Friday, January 30, 2009

Where’s the Controversy Over Rush Limbaugh?...

For whatever reason, Rush Limbaugh has long been the Left’s public enemy #1.

Maybe that’s because in the minds of lazy thinkers, who forget about Barry Gray, Bob Grant, Barry Farber and a host of Conservative radio Talk Show hosts that paved the way for Limbaugh, “El Rushbo” has become a phenomenon since bursting on the scene at the end of the Reagan era and has since become both a target FOR and a bogeyman TO Liberal angst.

All of that’s no doubt been good for Limbaugh’s ratings and those ratings have certainly been good to both his and his numerous outlet’s bank accounts, but, as Conservative as Limbaugh is, there’s really nothing all that controversial about either Rush Limbaugh himself, NOR his Conservative positions.

What’s really odd is the inane charge that Conservative radio Talkers like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and others have “conned many Americans into believing in things (Conservatism) that runs counter to their own best interests.” A fovorite canard of the Liberal pseudo-elite.

That’s not only utter nonsense but it belittles the mainstream media, as what it says is that Limbaugh and his ilk, with their tiny slice of the broadcast spectrum (the radio reservation), have completely outperformed and have had a much larger impact on America than has the rest of the entire so-called “mainstream” and largely Left-leaning media (ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, PBS, NPR, the N Y Times, the LA Times, Washington Post, etc.). I can think of no possible greater insult to those in the mainstream media than that.

In fact, that seems MORE an indictment of the utter failure of Liberal voices, even when given a Goliath’s share of the media, then it does of the alleged “corrosivity of Conservatism.”

The harsh reality for Liberals is that self-identified Conservatives outnumber self-identified Liberals by better than 2 to 1 in America. The “Limbaugh phenomenon” has little to do with Limbaugh’s powers of persuasion, BUT his genius for tapping into the vane of what most Americans believe and offering those starved for that viewpoint, an outlet.

That’s really ALL there is to it! THAT seasoned with an optimistic and pro-American outlet, that too many on the Left fail to understand or appreciate.

Recently, there’s been a huge controversy over a comment of Limbaugh’s allegedly referring to Barack Obama, in effect, “I hope he fails.”

Since I didn’t hear that comment first hand, I had to go to CNN to get the full context of those remarks.

It turns out that in a segment on the Democrats’ current $850 BILLION “stimulus package,” Limbaugh said, in part, this; “If I wanted Obama to succeed, I’d be happy the Republicasn have laid down and I’d be encouraging Republicans to lay down and support him. I don’t want – look, what he’s talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the U.S. government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, to the automobile industry to healthcare. I DO NOT WANT the GOVERNMENT in CHARGE of all those things! I DON’T WANT THIS TO WORK! So I’m thinking of sending a reply to the guy, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four – I hope he fails.”

Limbaugh’s fundamental point was that he hopes Obama’s policy goal of expanding governmental control over the economy will fail. Those who’ve interpreted this as Limbaugh wanting America to fail, are erroneous in their interpretation and that's almost certainly due to the woeful ineptitude of those misinterpreters rather than any real malice on their parts. I'm at least pretty sure of that.

Moreover, in my travels, I came across an actual gem from Rush Limbaugh...and I KNOW it’s a gem because I’ve said the same thing for over a decade now and this one excoriates the GOP! Proving that Limbaugh is, nothing less than an equal opportunity critic.

This quote is absolutely right on the money and goes to the heart of why Conservatives have had such a hard time getting their agenda passed even when Republicans are in power; “...What it really comes down to is that the Republican Party is made up of a bunch of elites, moderate Rockefeller types. And the dirty little secret is that they resent being in the same party with a bunch of people who are pro-life, because the pro-life people are from the (southern accent) South, they're Southerners, and they like NASCAR and they chew tobacco-uh."

And they just hate going to the conventions, the Republican Party conventions and they get teased by their liberal elite buddies in New York and Boston and the whole northeastern corridor and California, too, for having these Deliverance types is what they think of them as, in the same party. Plus these guys, these Rockefeller liberal Republican guys, wives are always nagging 'em about abortion, to get the Republican Party to get rid of it 'cause, "You can't win with it," even though we've won landslides. I said this last night, and it's probably one of the first times it has been said so directly and powerfully on television. I've said it on this radio show numerous today. That's the preamble. A Bloomberg story out just this afternoon by Heidi Przybyla: "Republican Battle for Party Chairman Pits Leaders Against Base."
“Now, wait. It's not what you think. "Republican leaders' efforts to select a new national party chairman are stirring concerns among a vital constituency: Republican voters." Tell me if you believe this. "Rank-and-file..." This is what it says here. "Rank-and-file Republicans are telling their leaders they want more ethnic, gender and age diversity in a party that is dominated by white males. They also want party leaders to cooperate with President Barack Obama, according to surveys." Now, let me continue. " After losing the White House and 28 seats in Congress last year, some party leaders still aren't hearing the message from voters who are urging them to claw their way back to power by promoting minorities and striking a less partisan tone, said Rich Bond, a former Republican National Committee chairman.”

Rush Limbaugh, January 23, 2009

I’ve said for years now, that the GOP is at best a very flawed vehicle for Conservatism. I know that to be true and so, apparently does, Limbaugh.

And Rush Limbaugh isn’t the only Conservative HOPING the current non-stimulating “stimulus package” fails.

Perhaps Ed Morrissey put best, why Republicans SHOULD listen to and heed their Conservative base; “I’d agree that we need to articulate a clear conservative message — and that the GOP caucuses in the House and Senate have thus far failed to do so, and have failed at it for the last few years. Rather than take shots at Limbaugh, Hannity, and fellow Georgian Newt Gingrich, they should be listening to them. Because, despite Barack Obama’s fantasies, the Republicans in Congress stopped doing that after they won the majority in 1994, and they’re paying the price now."
They have a golden opportunity before them now to demonstrate that they’ve learned from their bingeing on government pork and reckless spending between 2001-6. The stimulus bill represents everything conservatives fight against. If the Republicans don’t stand up for efficiency, accountability, and responsible governance now, they won’t get another chance for years as this turkey burdens another generation with its irresponsible spending.”

