Saturday, September 05, 2009

Will The Democrat Jews Roll Over?

This has to be the last straw: Verum Serum has found that in addition to has other unsavory activities, Van Jones has a past as a record producer. That's right; his "civil rights" group, the Ella Baker Center, produced a handful of CDs between 2002 and 2006

Jones's monologue is consistent with the album's overall theme, the U.S. as imperialist, but he focuses specifically on Israel:

The end of the occupation. The right of return of the Palestinian people. These are critical dividing lines in human rights. We have to be here. No American would put up with an Israeli-style occupation of their hometown for 53 days let alone 54 years. US tax dollars are funding violence against people of color inside the US borders and outside the US borders.

Note that Jones dates Israel's "occupation" of Arab lands to 1948.

It seems inconceivable that Jones can retain a job in the Obama administration.


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Mark Tapscott picks up the thread of yesterday’s Obamateurism and follows it back through the first seven months of the Barack Obama presidency. The failure to check with school districts on start dates before scheduling a national address to “schoochildren” is not an isolated fumble by the administration headed by the novice executive. It’s becoming a pattern of incompetence, which can be seen at all levels:

Now, the school speech was poorly thought out, both in concept and execution. The same can be said of Obama’s recurring unsuccessful attempts over the summer to “reframe the health care reform debate,” and the multiple mis-steps in responding to his Town Hall critics, beginning with the spectacularly inept branding of them as an “angry mob.”…

Friday, September 04, 2009

T Minus One Week

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"Good" News Update

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I swear that if anyone but the god-on-earth were in the White House, the press would be screaming about the jobs issue.


Clunkers (Part 45,973)

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A central belief in Washington and most state capitals nowadays is that government should "invest" in certain businesses—"clean tech," say, or manufacturing—to drive job creation. We hope it all turns out better than it has in Michigan.

For the past 14 years, Lansing politicians have offered $3.3 billion in tax credits through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and spent another $1.6 billion in outlays to create and retain jobs. The subsidies have ranged from tax breaks for Hollywood, to money for new industrial plants, to millions for TV ads starring Jeff Daniels and Tim Allen talking about business and tourism in the state.

It's one of the largest experiments in smokestack chasing in American history, but one thing it hasn't done is create jobs.

The study finds that for every 100 jobs that were promised with these tax credits over 14 years, only 29 arrived. Dare we call this cash for clunkers?

At A Guess

Joe Gandelman of The Moderately Amusing (And Reliably Liberal) Voice pens on political polarization in the US and challenges our imaginations with this toughie:

If Republicans and conservatives make the very legitimacy of
Obama, his patriotism — even the safety of allowing little kids listen
to him tell them to stay in school and think about helping their
community — the issue, and link his name to Hitler and/or Nazism,
precisely how do they think Democrats and the left will respond next
time a GOPer is in power? How will the next Republican President be
treated in terms of legitimacy and doing what he/she feels is in the
best interest of the country?
let's try - I predict wild movies alleging the President is in cahoots with foreign terrorists and domestic criminals, prominent Democrats alleging that the President conspired to kill thousands of Americans, constant linkage of the Republican President with Hitler, and an ongoing denial of his legitimacy.  At a guess.


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As was pointed out: The media sure seems a lot more fascinated by Birthers than Truthers.

From a Nexis search a few moments ago:
Total words about the Van Jones controversy in the New York Times: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy in the Washington Post: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on NBC Nightly News: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on ABC World News: 0.
Total words about the Van Jones controversy on CBS Evening News: 0.

Yes, It's Still A Hellhole

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Default, Not Inflation?

I've assumed that the profligate spending and borrowing planned by the Democrats in Congress and the White House will run up a debt that we and our children just can't pay, so, in the time-honored tradition of banana republics, the Obama administration or its successors will inflate our currency and repay its creditors (China, mostly) in devalued dollars. Thus, I've been buying gold. I've assumed that an actual default by the United States government is unthinkable.

