Monday, November 30, 2009

The fat lady isn't singing yet...

...but she's getting warmed up.

It appears that the whole miserable Honduras affair, the response upon which the administration completely gooned-up is one step closer to a peaceful and democratic resolution. Archived posts, here.

A conservative rancher named Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo took the Honduran presidency in elections Sunday, five months after the country's last elected president was forced out of the country at gunpoint. Now Hondurans must wait to see if the international community, which has been divided over the crisis, accepts the winner as legitimate.

The results gave Mr. Lobo 56% of the vote, well ahead of Liberal Party candidate Elvin Santos at 38%, confirming voters' expected punishment of the Liberals -- party of both the deposed president and the interim government that ousted him.

While the small Central American nation is expected to get crucial support from the U.S., it will likely continue to face opposition from regional heavyweights such as Brazil and Argentina. The U.S., in agreeing to accept the winner, is now in a delicate position -- with Brazil, for example, which is housing exiled leader Manuel Zelaya in its Honduran embassy and recognizes him as president.

That our country finds itself “in a delicate position” with matters regarding a relatively peaceful election in a small democracy trying its damdest to get into the 21st century democracies-in-good-standing club speaks volumes to just how wrong we were on this one.

The margin of victory and anecdotal exit interviews suggest that not only was this a stinging rebuke of Manuel Zelaya, the deposed former President who attempted a constitutional end-around in order to get himself set up as President-for-life, and his Liberal Party but possibly of those foreign countries like Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela and the U.S. who felt compelled to inject its influence into affairs of which it had no business.

Absent any evidence of voter fraud or intimidation, any of which appears to be cast at Zelaya supporters (Zelaya was not on the ballot), the U.S. should immediately recognize the legitimacy of Lobo’s victory in order to better assure a peaceful transfer of power in January.

More impressive acts of faith

Hey, do you remember when they told us that if we voted for McCain it would mean a continuation of religion and of agenda-driven moral certitude holding sway over facts, reason and science? Well, they were right.

The high-priestess in the Obama administration’s faith-based global warming cabal, Carol Browner, can't be bothered with these silly hacked emails and the deletion of the East Anglia Climate Research Unit’s original raw data.

Also ignoring this scandal is our very own president, who announced last Wednesday that he will attend the long-anticipated, high-stakes global climate summit in Copenhagen. Obama's climate czar, Carol Browner, announced on the very same day that global warming science is "settled.' No need to even address those pesky e-mails that purport to show differently.

"I'm sticking with the 2,500 scientists. These people have been studying this issue for a very long time and agree this problem is real," said Ms. Browner. The 2,500 hundred scientists, by the way, are comprised mainly of United Nations bureaucrats who have a vested interest in the massive wealth re-distribution that they suggest as a solution to this non-crisis.

It should be noted that Browner, who received her B.A. in English and law degree from the University of Florida is perfectly suited to make these pronouncements from within the Obama administration.

So, it's on to Copenhagen where we can at least take some degree of perverse back-handed comfort that it will be all about politics and not about science and the worst that will come of it is some more non-binding commitments and toothless resolutions that these climate conferences usually produce.

Oh, and just in time for Christmas, Pajamas Media has a complete Climategate Document Database and Facebook Climategate group sign-up link, here. Weeeeeee!!!!!

Great moments in the history of statism Pt. VI

The United States has the best health care in the world — but because of its inefficiencies, also the most expensive. The fundamental problem with the 2,074-page Senate health-care bill (as with its 2,014-page House counterpart) is that it wildly compounds the complexity by adding hundreds of new provisions, regulations, mandates, committees, and other arbitrary bureaucratic inventions.

Worse, they are packed into a monstrous package without any regard to each other. The only thing linking these changes — such as the 118 new boards, commissions, and programs — is political expediency. Each must be able to garner just enough votes to pass. There is not even a pretense of a unifying vision or conceptual harmony.

That from Charles Krauthammer.

So, what about some of those inefficiencies? Here’s an email we got from Pops last week.

Our neighbor lady has a severe bladder problem which requires 6 weeks of daily IVs which can easily be administered by a visiting nurse at a cost of about $100 per day.

Oops, MediCare does not cover visiting nurses. But no problem - the lady can go to the hospital daily, hop into a bed for an hour, be serviced lunch and have her IV treatment. Cost: $1300 per day. $1300 x 7 x 6 =$54,600. Don’t you love it?

$54,600 vs. $4,200 to be exact.

Obamacare is essentially an gargantuan expansion of Medicare so how is then, that costs will be controlled with greater involvement of the government into your healthcare?

Unless the government starts intervening into personal healthcare decisions which they are poised to do, costs in Obamacare cannot be controlled. As the example above amply illustrates, it’s really as simple as that.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Re-thinking the definition of "scientist"

The hits for the faith-based global warming crowd… they just keep on coming.

Damn, it’s going to take every fiber of self-restraint to keep from going full-tilt gloat on this.

No wonder our friends at East Anglia CRU (Climate Research Unit) have been so willing to (now) comply with Freedom of Information requests for their data – because it no longer exists.

SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.
It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.

We're not even scientists and we fully realize the perfidy of not maintaining original raw data.

Now were supposed to take the “scientists” word for it that the adjusted data was done without any malice, forethought or with respect to the advancement of any agenda? Fat chance.

Time to shut down Copenhagen. Time to stick a fork in cap and trade. Game over, you faith-based losers.

H/T: Hot Air and The Scratching Post

Fun with numbers

Today has been brought to by the numbers 135 and 312.

135 rhymes with the amount of money in billions that the federal government took in revenue for the month of October.

And 312 rhymes with amount of money in billions that same federal government spent in the month of October.

Having fun with that Hope and Change?

H/T: Chris Reed

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Big Media and Climategate

Article here in L.A. Times recounts how President Obama plans to attend the Copenhagen climate conference next month in hope of securing some meaningful commitments regarding reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Here’s how they describe the challenges the President faces:

Obama's attendance carries political risks at home, where his energy and climate bill has bogged down in the Senate behind health care. Republicans in particular are mindful of Obama's trip to Copenhagen earlier this year, when he lobbied unsuccessfully for Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Whaaa…? How it is that an article that addresses the hurdles facing the President to push through a climate change bill while not mentioning Climategate, which is certainly shaping up as the greatest scandal in the science field’s history, is unbelievable.

The New York Times reporting the same day on the same trip also fails to make any mention of Climategate. The New York Times’ enviro-blogger, Andrew Revkin, perhaps helps explain the Old Gray Lady’s refusal to engage in such inconveniences by stating that the emails were illegally obtained:

The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.

Were the Times so fair-minded and judicious when it comes to matters of national security. But perhaps we are comparing apples to oranges as the Times extends exceptions for leakage on their pages to personal emails.

Unfortunately, the Times cannot even make that rationalization as they were only to willing to post screen shots of Sarah Palin’s hacked email Inbox last September during the presidential campaign.

If the political reality (read: coal dependent states) wasn’t enough to put the lid on the coffin of cap and trade legislation then Climategate probably nailed it shut – not that you would know any of that from Big Media who simply refuse to change in the face of their continuing death spiral.

