September 30, 2011
— Open Blogger
Thank God it's Friday!!
Well, well. Ray Nagin is in the news again. It would seem he and about 60 other of his friends took offense of man who put up a sign of Obama In Diapers in front of his house.
A group of about 60 people protested outside a New Orleans home where a man mounted a sign depicting President Barack Obama in a diaper.
The protesters, who included former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, gathered outside Timmy Riley's Calhoun Street home Wednesday to demand the removal of the sign, which they said is disrespectful to Obama and African-Americans in general, WDSU-TV, New Orleans, reported Thursday.
Um, how is it disrespectful to African-Americans? Maybe to Obama himself but not ALL African-Americans. If a black man held a sign up making fun of Bush, was that making fun of all white people? Give me a friggin' break.
"We see it every day. It's a monstrosity, and I can't believe somebody would put it up. But (Riley has) the right to do that, unfortunately," neighbor Veronica Lyons said.
Yeah. Unfortunate that a fellow American has the right to free speech.
— Ace Eh, not bad.
I saw the full interview. Once again, he sounds decent there. He seems to have a real problem in debates.
— Ace I'm taking the week off. Before you say "slacker," I haven't taken off since Christmas/New Years.
I've got some special guest bloggers coming in to cover for me. And the cobloggers will be posting extra.
I will probably show up to fight in the comments, of course.
— Ace One of the chief tics of Obama's speaking style is a technique I call lying.
He likes to say things that will please the public, and demonstrate to them he is looking for a middle path.
But after the speech is over, he does not follow through on the promise.
Well, I agree that we cant afford wasteful spending, and Ill work with you, with Congress, to root it out. And I agree that there are some rules and regulations that do put an unnecessary burden on businesses at a time when they can least afford it. (Applause.) Thats why I ordered a review of all government regulations. So far, weve identified over 500 reforms, which will save billions of dollars over the next few years. (Applause.) We should have no more regulation than the health, safety and security of the American people require. Every rule should meet that common-sense test. (Applause.)
Darrell Issa released a report blasting regulatory fever.
He should call up Obama. This Obama chap seems very, very interested indeed in cutting unnecessary regulations, and wasteful spending too!
— Ace Video.
Hm, I wonder how we might have become soft. Peter Kirasow:
There is a soft America and a tough America; a dependent America and an independent America; an entitlement America and a productive America. Which policies are more likely to produce a soft, dependent, and entitlement society? Which ones are more likely to produce a tough, independent, and productive society? The president seems blissfully unaware.
The Obama brand of liberalism not only is likely to contribute to a softer America, but a soft-headed America as well. We condemn tea-partiers and veterans as racists and potential terrorists but we release actual terrorists from Guantanamo because the evident cruelties of that country-club facility are too terrible to bear. We demonize the hard-won, self-made success of risk-takers, but shovel millions of their hard-earned dollars to prop up the uncompetitive but politically correct enterprises of the well-connected. Government policies proliferate that punish effort, risk, and success but reward sloth, identity, and failure.
Soft America eschews absolutes, derides standards, ridicules heroes, and scoffs at virtue.
I wonder where America could have lost its competitive edge. It couldnt possibly have anything to do with a government that blows billions on green energy boondoggles while making it harder to drill for oil while trying to make electricity rates skyrocket. It couldnt have to do with extending unemployment benefits to 99 weeks (and rising), or to bailouts or perhaps advice like this offered by Michelle Obama:
We left corporate America, which is a lot of what were asking young people to do, she tells the women. Dont go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and were encouraging our young people to do that. But if you make that choice, as we did, to move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry, then your salaries respond. Faced with that reality, she adds, many of our bright stars are going into corporate law or hedge-fund management.
Or maybe it has something to do with the influence of tough leaders like Nancy Pelosi who said Obamacare was a jobs bill because:
Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.
Thank goodness we have Obamacare now so we can compete with the Chinese at photography.
So, it appears the good Doctor Obama has succeeded in spotting the symptoms, but failed abysmally in diagnosing the reasons for his patient's ailing condition.
Hint: He'd breathe better, doctor, if your foot wasn't pressing quite so hard on his throat, and he might show more energy and activity if you weren't keeping him prisoner in a padded room.
— Ace Let's not start flicking each other's Bics just yet...
— Ace Well... fine I guess.
Was he waiting on Palin's decision?
Speaking of Huckabee running for President, Christie may, or may not, decide to run, or not run, this weekend.
His father, brother, and wife are all said to be... in favor of him running.
— Ace NBC's Today show just can't believe how wonderful that is.
Look, it's true -- she's perfectly normal, just plain folks like me!
