Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Poor Ted Kennedy

Done in by his own, unfailing moral compass. I'm gonna nominate this book for the J. Gordon Coogler Award for the worst book of the year. This would Ted Kennedy-themed books consecutive winners.

"If the thing had been handled properly, the first thing they would have done is put him in a hospital. Then they would have said he was a victim of an auto accident and didn't know what he was doing and couldn't be held responsible for anything that happened really after that, which would have been a fair explanation," says author-journalist Hersh, who knew Kennedy since they were classmates at Harvard. "But instead, he felt terribly guilty about the whole thing ... tried to take responsibility and ... just confused the issue."

Obama On The Wrong Side Of History

And he's determined to stay there. Obama will not credit victory in Iraq to the surge. Oh, and by the way, all you soldiers who fought, bled and died. It wasn't your victory. That belongs to the Sunnis.

At Monday's White House briefing, spokesman Robert Gibbs gave reporters a preview of President Obama's speech on Iraq. Obama will apparently take credit for withdrawing U.S. troops -- "We are completing a drawdown of almost 100,000 troops that…many did not think was possible," Gibbs said -- but is unlikely to acknowledge any special role played by George W. Bush's troop surge. Gibbs said Obama plans to call Bush before the speech, but through repeated questioning would not admit that the surge played any especially important role in the war's progress.

"Does he believe that President Bush deserves any credit for the surge, laying the groundwork for troop withdrawal?" a reporter asked Gibbs.

"I'd point you to the many comments that the president has made throughout a number of years about the role that increasing the number of our troops has played, just as a Sunni Awakening has played, just as a better political environment has played," Gibbs said. "I think that the president will get a chance to talk about a lot of that."

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Previewing-Obama-Iraq-speech-Gibbs-wont-credit-surge-101835608.html#ixzz0yBucpzYe

Obama's Walter Cronkite Moment?

It might be - if anyone ever read Paul Krugman.

President Obama may have experienced his Walter Cronkite moment over the economy.

Responding to Cronkite's reporting from Vietnam four decades ago that the only way to end the war was by negotiating with the North Vietnamese, President Lyndon Johnson was reported (though never confirmed) to have said, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America."

Now President Obama appears to have "lost" New York Times liberal economic columnist Paul Krugman. Krugman, who enthusiastically supported the president's redistributionist and stimulus plans, has bowed to the reality that they are not working. In a recent column titled "This is Not a Recovery," Krugman took issue with the president and Vice President Joe Biden that we have experienced a summer of economic recovery.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Charlie Crist Distances Himself From Charlie Crist

Again. If you want to know what Charlie Crist believes, don't bother asking Charlie Crist. He doesn't have a clue.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist appeared to backtrack from statements he made regarding same-sex marriage during a CNN interview Sunday, saying in a statement that he does not support a Constitutional ban on the practice.

The comments appear at odds with what the Florida Senate candidate told CNN's Ed Henry on State of the Union, during which he expressed continued support for a ban on same-sex marriage.

"I feel the same way, yes, because I feel that marriage is a sacred institution, if you will. But I do believe in tolerance. I'm a live and let live kind of guy, and while I feel that way about marriage, I think if partners want to have the opportunity to live together, I don't have a problem with that," said Crist when asked about his stance against same-sex marriage when he ran for governor four years ago.

This is getting to be a habit for him. Crist seems to believe that he is above it all, including principles.

Stop Enforcing The Law...

Or else!

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County, Arizona, man who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” has until Sept. 10 to comply with a Justice Department request to explain his office’s “operations, policies and procedures” involving the arrest and detention of Hispanics, according to a letter obtained by ABC News.

The Department has been investigating the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for alleged civil rights violations. Officials set the deadline following a meeting Tuesday with Arpaio’s attorneys in Washington.

Actually, I would like to correct Jake Tapper. The problem isn't that Arpaio arrest hispanics. It's that he arrests illegal aliens. Jake Tapper is usually better than this, but when you're marinating in WashingtonSpeak 24/7, some of it sinks in.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Why Does Obama Suck At Being President?

Barack Obama argued that being a presidential candidate qualified him to serve at the president. My then-editor bought into this crap. Well, it hasn't worked out that way, has it?

Here's one of the big questions, really, one to chew on over the weekend, one that's asked a lot around this town. How could a bunch of people who ran such a brilliant campaign be doing such a lousy job at the politics of governing?