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, however, disagrees. He writes: Why Default on U.S. Treasuries Is Likely. HIs thesis is that times have changed, and it isn't so easy to inflate our way out of debt:

Many predict that...the government will inflate its way out of this future bind, using Federal Reserve monetary expansion to fill the shortfall between outlays and receipts. But I believe, in contrast, that it is far more likely that the United States will be driven to an outright default on Treasury securities

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Remember when the Democrats tried to ram revolutionary changes in the world's best health care system through Congress before the August recess? Which is to say, before anyone noticed? That failed only because of a popular revolt against an ill-considered bill that no one in Congress had actually read.

At The Corner, Stephen Spruiell notes these poll data from Pew:


The point is obvious: where is the crisis? Spruiell sums up the situation so perfectly that all one can do is quote him:

The percentage of respondents citing health care as a major national problem stays flat and low until the Democrats put forward a bill that:

Forces young and healthy people to purchase a product, health insurance, that they don't want; and

Threatens people who are happy with their employer-provided care with being dumped into a government-run plan that the president himself has analogized to the U.S. Postal Service.

Obliterating Wealth

People who traded in inefficient cars for efficient ones will likely drive more and therefore use more gasoline.

Even if carbon emissions are cut by a lot, economist Christopher Knittel says the program will cost more than $365 per ton of carbon saved.

Economist Bruce Yandle points out what a lousy deal that is: "The much celebrated Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade carbon-emission control legislation estimates the cost of reducing a ton of carbon to be $28 when done across U.S. industries. Yes, we are getting carbon-emission reductions by way of clunker reduction, but we are paying a pretty penny for it".

Finally, there is something revolting about the government subsidizing the destruction of useful things. It reminds me of the New Deal policy of killing piglets and pouring milk down sewers to keep food prices from falling.

Leave it to politicians to think we can prosper by obliterating wealth.

Which Obama Did You Vote For?

Daddy O

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For the pre-K to 6th grade group the plan suggests pre-speech questions like: “Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?”

Now that doesn’t tend to border on indoctrination or anything does it? “Obey you young skulls full of mush. Elected officials are good. Listen to them. Question authority? Not till you get to the 7th grade.”

Short readings. Notable quotes excerpted (and posted in large print on board) from President Obama’s speeches about education.
Based on these excerpts, what can we infer the President believes is important to be successful educationally?

Boy, you know what I’d like to tell the President if I was in one of those classes?

Leave our freakin’ kids alone. And don’t ever assume you have either the right or privilege of addressing them about anything ever again without our permission.

he only want’s to be our national daddy

Did I Forget To Mention Death Panels?

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In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the
terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to

Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff
deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and
many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.

But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving,
the experts warn.

As a result the scheme is causing a “national crisis” in patient care, the
letter states. It has been signed palliative care experts including
Professor Peter Millard, Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics, University of
London, Dr Peter Hargreaves, a consultant in Palliative Medicine at St
Luke’s cancer centre in Guildford, and four others.

“As a result a national wave of discontent is building up, as family and
friends witness the denial of fluids and food to patients."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


What unites Democrats and Republicans is an unwillingness to have a serious debate about how big government should be. Spending is the crucial issue, because it determines taxes and deficits. If they become too large, the resulting depressed economy may make paying for government even harder. Ideally, liberals would see that spending needs to be cut substantially; if it isn't, tomorrow's tax increases or deficits will be horrendous. Ideally, conservatives would accept that taxes must ultimately rise; no plausible spending cuts can bridge the gap between government's promises and its tax base.

There is no sign of this. Liberals and conservatives agree to evade. Spending for the elderly dominates the federal budget, but no one discusses who among retirees deserves government subsidies and at what age.

But with deficits swelling, this easy road may soon close. We may learn how much debt is too much.

Even Jon Stewart...

Worse still, the legislation states that the Medicare system will rate a doctor’s “quality” and adjust reimbursement based on the percentage of the doctor’s patients who create living wills and the percentage who adhere to them (p. 432). Paying doctors for consultations is fine. Penalizing them based on their patients’ choices is wrong.

The “adhere to” part is especially dangerous. Some people say “they’d never want to be on a ventilator,” but when the time comes, they choose it over death. Under the House bill, doctors would incur penalties when families don’t adhere to end of life plans — a horrible conflict of interest.

As a patient advocate, I see these difficult situations and know that government should not be involved. As you can see, my concerns are unrelated to and do not mention “death panels.” Your “Words and Meaning” column incorrectly identifies me as a “proponent of the ‘death panels’” interpretation. Even Jon Stewart made it clear I had not made such a claim.