I’m with Ed Morrissey on that.

And I still don’t get the “controversy” over Rush Limbaugh. He merely seems to be stating what most of America actually thinks.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Europe’s Left Assails Free Speech...for Fellow Europeans...Not So Much for Jihadist Terrorists...

Dutch legislator and film-maker Geert Wilders (above, bottom pic) has been indicted and will apparently be tried for hate speech in the Netherlands.

The title, "Fitna", is an
Arabic term used to describe "disagreement and division among people" or a "test of faith in times of trial".

Wilders, a prominent critic of Islam, described the movie as "a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamization". The film shows a selection of
Suras from the Qur'an, interspersed with media clips and newspaper clippings showing or describing acts of violence and hatred by Muslims. The movie tries to demonstrate that the Qur'an, and the Islamic culture in general, motivate its followers to hate all who violate the Islamic teachings.

For their part, the Netherlands Court of Appeal said it “considers criminal prosecution obvious for the insult of Islamic worshippers” after Wilders compared parts of their faith with Nazism.

That ruling, posted on the court’s Web site today, overturns a decision by the prosecutor last year not to charge Wilders.

For his part, Wilders said, “I see this as a black day,” in statement on the Web site of his Dutch Freedom Party. “If you voice your opinion you run the risk of being prosecuted.”

Wilders released his film “Fitna” on the internet in March 2008. The 17-minute movie features verses from the Koran alongside images of various Muslim atrocities and terrorist attacks.

This ruling is an outrage, NOT only shaming the Netherlands, but the West as a whole. It is nothing less than an official seal of approval for Dhimmitude.

H/T Angel

SEE Angels’ GREAT post on the issue at:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Administration Seeks to Rein in Expectations Via Contradictory Assessments...

Here’s an irony, sort of dualing headlines; UPI: Volcker: U.S. 'addicted to spending' ( and Obama Warns of Tough Times Ahead, Need for Action (SPENDING) (,0,3737175.story)

Volcker’s right, SPENDING, both individual and government, but especially government spending is THE problem.

The last Congress, sad to say, that actually reduced the federal budget was the Gingrich Congress. Unfortunately post-Gingrich, every subsequent Congress has reverted to Keynesianism (more big government, more social spending). Those Gingrichian federal budget cuts were solely responsible for both the surpluses of the late 1990s and some of the lowest Misery Indexes (the inflation and unemployment rates combined) in nearly half a century!

Since last Spring, we’ve had a Pelosi-Reid engineered (and Bush approved) unstimulating “stimulus package,” the Pelosi-Reid bank bailout Bill of this past September – the Democrats wrote that Bill, refused Conservative attempts to make the monies available ONLY for lending. Since then the Democratic Congress has passed an auto bailout package and now wants another $850 BILLION “stimulus package” on top of last year’s failed package.

Who’s fault is it if all this spending fails to correct the problems caused by government regulation mandating banks to offer more subprime loans to “lower income Americans?”

The answer to that is a Liberal Congress coupled with a Liberal administration!

Conservatives rightly let G W Bush take the blame for the things that happened on his watch (his SEC failed in its oversight duties to protect us from the subprime mortgage mess that mushroomed into a global credit crisis when Fannie and Freddie were saddled with backing/guaranteeing hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars in bad loans) and his cooperating with two Keynesian Congresses, the spendthrift Hastert Congress and the even more recklessly Keynesian Pelosi-Reid Congress.

Now we MUST make sure that the current administration is held to account for making a bad situation WORSE by attempting to correct a crisis born of government overspending with MORE government overspending, and while we’re at it, we MUST ultimately make sure that the Pelosi-Reid Congress in general and Rep. Frank and Sen. Dodd are held to account for pushing what then HUD Secretary, Andrew Cuomo advanced as “affirmative action in lending.”

THAT is the Liberal Democrats’ legacy and they have to ultimately own that.
THANKS to P-Mac for some crucial heads ups.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

OMG! Obama is Spying on Americans...

Is this just the GREATEST or what?!

First, Obama switches sides in the Senate vote over the NSA surveillance program AND the telecom company’s immunity (which SHOULD HAVE come as an IMPLIED IMMUNITY) and NOW he’s doubling down and urging a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched eavesdropping case that is weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants.

The case involves Justice Walker's (of the 9th Circuit Court) decision to admit as evidence a classified document allegedly showing that two American lawyers for a now-defunct Saudi charity were electronically eavesdropped on without warrants by the Bush administration in 2004.

"The Government's position remains that this case should be stayed," the Obama administration wrote in a filing that for the first time made clear the new president was on board with the Bush administration's reasoning in this case.

So Obama really is continuing most of the Bush anti-terror policies!

Still, I think liberals will just grin and bear it, just as they did an earlier “UN-opposed and unprovoked military action against another sovereign nation (Bosnia), when a Democrat was in the White House.

H/T to Barry over at Cynical Nation;

It’s Kirsten Gillibrand!

On my way into work yesterday (Saturday) I heard that NY Governor David Paterson had filled Hillary Clinton’s vacant Senate seat with...little known Kirsten Gillibrand (pictured above) of upstate Columbia County.

Charles Schumer had to be smiling.

Senator Schumer had to be tired of being in the shadow of Junior Senator, Hillary Clinton, the past eight years, so it was widely speculated that he wanted no part of Caroline Kennedy, nor Any Cuomo at all.