It really is a mystery. In 2008, they seemed two steps ahead of everybody else. In 2010, they seem two steps behind. What happened?

Let's consider some possible explanations:

1. Campaigns are easier than governing. Not to be discounted. Campaigns are hard, but governing is harder. You're actually responsible for stuff, and that stuff sticks to you more. Takes a while to figure that out.

Hmmm. Didn't Sarah Palin say something like this? Why yes! She did.

There's more. Read it all.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Modest, But Significant Start

What do you call the elimination of three vice presidential positions? Answer: A modest start. Washington State University president Elson Floyd certainly deserves congratulations for taking on the irresistible force of higher education administrative bloat. The good news is that WSU will have three fewer vice presidents shortly resulting in a total savings of $700,000 - $900,000. The frustrating news is that such streamlining comes after so many years of administrative bloating that there is probably layer after layer of bloat that still could be liposuctioned away without harming the university’s function.

While much political hay is made using statistics showing that medical expenses rise faster than inflation (an economic distortion for another time), far less is made of the fact that education expenses also outpace inflation, as any parent writing tuition checks could tell you.

One of the forces driving this inflation is the fact that, as with most medical expenses, the consumer has a layer of insulation between himself and the true costs. With medical expenses, most of the bills are paid indirectly through insurance companies. The consumer has essentially prepaid and has little incentive to reduce costs. The same was once true for publicly supported universities. Taxes provide direct support and subsidized financial aid provides much of the rest. Until recently, the share that parents had to come up with themselves could be managed relatively painlessly. This layer of insulation has permitted colleges and universities to grow quite recklessly.

No more. Today, writing a tuition check hurts. And so it’s worth examining what those checks are paying for.

Economic studies have shown that, unlike the real world, universities do not realize economies of scale as they grow. In fact, quite the opposite occurs as the growth in the number of administrators outpaces the growth in student populations and instructors. Per student expenses actually rise as more students are admitted. And the primary cause of this is administrative bloat.

Honestly, I don’t have the specific numbers for Washington State University, although I do know that administrative positions have proliferated during my time here. However the Goldwater Institute has collected the data nationwide and their results will surprise no one who has worked in higher education or who has been putting children through college. Between 1993 and 2007, enrollment at America’s publicly funded colleges and universities rose by 15%. During that same time, the number of full time administrators rose by 60%. This translates into an additional 39% more administrators per 100 students in 2007 than were employed fifteen years earlier.

The good news is that Washington State University is nowhere near the worst offender. According to the Goldwater Institute, nearly half of all full time employees at Arizona State University are administrators and the number of administrators per 100 students has risen 94%. Simultaneously, the number of teacher and researchers these administrators supervise has actually declined by 2%.

But, “We’re not as bad as ASU” is hardly the sort of slogan that anyone’s likely to rally around. “We’re making real progress,” is more like it. And even though Dr. Floyd’s initiative might look like baby steps to an outsider, from the perspective of someone who has seen the seemingly inexorable growth of administrators, it has the appearance of lowering a shoulder into a glacier and driving it backwards a couple of inches. Arresting plate tectonics looks easy in comparison.

Hopefully this represents an embryonic change in higher education culture. For far too long education at all levels has served first as a full employment program for adults rather than as an incubator to nurture and educate our youth. Trimming away this tiny bit of excess has probably rattled quite a few nerves in the university’s administrative offices as previously there was no safer job.

Of course, the real answer to arresting and reversing administrative bloat is to examine closely the tasks needed to run a university and ask if jobs are really necessary or are duplicated. I once saw an analysis of the federal government’s bureaucracy that found that the feds employed more than thirty layers of administrative bureaucracy where private enterprise would require only five. I suspect that similar bloat exists everywhere in higher education.

This was no doubt a painful experience for Dr. Floyd and he might not receive quite as many Christmas cards this year as a result. But he deserves congratulations for showing the courage to do what desperately needed to be done.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm Feeling Ripped Off

The summer of recovery is going to be the “Mission Accomplished” banner of this administration.

I've heard this somewhere before.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Obama Lies

Says the Associated Press?

The Obama administration claimed this week that $100 billion invested in innovative technologies under the economic stimulus law is “transforming the American economy” by putting the nation on track for technological breakthroughs in health care, energy and transportation.