H/T: NRO's Media Blog

P.S. KT has been all over the implications of, as he calls it, ClimaQuiddick and the faith-based AGW crowd. Click and scroll, baby, click and scroll.

College football open thread: Rivalry Week Pt. II

Ironically enough, this year’s L.A. city championship probably means more precisely because there is not nearly as much at stake. Previously, during the Pete Carroll era at USC, the storyline of the matchup between the two cross-town rivals has usually been “what are the chances of a mediocre (or worse) UCLA Bruin squad upsetting USC’s BCS applecart?” (And with a lone exception 3 years ago, those chances have turned out to be nil as USC has rolled to a collective 337-155 score over the last 10 years with Carroll coaching in the last 8).

Now that a trip to exotic and far-flung bowl destinations like El Paso are in the offing for a 7-3 (#20) USC, the game on Sunday is looking to be more of a bowl game than whatever middling bowl game USC will actually go to.

Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times penned perhaps one of the most (in)famous columns in L.A. sports history back in October 2001 and one which will live in the lore of this rivalry forever. In the article, he declared L.A. a Bruin football town while UCLA was riding high in the polls, 6-0 at the time and coming off a few top-10 finishes in the previous seasons and USC was muddling through a 6-6 season in Pete Carroll’s first campaign.

We would say, “as legend has it” but there was nothing legendary or to be recalled from gauzy memory about the fact that at precisely the moment Plaschke’s column hit the streets, the fortunes of the two programs reversed and have continued to head in the same generally divergent directions since that time.

The same Bill Plaschke offers up some qualified optimism on behalf of the Bruins against the Trojans, here.

OK. On to the other games. Our fervently wished-for BCS Armageddon has been dealt a couple of serious blows thus far this weekend as Texas A&M blew a couple of different opportunities to fell #3 Texas, losing 49-39 on Thanksgiving night and Auburn was unable to hold off #2 Alabama, 26-21 yesterday in the Iron Bowl. Before the SEC and Big 12 championship games, then, we are left with the dim prospects of Florida St. upsetting (#1) Florida later today.

A bunch of other in-state rivalry games including Bedlam (Oklahoma St. at Oklahoma), Clemson at South Carolina and one of our favorites, the Holy War as the Utes of Utah (#21) go on the road to Provo to take on the BYU Cougars (#19).

And after Notre Dame's game at Stanford, you won't have Charlie Weis to kick around anymore so get your licks in now. Brian Kelly, are ready for your close-up?

There’s a lot going on that we want to get to but if we don’t check back in, please enjoy the rest of your college football Saturday.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Radio KBwD is on the air

We hope everyone is properly digested out there and ready to continue the left-over feasting that helps make Thanksgiving what it is.

Despite the psychedelic and acid-infused iconic nature of this band, they were really just pickers and grinners at heart.

Ladies and Gentlemen, from Northern California via Bill Monroe’s knee, it’s the Grateful Dead performing Merle Haggards “Mama Tried” in this suspiciously fine-sounding performance on the campus of Duke Uniiversity some 30 years ago.

Quote of the day

Hey, do you remember when they told us that if we voted for McCain it would be at least four more years of the obstinance, bull-headedness and moral certitude of the Bush regime? Well, they were right.

“We may be wrong but the point is, we believe in what we are doing.”

That from porkulus fall-guy, Joey B., responding to charges that his boss may be trying to do too much, especially with respect to health care and the economy. These remarks were made in Philadelphia at a gathering for something called the Committee of Seventy. What the heck is a Committee of Seventy? Read on.

Gov. Rendell and Mayor Nutter praised Biden and the administration's economic-stimulus program. Rendell said that $2.6 billion prevented deep cuts in state programs and layoffs for 10,000 to 15,000 employees. Nutter touted a $30 million federal grant unveiled yesterday to help pay contractors to make houses in the city more energy efficient.

The fundraiser, a breakfast in the ballroom of the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, brought in between $350,000 and $400,000 for the Committee of Seventy, a good-government watchdog group now expanding its role beyond elections to larger issues such as ethics and transparency.

Sometimes the irony is so rich, any commentary is redundant. This would be one of those times.

Thanksgiving: the back story

We wanted to run with this yesterday but did not want to be accused of politicizing a national holiday or anything.

So, we all know that the Indians saved the Pilgrims’ bacon by teaching them how to fish and grow crops, right? Certainly, the Indians hooked up the Pilgrims in this manner but the story goes beyond that and is perhaps something of which you may not have been previously aware.

Many people believe that after suffering through a severe winter, the Pilgrims’ food shortages were resolved the following spring when the Native Americans taught them to plant corn and a Thanksgiving celebration resulted. In fact, the pilgrims continued to face chronic food shortages for three years until the harvest of 1623. Bad weather or lack of farming knowledge did not cause the pilgrims’ shortages. Bad economic incentives did.

In 1620 Plymouth Plantation was founded with a system of communal property rights. Food and supplies were held in common and then distributed based on equality and need as determined by Plantation officials. People received the same rations whether or not they contributed to producing the food, and residents were forbidden from producing their own food.

Governor William Bradford, in his 1647 history, Of Plymouth Plantation, wrote that this system was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. The problem was that young men, that were most able and fit for labour, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. Because of the poor incentives, little food was produced.

Faced with potential starvation in the spring of 1623, the colony decided to implement a new economic system. Every family was assigned a private parcel of land. They could then keep all they grew for themselves, but now they alone were responsible for feeding themselves. While not a complete private property system, the move away from communal ownership had dramatic results.

This change, Bradford wrote, had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. Giving people economic incentives changed their behavior. Once the new system of property rights was in place, the women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability.

Once the Pilgrims in the Plymouth Plantation abandoned their communal economic system and adopted one with greater individual property rights, they never again faced the starvation and food shortages of the first three years. It was only after allowing greater property rights that they could feast without worrying that famine was just around the corner.

Girded by property rights, capitalism and the free market, mankind's indomitable will to innovate and achieve in a free society was unleashed on this continent and we would love to sit here and tell you “…and this country never looked back.”

Now that you will soon be paying for our healthcare, we believe we will help ourselves to some more leftovers.

H/T: The Volokh Conspiracy

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009: An American Holiday (UPDATED)

Quote of the day:

“There’s no better place on Earth to be on Thanksgiving Day than here. This is as American as it gets.”

That from General David Petraeus who is spending his Thanksgiving with the sailors and Marines aboard the San Diego-based USS Nimitz in the Gulf of Oman.

Go on over to B-Daddy’s for some original perspective on this Holiday, here.

Just a few quick words on Thanksgiving: We used to be huge on Christmas – still are but for various reasons, Thanksgiving has overtaken Christmas in our holiday power rankings.

For all that is good and righteous about Christmas, the “holiday season” starts shortly after Halloween and extends past New Year’s and until seemingly the last college bowl game is played. We can be forgiven then if we cop to a bit of Christmas or holiday season fatigue. It’s hard to keep your game face on for roughly 1/6th of the calendar year.