And look, wow! Just like me, she uses those big plastic red carts at Target! Why, she must share my values!
And exactly like me, apparently AP gets notified in advance of her Target shopping trips so they can document it!
Wait, what? Professional AP photographers aren't on hand to take pictures of me at my Target runs.
AP photographer Charles Dharapak told CBS News he took pictures of the first lady at the Target on Route 1 in Alexandria, Virginia.
The first lady's office confirmed that the pictures showed Mrs. Obama, though it did not immediately respond when asked if it tipped off Dharapak.
— Ace At Instapundit. I didn't know about this until Monty tipped it.
Now, I did read this was a big field, but I didn't know it was already producing so much, or that it was expected to produce even more.
Two years ago, America was importing about two thirds of its oil. Today, according to the Energy Information Administration, it imports less than half. And by 2017, investment bank Goldman Sachs predicts the US could be poised to pass Saudi Arabia and overtake Russia as the world's largest oil producer.
Places like Williston are the reason why.
"For many years, they knew that there was oil in that area, but the technology wasn't available to get it out," the town's mayor, Ward Koeser, tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.
But in the last few years, advances in such technologies as "fracking" and horizontal drilling have made, by some estimates, as much as 11 billion barrels of oil available in the Bakken formation under North Dakota and Montana.
"There's oil companies coming from all over the country now." Koeser says.
Williston has skipped the recession entirely. Unemployment there is less than 2 percent. The population, the mayor estimates, has grown from 12,000 to 20,000 in the last four years.
"We actually have probably between 2,000 and 3,000 job openings in Williston right now," Koeser says.
Now, add ANWR and the California coast into the mix. Things start to look a little more hopeful.
But Note: Warren points out:
I suspect that a good part of this is related to lower demand due to a weakened economy. And you thought that Obama's economic policies weren't accomplishing anything.
Yes, that's true, energy demand falls in recessions and depressions, so we'd have less need of foreign crude. But still, 66% to 50% is a big drop-off that can't (I don't think) be explained away by idled resources.
There's A Point When You've Scored Enough Points*
— andy 11 year-old Demias Jimerson is learning a valuable lesson in "fairness" this football season.
"He is going to score almost every time he touches the ball," said Wilson Intermediate School Principal Terri Bryant.
And because of the injustice ... an outrage, really ... of having a player on the team who so outshines his peers, the Wilson Intermediate Football League is invoking something called the "Madre Hill Rule"
Once Hill scored three touchdowns, if his team had a 14-point lead, officials banned him from scoring any more touchdowns.
I grew up in Georgia in the '70s and remember when Herschel Walker ran roughshod over any opponent that faced him. He racked up over 3,000 yards rushing in his senior year alone on the way to a state championship. No one, to my recollection, ever talked about how awful it was that Herschel kicked so much ass. No, the talk was about what could be done (wink, nod) to get him to commit to play for [insert favorite NCAA Division I team here]. My, how times have changed.
The Madre Hill Rule is, in effect, a 100% marginal tax rate on touchdowns. I'm surprised the district didn't update it for the Age of Obama™ and let Jimerson score but then redistribute some of his points to the other team. A Jimerson surtax, if you will.
To run with this idea a little more (and ignoring PAT's), if the redistribution was, say, 5 points for his own team and 1 point for the other team, I'm sure the coach would let him keep scoring. 4 to 2? Maybe.
But once it got to parity, the coach would be telling him to run as hard as he can to the one yard line and then go out of bounds or down the ball so he could take three cracks at the goal line with a kid that could get him the full 6 point advantage over the other team. The league would immediately begin referring to this as the Jimerson loophole and then institute even more cockeyed rules that had the effect of keeping the kid on the sidelines or off the playing field entirely. Hmmm ... seems familiar somehow.
And why? All in the name of "fairness", that's why. Too much trouble to ask other teams to rise to the challenge and design a defense to stop him, I guess. Nope, it's just not fair that he's so good, so we have to erect roadblocks in his path.
And this prepares the other kids for life in the real world, where there's always someone bigger, faster, stronger, smarter or better in some way how again? Answer: it doesn't but the primary goal of our education system is keeping teachers and administrators employed so shut up.
Master Jimerson appears to be a fine young man who's taking all this in stride, though:
"I'm gonna run hard and bring our team to victory," said Jimerson. Then he added, "but God always comes first, before anything, and grades second."
I hope he continues to score every time he touches the ball despite this dumb rule. And if he should happen to see this post, there's an inspirational video tucked below the fold that I hope he keeps in mind when he's picking colleges in a few years.
*Excellent alternate title suggested by Soothsayer in the comments more...