But an examination of details in the 50-page report unveiled Tuesday by Vice President Joe Biden reveals something a bit different: a collection of rosy projections that ignore many of the challenges, pitfalls and economic realities in all those areas.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You Just Might Be Smarter Than Joe Biden If....

You think that spending $60,000 to study Jordanians who smoke hookah pipes is a waste of money, then you just might be smarter than Joe Biden. Although, I'm sure that he wouldn't agree.

Vice President Joe Biden praised the National Institutes of Health Tuesday, despite the agency’s record spending of tax dollars to study such topics as teaching Chinese meditation techniques to cocaine addicts and “hookah” smoking among college students in Jordan.

“I love how our opponents have nitpicked some of the research money that we have given to NIH. It reflects that they know nothing about science,” Biden said in announcing a report about the $100 billion from the stimulus package being spent on energy, science and health research.

Islam Wasn't Always Backward

That's the strange and somewhat ironic theme of a new museum exhibit celebrating Islam's past. I dunno if it's all that inspiring to be reminded that your culture's glory days are centuries in the past and it's been all downhill since then.

The centerpiece of the show is a replica of an elaborate "elephant" clock that symbolized a multicultural spirit and pioneered modern automation and robotics. It used Greek water-powered technology, and the figures of an Indian elephant, an Egyptian phoenix, a Persian carpet, Chinese dragons and men in Arabian dress.

It was designed 800 years ago by Al-Jazari, a Muslim engineer in what is today southeast Turkey. Other giants of innovation during the 1,000-year period that began in the seventh century were physician Al-Zahrawi, whose innovations shaped European surgery, and Fatima Al-Fihri, whose multi-subject institute of learning, with no gender restrictions, laid foundations for the modern university.

"There is a perception that Islam was always backward and made no contribution to the world of science," said visitor Sule Seda Tezer, who was especially pleased to note the high profile of women in the displays. "The West has a phobia about Islam. I think there is an effort to break the phobia and build better ties between the East and West."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

When Hollywood Does History, History Gets Lost

How can you tell the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson story without the names Richard Armitage and Robert Novak? It's easy, if you learn your history from the mainstream news media.

The only way we even know the name of Valerie Plame (and fame seeking hubby Joe Wilson) is that that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage leaked her name as a CIA officer to columnist Robert Novak. That is what set in motion the long drawn out Plamegate affair in which only Scooter Libby was convicted of something other than leaking her name. So you would figure that the supposedly biographical movie scheduled for a November USA release about Plame, Fair Game, would feature Armitage front and center as the principal villain. Right? Wrong. The fact is that "Fair Game" has tossed Richard Armitage down the memory hole. The man who is responsible for the reason that any of us even know who Valerie Plame is appears nowhere in the extensive IMDB cast credits for this movie.

Harry Reid: "I'm An Asshole"

Elect me anyway.

As Republicans tie him to the state’s economic tailspin and highlight his penchant for politically damaging gaffes, Harry Reid seems to have conceded he’s going to remain the same unpopular figure here between now and Election Day.

None of it matters, though, as long as he finds a way to finish first on Election Day.

“The only approval rating that counts is the one on Nov. 2, OK?” Reid told POLITICO outside a local community center when asked why he has not been able to turn around his low approval ratings.

It’s called winning ugly, and it’s an approach Reid is at peace with as he seeks a fifth term under the worst imaginable political conditions.

Reid is trying to make the case that the state can’t afford to lose him, citing his power as Senate majority leader and the projects he has delivered throughout the state. Yet, his campaign largely has been focused on the foibles of his GOP opponent — Sharron Angle — and the theme that the tea party favorite holds “dangerous” policy positions.

Let's Have Another Housing Bubble

Bending the rules to make it easier for people with bad credit to buy houses caused the current recession. Leftists want to do it all again.

Note To The Big Media

We don't believe you.

Memo to the ruling class media: We are not ignorant or stupid. We've not forgotten Jeremiah Wright. It's not that we don't "know" what faith Obama subscribes to -- it's more that we don't believe him. Or you. Sorry. Not buying.

Besides, sometimes we just like to tweak you with our poll answers -- and use any poll as an excuse to "vote against Obama" in any way, shape or form.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wall Street Give Up Coke For Pot

That's how bad things have gotten under Obama.

Last year, cocaine showed up in 7% of the positive tests at Wall Street firms, down from 16% in 2007, according to Sterling, a New York-based firm that screens about 5,900 employees a year for some 270 finance shops.