And just what is it about Thanksgiving? Is it the uniquely American nature of this formerly New England-centric holiday? Is it the football? Is it the food, family and fellowship? Is it the fact that, contrary to the rest of the “holiday season” we are allegedly in the middle of, Thanksgiving is focused on one day but then spread-out like the awesome left-overs it delivers over a long weekend? It’s probably all of the above and having said that we want to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving. God bless.

Oh, and take Detroit getting 10-1/2 at home against the Packers.

(UPDATE #1): The President got off some pretty funny one-liners at the annual White House turkey pardon yesterday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Google vs. Google

Is it possible that Google may employ some bigots or even (gasp)… conservatives?

Google is doing some explaining as to why offensive images popped up as a result of searches for Michelle Obama and Jews.

Google is running advertisements to explain the appearance of racist and anti-Semitic material in search results, including a picture which depicts US First Lady Michelle Obama as a monkey.

"Sometimes Google search results from the internet can include disturbing content, even from innocuous queries," the Mountain View, California-based search giant said in an ad signed "The Google Team".

"We assure you that the views expressed by such sites are not in any way endorsed by Google," Google said.

Their rationale for how these images could have been generated?

"A site's ranking in Google's search results relies heavily on computer algorithms using thousands of factors to calculate a page's relevance to a given query," it said.

"Sometimes subtleties of language cause anomalies to appear that cannot be predicted," Google said.

(italics, ours)

Oh, really?

That’s not necessarily the tune they were singing back in December of 2008 when we blogged about some very curious image results we were getting from the search engine.

Google this week admitted that its staff will pick and choose what appears in its search results. It's a historic statement - and nobody has yet grasped its significance.

Not so very long ago, Google disclaimed responsibility for its search results by explaining that these were chosen by a computer algorithm. The disclaimer lives on at Google News, where we are assured that:

The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program.

A few years ago, Google's apparently unimpeachable objectivity got some people very excited, and technology utopians began to herald Google as the conduit for a new form of democracy. Google was only too pleased to encourage this view. It explained that its algorithm "relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. "

(emphasis in the original)

So, we can assume then that Google is back to apparent unimpeachable objectivity by relying on the uniquely democratic nature of their computer algorithm for churning up offensive pictures of the First Lady and Jews.

The U.S.P.S.T.F. will see you now

Last week we covered the new guidelines put out by the U.S. Preventative Service Task Force that recommended that women cut back on their mammograms and additionally not to start them until age 50 vs. 40 which had been the accepted start age for decades.

We also noted how the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told everyone to pay no never mind to the Task Forces recommendations as they were merely guidelines and that the charges of rationing were just overheated rhetoric.

So, which is it? If Sebelius is telling everyone to carry on with the at-40/twice a year regimen, then what the hell good is this task force and why shouldn’t we be concerned that this just represents the blueprint for healthcare services rationing?

Well, guess who shows up in the Senate version of healthcare and is charged with determining what sort of medical procedures are covered under Obamacare. Yep, it’s our friends at the U.S.P.S.T.F.

Let’s roll the tape (for the sake of expedience and our own sanity, we’re transcribing from the .pdf file here, sans paragraph numbering and indentations.


In General – A group health plan and a health insurer offering a group or individual health insurance coverage shall provide coverage for and shall not impose any cost sharing requirements for –

Evidence-based items or services that have in effect a rating of “A” or “B” in the current recommendations of the United States Preventative Services Task Force;

Stop right there. That’s all we need to read, thank you.

By the way, the task force members that recommended the new screening guidelines for mammograms? Not a single one of them was an oncologist.

So a politically-appointed task force that heretofore was only making "recommendations" that we were told to disregard and which may or may not have any relevant professional experience in a particular medical field will be rendering what preventative services will and will not be covered by your healthcare plan. Aren't you feeling healthier already?

Over the next couple of weeks, time permitting, we hope to get into more of the fine print of the Senate health bill that will be debated next week.

H/T: Hedgecock

Photo image of the day

To the gentleman ahead of us in line at the grocery store yesterday who is wondering where the heck his tissues are:

Sorry, dude, but we weren't bagging the goods.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Buyer's remorse? (UPDATED)

Just a thought...

A recent ABC poll shows that 60% of those polled do not believe Sarah Palin is qualified to be President.

We're curious if some of those who don’t think Palin is qualified may possibly be projecting those reservations onto the current President whose Hope’n’Change trumped his own abject lack of experience and which is now manifesting itself in an administration that appears to expend as much energy on going after private citizens and picking petty fights with news organizations than with achieving anything of substance?

(UPDATE #1):

More thinking out loud…

The Commerce Department revised the 3rd quarter GDP growth down to 2.8% from the previously estimated 3.5%

Speaking purely anecdotally here, but didn’t it seem that during the Bush years, the GDP was routinely revised upwards from previous underestimations? Obviously, we only have one positive GDP quarter to go on thus far (and to many, many more, right? C’mon people, RIGHT?) in the Obama administration so we’ll see if this trend continues. Forgive us a nagging suspicion, though, that the soft bigotry of low expectations that seized many people during the Bush years may have spilled over into the economic forecasting and conversely we may now be witnessing the false hope of high expectations.

But that’s all just non-sense, right? The fact that experts in their field of work, committed to finding the truth through fact-based data gathering would slant, fudge or otherwise delete inconvenient data? Why, that’s just preposterous.

Quote of the Day

With apologies to Instaglen…

Hey, do you remember when they told us that if we voted for McCain it would just be a continuation of the values of religion over the facts of sound science that was the M.O. of the Bush administration, particularly with respect to global warming?

Well, it looks like they were right.

"[The Emails] confirm suspicions that I have had in 30 years of working in climate science that I saw the hijacking of climate science particularly by computer modelers and then by a small group of people associated with the intergovernmental panel on climate change. The difficulty was that even though I sensed there was these thing going on, proving it is extremely difficult. But now with the exposure of these public files it is not only a smoking gun, it's a battery of machine guns. ...

On A global scale it's frightening. This group of people not only controlled the Hadley Center which controls the global data on temperatures, so that the global temperature record is in their hands, they also control the IPCC. ... The IPCC is the basis in all governments for the Kyoto Protocol, the Copenhagen Accord, and so on. ..... The problem they had is they kept saying the 20th century and the latter part of it is the warmest ever. And of course skeptics like myself [and several other names] were saying it was warmer 1000 years ago when the Vikings were in Iceland and Greenland and that's why they decided they had to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period and they achieved that with the hockey stick. In other words they completely rewrote the history."

The rest here at Mish's place who also asks a very important question with respect to the global warming email bombshell: Do you select The Cause or does the The Cause select you?

via KT

When in doubt, trot out the kids

Well, here’s the winner of the DNC’s healthcare reform video contest that will soon be airing in a primetime near you, titled fittingly, “I deserve healthcare”.

It’s not a bad video because in 30 seconds it embodies two central themes of statism: entitlement and guilt.

The notion that healthcare is some sort of right is what proponents of Obamacare hang their hat upon first and foremost. Offshoots of healthcare is a “right” are “every other nation has healthcare” and “profits need to be taken out of healthcare”. Next time you hear that, ask the person if that high-minded indignation will dictate whether or not they will purchase food for their family next time they are at the grocery store. Or if an auto manufacturer’s profit margin will trump concerns like safety, reliability and gas mileage the next time they are shopping for a car.