— Ace This Saturday Night Live parody ad spoofed the unmissable hand-jay action of the Shakeweight. The parody was not at all far from the real thing.
Can America rise to the challenge of making an exercise device that's even suggestive of manual stimulation?
Nay. We much.
— Ace Update: Video at RCP, via Jammie Wearing Fool.
On CNBC, Warren Buffett says he disagrees with the Buffett Rule and refuses to endorse the American Jobs Act.
Warren Buffett provides critical support to Obama. He's a billionaire and a legendary investor, so he's presumed to know what he's talking about with regard to capitalism and economics.
He's a one-man Sweden. Sweden was always used as the example of the "country where socialism worked." A leftist could always cite "Sweden" as evidence his daffy policies could work.
Buffett seemed to be working with Obama on this whole Buffett Rule crap. It was Buffett who announced he pays a lower rate in taxes than his secretary, thus giving Obama the perfect real-world (supposedly) pretext for his Tax the Rich proposal.
But now he says he "disagrees" with the Buffet Rule, and won't endorse this super-critical "jobs" bill?
I have to note that I am psychic. Yesterday I was wondering if Buffett would retract support from Obama. I'm not sure why I wondered about that.
Now I know: Because I received psychic emanations from the future via the Astral Plane.
Two theories on this:
From @drewm, Warren Buffet just joined the KKK.
From @keder, Warren Buffet just got injected with Gardasil.
Oh and then my theory: I think... I think I actually psychically willed this to happen. I guess I was in some kind of DreamScape where I could... alter the future in my dreams.
Pretty sure it's that last one.
— Ace As her self-imposed September decision deadline fast approaches, Palin says she won't be deciding, at least not in the next 24 hours.
This is a serious decision, and Ive engaged in serious deliberations. So within the next 24 hours dont look for me to make a decision, she said, according to excerpts of an interview on Fox Business Network set to air tonight.
Last week her PAC sent out fundraising letters stating that she's on the "verge" of making a decision.
The letter was written on Sept. 20 by Tim Crawford, the Treasurer of Palin's political fundraising committee, SarahPAC.
"As you may know, Gov. Palin is on the verge of making her decision of whether or not to run for office," Crawford writes. "It's one of the most difficult and important decisions of her life."
But apparently she wasn't as close to a decision as that letter suggested.
She actually telegraphed this on Hannity's tv show last week, in which, to a question by Hannity, she indicated that November was the new October. Or possibly even later.
he former Alaska governor appeared on Sean Hannitys Fox News show on Tuesday, where she hinted ever so slightly that the current "unconventional" political landscape may allow for a later entry. (At the least, she has already proved that the current landscape has allowed would-be candidates to drag out their decisions much longer than one would expect.)
Here was her response to Hannitys first question about whether she was ready to jump in the race: "There is still time, Sean, and I think on both sides of the aisle youre going to see people coming and going in this race. And Im still one of those still considering the time factor."
Hannity responded by saying that Palin would need to decide by November in order to make it onto state ballots across the country, to which the former Alaska governor agreed. Kind of.
"You do, I mean legally you do because you have to start getting your ducks lined up to have your name on these ballots," she said. "But I do think, Sean, this is going to be such an unconventional election cycle because this has been such an unconventional administration that we are fighting so hard."
Whether the election will be "unconventional" or not, state election officials will probably take a very conventional approach to the subject of filing deadlines.
I'm not sure Palin actually intended to suggest she might skip the Florida primary (October 31st filing deadline) or was just speaking broadly. If she is considering skipping a crucial primary, then that might suggest she's considering running third party (as some of her most recent soundbites also suggest).
If she does, I really, sincerely hope that almost none of her supporters continue following her into that Hell. That would be gift-wrapping the election for "Mr. Obama there," as he's sometimes called.
There are a couple of theories on the reason for the delay. The first is the one favored by a lot of the people who are no longer fond of her -- she's continuing the tease, without any real intent to jump into the race, in order to keep her "relevance" and brand power. The moment she says no, she's just a political commentator with a large-ish audience, but she loses that which makes her truly important, the notion that she might do more than comment on policy. This theory casts her as self-serving and attention-needing.
Another theory, which I prefer, is that she feels she owes her supporters (who have cash-money supported her for years) the candidacy they have their hopes staked on, but doubts that such a run would be successful. So she has a bad decision ahead of her -- announce a candidacy which she would probably lose, or disappoint he supporters, who she doesn't wish to support. Given a bad decision on the horizon, she does what most people do-- she delays it.