Kirsten Gillibrand fits the bill on so many levels.

She’s an upstater, a woman and she’s a bona fide Blue Dog Democrat with a high NRA rating!

In fact, she’d interned with former Senator and current lobbyist, Al D’Amato!

Better still for “Zell Miller Democrats,” like myself, is the fact that Liberals are apoplectic over the Gillibrand pick.

Suddenly, their not knowing where Kirsten stands on the issues MATTERS, even though Caroline couldn’t even articulate the issues, let alone where she stood on ANY of them!

Funny stuff.

Carolyn McCarthy, the LIRR widow, who now serves as a Long Island Congresswoman, has vowed to challenge her, in the next possible Primary.

Apparently Carolyn McCarthy is blithely unaware that Pete King would thrash her in a race for that seat.

When Liberals complain so openly and bitterly, you KNOW it’s a good choice!

Charles Schumer recruited numerous Blue Dogs for various Senate races in Red States (Webb, Tester, etc.) back in 2006. Now he may have helped engineer one for New York.

So far, I like it very, VERY much!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Never Mind...

That’s what Caroline Kennedy has pretty much said about her recent bid for Hillary Clinton’s New York Senate seat.

And that’s probably a good thing too, given her public speaking woes and her even bigger public policy lapses evidenced in even the softest of interviews.

To date, she's spent her entire life avoiding politics, while serving on various charitable and non-profit boards - she should probably stay that course. It’s a good and noble one, devoid of the slime of politics.

Her few forays with the media have proven that not only is public speaking NOT her strength (she not only made G W Bush look positively Shakespearean, she’s even made some rappers look eloquent by comparison), but, worse yet, she apparently hasn't even thought much about many if any of the major issues a Senator would be dealing with.

Into the breach, have stepped forward some real strange and some scary names, the most disgusting being former UFT head Randi Weingarten, then there's Carolyn Maloney and even Fran Drescher.

Don’t Do It Barack!...

Please don’t take the obviously well-intentioned advice of George McGovern. Please!

In today’s Washington Post, the former Senator and the vanquished Democratic standard-bearer in 1972 wrote, “As you settle into the Oval Office, Mr. President, may I offer a suggestion? Please do not try to put Afghanistan right with the U.S. military. To send our troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan would be a near-perfect example of going from the frying pan into the fire. There is reason to believe some of our top military commanders privately share this view. And so does a broad and growing swath of your party and your supporters.”

Well, at least George McGovern’s consistent. Peace at any cost...on our knees, begging for mercy from merciless enemies, folks like McGovern would seem to prefer even the deafening quietude of slavery over war.

Of course he argues, “I don't oppose all wars. I risked my life in World War II to protect our country against genuine danger. But it is the vivid memory of my fellow airmen being shot out of the sky on all sides of me in a war that I believe we had to fight that makes me cautious about sending our youth into needless conflicts that weaken us at home and abroad, and may even weaken us in the eyes of God.”

But he misses the point.

The world has shrunk since his generation fought Hitler and Tojo and today Mujahadim in the mountains of Afghanistan plan, coordinate and train cells that are operating within our own borders.

In the end, Mr. McGovern asks, “How about a five-year time-out on war - unless, of course, there is a genuine threat to the nation?”

The correct response, from President Obama would be, “Thank you, no.”

A Phony Terrorist Threat...And a Real One

Recently an email has been making the rounds giving the predictions of an alleged former Mossad Agent and “anti-terror expert” named Juval Aviv (above left).

It details predictions allegedly made by Mr. Aviv, claiming that a terrorist attack on America is imminent and will occur within the next few months.

The email also claims that Juval Aviv criticizes America’s airport security (MANY security experts have) alleging that pre-screened baggage could be used by terrorists to inflict mayhem in an airport.

The email is long, detailed and is written in the jargon familiar to law enforcement and anti-terror specialists.

In fact, Juval Aviv is an Israeli citizen. He has been interviewed in the U.S. media as a “terror expert” and he does run a Madison Avenue corporate-espionage firm named Interfor.

Aviv has been invited on air with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, CNN's Mary Snow and FoxNews’ Bill O'Reilly.

Unfortunately, little else about Juval Aviv checks out.

Officially, the Israeli government says that Aviv’s self-proclaimed anti-terror credentials are bogus. According to a 1990 letter from Yigal Carmon, then the Israeli prime minister's counterterrorism adviser, Aviv was never an assassin, let alone the person chosen by Golda Meir to avenge the Munich massacre. "Aviv does not work and has never worked for the Intelligence Community of the State of Israel," Carmon wrote in response to an inquiry from the U.S. government.

In fact, Carmon added, the closest that Aviv ever came to intelligence work was as a security official for an El Al office in New York. "His work in that capacity was terminated at the initiative of the employer because of unsuitability resulting from negative character traits," Carmon wrote. "During the course of his work Yuval [sic] Aviv was found to be unreliable and dishonest."

Juval Aviv has become known by many in both law enforcement and intelligence. Larry Johnson, who served in the CIA and was the State Department’s Deputy Director of Counterterrorism said quite simply, "This guy's full of shit." He added, "Yes, he has a security and corporate-intelligence firm, and he's big at playing up the Israeli mystique. If you say it with a foreign accent, you're good to go."

Senior counterterrorism officials around the world insist that Juval Aviv is no terrorism expert; instead, he's a liar who's been spreading falsehoods about himself, padding his résumé and claiming prowess as an investigator that he does not possess.

In short, Juval Aviv is an Israeli con-man, without any real anti-terror background and the email alert that’s going around in some quarters is old (2005) and without merit.

On the other hand, Marc A. Thiessen, a senior White House staffer from 2001 – 2009 has written, “President Obama has inherited a set of tools that successfully protected the country for 2,688 days -- and he cannot dismantle those tools without risking catastrophic consequences.”