We Are All Mary Jo Now

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The budget reconciliation process remains a cudgel — it’s still the weapon of last resort, and President Obama has told his advisers that he does not want to ask Congress to use the mechanism until it becomes necessary, politically — that is, until the public understands that the popular elements of reform will not pass without using it.

If you think selling the legislative monstrosity Obama – Kennedy – Chappaquiddick Memorial Health Care Insurance Reform Bill is going to be tough, try selling a resistant public with the song and dance that it was necessary to use parliamentary tricks to ram through what couldn’t be passed under normal Congressional rules. I’m sure that’ll impress the heck out of everyone and make them more than willing to support the party in power at the next election.

On Shouting Them Down

A Health Care for America Now (HCAN) organizer is caught on tape outside the meeting instructing supporters on how to shout down opponents who get up to ask a question and how to block them from speaking at Rep. Jan Schakowski's town hall meeting.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Paper Thin Reign

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Politico carries a story today quoting Sen. Chris Dodd saying President Obama needs to “step up” and give Congress “more of a framework to work with on health care reform”.

Or translated into common language that everyone can understand, Dodd is saying it is time for Obama to “step up” and lead.

There’s a problem, however – Obama has never led anything. He’s not a leader although he’s in the ultimate leadership job. His background, as many pointed out ad nauseum during the campaign, isn’t one of leadership. And when he was questioned about that fact, his claimed his successful campaign for the presidency proved his leadership abilities. If that’s not an acknowledgment of a paper thin leadership resume, I don’t know what is.

He’s disconnected, not seeming to understand that it isn’t Congress’s job to read his mind and churn out legislation to match his desires. Instead it is his job to work with Congress to make that happen. He seems to want to reign, not lead.

Astonishing Ignorance

Here is a fun statistic: a pitiful 29 percent of voters think that Congress knows what it's doing when it comes to the economy. The voters are right; the Democratic majority is astonishingly ignorant, not only of economic theory but of basic realities of our business world. The average citizen could do much better. It's about time to turn the rascals out.

Cruelty To The Innocent II

Those who are pushing for legal action against CIA agents may talk about "upholding the law" but they are doing no such thing. Neither the Constitution of the United States nor the Geneva Convention gives rights to terrorists who operate outside the law.

There was a time when everybody understood this. German soldiers who put on American military uniforms, in order to infiltrate American lines during the Battle of the Bulge were simply lined up against a wall and
shot-- and nobody wrung their hands over it. Nor did the U.S. Army try to conceal what they had done. The executions were filmed and the film has been shown on the History Channel.

But bending over backward to be nice to our enemies is one of the many self-indulgences of those who engage in moral preening.

But getting other people killed so that you can feel puffed up about yourself is profoundly immoral. So is betraying the country you took an oath to protect.

Cruelty To The Innocent

Britain's release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi-- the Libyan terrorist whose bomb blew up a plane over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing 270 people-- is galling enough in itself. But it is even more profoundly troubling as a sign of a larger mood that has been growing in the Western democracies in our time.

In ways large and small, domestically and internationally, the West is surrendering on the installment plan to Islamic extremists.

The late Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn put his finger on the problem when he said: "The timid civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles."

He wrote this long before Barack Obama became President of the United States.

The ostensible reason for releasing al-Megrahi was compassion for a man terminally ill. It is ironic that this was said in Scotland, for exactly 250 years ago another Scotsman-- Adam Smith-- said, "Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent."

Maafa 21 Trailer

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Worst Of Both Worlds

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Unnecessary Checks

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As you recall when Honduras invoked its Constitution and kicked out its sitting president for violating it, President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica stepped forward and volunteered to act as an intermediary to help settle the “crisis”.

It was, apparently, only a “crisis” to those outside Honduras and now we’re beginning to understand why. It seems Arias wasn’t at all the honest broker everyone thought he was. Cato@Liberty reports:

President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica has joined the trend in Latin America of calling for a new constitution that would expand executive powers and get rid of “unnecessary checks” on the president’s authority. Although Arias has less than 9 months left in office and can’t run for reelection, his brother and current minister of the presidency — a primer minister of sorts — has openly said he’s interested in running for president in 2014. A new constitution with expanded executive powers would fit him just fine.

