provided we do the right thing. That is to stand by our best
ally in the war against al Qaeda, and the struggle to contain Iran.

And The Rocket Scientist Of Canterbury Is Not To Be Eclipsed By Those Come-Uppity Lutherans

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Christian doctrine is offensive to Muslims, the Archbishop of Canterbury said

Dr Rowan Williams also criticised Christianity's history for its violence,
its use of harsh punishments and its betrayal of its peaceful principles.

His comments came in a highly conciliatory letter to Islamic leaders calling
for an alliance between the two faiths for 'the common good'. 

And here I thought yesterday couldn't be improved upon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Caeser Is Now Lord At The ELCA

But the Religious Left, including the Lutheran prelates, attach messianic
importance and powers to the state.  Perhaps Caesar is Lord after
How likely would the Apostles, or Luther,  have viewed modern America’s
lower income people, most of whom are armed with air conditioned homes,
automobiles, cable television and high tech gadgetry, along with modern health
care, record life spans and food stuffs from a global market, as desperately
poor? Poverty is often a relative term. And by the standards of history, or most
of today’s world, few in America are genuinely impoverished.
Avoiding poverty in America mostly entails finishing high school, shunning drug
and alcohol addictions, not having illegitimate children, and avoiding
divorce.  But the Religious Left, contrary to its own religious traditions,
is not interested in shaping personal choices.  It prefers the compulsion
of state regulation and taxation.
My Dad must be rolling in his grave right now. And I can't even imagine what my Aunt Louise would be thinking now of what has become of the Lutheran Church she knew.

As for me, I will be prayerfully reconsidering my personal choices.

Pirating Schools Of Desolation

It is worth noting in every case, that the urban voter, or poll respondent,
leads the swing. I have written from time to time on what I call the “school of
fish” phenomenon among urban electorates.

The nicest, politest
explanation of such swings is the Canadian desire for “peace in the family.” We
may not like what is going to be done, but once it has been done, we won’t look
That is to say, a public attitude of “don’t rock the boat,” which is maintained
even when pirates are boarding it.

Now, I am a Catholic, and my Church
teaches that “despair” is a sin (since it involves the abandonment of hope in
eternity). So I opt instead for “desolation,” which is not a sin, merely a
psychological response to everything around one being in an advanced state of
disintegration. For civilization requires, among other things, a general
populace with moral ideas that cannot be altered by the slightest breeze.


But what of Obama's current vision under which Mr. Yes-We-Can resolves to
"create a Jerusalem that is cohesive and coherent" that it is not exclusively
part of a Jewish state but requires no barriers? The question answers itself.
Here's how David Hazony, a resident of Jerusalem, puts it:

What could it possibly mean to want a “coherent” city that is the
capital of two different countries, one of which has been teaching its entire
population to hate the other and commit suicide bombings in its restaurants for
15 years now — and all this without a proper border? I live in

If there is ever a division of Jerusalem, there will be more than
just barbed wire separating the two halves of the city. We are talking about
different worlds entirely, and security arrangements will reflect

As Hazony concludes, Obama either understands this or he doesn't.

If he doesn't, his ignorance is staggering.

The Once And Future Depression

In an election campaign in which not only young liberals, but also some
people who are neither young nor liberals, seem absolutely mesmerized by the
skilled rhetoric of Barack Obama, facts have receded even further into the
background than usual.

As the hypnotic mantra of "change" is repeated endlessly, few people even
raise the question of whether what few specifics we hear represent any real
change, much less a change for the better.

Raising taxes, increasing government spending and demonizing business? That
is straight out of the New Deal of the 1930s.

The New Deal was new then but it is not new now. Moreover, increasing numbers
of economists and historians have concluded that New Deal policies are what
prolonged the Great Depression.

Senator Obama may gain similar popularity by advocating similar policies today-- and his political popularity is what it's all about. The consequences for the country come later.

The Goal

So what we thought was a promise was a goal. What we thought was an unqualified
timetable is not. What we thought was his determination to issue new orders
really wasn’t. But whatever he committed to the American people he is still

Can you imagine if he had said this during the primary? Hillary Clinton would
be the one with the White House redecorating plans now. (I can understand why
McCaskill was pleading to get back to the economy.)

However, what we don’t hear, and I am beginning to wonder if we
will, is any recognition from the Obama that we need to build upon the success
of the surge and not allow Iraq to drift back into chaos. From his op-ed in the
New York Times the answer appears to be “no.” Notice how he shies from any causal connection between
the surge and gains we have achieved: “the Sunni tribes have rejected Al Qaeda.”
And why was that? Could it be because the U.S. troops gave them confidence that
we would remain and fight to defend the population?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The First Priority

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What was wrong with energy independence? As the
decades progressed, the United States became more and more integrated into a
global economy, where goods, information, and oil move unimpeded across national
boundaries. Countries around the world produce energy if they can, and buy on
the world market what they need beyond their own production. Oil flows toward
the highest bidder, just like all other goods.