Mr. Thiessen recently noted that, “During the campaign, Obama pledged to dismantle many of these policies. He follows through on those pledges at America's peril -- and his own. If Obama weakens any of the defenses Bush put in place and terrorists strike our country again, Americans will hold Obama responsible -- and the Democratic Party could find itself unelectable for a generation.”

Mr. Thiessen defended the CIA program that the Bush administration created which he noted led to the detaining and questioning of many senior leaders captured in the war on terror; “Many of these terrorists, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, refused to talk - until Bush authorized the CIA to use enhanced interrogation techniques. Information gained using those techniques is responsible for stopping a number of planned attacks - including plots to blow up the American consulate in Karachi, Pakistan; to fly airplanes into the towers of Canary Wharf in London; and to fly a hijacked airplane into the Library Tower in Los Angeles.”

Mr. Thiessen added, “During the campaign, Obama described the techniques used to prevent these attacks as "torture." He promised that if elected, he would "have the Army Field Manual govern interrogation techniques for all United States Government personnel and contractors." If he follows through, he will effectively kill a program that stopped al-Qaeda from launching another Sept. 11-style attack. It was easy for Obama the candidate to criticize the CIA program. But as president, what will he do when the next senior al-Qaeda leader - with actionable intelligence on plots to strike our homeland - is captured and refuses to talk? Will the president allow the CIA to question this terrorist using enhanced interrogation techniques?”

In Thiessen’s estimation, “If Obama refuses (to maintain the current anti-terror procedures) and our country is attacked, he will bear responsibility.”

Marc Thiessen is also concerned about the future of the recently re-authorized National Security Agency's program to monitor foreign terrorist communications, noting that “In the Senate, Obama voted against confirming then-NSA Director Michael Hayden to lead the CIA because, in Obama's words, Hayden was "the architect and chief defender of a program of wiretapping and collection of phone records outside of FISA oversight." In 2007, Obama voted against the Protect America Act, which temporarily authorized the NSA program. Last year, he promised to filibuster a long-term authorization but at the last minute switched his vote. He explained that he still wanted to make changes to the law, including stripping out immunity for telecommunications companies for their cooperation with the NSA - which would effectively kill the program. And he promised that "once I'm sworn in as President - my Attorney General [will] conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and...make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties."

That is why the Eric Holder (above right) nomination is critical, right now.

Should a misguided Justice Department, and Holder was a Deputy AG in perhaps the worst Justice Department in American history – the Reno Justice Department, gut the security measures that have protected American citizens in the name of “extending civil liberties to non-citizens as well,” that may wind up the single greatest act of calumny against the U.S. in its history.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Mexico City Times???

The cash-hemorrhaging New York Times has AGAIN taken a cash infusion from Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim Helu (pictured above), the son of Lebanese-born Catholic immigrants to Mexico and one of the richest men in the world today.

Currently the NY Times has a staggering $1.1 BILLION in debt, which has proven to be difficult for the Sulzberger’s to pay off.

This past September acquired a 6.9% stake in the NY Times through several stock purchases. But since that time, the NY Times fiscal situation has worsened and now Calos Slim has stepped forward with another investment of $250 million, allowing the NY Times to meet a $400 million interest payment due in May.

As part of the agreement, Slim will pay a series of notes over six years, totaling $250 million, with warrants that convert to stock. The interest on the NY Times debt is a whopping 14%, of which 11% is cash, with the remaining 3% in the form of additional bonds.

At this point it remains unclear what Slim’s intentions are with the company. As one report noted, “When he bought his stake in September, Slim made clear that he wasn’t interested in influencing the company’s direction. Whether he holds true to that now is an open question.”

Times shares closed this past Friday at $6.41. Should it drop below $5/share, it will be relegated to virtual “penny stock” status, as mutual funds and pension funds are generally barred from buying stocks valued below $5/share.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

From the “Stupid Is, As Stupid Does” Department...

“Who cares if Maryland is broke, so long as Barack Obama is President.” (Lisa Gladden, MD State Senator, pictured left)

Well yeah, that statement was unquestionably moronic, but even worse is the fact that tens of millions of Americans are being led to blame the current economic storm and coming econ-tsunami that is about to hit a LOT of Municipal governments HARD on exactly the opposite of what's caused it!

The current credit crisis-fueled economic meltdown is being blamed on "rampant Capitalism" and "de-regulation," when in FACT, (1) we HAVEN'T HAD a free market or "rampant Capitalism" since 1912 - we've had a heavily REGULATED market-based economy and (2) the PRIMARY CAUSE of the current economic mess has been massive government over-spending AND stupid regulation (like the "turbo-charged CRA" that mandated that banks make more (subprime) loans available to lower income Americans).

Ironically enough, lots of brain-dead dolts in the media and in politics are now touting even more SPENDING (ie. a HUGE welfare check in the form of the misnamed "Earned Income Tax Credit to non-income tax paying Americans and MORE useless and unworkable bailouts for irresponsible businesses) and MORE regulation as the antidote to a problem that was caused by those things!

We've NEVER "spent our way out of a recession," EVER.

2009's economic malaise may well be blamed on "the Bush legacy," BUT 2010 will be the telling year. IF things get worse in 2010 - and overspending now makes that much more likely - THAT will be laid at the Obama administration's door...and it probably would return the Congress back to the GOP.

A GOP Congress alone is NOT the answer, it must be a Conservative Congress! The DeLay and Hastert Congresses were nearly as profligate and reckless and the Pelosi-Reid Congress.

The ONLY Congress in the past CENTURY that cut federal spending, produced budget surpluses and delivered some of the lowest Misery Indexes (the inflation rate and the unemployment rate added together) in over four decades was the GINGRICH Congress.

A lot of people who've been immune to the recessions of the last 25 years (government workers) are about to get hit and hit hard.