The other theory, which I include for completeness, is that she's playing a game of 4th dimensional chess and every decision she makes is supremely well-calculated to put her in the optimal position to win the nomination and the White House. I include this because it seems very popular among her supporters.
There is some truth in it -- by avoiding the debates, she's allowed a chief rival on the right of the party to lose a great deal of his momentum, thus possibly clearing her path by doing exactly nothing.
On the other hand, she doesn't seem to be using this time outside the race to do any of the preparations necessary (or at least extremely helpful) for joining it. She seems to be doing the same basic schtick she's been doing for three years.
— DrewM Islam is all about peace and tolerance. Unless.....
For the first time in 20 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has issued a formal death sentence for a Christian. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, leader of the Church of Iran denomination in Rasht, was arrested in October 2009 while seeking to register his church. He has been on death row since being found guilty of apostasy, conversion from Islam, in September 2010.
Pastor Nadarkhanis appeal came to a conclusion on Wednesday, September 28. Iran's Supreme Court had refused to overturn his death sentence, referring his case back to local judges in Rasht to decide whether Nadarkhani had been a practising Muslim before converting to Christianity, something which Nadarkhani denied. Judges in Rasht ruled that although Nadarkhani had not been a practising Muslim, his Islamic heritage made him guilty of apostasy.
Although apostasy does not carry a formal death penalty under Irans penal code, judges in Rasht were able to use the supremacy of Islamic jurisprudence in Irans constitution to sue for the death sentence based on religious fatwas, or Islamic rulings, by leading Ayatollahs.
The silence from various quarters is deafening.
Remember when some crackpot pastor in Florida wanted to burn a koran? The world was outraged. Outraged! Apparently it's a big deal if you burn a book but not such a big deal if you appeal to that same book to kill a man because he doesn't believe in what's written in that book.
Or how about the Mohamed cartoons? The so-called "Muslim street" exploded (some what surprisingly, not literally for the most part) in protest. Where are those people now? Shouldn't Muslims around the world be in the streets of the Mideast and Euripoe protesting that this is not what their faith commands?
The same Muslims who demand that the west respect them and their faith damn well better get out there and demand in the same terms that their co-coreligionists not defame their faith with this barbarism. Otherwise we are left to conclude that their faith actually does demand this barbarism.
Mind you, I don't think every Muslim is answerable for this. Far from it. But non-Muslims aren't going to be the ones to bring Islam into modernity. It's going to have to be Muslims themselves. Keeping quiet doesn't serve any purpose and only causes non-Muslims to look at their religion with more than a small degree of distrust and disgust.
And let's be honest, it's not just the nutters in Iran who consider death the appropriate penalty for this "crime".
All that's missing are warnings that there better not be any backlash against Muslims.
— Gabriel Malor Two court losses for the Obama Administration should be on your radar.
First, a federal district court in Alabama upheld major portions of that state's new immigration law, often referred to as "the Arizona law on steroids." Portions of the law went into effect yesterday, including provisions that require immigration status checks of public school students, that allow police to investigate and hold suspected illegal immigrants without bond, and that make it a felony for an illegal immigrant to do business with the state.
This was a big departure from the Arizona district court's treatment of the Arizona law. The issue of how much involvement the states can have in immigration matters is absolutely on its way back to the Supreme Court.
Second, a federal district court in California rejected the Obama Administration's contention that the provisions of DOMA are subject to heightened scrutiny in the context of immigration law. The court credited the argument by the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (that took over from DOJ when Obama made his decision not to defend DOMA this summer) that the lawsuit is foreclosed by a 1982 decision. That 1982 decision upheld an immigration official's ruling that the individuals in question "ha[d] failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots."
DOMA sec. 2, which creates a federal definition of marriage is also on its way to the Supreme Court.
— Gabriel Malor Seems pretty confirmed now: even U.S. officials are saying they have "high confidence" that radical Islamic cleric al-Awlaki has been killed:
U.S. officials consider him a most-wanted terror suspect, and added his name last year to the kill or capture list - making him a rare American addition to what is effectively a U.S. government hit-list.
A statement from Yemen's foreign press office said the al Qaeda suspect "was targeted and killed 8 KM (about 5 miles) from the town of Khashef in the Province of Jawf, 140KM (about 80 miles) east of the Capital Sana'a."
There have been previous reports claiming al-Awlaki's death which turned out to be erroneous.
Al-Arabiya television network cited local tribal sources as saying suspected U.S. drone aircraft - which are known to operate in Yemen - fired two missiles Friday at a convoy of vehicles believed to be carrying al-Awlaki and his guards.
A very good start to the weekend, I think.