But forget about all that. Are you going to be the heartless dirtbag that denies these cute little tykes healthcare? How could you ever live with yourself if some child’s family was found to be homeless as a result of a broken leg? It’s a pandemic that has been swept under the carpet for years, this Sudden Broken Limb-Homeless Syndrome and we finally have a chance to do something about it. Are you going to stand in the way of fighting SBLHS? We didn’t think so.

Unfortunately, no one has the brass to tell these kids it’s a big bad world out there and that, unfortunately, they don’t deserve jack squat. You would think that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness would be the greatest gift granted to mankind but statism doesn’t work that way, instead perverting the meaning of “rights” only so more control can be exerted over the individual.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Great moments in the history of centrism

Who says the NYT lacks talented op-edders:

Mr. Obama was elected for similar reasons. People had hoped that his unique story, personality and speaking skills could bring the country together, overcome paralysis and deliver nation-building at home. A lot of the disappointment settling in among Obama voters today is prompted by their dawning realization that maybe, like Arnold, he can’t.

China’s leaders, using authoritarian means, still can. They don’t have to always settle for suboptimal. So what do we do?

The standard answer is that we need better leaders. The real answer is that we need better citizens. We need citizens who will convey to their leaders that they are ready to sacrifice, even pay, yes, higher taxes, and will not punish politicians who ask them to do the hard things. Otherwise, folks, we’re in trouble. A great power that can only produce suboptimal responses to its biggest challenges will, in time, fade from being a great power — no matter how much imagination it generates.

That from Thomas Friedman via The Corner.

Covering for a woefully inexperienced and ill-prepared Commander-in-Chief, expressing affection for undemocratic Chi-comm style cram-down government and bemoaning the fact that we, in a recession and at a time of rising unemployment, aren’t being good citizens by enthusiastically beating down the door for higher taxes… all in 3 short paragraphs.


Big Media's KSM problem

Column here by Eugene Robinson, titled “Battlefield in the War of Ideas” is fairly representative of the liberal-Left’s defense of the Obama administration’s decision to try KSM in civilian courts (extreme Cliff notes version: “they” will like us more).

And fairly representative because it also embodies what we will refer to as the Great Dodge. The Great Dodge is the liberal-Left’s complete unwillingness to address the rank hypocrisy of trying KSM in civilian court. If one wishes to try KSM and other terror detainees in civilian court that is one thing. If one wishes to try KSM in civilian court and the USS COLE bombers in a military tribunal, that is entirely another. Considering the heinousness of the 9-11 WTC attack against defenseless civilians vs. an attack on a U.S. warship, what is the greater warcrime?

It would still appear to be an inconsistency but we could at least see the logic of trying the USS COLE bombers in NYC but reserving the military tribunal for the true war criminal, KSM. This administration, however, gets it completely bass-ackwards. Wrong in principle – wrong in application.

The Great Dodge is also the liberal-Left’s unwillingness to call the Obama administration on the carpet for publicly saying KSM will be convicted and that regardless of the outcome of KSM’s trial, he will not be set free.

The administration has made a grand showing of this trial being faithful to the principles of the Constitution and American civil rights but their deeds and words betray that notion. Both Obama and Holder can legitimately be accused of pre-judging the accused and their assertion that KSM will never be allowed to walk free regardless of the outcome of his trial sets this up as nothing more than a show trial and thus makes a mockery of the very principles the administration is claiming to uphold. It also reveals what this civilian trial was all about from the beginning: not to uphold any true American justice but just cheap political payback to the left.

Robinson and others of his ilk have, thus far, refused to call out the administration let alone even acknowledge there might be a tiny problem with not setting a man free if he wins an acquittal in our court system. The Great Dodge ambles on.

A little cheese cake, anyone? (UPDATED)

For those of you out there screaming about a double-standard regarding the leggy lady to the left, just relax and thank god for small favors.

Now, as blatantly sexist as the picture is what is equally puzzling to us is the title and the subtitle. We weren’t aware that the down-the-line conservative views that we generally share with Ms. Palin were a “problem”. And, no, we are not going to bother reading the article to determine the actual context of the “problem” as it relates to Palin’s conservatism because, guaranteed, the cover and not the article inside is the take-away message.

It is the conservatism embodied in the attractive former governor of Alaska that is on trial here. Were Palin a Olympia Snowe-like moderate Republican or a Democrat, this Newsweek feature doesn’t exist.

And please note the continuation of the “bad news for the Republicans and the country” meme that sets up Newsweek as some type of common sense, I-have-Republican-friends “America first” moderates. Phony, phony, phony.

As if the three-quarters of a trillion dollar political payback package, the firing of a CEO of an auto manufacturer, the nationalization of 2 of the 3 auto manufacturers, the desired nationalization of the healthcare industry and an economically-ruinous climate bill all represent the embodiment of raging centrism.

We run an highly opinionated blog here and we cannot for the life of us ever imagine running a post with a picture of President Obama dressed in Muslim garb (as he was depicted by several tabloids during the campaign) with the title of that post, “How do you solve a problem like President Obama?” It would be absurd and, of course, racist but mostly it would be just plain lazy which aside from outright lying, is probably the greatest sin in writing.

At the end of the day, all this shows is the desperate ends Jon Meacham and Evan Thomas will go to save their floundering rag.

H/T: Harrison

(UPDATE #1):

With two wars ongoing, one of which the Commander-in-Chief is engaged in full-tilt dither, unemployment surging past 10%, mountains and mountains of debt, the specter of a double-dip recession looming because of a disastrous set of responses executed in the wake of the Bush-fueled recession and what is the priority for the hacks at Oragainzing for America, the perpetual campaign organ of the Obama White House?

Raising money to go after a private citizen.

Organizing for America, the DNC's campaign arm set up to support President Obama's agenda, has a familiar target today: Sarah Palin.

Mitch Stewart, OFA's director, told supporters in an email just now they need help to raise "$500,000 in the next week to push back against Sarah Palin and her special interest allies."

His argument is that Palin's "lies" about health care are "widely covered by the media, then constantly echoed by right-wing attack groups and others who are trying to defeat reform." He uses her death panels meme as an example.

And while noting that the Associated Press has assigned 11 fact checkers to Sarah Palin's new book while assigning a grand total of zero to Obama, Biden and McCain's campaign season books, KT likens Big Media's psycho-sexual obsession with Sarah Palin to the pretty cheerleader who shunned their creepy advances back in high school. If this has never been a problem for you, then we suggest click on over and read about it here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not sure if this sort of thing is covered under the Geneva convention

Awesome. Favre smack.

It seems that the Brett Favre-Green Bay Packers saga is such a worldwide phenomenon that it's being used by detainees in American military camps.

According to a military official, detainees at a Wisconsin National Guard camp in Iraq are using Brett Favre as a manner of getting at the guard troops there.
"They know Favre by name," said First Lieutenant Tim Boehnen, who is from New Richmond, Wis.

"One of the big words they know now is shenanigan. They'll constantly talk about 'Favre shenanigans,' 'He's so good for the Vikings,' and 'The Packers have got to really feel bad about that one.' "

According to Boehnen, it started when troops there started decorating their camp in Packers colors.