States like NY, CA, MI and IL are all deeply in debt. NYS is some $25 BILLION in debt and NYC, which has already laid off some workers is looking at the possibility of massive layoffs in fiscal year (FY) 2009, which begins in July.

Moreover, the pension funds for most cities are managed by their states and if NYS, CA or IL go into default, all those lavish Municipal pensions will be paid in pennies on the dollar.

THAT'S when you're going to see some REAL social turmoil, because there's no more spoiled group than the Municipal workers who've been immune to economic downturns and fiscal upheavals. The specter of laid off and pension-less cops, teachers, public health workers, firefghters and social workers is a Liberal's nightmare.

I'm not saying THAT'S definitely coming, but I AM saying IT COULD and the odds increase the more we try and spend and regulate our way out of this.

And that's coming from a 24 year firefighter in NYC, so I'm NOT "rooting for disaster", merely facing the realities that are as clear as that iceberg just ahead of the Titanic once was.
H/T and THANKS to Conservative Black Woman...

For the Gamblers Among Us...

I’ve been saying this for a few weeks, so I’ll put it in writing before today’s games for any bettors out there (I don’t bet on games myself).

I believe this is the Cardinals' year and I was pulling for the Giants early on. They were the team I most didn't want the Giants to have to face, although the Eagles were also hotter than the Giants, coming into the playoffs and outplayed the Gints last week.

But this is setting up as a historic “Bird Year.”

The Cardinals are this year’s Giants – everybody’s underdog.

They beat the Falcons last week, they need (and I believe WILL) beat the Eagles this week and that SHOULD set up a Cardinals vs Ravens Super Bowl! Cardinals over the Ravens in the Bird Bowl.

Bird is the word.

It’s either that or an old school Eagles/Steelers matchup, but I’m thinking – BIRDS!
So get your bets in early, you inveterate gamblers.
Apologies to GeeeZ for yet another "football post."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Liberalism and its Discontents, OR Liberals Still Can’t Get Over G W Bush...

I get around, and in so doing, I spare no expense in bringing the rants and ravings of the far-Left to light and to, explain their inaccuracies in as great a detail as time and human patience permits.

Here's a recent example with my responses in red.;

"The Last Days of the Bush Regime

Only 3 days left. Here are the achievements of that regime:


1. They violated international laws.

(How? By engaging in “an unprovoked, UN opposed” military action, in Iraq?” We did the same in Bosnia! For that matter so were Vietnam and Korea, unprovoked and without the support of the UN...none of those are technically examples of “violating international law, as there is no “international law requiring UN Permission for military intervention” and besides, there is no “overriding legal authority upon which international law is predicated.)

2. They violated US laws.

(What "violations" are you referring to?

The NSA surveillance program, perhaps?

That program was NOT a violation of any U.S. laws. The 1979 FISA law ALLOWED for warrantless tracking of calls/emails “FROM suspect foreign portals” INTO the U.S. Moreover, the very legal Patriot Act (approved almost unanimously TWICE by Congress, merely allowed for the flip side of that – allowing for the warrantless tracking of calls/emails “To suspect foreign portals FROM the U.S.” – Congress recently (overwhelmingly) re-authorized those surveillance techniques AND granted cooperating telecom companies the immunity that such cooperation should have come as “IMPLIED IMMUNITY.” The U.S. Congress, in recently and overwhelmingly re-authorizing that NSA Surveillance program along with the requisite telecom immunities, has officially legalized all of that.)
3. They randomly destroyed another country (Iraq).

(There was nothing “random” about it. Iraq sheltered and supported terrorist organizations that direct violence against Iran, Israel, and Western governments. Before the 2003 coalition invasion, Saddam’s Iraq cooperated with the al Qaida run, ansar al-Islam camps against a common enemy, the Kurds in northern Iraq.

Iraqi dissidents abroad had been targeted for murder by Saddam’s Iraq.

In 1993, Iraq attempted to assassinate the Emir of Kuwait and in September of 2001, Iraq's government openly praised the attacks of September the 11th.

Al Qaeda terrorists who escaped from Afghanistan were known to be in Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion. So, Iraq was NOT invaded "randomly.")
4. They lied to start a war that resulted in hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and innumerable numbers of wounded.

(Funny story, again, there were no apparent “lies.” The French, Russians, the English and the UN all believed that Saddam’s Iraq held stockpiles of WMDs.

Rolf Ekeus, executive chairman of UNSCOM, which ran the chemical and biological inspections in Iraq from 1991 to 1997, was interviewed on PBS in February of 2003 about Colin Powell’s presentation, he noted that while Powell’s detailing the missing U.S. weaponry components was not new, “what was new was the -- I think quite convincing presentation of how Iraq was not cooperating, what was -- it was preparing the reception of the inspectors in a way, which would make it very difficult for inspectors to do their job.”

And David Albright, a former analyst and inspector who monitored Iraq's nuclear program from 1992 to 1997 said, “I think some of the radio intercepts were quite compelling. I think Powell demonstrated there was a decision and a policy of Iraqi government to hide things from the inspectors and build I think a very strong case to show that Iraq never intended to comply and unless it has an epiphany is unlikely to comply in the future.”

Daniel Benjamin, director for counterterrorism on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration said, “What he (Powell) pointed to was a man named Zarkawi, an al-Qaida manager of a fairly high level, who had been in Iraq, who had medical attention in Iraq that some operatives seem to have gravitated to him while he was in Iraq.

“The relationship between this man Zarkawi and a group in the Kurdish controlled area of Iraq called Answar al-Islam (ph) which is a radical Islamist group and appears to have connections with al-Qaida.”