Meanwhile, the prevalence of marijuana in failed tests jumped from 64% to 80% between 2007 and 2009.

Obama's Mission Accomplished!

Mission accomplished! The economy is fixed! The heavy lifting is over. According to Barack Obama, we should be thanking him. Happy days are here again. It’s Recovery Summer!

Except that, we’re still losing jobs. Just last month, about ten times as many people quit trying to find work as actually found jobs. When the under employed and the discouraged are counted, the real unemployment rate is about 17%

In an honest world, Barack Obama’s declaration of Recovery Summer would earn at least as much derision as was heaped on his predecessor for the “Mission Accomplished” banner. In truth, it should serve as an even greater albatross around Obama’s neck because the Recovery Summer meme came straight from the White House, while the Mission Accomplished banner was raised by the crew of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln proclaiming that they had completed their assigned task and were returning home.

Let’s review all the claims that have been made for Obamanomics.

First, there were to be about 6 million jobs created or saved. Considering that the US has suffered a net loss of at least 4 million jobs, we are expected to believe that without the stimulus package, we would have lost about 10 million jobs. To support this claim, the Obama administration generated reams of data on jobs created or saved, but when the news media perused it, even CBS’s Katie Couric found it laughable. And when the Obamatons tried to break down the numbers by congressional district, they ended up claiming job growth in about twice as many congressional districts as the United States Constitution allows.

Of course there’s no way to know what alternative reality would have descended from an economic program that simply liberated the economy rather than imposing central planning on it. I can claim that without the stimulus plan, the economy would have created 50 million new jobs on its own and such a claim deserves just as much credibility as any other untestable prediction.

On the one year anniversary of the stimulus bill’s passage, Vice President Joe Biden declared that American taxpayers had “gotten their money’s worth.”

“I don't think they realize it" Biden said, but, "we've only been halfway through the act." He declared that the stimulus had been carefully crafted and calibrated and was performing exactly as it was designed to.

As recently as June 2, 2010, Joe Biden was declaring the stimulus “an absolute success!”

"An absolute success," he told Charlie Rose. "We will create over 3.5 million or save over 3.5 million jobs before this is over."

Although, it was barely six weeks later on ABC’s This Week with Jake Tapper that he blamed the stimulus’s failure on Republicans. “There’s a lot of people at the time argued it was too small,” he said. “A lot of people in our administration…even some Republican economists and some Nobel laureates like Paul Krugman, who continues to argue it was too small.”

“But, you know, there was a reality. In order to get what we got passed, we had to find Republican votes. And we found three. And we finally got it passed.” Biden said.

Nancy Pelosi claimed that passage of ObamaCare would create 4 million jobs on its own and that 400,000 of those jobs would appear almost immediately. I guess that depends upon how you define immediately.

This past spring, Democrats were predicting that Barack Obama would create more jobs in 2010 than Bush did during his entire two terms in office. It’s not looking that way.

So sadly, Recovery Summer has given way to yet another “Blame Bush” autumn. And who can blame them? With every economic report providing “surprisingly” bad data, the Democrats have to return to the only remotely original campaign theme they’ve come up with in the last half century. Accusations of racism have lost their sting as Democrats finally maxed out their race card. Accusations of racism are so integrated into Democrat thinking that they can’t even resist using it in their foreign policy. Obama actually accused Al Qaida of racism. And even though they still employ that tired old scare tactic about Republicans wanting to destroy Social Security, the only mileage that strategy has left is as fodder for late night talk show comedians.

Blame Bush it is.

Meanwhile, Germany implemented a Reaganesque austerity program and is enjoying 9 percent annual growth. How do you say “recovery summer” in German?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ich Bin Ein Juden

So says the Ground Zero mosque imam. Judge for yourself.

"We are here to assert the Islamic conviction of the moral equivalency of our Abrahamic faiths. If to be a Jew means to say with all one's heart, mind and soul Shma` Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu Adonai Ahad; hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One, not only today I am a Jew, I have always been one, Mr. Pearl."

"If to be a Christian is to love the Lord our God with all of my heart, mind and soul, and to love for my fellow human being what I love for myself, then not only am I a Christian, but I have always been one Mr. Pearl."

"And I am here to inform you, with the full authority of the Quranic texts and the practice of the Prophet Muhammad, that to say La ilaha illallah Muhammadun rasulullah is no different."