"They obviously then started up the conversations, and started talking about Brett Favre. They soon learned about Favre going to the Vikings, and things just started going downhill from there."

(italics, ours)

Guarantee you that things would not be quite so funny-funny, har-har with those detainees were either John Madden or Peter King the camp CO. No, siree.

H/T: Deadspin

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Beer Review: Stone Smoked Porter

B-Daddy here. For a blog with beer in its name, I feel there is scant attention paid to this important topic. Here is another attempt by your BwD Ombudsman to rectify this state of affairs. Dean got me out to K&B Wine Cellar last week, which despite its name, is a fairly decent restaurant, in addition to phenomenal liquor and beer store. (Both the lavash and lamb shanks were excellent.) It was Beer Week in San Diego, and K&B had a special going, offering "flights" of beer, three at a time in the most generous four ounces I have ever seen in my life. This particular night Stone and Alesmith were featured. I had the Stone Sublimely Self Righteous ale, Stone Anniversary Ales and the vanilla Smoked Porter.

The Porter was so delish, thought I would see how it tasted out of the bottle; I have been sampling over the last week. I conclude that, as usual, not as good as on draft, but a very satisfying porter indeed. As someone who occasionally favors a Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, I was not intimidated by the dark color of this beer. It has Stone's characteristic hoppiness, but not as overwhelming as in an IPA due to the strength of the roasted barley flavor that has a strong hint of coffee to it. The mix of hops with the strong dark flavors in this beer make this porter one of my favorites.

Also, props to Max at K&B who STRONGLY suggested my beer choices that evening and was right on.

No rationing to be seen here, please move along.

Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.
- Ian Fleming

First, it was the recommendation to cut back on those dubious start-at-forty mammograms and now the second shoe has just dropped.

New guidelines for cervical cancer screening say women should delay their first Pap test until age 21, and be screened less often than recommended in the past.

The advice, from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is meant to decrease unnecessary testing and potentially harmful treatment, particularly in teenagers and young women. The group’s previous guidelines had recommended yearly testing for young women, starting within three years of their first sexual intercourse, but no later than age 21.

But the timing was coincidental, said Dr. Cheryl B. Iglesia, the chairwoman of a panel in the obstetricians’ group that developed the Pap smear guidelines. The group updates its advice regularly based on new medical information, and Dr. Iglesia said the latest recommendations had been in the works for several years, “long before the Obama health plan came into existence.”

Isn’t it crazy-wacky how these new recommendations are coming out now, on the eve of a big vote in the Senate on healthcare? Man, it’s just zany. (by the way, Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius said pay no attention to that mammogram recommendation. So, who’s right and who’s just covering their ass with respect to politicizing the healthcare debate?).

But we’ll give all those nice people in Congress and the White House who tell us healthcare services won’t be rationed the benefit of the doubt, again. No more freebies, though – next completely coincidental “recommendation” we get to cut back on testing/screening, we go full metal jacket.

But just to be on the safe side, why don’t you lob your Congressperson a phone call as the Senate will be making a very important procedural vote this evening at 8 P.M. (EST)… a time when all important votes concerning nationalizing 1/6th of an economy take place.

Senate phone numbers here.

College football open thread: Rivalry Week!

What a difference 3 years makes. Back in ’06 #1 Ohio State took on #2 Michigan and there was buzz that, gee, if the score was close and it was an entertaining game then we might see a rematch of these two teams in the BCS championship game. Was not to be as Ohio State pounded Michigan only to see themselves get whupped by Florida 41-14 some 18 weeks later in the title game. Anyway, the Rose Bowl-bound Buckeyes will take on their archrival 5-6 Wolverines today in Columbus.

We’re hearing similar buzz this year with respect to #1 Florida and #2 Alabama as they both have scrimmages today against Florida International and Chattanooga, respectively.

The two will meet on Dec. 5 for the SEC championship game and for every SEC homer who thinks that will be the real national championship game, get over yourself. Whoever loses will drop far enough in the human polls to ensure there will not be a rematch.

So, to all our fellow BCS luddites out there, a prayer is lifted up that somehow #3 Texas trips up in one of their remaining 3 games (Kansas, Texas A&M, and whatever pathetic Big 12 North team they will play in the Big 12 championship game – the later the better) and allows little ol’ TCU (#4) to sneak into the BCS championship game and send T.V. network execs to the rooftops.

Other notables:

LSU (#8) V. Ole Miss for the Magnolia Bowl trophy.

Penn St. (#14) v. Michigan St. for the Land Grant trophy.

In-state rivals Purdue and Indiana compete for the Old Oaken Bucket.

Iowa (#13) and Minnesota play for Floyd of Rosedale (pictured).

And Stanford (#17) and Cal (#25) get it on the Big Game for the Stanford Axe.

A lot going on today so we will definitely be checking back in. In the meantime, please enjoy this fabulous pre-Thanksgiving college football Saturday.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Radio KBwD is on the Air

There are a handful of songs out there that make you 50% cooler by just having that song played in your presence. Well, we guarantee a full 100% improvement in your “cool factor” in just a few seconds.

Ladies and Gentlemen, from the great city of New Orleans, please feel free to get your funk on with “Cissy Strut” by The Meters. (How it is that the Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique era - never sampled this groove is one of life's great unexplained mysteries)

For a good live version, go here.

We won’t get into broad, sweeping over-generalizations

... we'll let you do that.

Transparency International released their wildly anticipated annual Corruption Perceptions Index report this week. The report measures perceived levels of public sector corruption in 180 countries, drawing on surveys of businesses and experts.

The bad guys:

1. Somalia

2. Afghanistan

3. Myanmar

T4. Sudan

T4. Iraq

6. Chad

7. Uzbekistan

T8. Turkmenistan

T8. Iran

T8. Haiti

T8. Burundi

T8. Guinea

T8. Equatorial Guinea

The good guys:

1. New Zealand

2. Denmark

T3. Singapore

T3. Sweden

5. Switzerland

T6. Finland

T6. Netherlands

T8. Australia

T8. Canada

T8. Iceland

The U.S. checks in at #19 on the good guys list.

Two things jump out at us immediately with respect to the two lists.

To the good: Western democracies.

To the bad: … as we stated previously, a respectable blog like this does not want to get into the unsavory business of stereotyping. We've got enough issues on our hands.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It was all so obvious

The Ft. Hood massacre mystery solved.

Iowahawk has the details, here.

America the radical

Maybe this is what has the liberal-Left crying such crocodile tears over the extreme-ing of the Republican Party and how the alleged witch-hunt of moderates within Republican ranks is bad for the party and bad for the nation or something:

As Congress remains embroiled in a massive debate over whether to force Americans to pay for abortions through the new government-run health care programs, a new CNN poll finds 61 percent oppose government funding abortions with public dollars.

The poll found six in ten Americans favor a ban on using federal funds for abortions, such as the Stupak amendment recently added to the health care bill in the House.

The new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released today shows 61 percent oppose taxpayer funding of abortions while just 37 percent are supportive.