Dan Benjamin added, “Time Magazine reported that there was someone on the ruling council of Answar al-Islam who had been in Saddam Hussein's intelligence service.” A poorly planned post-war insurgency and a poorly orchestrated war effort? YES. "Lies?" NO.)
5. They used torture. A totally un-American concept.


Is keeping subjects standing for hours, keeping them awake for long periods with bright lights and loud sounds, subjecting them to colder than normal and warmer than normal environs “torture?”

Of course NOT!

ALL those techniques have been routinely used by law enforcement on Americans accused of heinous crimes like child molestation, multiple murders, etc.

And water boarding - the technique of pouring water on the head of a prisoner with the purpose of triggering a gag reflex and the feeling and panic of imminent drowning – is THAT torture?

Torture is defined as “the infliction of severe pain,” and while waterboarding induces fear, because it simulates drowning, it does not inflict pain.

Moreover, the U.S. military waterboards hundreds of our own soldiers every year? It is part of the conditioning Special Forces troops undergo to prepare for battle and the possibility of capture by the enemy.

The three terrorists who were subjected too waterboarding are Abu Zubaydah, Osama bin Laden’s chief of operations; Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the mastermind of the bombing of the USS Cole; and Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

In these cases waterboarding and other coercive techniques, such as forcing prisoners to stand for hours, succeeded in extracting intelligence that led to the capture of key al-Qaida operative planning terrorist attack against Americans.

Bottom-line, those people who objected to the waterboarding of those three terrorists were, in effect, lamenting that “not enough Americans have been killed by jihadists.”

6. They created Guantanamo and violated human rights.

(The creation of Gitmo violated human rights?

No it didn’t!

Any more than Alcatraz Island violates human rights.

What the Bush administration did was break down the ridiculous and harmful walls between domestic law enforcement (ie the FBI, etc.) and our international intelligence agencies (the CIA, etc.) which could’ve prevented 9/11, they expanded FISA, which had allowed for the warrantless tracking of calls/emails FROM “suspect foreign portals” INTO the U.S. since 1979. To include the tracking of calls/emails TO “suspect foreign portals” FROM the U.S. and kept America free from jihadist attack for over seven years!

That, for better, or worse, becomes the new standard...ONE attack on U.S. soil is a failure compared to the Bush legacy.)

7. They blocked funding for stem cell research.

(That’s an inaccurate statement, as written, as there’s NEVER been more government funded stem cell research. The Bush administration merely defunded embryonic stem cell research and it should be noted that hESC research has been relegated unnecessary earlier this year; “Researchers said they found a safe way to coax adult cells to regress into an embryonic state, alleviating the political and ethical tempests surrounding that research.”)
8. They dramatically decreased funding for scientific research in the US.

(Actually that is either a deliberate lie or a gross oversight on your part. In fact, for the most recent budget available (fy 2006): “Basic research is part of $132.3 billion proposed for federally funded research and development. The record-setting number is an increase of $773 million over the R&D spending for FY 2005.”
9. They destroyed the US economy.

(Again, that would, more accurately be stated, “G W Bush coupled with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd , helped plunge the country into economic crisis via excessive government spending and inane regulation, like the turbo-charged CRA (of 1995) that mandated banks to make tons of subprime loans, or as Andy Cuomo put it, “Not merely lend to “the rich,” also known as ‘those who can pay those loans back,’ ” THAT is what harmed the U.S. economy.)
10.They destabilized the global economy.
(Again, the subprime mortgage crisis, triggered by the “turbo-charged CRA” which mandated that more subprime loans be made available to low income Americans. That WOULD HAVE tanked America’s banking industry, SO, Rep. Frank and Sen. Dodd set up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buying up those high-risk loans. Once government, in effect, indemnified the banks from such high-risk behaviors, they couldn’t write bad loans fast enough. The turbo-charged CRA (an example of real bad regulation) coupled with a failure of basic oversight on the part of the SEC are the primary triggers of the global credit crisis.)


"Last Days of the Bush Regime" by Bluewind;

How The Madoff Case Demonstrates the Efficacy of Capital Punishment...

No, Bernie Madoff’s scam doesn’t warrant the death penalty, though it DOES, in my view, merit life WITHOUT parole, and that, as much as anything else, highlights why Capital Punishment is NEEDED for other, more heinous crimes.

Bernie Madoff and his associates in that Ponzi scheme maliciously and deliberately destroyed the lives of their investors.

Many people lost their entire life’s savings and many charities may have to shut their doors in response to those losses, so it’s understandable that those duped WOULD like to see Bernie get the chair.

I AGREE that this was a singularly dastardly financial crime, and Madoff richly deserves to have his life ruined, his Liberty confiscated, in return for ruining so many other lives.

There are a number of crimes, in my view that warrant Life WITHOUT Parole. Those include serious scams, like Madoff’s, counterfeiting currency, as it undermines the entire monetary system and impersonating a police officer or emergency service worker, as those who do that, are undoubtedly doing that to apply an illegal and baseless authority over their fellow citizens. Home invaders, kidnappers, rapists and others are the kinds of thugs most likely to impersonate peace officers.

So, if all those serious crimes warrant Life WITHOUT Parole, then what punishment do even more serious crimes require?

Capital Punishment, the “ultimate punishment,” of course!

What crimes warrant Capital Punishment?

Well, various forms of murder – murder of a police officer, multiple murders (serial or mass murders), murder with torture, etc. without question, and despite the Supreme Court’s recent faux pas, repeat child rape warrants the death penalty, along with treason during wartime.

In my view, ALL of those Capital crimes should come with a statute that offers NO LATITUDE for the presiding judge.

Think about it, IF counterfeiting, massive fiscal scams and impersonating a peace officer/emergency worker warrant Life WITHOUT Parole (and they DO), it seems wrong to then seek to punish far more heinous acts with a punishment suitable to such a lesser crime.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Some Questions...