"It expresses the same theological and ethical principles and values."

Orwellian: Associated Press Solves The Ground Zero Mosque Controversy

By banning the words, "Ground Zero mosque."

Here is some guidance on covering the NYC mosque story, with assists from Chad Roedemeier in the NYC bureau and Terry Hunt in Washington:

1. We should continue to avoid the phrase “ground zero mosque” or “mosque at ground zero” on all platforms. (We’ve very rarely used this wording, except in slugs, though we sometimes see other news sources using the term.) The site of the proposed Islamic center and mosque is not at ground zero, but two blocks away in a busy commercial area. We should continue to say it’s “near” ground zero, or two blocks away…

In short headlines, some ways to refer to the project include:

_ mosque 2 blocks from WTC site
_ Muslim (or Islamic) center near WTC site
_ mosque near ground zero
_ mosque near WTC site

Fortunately, an alternative has already been proposed - The Debris Field mosque.

Obama Bucks Not Going To Teachers As Promised

Unless you are a member of the mainstream media, this probably doesn't surprise you.

“As schools handed out pink slips to teachers this spring, states made a beeline to Washington to plead for money for their ravaged education budgets. But now that the federal government has come through with $10 billion, some of the nation’s biggest school districts are balking at using their share of the money to hire teachers right away.

It’s anyone’s guess where the $10 billion will go now. Or the other $16 billion that was supposed to be directed to the state’s Medicaid programs. Of course, tapping into U.S. corporations investing in foreign markets, and cutting food stamps in 2014 will pay for this latest “special interest” bailout. Right? While Obama and Pelosi continue their record deficit spending, some how the “trickle-up” process doesn’t seem to be working.

Saudi Arabic Advances Out Of The Stone Age

But doesn't quite rise to the humanity and civility of the Spanish Inquisition.

Saudi media are reporting that a judge has asked several hospitals in the country whether they could damage a man's spinal cord as punishment after he was convicted of attacking another man with a cleaver and paralyzing him.

Saudi Arabia enforces Islamic law and on occasion metes out punishments based on the ancient code of an eye-for-an-eye.

Did Barack Obama Squander His Presidential Capital On A Fool's Errand?

According to experts, including allies of the Ground Zero mosque, there's no way that Imam Rauf can raise the money necessary to build the mosque. He needs $100 million dollars. As of right now, he's only $99,981,745 short.

When President Barack Obama turned the battle over a planned New York Islamic center into a national debate over religious freedom, he unwittingly allied himself and his party with an ill-planned, long-shot development project described by one of its most prominent allies as “amateur hour.”

The efforts to launch the $100 million Cordoba House (now dubbed Park51) two blocks north of the World Trade Center site have been an uphill battle from the start, and not just because of controversy. And even as the “Ground Zero Mosque” emerges as a hotly debated national symbol, New York government officials and real estate insiders are privately questioning whether the project has much chance of coming to fruition.

The Cordoba Initiative hasn’t begun fundraising yet for its $100 million goal. The group’s latest fundraising report with the State Attorney General’s office, from 2008, shows exactly $18,255 – not enough even for a down payment on the half of the site the group has yet to purchase.

George W. Bush To Obama's Rescue?

The Chosen One has dug himself in so deep this time that the president's most slavish defenders are pleading with George W Bush to pull Obama's chestnuts out of the fire.

This is delicious: Supporters of the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” are so desperate that they are calling on the Great Satan himself — that’s President George W. Bush to you and me — to support the project. Yes that’s right: all those Bush=Hitler signs have been temporarily retired as the large left flank of the commentariat casts about for authoritative voices to help them put through this project to besmirch the memories of the nearly 3000 people who died at the Ground Zero on September 11, 2001. So we have the comedic spectacle of Maureen Dowd — Maureen Dowd! — writing in The New York Times that “It’s time for W. to weigh in,” explaining that the former President “understands” — when was the last time Maureen Dowd accused George W. Bush of understanding anything? — that that “you can’t have an effective war against the terrorists if it is a war on Islam.”

Byron York, reporting on this gratifying development in The Washington Examiner, also has some lovely quotations from Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post (“I … would love to hear from former President Bush on this issue”) and former New Republic editor Peter Beinart (“I pine for George W. Bush”).