Most Transparent Evah Watch

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When Barack Obama signed the stimulus bill, he issued an executive order banning lobbyist contact with government officials on Porkulus spending.  After criticism over the ban, Obama modified the order to demand immediate reporting of all lobbyist contacts with administration officials.  The Washington Post reports that only a handful of contacts have been revealed despite a massive increase in lobbying efforts, which doesn’t add up even in Obama math:

President Obama ordered federal officials to disclose their contacts with lobbyists trying to influence how the government doles out money to jump-start the economy. Yet few such communications have been reported even though lobbyists say they are busier than ever with the multibillion-dollar stimulus. …

If we want to reduce the influence of lobbyists in Washington DC, we have to spend less money and make their rewards more elusive.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Similarly, Gaddafi's open boasting about, for instance, the impending Muslim demographic takeover of Europe, shines with candour in comparison to western essays in political correctness. Like Lenin, Hitler, and every other totalitarian on whom he has modelled himself, Gaddafi long ago realized there was no need to hide his intentions. The "sophistication" of the west is such that if you openly state, "the capitalists will sell us the rope with which we hang them," our diplomatists will go to work explaining this away, while organizing another trade mission.

Gaddafi has had a long life in politics -- 40 years of uninterrupted rule. That he is at least half mad, we knew from the beginning. But you do not need all your wits about you to get what you want from "sophisticated" people. Just having a weapon is enough to make them very obliging, and the oil weapon has proved more than availing, and for more than Gaddafi, through all this time.

Silent Suicide And "Smart" Czars

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Not to put too fine an edge on it, the supreme leader admitted guilt, and opened the door to the prosecution of his entire regime.  He proclaimed the innocence of his enemies and called for the prosecution and punishment of his allies.

It is reminiscent of that moment, thirty years ago, when the shah admitted that his security forces had gone too far, and promised he would crack down on them.  This open confession of weakness inspired Khomeini’s followers, and marked a watershed in the history of the revolution.  From that moment on, the revolutionaries no longer feared the regime, and the shah’s people started to betray him and one another.  There is reason to believe Khamenei’s speech has the same significance.

Afshin Ellian has reported in the Dutch Press that the opposition leaders confronted Khamenei with the evidence of his own criminal activity.
If Obama and his czars were as smart as they think they are, they’d be talking to the future leaders of Iran right now.

Silent Suicide

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In the middle of the night, at 1:30 in the morning of Friday, August 14th, there was a large explosion at the monster petrochemical facility of the Iranian Pars Petrochemical Company in Bandar Assaluyeh.  It is the biggest such plant in Iran, and the second largest in the whole Middle East (second only to one in Saudi Arabia).

The incident was almost certainly an act of sabotage by the regime’s enemies, and the whole story has been spiked.  But the effects can be seen as far away as Tehran.  Due to the chronic shortage of gasoline, many of the city’s 3500 buses and thousands of taxis had been converted to run on LPG.  They were grounded after the attack on Pars
In a break with protocol, Hassan Khomeini, the Ayatollah’s grandson, ostentatiously did not welcome Ahmadinejad and his administration when they visited the Imam Khomeini Shrine.
All this pressure led the supreme leader to make a speech a few days ago that can best be described as a suicide note.

Lots Of Laughter

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JJA:  So they went all out to get to the bottom of the plot against us.  They played Jack Bauer for once.  And it worked.  They were proud, they felt they’d done a really good thing, which they had.

ML:  Haha, I get it…

JJA:  Yes, I see that you do.  So they were punished for the one thing they did well, the interrogations.  And they got slammed by the very people they were avidly helping.

ML:  It’s the same politics as before, actually.  Because the “blame Bushitlercheney” theme is very important to the new administration…

JJA:  Exactly, and the new crowd couldn’t accept the notion that one aspect of the war was done well, and did good.  They had to demonize somebody, that somebody was of course Bush, and the CIA got trapped in the middle, despite its hatred of Bush and fondness for the Democrats.

ML:  And the ultimate irony is that Cheney, their bete noire, is now their most effective defender.