Why Was New York Community Bancorp Approved for Rescue Cash?

Henry Paulson recently cleared New York Bancorp (NY’s 4th largest bank) to receive $596 in federal rescue cash.

NY Bancorp turned down the offer, as it would’ve had to sell $596 Million in shares in the bank (a more than 10% stake) to the feds. The bank, with assets totaling over $32 BILLION responded that it was healthy, untainted by junk assets and “well capitalized” WITHOUT the Treasury aid!

So WHY were they cleared to receive the $596 MILLION in “RESCUE AID” to begin with???

How is Anne Coulter Worse Than Al Franken?

I mean, Coulter's both FUNNIER and SMARTER (a LOT smarter) than Al Franken, so what’s the difference between Anne Coulter and Al Franken?

I mean aside from the obvious - that Anne Coulter’s skewering observations are often witty and more often than not, actually funny, two things Al Franken never is - seriously, what is the difference between these two commentators?

OK, I’ll also add that Anne Coulter’s statistics are always right on the money and her arguments mostly unassailable. Her weak point is that her delivery is often bludgeoning and without nuance, but Al Franken is every bit as “mean-spirited” and as lacking in nuance. In fact, the only difference I can see between the two is that Franken is a little fatter (OK, a LOT fatter), reliably UNABLE to back up his assertions with any stats or facts and he’s about 50 or so IQ points shy of Coulter...but that’s about it!

So, why is Franken a media darling, while Coulter is seen as some kind of pariah?

Oh yeah, it is the mainstream media, we’re talking about – most of them are Franken’s who rarely smile.

Why Are Sexual Harassment Accusations Against Ed Curry Printed Without Any Indication That There’s Proof Behind Them?

(Sports Alert) But really, this sports observation goes to major problem in our society.

Turns out that NY Knicks Center, Ed Curry has been accused by Limo driver David Kuchinsky of (1) sexual harassment, Kuchinsky claims the married father of two (Curry) made unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances and (2) verbal abuse, including a host of racial slurs, as David Kuchinssky claims that Curry, who’d hired him full time as a driver, often referred to him as a “f*cking Jew, “cracker” and “white slave.”

David Kuchinsky is seeking $98,000 and compensatory damages.

I hope, for Mr. Kuchinsky’s sake that he has some actual evidence (like tapes or something along those lines) and that’s he’s not expecting a jury to simply believe that Ed Curry is the “bad guy” simply because he’s a “rich basketball player.” After all, Curry had, as one teammate put it, “taken a chance on Kuchinsky,” by overlooking his previous 3 year prison sentence for a 1992 burglary and a three year probation stint over a 2004 resisting arrest conviction, to hire David Kuchinsky and put him up in his home.

You read charges like that now-a-days and you really don’t know what to believe, and that’s really unfair to the public figures invariably involved. Without proof (tapes, or something like that) I don’t know how a jury could find in favor of the plaintiff.

Why are charges like this "frontpage news" and when/if those charges prove false, that's deemed "section D, Page 34 news?"

How Much is a Kidney Donation Worth in New York?

And finally, there’s the case of the “kidney Divorce,” here in New York.

Richard Batista, a vascular surgeon at Nassau University Medical Center, claims his wife left him after having an affair with her physical therapist.

He’d given her one of his kidneys in 2001 and now wants it back...OK, NOT the kidney, but the $1.5 million, which he claims is the value of the transplant.

For her part, Dawnell Batista (the wife) calls her husband, insanely jealous and "hyper-suspicious," her attorney, Douglas Rothkopf claiming "He was rummaging through her underwear drawer and sniffing the underwear" to see if she had cheated.

Will that kidney become part of the “Marital assets” thus greatly benefitting Dr. Batista in that divorce? And if so, how will a court determine an actual value for that kidney.

Not for nothing, but I’m pretty sure you could get the Chinese to cut one out of one of their many prisoners, bag it in ice and express ship it for about $800. I mean, I COULD be wrong about that, but I hear that’s the current black-market rate.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

When’s a "Tax-Cut" NOT a Tax Cut?...

Turns out that the $300 BILLION tax cut called for by the incoming Barack Obama isn’t going to be a tax cut to actual tax payers BUT INSTEAD, much of it will wind up in the form of an INCREASE in the Earned INCOME TAX CREDIT (EITC) to people who don’t pay federal income taxes in the first place.


That’s NOT a “tax-cut,” it’s MASSIVE “social spending” aimed at expanding a welfare program and it’s going to come from even more DEFICIT SPENDING!

Those who currently receive the EITC DO NOT pay any income taxes.

In fact, the top 10% of income earners earn 47.3% of the AGI (aggregate gross income) and pay a whopping 71% of the income taxes. That’s UP 2% since the Bush-43 across-the-board tax income tax rate cuts! So, this income is taxed at 1.5 X or 150% of the percentage of that share of the overall income earned!

The bottom 50% of U.S. income earners (a number which includes part-time, per diem and illegal workers) earn 12.5% of the AGI and pay only 3% of income taxes! This income is taxed at LESS than 0.25 or a measley 25% percent of that share of the overall income earned!

The Mid-40% of U.S. income earners ($48,000 to $108,000 per year) earn appx. 40% of AGI and pay about 26% of the income taxes. So this income is taxed at about 0.62 or 62% of the percentage of that share of the overall income earned!

An across the board “$500 rebate” disproportionately benefits those who earn/PRODUCE less, while an across-the-board rate cut clearly delivers the only real chance for any “TAXPAYER relief.”

BUT that’s not the only problem with such a “tax rebate.”

Increasing a “welfare payment” (the EITC) is NOT “cutting taxes” but “increasing social spending,” and it will have the same inevitable result as would increasing the WIC program.

The Coming Economic Strom and What Conservatives Can Do

Most Republicans and far too many Conservatives are getting ahead of themselves, thinking about “Who should be the GOP standard bearer in 2012?”