The CNN poll goes further and finds that a majority of Americans, by a 51 to 45 percent margin, believe women should be required to use their own money to pay for abortions even if they have private health insurance and no government money is involved. They did not think health insurance should pay for abortions.

Holy smokes, it ain’t the Republican party that’s being radicalized – it’s the whole damn country!

In fact, the trend line on abortion has been moving gradually away from the pro-abortion position for years.

The admonitions to stand-down on the social issues bear no merit.

Gay marriage? 0 for 31 in state referendums nationwide, most recently in the allegedly socially laissez-faire state of Maine. Obviously more evidence of extremism ruling the day among conservatives.

This is what has the liberal-Left freaked out as they try to project the radical label onto conservatives and relegate their default party to "rump" party status.

And similar to the abortion question, the gay marriage question has gradually been trending towards the “pro-“ position. So not to speak for “the movement”, we believe the fact that abortion and gay marriage has largely been left to the courts who fashion “rights” out of whole cloth is what is most disconcerting to people.

We firmly believe these two topics are as emotionally-charged as they are is because, particularly in the case of abortion, they have been removed from the democratic process which favors the concepts of the market place of ideas and winning hearts and minds over the previously mentioned rights-fabricating courts and grandstanding politicians like the mayor of San Francisco who used gay marriage as a cheap political stunt.

Why not let the clearly radicalized public decide these matters?

The world explained via a 20 yr. old Nissan Sentra beater

The most effective definition for "law of diminishing returns" we have yet to read/see.

KT has the details, here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is the fix in? Pt. II (UPDATED)

So, when is it time to remove the question mark and rearrange the words of the title?

Please click here for an exchange between the President and NBC’s Chuck Todd and determine for yourself whether or not the President is “pre-judging” or simply expressing confidence in the prosecution team regarding the trial of KSM.

Bear in mind that the President is on record as saying he won’t let any Al Qaeda terrorists free on U.S. soil and that his own Deputy Solicitor General has flirted openly with the concept of an extra-legal system to handle any unsavory civilian trial outcomes of any unsavory individuals.

Don’t get us wrong – though we take nothing for granted these days, we’re glad the President sounds committed to keeping our streets safe from terrorists. That’s a great start. But please just drop the sanctimonious bullcrap regarding the Constitution and civil rights when KSM’s ultimate disposition is fait accompli as it just makes a complete mockery of the same Constitution and civil rights.

P.S. We did some inadvertent guest blogging on the 2006 trial of Zacarias Moussaoui and the lessons learned from that here at B-Daddy's place.

(UPDATE #1): On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings with Attorney General, Eric Holder. The video of the exchange between him and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) can be found here but below are two of the sweet spots in the exchange

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R-S.C): Can you give me a case in United States history where a enemy combatant caught on a battlefield was tried in civilian court?

ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I don't know. I'd have to look at that. I think that, you know, the determination I've made --

GRAHAM: We're making history here, Mr. Attorney General. I'll answer it for you. The answer is no.

One would think that basic knowledge would be known to the man who is, you know, making history.

And with respect to mirandizing enemy combatants on the field of battle:

GRAHAM: If bin Laden were caught tomorrow, would it be the position of this administration that he would be brought to justice?

HOLDER: He would certainly be brought to justice, absolutely.

GRAHAM: Where would you try him?

HOLDER: Well, we'd go through our protocol. And we'd make the determination about where he should appropriately be tried. [...]

GRAHAM: If we captured bin Laden tomorrow, would he be entitled to Miranda warnings at the moment of capture?

HOLDER: Again I'm not -- that all depends. I mean, the notion that we --

GRAHAM: Well, it does not depend. If you're going to prosecute anybody in civilian court, our law is clear that the moment custodial interrogation occurs the defendant, the criminal defendant, is entitled to a lawyer and to be informed of their right to remain silent.

The big problem I have is that you're criminalizing the war, that if we caught bin Laden tomorrow, we'd have mixed theories and we couldn't turn him over -- to the CIA, the FBI or military intelligence -- for an interrogation on the battlefield, because now we're saying that he is subject to criminal court in the United States. And you're confusing the people fighting this war.

Isn't that just wonderful? The top cop in the land when asked to articulate the ground rules for fighting the war on terror that he himself is now writing with the civilian trial of KSM renders a policy so haphazard and incoherent it defies description.

Exit question: Is this a question of Holder's hubris or monumental incompetence?

Got Map?

The absolute horribleness of porkulus rolls on...

The 99th congressional district of North Dakota is rolling in about $2 million worth of porkulus funding right now.

Check out this cool interactive map that will show you where nearly $6.4 billion was used to "create or save" just under 30,000 jobs ($225,000/job) in places that don't even exist. Awesome.

We bang on them quite a bit but we'll give credit where credit is due: no fewer than 12 news organizations have dug a little bit deeper to expose the horrendously faulty and corrupt jobs accounting of porkulus. (Then again porkulus is not the only government-operated entity that does not have to comply with the usual accounting standards)

Of somewhat local note:

"Los Angeles-based Syska Hennessy Group Construction reported 93 jobs stemming from an Army contract...The number is closer to two jobs because the construction work has not started yet..." as reported by... the Atlanta Journal-Constitution?

Paging the L.A. Times. Paging the L.A. Times

Nothing free about mandates (UPDATED)

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

- 10th amendement of the Constitution

As we wind down Freedom week, we are left asking ourselves precisely what is in the Constitution that permits the government to force its citizens to purchase the services of specific private businesses or face a fine or jail time as Pelosicare currently mandates?

The Constitution and specifically the bill of rights is negative in nature in that it contains a laundry list of things the federal government is prohibited from doing. Forcing people to buy health insurance would certainly seem to violate the spirit and intent of the Constitution.

We are told by proponents of Pelosicare that signing up for healthcare is the right and patriotic thing to do as to do otherwise would be "gaming the system" and not "paying your fair share". Applying that logic in a single-payer system, where all the money is going into the same pot, is it a stretch for the government to start dictating what sort of lifestyles would be “gaming the system”?

Think about it: if the government reserves for itself the right to force you to buy health insurance in a single-payer system, what then prevents them from dictating how it is the game is played once everyone is in the program. Are people who smoke, drink to excess, eat poorly and don’t exercise “gaming the system” because they will require more medical care through their lives than those people who live healthier lifestyles? Applying the logic of Pelosicare proponents, absolutely!

Mark it down: Whatever hellish form of government-managed healthcare reform gets put on the President’s desk for signature, the enforceable by fines and/or jail time Guidelines for Healthy Lifestyles and Decisions will follow shortly.

(UPDATE #1): So what was that were saying about “guidelines”?

From the U.K.’s Times Online:

Health and safety inspectors are to be given unprecedented access to family homes to ensure that parents are protecting their children from household accidents.

New guidance drawn up at the request of the Department of Health urges councils and other public sector bodies to “collect data” on properties where children are thought to be at “greatest risk of unintentional injury”.

Council staff will then be tasked with overseeing the installation of safety devices in homes, including smoke alarms, stair gates, hot water temperature restrictors, oven guards and window and door locks.

The draft guidance by a committee at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has been criticised as intrusive and further evidence of the “creeping nanny state”.