Al-Awlaki met personally with two of the 9/11 hijackers and his sermons were attended by three of them. Nidal Hasan was also one of his pupils and al-Awlaki corresponded with Hasan in the months before the Ft. Hood attack. The Christmas Day Bomber, Umar Abdulmutallab, says al-Awlaki was one of his trainers. The cargo plane bomb plot in October 2010, in which PETN explosives were sent from Yemen to Chicago was allegedly masterminded by al-Awlaki. His online sermons inspired other attacks in both the UK and the U.S.
Al-Awlaki's father, along with the ACLU, filed suit to get al-Awlaki off the CIA's Kill on Sight list. According to his father, al-Awlaki is just "misunderstood." I'd say the case is moot.
— Gabriel Malor FRIDAY!!! more...
September 29, 2011
— Open Blogger
Ah yes, the evolution of a Liberal. Scary.
Evenin' all. It's time for the ONT.
This was a pretty good read last night. Chicks With Guns.
Pop quiz: Name one accessory that grandmothers, moms, girls, wealthy socialites, middle-class females and low-income women might be likely to own and cherish all across America.
If you answered a gun, youd be correct.
Based on polling research and gun-sale statistics, an estimated 15 million to 20 million women in the United States own their own firearms.
I can't believe Pamela (picture #7 in the slideshow) has a .454 Casull. That's some heavy duty firepower there. more...
— Dave in Texas But, uh, we can work on it. In a month or so.
I suppose this is progress. Now not only does Obama have to worry about taking his message to the people to persuade them to embrace his agenda, he also has to worry about persuading the Democrat majority in the Senate. And get them to embrace it too.
Which they, uhm, aren't doing.
This is the thing that confuses me about bullshit legislative proposals that have no meaning except to act like you're doing something because you're tanking in the polls: Don't you need your party, who still hold a majority in the Senate, to kinda act like they'll go along with this? Wouldn't that be kind of a big deal? I mean, to look serious and all.
Hey, President Jobs. Durbin and Reid have been dragging their feet, hemming and hawing, futzing around for weeks while you went out there, did your road trips and speeches and town halls, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but they didn't do shit for you man. They ain't doin shit for you now. You've been yelling "pass this bill" at anyone who's within earshot. Including Senate Democrats, who were certainly within earshot.
They ain't passin your bill. You're favorability rating among Senate Democrats is down to like, 37%.
You mad, bro?
— Ace On that last point: Biden claims this "jobs bill" (PS, pass this jobs bill now) is so smokin'-hot we'd want it even with a 3% unemployment rate and 8% growth rate.
Boooyah! That's how amazing it is.
Look, we should be doing all of this stuff even if we were growing by 8%, even if there was a 3% unemployment rate in America, Biden said at an event on Thursday to promote the legislation. We need better roads, we need better bridges, we need safer streets.
We need to be in a position where our kids are in classrooms where theres enough qualified teachers, where they are in fact in classes where they are safe, Biden said.
Here's my offer: Tell me how many bridges the last stimulus bought, and maybe I'll support this "jobs bill."
How many bridges, Sheriff? I don't seem to remember any bridge starts in the news.
Is it zero bridges, Sheriff? I think it's zero bridges.
But now we're going to start building bridges, huh?
On the other point, Biden confesses -- rather stupidly, even if honestly --that he and Marshal Obama own the economy.
"Even though 50-some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration, that's not relevant," Biden said in an interview with local Florida radio station WLRN on Thursday. "What's relevant is we're in charge. And right now, we are the ones in charge and it's gotten better but it hasn't gotten good enough and in states like Florida it's become even more stagnant because of the real estate market."
Biden said the upcoming presidential elections would be a referendum on himself, President Obama, and the economy.
"Right now, understandably, totally legitimate, this is a referendum on Obama and Biden and the nature of the state of the economy," Biden said. "It's soon going to be a choice."
It will indeed. The Administration is counting on the idea that this will be a "choice" election (one ideology versus another) rather than a "referendum" election (grading the current office holder pass/fail -- obviously, SCOAMF fails, and rather miserably).
That's what accounts for this blizzard of not-going-to-pass class warfare resentment "proposals." Obama loses on the "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" question, so he wants to change the question to anything else. One question he'd like to change it to is "Who'll raise taxes on the rich?," on which point I suppose he "wins" (though raising taxes on the rich isn't as popular as the Democrats seem to think it is).
Meanwhile, see Allah's mention of the narrowing of the split between voters who blame Bush for the current economy compared to those who blame Obama.
It's actually pretty close, particularly among the only group that really counts -- Independents.
Update: Audio of Biden's remarks on owning the economy was just released.
Maybe he was joking.
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