How Our Most Intellectually Vain Failed With The Ground Zero Mosque

It is a controversy that didn't have to happen. And we can thank Michael Bloomberg and Barack Hussein Obama's vanity for that.

The notion that Bloomberg couldn’t have quietly stopped this in New York is like saying Satan is powerless to do anything about the heat in Hades. He could have kept the molehill from becoming a mountain with an afternoon’s worth of phone calls. The center would be built, just not so close to Ground Zero; no big deal.

But instead of quietly extinguishing a controversy, Bloomberg said it was as important a “test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetime...”


...Which brings us to President Obama (who himself could have quietly intervened months ago) and to what may be his most embarrassing blunder yet. At a White House dinner with Muslim leaders Friday night, Obama offered what every major journalistic outfit in the country took to be unqualified support for building the mosque. Indeed, Obama aides preened over his moral courage, telling the New York Times that there was no doubt which side he would take.

“He felt he had a responsibility to speak,” said David Axelrod, as if he were drafting the inscription on Obama’s Profiles in Courage Award. But by Saturday morning, Obama tried to weasel out of it with the sort of lawyerly parsing everybody despises.


Barack Hussein Obama is not just wrong ideologically, he's incompetent.

Who's Extreme Mr President?

The Left Wing Smear Machine Gets Into High Gear

Democrats know that they cannot possibly campaign on the issues. The only path open to them is to attack, attack, attack.

The Democratic strategy in the 2010 election is simple: Change the subject. And given the subject on everyone’s mind, who can blame them? That subject is the economy and related matters like spending, the deficit, debt, and President Obama. These are the last things Democrats want to talk about.

Instead, they’d like to reduce each race for the House and Senate to the personal level. Their aim is to emphasize the individual flaws of Republican candidates. In the Democratic game plan, the economy and national issues are taboo.

Nancy Pelosi's Stalinist Politics

Nancy Pelosi did America a big favor yesterday. She showed that she is just the kind of politician that the United States Constitution was written to protect us from.

Far more troubling, frankly, is the appearance of the most powerful woman in American government attempting to stifle dissent by raising the specter of an "investigation."

Has the lady never heard of the First Amendment?

That's the section of the Constitution that guarantees Americans the right to engage -- even to foment -- "concerted efforts to make . . . political issues" out of perceived political grievances.

Exactly who, we wonder, would conduct Pelosi's probe?

The House?

The FBI?

Some other agency of the US government?

Mayor Bloomberg was content merely to pronounce opposition to the mosque shameful.

Nancy Pelosi is headed straight for the fever swamps, and she's dragging the First Amendment in with her.

She needs to get a grip.

Growing Number Of Americans Think Obama Is A Muslim

It may be true that Obama is not a Muslim, but I disagree with the AP's insistence that he's a Christian. The very moment that attending church and putting on Christian airs lost its usefulness, he stopped attending church.

Unemployment Claims Rise

Unexpectedly. Honestly, who out there is truly surprised anymore?

New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to a nine-month high last week, yet another setback to the frail economic recovery.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 500,000 in the week ended August 14, the highest since mid-November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims slipping to 476,000 from the previously reported 484,000 the prior week, which was revised up to 488,000 in Thursday's report.

Recovery Summer!!!!!!!!!!

Truth Hurts

Republican women are hotter than Democratic women. Smarter too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Spike Lee - Racist

Spike Lee condemns Barack Obama.

Barney Frank Becomes A Racist

Not too long ago, Barney Frank would condemn anyone who wanted to even reform Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac as a racist. Now he wants to abolish them.

After years of dissembling and denial, Rep. Barney Frank has finally come out. He now says bankrupt government mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "should be abolished." Better late than never.

'There were people in this society who for economic and, frankly, social reasons can't and shouldn't be homeowners," Frank said in an interview with the Fox Business Network and sounding a lot more like an elephant than a donkey. "I think we should, particularly, stop this assumption that you put everybody into homeownership."

After years of blaming heartless Republicans and Wall Street for the crisis caused by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — and their predominantly Democratic supporters in Congress — it's refreshing to hear a member of the Democratic Party admit his mistakes.

It's especially true of Frank, who, more than any other elected official, championed the cause of the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Indeed, Frank is most responsible for stopping GSE reform in the early 2000s, at a time when such a move might have prevented the financial meltdown.

For Once, Obama's A Uniter And Not A Divider

Everybody's pissed.