Creeping? If that is the British standard for the “creeping nanny state” that goes miles in explaining why the country is in the state it is right now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Saving the boobies...? Whats the rush? (UPDATED)

Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.
- Ian Fleming

That annual mammogram? Yeah, maybe you don’t need it. So says the U.S. Preventative Service Task Force, an independent panel of experts appointed by the Dept. of Health and Human Services who up until recently were urging women to get ‘grams every one or two years starting at age 40. Now they are singing a different tune saying screening isn’t recommended until 50 and only at a bi-annual rate.

You’ll have to forgive our cynicism - healthcare rationing under government-managed healthcare is as inevitable as the sun rising in the East – and applying Occam’s razor to this recent development, this would appear to be the first big move in that direction.

However, slaves to moderation and sober assessments that we are, we’ll put this one in our back pocket and wait to see what, if any, dominoes fall next?

If weeks or months from now, this U.S.P.S.T.F. comes out and says the benefits of Dr. Jelly Finger just isn’t what it used to be, then we will revisit the issue.

(UPDATE #1):

LaMesa physician Reza Shirazi said it’s the most effective for patients and primary-care physicians to create a screening plan that’s comfortable for both parties.

“I think it’s best to have that decision at the discretion of the doctor and the patient,” said Shirazi, a radiation oncologist with the Alvarado Hospital Radiation Medical Group.

There it is again. The patient-doctor privacy issue. The privacy issue that was at one time considered so sacrosanct especially with respect to defending Roe v. Wade is now cast aside in the name of the statists’ new BFF, “controlling costs”.

The entire concept of government-managed healthcare flies in the face of patient-doctor privacy.

Again, we welcome anyone who has happened to stumble across this site to please square this inconsistency.

P.S. The quote above will not be found in the linked article authored by Gina Kolata of the New York Times News Service that appeared in modified form in the print version of today’s San Diego Union-Tribune. We copied it verbatim out of the paper because… we cannot find the electronic version of the story as it appeared in today’s paper. And this is because the U-T’s own online search engine has got to be the most worthless piece of crap in the entirety of print media. Even typing in the title of the article with the sub-title netted a “No results found”. Unbelievable. They scratch their heads wondering why no one reads the hard copy anymore and they can’t even get the simplest of features right on their online site.

(UPDATE #2): We kind of feel like we’re sniping from the sidelines since we don’t have a horse in the race, though the potential ramifications towards our own healthcare is enormous – so we would love to hear what the fairer sex thinks of the matter. And since hearing from the people who will be effected the most by this, we have decided to liberate to the front page the following comments:

SarahB says:
This has been a reoccurring concept all year...the screening for cancer is bad might have a false positive, so better to wait until you have full blown cancer so you know for sure. Right up there with not seeing a pregnant woman until she's 10 weeks along, or skipping the whole ultrasound thing till pregnancy is half over. Why catch a problem early? Not that mammograms aren't an arcane form of torture and degradation, but most preventative care seems to involve some form of ironic humiliation. Maybe the benevolent government is really out to give us back our dignity.
(emphasis, ours)
Pretty much the comment of the year at BwD.

And this from Foxfier:
Well, my mom would probably be dead under this.

Her screening came back positive Christmas of '02. She was 47.

Is the fix in? (UPDATED)

(please scroll down for update)

Apologies for the jarring visual right after lunch….

Recall how for years the left whined about the use of military tribunals for detainees and how trying the likes of KSM in civilian courts instead would be a triumph for civil rights and the Constitution. Well, last week, the Obama administration gave the left the apparent victory it has long sought as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and 4 other terror detainees will be tried in a civilian court mere steps from 9-11 ground zero. Or is it?

He has consistently dodged the question of whether or not he would let KSM walk if he were actually acquitted but here is what he said back in May:

Now, let me begin by disposing of one argument as plainly as I can: We are not going to release anyone if it would endanger our national security, nor will we release detainees within the United States who endanger the American people.

Let me repeat: I am not going to release individuals who endanger the American people. Al Qaeda terrorists and their affiliates are at war with the United States, and those that we capture — like other prisoners of war — must be prevented from attacking us again.

So, how does the President intend on accomplishing this for KSM and other terror suspects if they are acquitted in the civilian courts?

Before Obama’s election, Neal Katyal who is now Obama’s principal Deputy Solicitor General, in an article favored the idea of a “national security court” separate from the civilian courts that would be employed for a “very small handful of cases in which patently dangerous people cannot be tried” or where a “criminal trial has failed”.

Where a criminal trial has failed…?

Do yourself a favor and click on over to Patterico’s Pontifications who has done an outstanding job of citing quotes from the President and the Attorney General, Eric Holder, to make a very strong case that the possibility of a separate system outside of the civilian court system that will be employed if KSM is acquitted amounts to this upcoming trial of KSM and the four others as being nothing more than a show trial.

Let's see how this whole thing plays out and see how much of a victory it is for civil rights and the Constitution.

(UPDATE #1):Charles Krauthammer on Fox News, via the Corner on Holder’s baffling inconsistency with sending KSM to the civilian courts and the USS COLE bombers to military tribunals and the farcical nature of the civilian trials:

What is so hard to understand is Holder's argument, the logic of his argument.

Now, I want to look only at a single aspect of it. … If [Holder] opposed the military commissions on principle, you could say his decision on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was wrong, but at least it was logical.

But he doesn't. On the day he sent KSM to a civilian trial in New York, he announced he would send five of the miscreants who attacked the Cole, a warship, to a military trial in Guantanamo or perhaps elsewhere.

Now, what is the logic here? Holder was asked about this, and to the extent that he was coherent, which is only to a small extent, he said: Well, if you attack a civilian target, as in 9/11, then you go to a civilian court; a military target like the Cole, to a military [court].

First of all, the Pentagon was hit on 9/11, so it wasn't exclusively a civilian attack. But perhaps Holder forgot about that.

But secondly, even if [9/11] were exclusively an attack on civilians — which is a worse act of war criminality, attacking defenseless civilians or attacking a military target, like a warship? We have attacked warships in our history, Japan and Germany in the Second World War and elsewhere. That is an accepted act of war.

Why does a person [like] Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who attacked civilians — the more obvious and egregious war crime — get the extra protections, the extra constitutional niceties that you get in a civilian courtroom, as opposed to someone who attacks a military target? The logic here is perverse.

And the incentive is [perverse]: If you are a terrorist overseas thinking — am I going to attack a well-protected military installation? [No,] I will hit a civilian [target]. I will be in a cozy cell with a lawyer, Miranda rights and perhaps even a blog. Why wouldn't I attack innocent civilians?

On whether, if by technicality or hung jury, one of these cases went the other way, they would be let free:

They will be rearrested in the courtroom. A second charge will be filed, and it will be endless. And in the end, if they are acquitted on all charges endlessly, they will end up in indefinite detention.

We will not let them out. Everyone knows that. That's what makes it such a farce.

Setting aside for a moment, the show trial aspect that is formulating, what is the political upside for the admnistration for doing this? Drop the “victory for the Constitution” nonsense as the President has already admitted KSM is not going to walk, regardless – what’s in it for him? The only logical explanation we can muster is payback to his base who have been screaming for Bush and Cheney’s heads for years.