I believe that the appropriate aim is to
strengthen our ability to adjust to such changes—to strengthen our energy

We can do that by increasing our reliance on

Not all vehicles have the space and design that allow this process to happen
easily. Luckily, it is the most gasoline-hungry cars that do. Pickups, SUVs,
vans, and the like represent about 80 million vehicles, with mileage of perhaps
13 to 16 miles per gallon. Converting these should be our first priority.
A task of this magnitude requires major effort and investment.

(Campaign) Econ 101 Redux

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Democrats clearly don’t understand the mechanisms of pricing.  Their
rhetoric on speculators demonstrates this, as it misses the point. 
Speculators matter only in shortage economies, as the future value of
any commodity becomes more relevant in inverse proportion to its
availability.  Even apart from that, speculators want to make money just as
in any other commodity trading.  If they foresaw a glut of oil, they’d bet
short on it just as quickly as they’re going long on oil now.

All of this is Econ 101, as the U-L notes.  That may be a bit below King Banaian’s focus as chair of
economics at St. Cloud State University, but I’m pretty certain that King would
be gracious enough to schedule a lecture series for Congressional Democrats who
want to learn how markets work rather than continually work from ignorance to
the detriment of the nation.  (via Let Freedom Ring)

And Don't Forget Lurch II

And his cheerleaders are beginning to realize that Obama may not be the
Arthurian knight in shining armor, that he may not be Mr. Tumnus, the gentle
forest faun of our presidential politics. Months after his inauguration, after
he makes Billy Daley the secretary of the treasury and Michael Daley the
secretary of zoning and promotes Patrick Fitzgerald to become the attorney
general of Mars, the political left may figure out that Obama is a Chicago

"Only an idiot would think or hope that a politician going
through the crucible of a presidential campaign could hold fast to every
position, steer clear of the stumbling blocks of nuance and never make a
mistake," wrote Bob Herbert in The New York Times. "But Barack Obama went
out of his way to create the impression that he was a new kind of political
leader—more honest, less cynical and less relentlessly calculating than most. .
. . Obama is not just tacking gently toward the center. He's lurching right when
it suits him

Mayor ODaley (Part 8,836,376)

[Obama helped design his new senate district running from the South Side to the North.] The new district was a natural fit for the candidate that Obama was in the process of becoming. “He saw that when we were doing fund-raisers in the Rush campaign his appeal to, quite frankly, young white professionals was dramatic.”

In the end, Obama’s North Side fund-raising base and his South Side political base were united in one district. He now represented Hyde Park operators like Lois Friedberg-Dobry as well as Gold Coast doyennes like Bettylu Saltzman, and his old South Side street operative Al Kindle as well as his future consultant David Axelrod. In an article in the Hyde Park Herald about how “partisan” and “undemocratic” Illinois redistricting had become, Obama was asked for his views. As usual, he was candid. “There is a conflict of interest built into the process,” he said. “Incumbents drawing their own maps will inevitably try to advantage themselves.”

Not Even As Good As Jimmah II? Yikes!

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These people are much worse that Jimmy Carter.  He said in his “Crisis
of Confidence” speech:

We know the strength of America. We are strong. We can regain our unity. We
can regain our confidence. We are the heirs of generations who survived threats
much more powerful and awesome than those that challenge us now. Our fathers and
mothers were strong men and women who shaped a new society during the Great
Depression, who fought world wars, and who carved out a new charter of peace for
the world.


To give us energy security, I am asking for the most massive peacetime
commitment of funds and resources in our nation’s history to develop America’s
own alternative sources of fuel—from coal, from oil shale, from plant products
for gasohol, from unconventional gas, from the sun.

I’m no defender of Carter...but when that party had more of a vision (however
lacking) than the current Dem party has, we are in for trouble.

Still The One

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Besides, the cold water is raining down regardless. Obama's recent fire sale
on his left-wing positions in order to raise capital with centrists has
understandably prompted lamentations from the idealistic left.

But Obama has a less-than-humble response to these whiners. He says they're
the cynical ones, even as he strokes the Second Amendment like it was Ernst
Blofeld's cat and tut-tuts the moodiness of women who want late-term

It seems Barack Obama believes the measure of one's idealism or cynicism
rests on a single criterion: How much you support The One. After all, he's not
really answerable to the voters, but to the steady gaze of his own conscience.
And, by that unimpeachable standard, Obama's still the one he's been waiting

Luckily, Mayor ODaley Will Never Allow Anthing Like This To Happen...

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This has even been an issue in this particular presidential campaign, as one
of the men responsible for bypassing Department of Justice protocols in securing
the pardon now serves as a senior adviser to Barack Obama on the VP vetting
committee and on national security: Eric
.   In that case, the payoff cycle was complete; in this case,
only the initial part of it has been exposed, but both are exactly the same kind
of corruption.

Is it possible that Payne was just blowing smoke to gain a $500,000 payday
for his firm?  Sure, but that’s still fraud, and it could also make it a
violation of the Logan Act.  It’s hard to imagine why someone with Payne’s
connections would take that kind of risk without some sense that he had enough
authority to avoid those possibilities, though.  This deserves a thorough
investigation, one that should be supported by all Americans.