No matter their politics, Los Angeles residents found themselves united. "It was a beautiful thing," said Brentwood resident Myles Berkowitz, commiserating with his neighbors on Montana Avenue. "Young, old, black, white — everyone was pissed off."

We Remember

Even if Obama doesn't.

No Sane Country Would Grant Birthright Citizenship

Says Harry Reid.

School Districts In No Big Hurry To Hire Teachers

Remember all those teacher jobs that Obama and the Democrats saved with Porkulus II? Me either. Neither do the school districts.

As schools handed out pink slips to teachers this spring, states made a beeline to Washington to plead for money for their ravaged education budgets. But now that the federal government has come through with $10 billion, some of the nation’s biggest school districts are balking at using their share of the money to hire teachers right away.

Hmmm. I just heard Barack Hussein Obama criticizing the private sector for banking profits and not hiring new employees. I wonder if he'll criticize school districts for doing the very same thing?

Ground Zero Mosque Turns To George W Bush For Help

Because HE understands Islam better than Barack Hussein Obama?

There's a new argument emerging among supporters of the Ground Zero mosque. Distressed by President Obama's waffling on the issue, they're calling on former President George W. Bush to announce his support for the project, because in this case Bush understands better than Obama the connection between the war on terror and the larger question of America's relationship with Islam. It's an extraordinary change of position for commentators who long argued that Bush had done grievous harm to America's image in the Muslim world and that Obama represented a fresh start for the United States. Nevertheless, they are now seeing a different side of the former president.

Obama Threatens To Sue Arizona Sheriff For Enforcing The Law

Well, that first lawsuit was such a public relations success, why not do it again?

A federal investigation of a controversial Arizona sheriff known for tough immigration enforcement has intensified in recent days, escalating the conflict between the Obama administration and officials in the border state.

Justice Department officials in Washington have issued a rare threat to sue Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio if he does not cooperate with their investigation of whether he discriminates against Hispanics. The civil rights inquiry is one of two that target the man who calls himself "America's toughest sheriff." A federal grand jury in Phoenix is examining whether Arpaio has used his power to investigate and intimidate political opponents and whether his office misappropriated government money, sources said.

Intoxicated By His Own Bias

The judge who overturned Proposition 8 way, way off the legal mark.

Walker struck it down in an anomalous decision, arguing that the proposition's affirmation of traditional heterosexual marriage was unconstitutional and manifested a religiously sanctioned, irrational bigotry toward gay couples who wish to marry.

After reading Walker's decision, Ed Whelan, a constitutional law authority and president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, concluded that Walker was "intoxicated by his own bias." Yet, this latest decision marks the third time Walker has been rebuked by appellate courts since he was appointed to the federal bench by President Reagan. Earlier this year, after Walker required disclosure of Prop 8 supporters' internal communications, the Ninth Circuit cut him off by issuing a highly unusual writ of mandamus directing him to stop what would clearly be an excessive and unnecessarily intrusive discovery process. That the higher court used such a writ -- defined by Black's Law Dictionary as indicating a failure to "perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly" -- is suggestive of the appeals panel's opinion of Walker's jurisprudence. The second instance came shortly thereafter when the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Walker's plan to televise the proceedings in his courtroom prior to issuing his ruling. Had he been allowed to proceed, the case would have become little more than a circus.

DOJ Public Integrity Division Lacks Integrity

Cutting their losses by dropping Tom DeLay investigation.

“Most of the time, in my experience, when they get strung out that long it’s because the department is reluctant to admit that it doesn’t have any evidence that in sum total equals a prosecutable case. They keep thinking: if we just go a little further and a little further [everything will fall into place]. …That is just tremendously unfair to the subjects of those investigations,” said George Terwilliger, former deputy attorney general, who defended former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Lawyers have noted a trend in recent months in which prosecutors have pulled the plug on corruption investigations that have lasted years, as they did with DeLay, the former House Majority Leader. Since May, the Justice Department has told attorneys for Reps. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.) and Don Young (R-Alaska), as well as former Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.), that they are no longer under criminal investigation.

Nancy Pelosi Demands Investigation Into Mosque Opposition

First Amendment for mosque builders, but not mosque critics.

More here.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday said she supports an investigation into groups opposing the building of a mosque near ground zero in New York.

Pelosi told San Francisco’s KCBS radio that “there is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some.”

“I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque being funded,” she said. “How is this being ginned up?”