Of course, it will be the counter-terrorism and interrogation techniques of the Bush administration that will be on trial and if this results in war crimes indictments from the ICC then so much the better.

But that petty payoff to your lefty base seems to be a pretty meager upside considering the absolute Charlie-Foxtrot this all has the potential to become.

Stay tuned.

We're assuming they're meaning this in a good way

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A CNN correspondent said Monday she was detained by Chinese security guards in Shanghai for two hours for displaying a T-shirt on camera depicting US President Barack Obama as Mao Zedong.

Emily Chang, a Beijing-based correspondent for the US television network, said in a blog post on that she hunted down the shirt after hearing they had been banned amid fears they "may offend the American president."

The shirt shows Obama, who is making his first visit to China as president, in a Red Army uniform staring into the distance in a pose made famous by the former Chinese leader.

The front of the shirt says "Serve the People" in Chinese, Chang said. "Oba-Mao" is written on the back in English.

Chang said she held the shirt up to the camera while filming a story in a Shanghai market.

"Two security guards happened to pass by at the moment I announced to the camera: 'This is the T-shirt everybody is talking about,'" she said.
"And that was it. They scrambled towards us and tried to pry the shirt out of my hands," Chang said. "I didn't give in.

"There was a bit of yelling and quite a scuffle," she said, adding that CNN "had everything on tape."

"We ended up being detained for two hours in the cold, maze of a market," she said. "A crowd gathered round. More security and then police showed up.
"They wanted our press cards, our passports, but most of all, they wanted the shirt," she said. "Finally, they let us go. Phew!"

Chang refused to surrender the offending shirt and joked that a number of jealous White House and CNN colleagues had tried to "bribe" her for it.

(italics, ours)

Now that Anita Dunn’s going away present has been taken care of, click on over to B-Daddy’s who is wondering just how wacky things have become when the Chi-coms are scolding Americans over the handling of our alleged capitalist economy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Meanwhile, on the other side of Detroit...

Hey, you didn’t think that we were going to give you a cheery Chrysler update without some news on the government’s other auto bailout fiasco, did you?

General Motors Co. says it lost $1.2 billion from the time it left bankruptcy protection through Sept. 30, far better than it has reported in previous quarters and a sign that the auto giant is starting to turn around its business.

The company also says it will begin repaying $6.7 billion in U.S. government loans with a $1.2 billion payment in December. It could pay off the full amount by 2010, five years ahead of schedule, but the money will come from funds loaned by the government.

The GAO has serious reservations that GM will ever be able to pay-off its Bailout cash infusion.

And later in the article…

The company cautioned that the earnings numbers mean little because they don't comply with U.S. accounting standards and cover only the part of the quarter after GM left Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 10.

So, let’s get this straight: We’re supposed to take comfort in the fact that we may actually get some money back from this atrocious deal because a) GM has only lost $1.2 billion since coming out of bankruptcy, b) they’re repaying the bailout with money from… other government loans and c) any optimism from improved earnings numbers is sketchy because they don’t comply with U.S. accounting standards (is this another break one gets for being owned and operated by the U.S. government?).

You’ll have to forgive our skepticism given what we are reading, prima facie.

And check this out:

GM said its improved performance was fueled by new products including the Chevrolet Camaro muscle car, and the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain midsize crossover vehicles. The company's top sellers through October were the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and Impala full-size car.

Back in July, we opined on the totally bitchin' new Camaros that had just come out and wondered on the possibilities of a GM comeback based upon 6 and 8-cylinder muscle cars. Oh the delightful irony.

On that post, B-Daddy commented: "I could almost forgive Chrysler and GM if these vehicles turn out be quality products. THAT is how you apologize to America! Build a product that we will love."

Indeed. Unless you are sucking at the teet of government grants for electric cars that will sell for anywhere from $40 – $90,000, no one seems to be real excited about electric cars or the small green death traps we are all told is the future of domestic auto manufacturing.

Take a good long look...

Bailout Nation forked over $12.5 billion to Chrysler to keep them afloat and to remake their image which included $70 million in grants back in August for electric car R&D. So, how’s that working out?

There will be no electric car named Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep. At least for the forseable future. Chrysler's new owner, Fiat SpA, has pulled the plug on Chrysler's plans to build and market EV vehicles, and even hybrid vehicles.

The decision by Fiat SEO Sergio Marchionne is a major voltage reduction for Chrysler. It is also a direct slap in the face of US taxpayers, who gave Chrysler a $12.5 Billion bail-out package, in part to help float Chrysler's plans for its ENVI program to develop and market fuel efficient electric cars. In addition, the Department of Energy gave Chrysler another $70 million in grants in August for this program.

Will Fiat return the money? Unlikely.

Fiat's decision kills the Dodge Circuit (pictured), a two-seater all electric sports car that Chrysler introduced to great fanfare at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. Chrysler announced in September 2008 that it was developing three EV models, and hoped to get them into production by 2010.

That's not happening now.

There is a possibility the new Fiat-Chrysler will pursue electric or hybrid vehicle production, but it is unlikely. Marcchione doesn't think much of electric cars. Reuters reports he told reporters and analysts that electric cars would only represent "one to two percent" of Chrysler's sales by 2014. The implication is that spending millions on R & D just isn't worth it.

What a telling indictment of electric cars that all that money spent on R&D – money that isn’t even theirs – and electric cars still aren’t worth it.

Video clip of the day

Check out the Center for Freedom and Prosperity's deconstruction of the cost of healthcare below.

We were having trouble loading this video at the site so we went to YouTube to download it and ran across this comment from "daig1sun":

My biggest worry is not even that government will ruin health care, but rather, that health care issues will ruin government. Health care is such a big, emotionally freighted activity that if the government tries to run it, health care issues will soon becomes its major concern. People will start voting for politicians based on their willingness to open the rationing of care a bit and will stop focusing on matters of interstate commerce, foreign policy and defense.

That's a fascinating comment that bears considerable merit. As if the government does not have enough on its plate, it now wants to take on managing the millions of health care decisions that get made on a daily basis.

Healthcare becomes just another thing that can be politicized and leveraged by the pols. Campaign promises and potential votes for candidates will now have the healthcare dimension to be taken into consideration by the electorate.

Defend the coasts, deliver the mail... and remove tonsils? What could possibly go wrong?

Sunday, November 15, 2009


More favorable comparisons of an American president to perhaps the greatest mass murderer of all-time made by people who should know better.

The federal pay czar is now worried that meddling in what firms can/cannot pay their top dogs may scare off talent. Who knew?

The father of Bailout Nation warns against too much government intervention into the free market.

A very good counter (in fact, possibly the only one we’ve seen) to this “Jesus was a socialist” non-sense.

More green on green violence over windmill farms in the San Diego east county wilderness.

And finally, a popular catchphrase you may be hearing in the aftermath of the Ft. Hood terrorist attack is that we are back to a “pre – 9-11” mindset with respect to counter-terrorism. Andrew McCarthy who prosecuted the “Blind Sheikh” argues that it’s actually much worse than that.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

They all kind of look alike anyway

Wrong nation for which to perform the debt-buying grovel, sir.