For me, that's not even an issue at this point, and one thing that Conservatives SHOULD NOT do, is to act like far-Left, fringe Democrats did with G W Bush. It’s wrong to look for ANYthing and at EVERYthing to bash the Obama administration over and what’s more that’s usually a very counter-productive strategy.

While it’s wrong, in my view to bash Obama for “coming around on lower taxes being good for the economy,” I’d prefer to consider that enlightenment, rather than hypocrisy, as I don’t like looking a gift-horse in the mouth.

Now, it’s NOT at all wrong to note and deride the proposed “$500 for every working individual and $1,000 for every working couple tax cut,” as a “INCREASED WELFARE SPENDING,” as the EITC is, in effect, a “welfare program” as it sends to checks to people who don’t pay income taxes to begin with!

As I've said, I don't see Obama as "the AntiChrist" or the incoming administration as "evil" by any means.

We HAVEN'T had a free market here in America since about 1912...almost 100 years now.That's something that most Americans both on the Right and Left either refuse to acknowledge OR are just plain unaware of.

In FACT, we have the SAME economic model as all of Western Europe and Japan has - a "Corporatist" (for lack of a better word) economy, one that is market-based but heavily government regulated.
Within that Corporatist framework there is a sliding scale, with Supply-Side market-emphasis on the one side and Keynesianism government-emphasis on the other. Some people erroneously call Keynesian Corporatism (like France, Germany and Sweden) "socialism," and America's, Australia's and Hong Kong's as "free market"...when NEITHER is the correct.

Europe appears more Keynesian lately, but we were just as Keynesian up UNTIL it imploded under Jimmy Carter amidst the burden of bailouts and stimulus packages, along with tax hikes. Ironically enough, Carter’s very Keynesian administration was preceded by a Republican Keynesian administration (Nixon’s) which thought “inflation primed the economic pump,” and engaged in all manner of over-regulation, even wage and price controls, which NO administration has had the guts to return to since! Ironically enough, Obama is now following another Keynesian Republican, who managed as a Keynesian his entire second term, and like Carter, Obama is faced with a Congress top-heavy with misguided Liberals.

A lot of today’s Congressional Democrats (Frank, Dodd, Pelosi, Waxman, Reid, Frank and Rangel, among others) want to move us back to a decidedly Keynesian path (more like France and Sweden and less like America) and a lot of Moderate/"Rockefeller-wing" Republicans want the same.

For now, a majority of the American electorate has bought into the nebulous concept of "change" and will probably go along with some of that leftward, Keynesian tilt, UNTIL or UNLESS it results in even worse economic dislocation. There’s no reason to expect different results from the same policies that imploded the economy in the 1970s. I accept that as inevitable.
I also accept the failure of Keynesian policies as inevitable as that is well documented;
The post-Gingrich Republican Congress abandoned the small government, low tax principles that Gingrich used to deliver some of the lowest Misery Indexes in over four decades!

G W Bush’s ONLY Supply Side action was his across the board tax cuts early on in his administration. Along with that he embarked on one of the largest federal spending programs in history!

The NCLB Act, the prescription drug boondoggle, the massive Homeland Security apparatus that sucked in huge amounts of federal spending all helped to increase government spending and balloon the national debt, although NONE of those nearly as much as his signing onto last spring’s “stimulus package and the current bank bailout!

The Bush administration has spend like Keynesians and were fortunate that the across the board tax cuts increased tax revenues to such an extent that until 2006, they’d actually halved the deficit over the previous three years!
The difference in the Misery Indexes those periods delivered is astounding;

The prime Supply Side years:

1995: 8.40

1996: 8.34

1997: 7.28

1998: 6.05 * (LOWEST Misery Index since 1956)

1999: 6.41

2000: 7.35

2001: 7.59

SEVEN YEAR Supply-Side AVERAGE ANNUAL Misery Index = 7.34

The prime Keynesian years:

1974: 16.67

1975: 17.68

1976: 13.45

1977: 13.55

1978: 13.69

1979: 17.07

1980: 20.76

SEVEN YEAR Keynesian AVERAGE ANNUAL Misery Index = 16.12
That pretty much says it all! Keynesianism DOESN'T WORK!

The fact is that we are, at this point, a VERY spoiled country and the FACT is that the vast majority of Americans haven’t felt the economic tsunami that appears headed our way. Right now, states from Illinois to California to New York to Michigan are teetering on insolvency and with or without bankruptcy, many states are already laying off workers, in advance of the massive Municipal layoffs that would accompany harder times. New Jersey just passed its first state budget EVER which is smaller than the year before’s! New York is looking at serious pension reform and Chicago’s, like California’s state pension systems are the nation’s most underfunded and least solvent systems.

Think things are bad now?

Wait till we see tens of thousands of cops, teachers and other Municipal workers getting pension “buyouts” of pennies on the dollar, screaming about the “broken trust.”

The sad thing is that years of tax cuts have expanded tax revenues and resulted in even MORE bloated federal, state and local governments, meaning that their ONLY response to real hard economic times is going to be massive layoffs and pension overhauls...this has the possibility of getting very, VERY ugly, not too far down the road.

All that may be inevitable.
What ISN'T inevitable is how we Conservatives react. If we react as petulant juveniles and try to do what the far-Left appears to have done successfully with G W Bush, we will fail.

We're just not as good at that and the people (the vast middle) won't accept that from those who claim the "moral high ground."

We can only offer insights and help people see the light....railing against "evil Democrats" and calling opponents "Stalinists" and "socialists" will ultimately marginalize us as much as the fringe Left marginalized itself by deriding those they disagreed with as "nazis."

We HAVE to be better....because ultimately, we have far less room for error.
American Ideas Click Here!