JJA:  Yes, lots of laughter on Cloud Nine.

The "Mandate" II

George W. Bush managed to infuriate the Left in the wake of the 9/11 attacks by pushing through the Patriot Act, engaging in warrantless eavesdropping on Americans and commandeering library records. Obama managed to provoke the Right by spending hundreds of billions of dollars and proposing that the government exert more control over medical care.

That conflicts with our persistent strain of anti-government feeling. Obama's election marked no sudden ebbing of this sentiment: Last December, 52 percent of Americans felt the government was "doing too much that should be left to individuals and business" -- up from 41 percent in October 2001.

In 1998, 61 percent of Americans said they had confidence in the federal government's ability to handle domestic problems. On the eve of the 2008 election, only 48 percent felt that way.

Even amid the worst recession in decades, most have not changed their minds.

The "Mandate"

After the election, then-chairman of the Republican National Committee Mike Duncan noted that the Democratic nominee supported offshore oil drilling, merit pay for teachers, a tax cut for 95 percent of Americans, more troops in Afghanistan and an end to wasteful federal earmarks. "Put simply," he said, "Barack Obama just ran the most successful moderate Republican presidential campaign since Dwight Eisenhower."

The recession that began in December 2007, though scary, never remotely resembled the Great Depression. During last year's campaign, the situation was more like 1952 than 1932, with the electorate sick of war and tired of a party that had dominated the presidency for too long. When Americans elected Eisenhower, they weren't inviting a radical turnabout -- just some modest improvements in the status quo. Likewise with Obama.

But the 44th president apparently thought he had a mandate for the expansion of federal power and responsibility

No, Thank You

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But how is it that so many women unabashedly revere Kennedy today? The particulars of Chappaquiddick are especially gory; his behavior after the accident approaches the amoral. Once he broke free and swam to the surface, Kennedy said that he dove back down seven or eight times to rescue Kopechne. Failing, he swam back to shore and checked back into his hotel, and a short time later lodged a noise complaint with the desk clerk. The people in the room next to his were partying and it was interfering with his sleep. Then he asked the desk clerk for the time.

According to the Aug. 4, 1969 edition of Newsweek, that clerk, Russell E. Peachey, told Kennedy it was 2:25 a.m., then asked, "Is there anything else I can do for you?"

"No, thank you," Kennedy replied.


In 1990, GQ magazine ran a devastating profile of Kennedy. Two 16-year-old girls near the Capitol startled by a limo rolling up, the door opening, Ted sitting in the back with a bottle of wine, asking one, then the other, to join.


You Know, Like "Question Time"

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BALTIMORE SUN: Maybe President Obama should see more C-SPAN. “President Barack Obama has lately taken to depicting the press, especially the cable TV part of it, as a troublesome child. According to him, cable TV never met a “ruckus” it didn’t like, and from time to time, the pundits in the press lose control altogether and get all ‘wee wee’d up.’ . . . I hope someone shows the president at least part of C-SPAN’s coverage Tuesday night. Not just for all the insight into the passions, anger and competing interests on health care that the cameras captured. But also for the way in which C-SPAN showed how balanced, informative, contextualized and even-handed cable TV coverage can sometimes be. Maybe the next time the president dons his media critic cap and speaks about the press and cable TV it will be with some wisdom and nuance — as well as with distinctions made among channels.”

Worse Than That

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"An old guy's wife tells him to go to the butcher shop and get some meat. He goes to the butcher shop and stands in line for hours. Finally the butcher says, "We're out of meat." The old guy blows his top. He yells, "I am a worker! I am a proletarian! I am a veteran of the Great Patriotic War! I have fought for socialism all my life, and now you tell me you're out of meat! What kind of a system is this?! You are fools! You are thieves! . . . " A big man in a trench coat comes up to the old guy and says, "Comrade, Comrade, not so loud. In the old days you know what they would do if you said such things." The big man in the trench coat makes a pistol motion with his hand. He says to the old guy, "Calm down and go home." The old guy shrugs and leaves. He comes back empty-handed, and his wife says, "What's the matter, are they out of meat?" "Worse than that," says the old guy, "they're out of bullets."

An old Russian joke, as told by the one and only PJ O'Rourke.