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Patty Murray Wrong By Only One Order Of Magnitude Or Two

Close enough for government work.

With the new school year approaching and 3,000 Washington state teachers facing layoffs, Congress came through with money to save their jobs.

As U.S. Sen. Patty Murray put it on the floor of the Senate last week: “That means 3,000 teachers in Washington state who are right now in limbo, who are spending this summer not knowing if they’ll return to a classroom or a pink slip in the fall.”

Problem is, there aren’t 3,000 teachers in Washington state facing layoffs. Not even close.

A survey of districts conducted by the state Professional Educators Standards Board found that just 445 teachers statewide received reduction-in-force letters last spring.

Since then, many, if not most, have been recalled for the approaching school year. In Sumner, for example, 16 RIF letters were sent out. All but one have been rescinded.

This is a normal pattern. State law and union contracts obligate school districts to let teachers know by mid-May if they might be laid off or have their hours reduced. Many districts err on the high side but end up reducing the layoffs or not having to lay off staff at all.

A University of Washington study found that 91 percent of the 2,000-plus teachers who received RIF letters in 2009 were on the job once school began in September.

Al-Arabiya TV Opposes Ground Zero Mosque

Noted anti-Muslim bigot calls mosque a monument to terrorism. No wait!

The director of Al-Arabiya TV, a popular Arab-language news station, wrote that “Muslims never asked for” the proposed mosque at Ground Zero, and “do not care about its construction,” in a column for London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat on Aug. 16.

“I can't imagine that Muslims [actually] want a mosque at this particular location, because it will become an arena for the promoters of hatred, and a monument to those who committed the crime,” wrote Al-Arabiya director Abd Al-Rahman al-Rashid in the column, which was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute. “Moreover, there are no practicing Muslims in the area who need a place to worship, because it is a commercial district. Is there anyone who is [really] eager [to build] this mosque?”

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/alana-goodman/2010/08/17/arab-tv-director-ground-zero-mosque-would-be-monument-terrorists#ixzz0wtYw00Dv

"Our Gays Are More Macho Than Your Straights!"

Homocon 2010.

Hmmm. Harry Reid? Tom Daschle? Peter Orzsag? I think they have a point.


Newsbusters has a superb collection of hyperventilating liberals comparing opposition to the Ground Zero mosque to, among other things, the Holocaust.

Keith Olbermann makes the holocaust comparison.

The New York Times sees a plot by white Christianists.

Norah O'Donnell imagines an equivalency between mosque opponents and 9/11 terrorists.

Dan Harris fears a dangerous Islamophobia. Of course, he's too stupid to realize that this is exactly what the Ground Zero mosque is intended to inflame.

Meanwhile, Glenn Beck is forbidden from leading a prayer at the Kennedy Center.

Obama A One Term President?

Yeah, if he's lucky.

Honest to goodness, the man just does not get it. He might be forced to pull a Palin and resign before his first term is over. He could go off and write his memoirs and build his presidential library. (Both would be half-size, of course.)

I am not saying Obama is not smart; he is as smart as a whip. I am just saying he does not understand what savvy first-term presidents need to understand:

You have to stay on message, follow the polls, listen to your advisers (who are writing the message and taking the polls) and realize that when it comes to doing what is right versus doing what is expedient, you do what is expedient so that you can get reelected and do what is right in the second term. If at all possible. And it will help your legacy. And not endanger the election of others in your party. And not hurt the brand. Or upset people too much.

Obama Promises 800,000 Green Jobs By 2012

Why just 800,000? Why not a gazillion?

Aside from the fact that it’s just not true — the Spanish have already discovered this the hard, expensive way — haven’t we had enough of bogus stimulus job numbers with bogus deadlines? It’s not wise politically for Obama to say such things. I can already see the ads that will run when the jobs don’t materialize. Doesn’t he care about getting re-elected?

Washington Post's Federally Subsidized Cash Cow Floundering

Most of the Washington Post's profits come not from reporting news, but with its sham, for profit college - Kaplan. Well it turns out that Kaplan overloads its students with loan debt that too many can't repay, a finding that could remove Kaplan from the student loan program, essentially killing Kaplan.

Kaplan, responsible for 67 percent of the Post Co.'s $92 million in second-quarter earnings, runs dozens of for-profit colleges nationwide, as well as pricey test-preparation classes and books.

The company's colleges -- as well as hundreds of others throughout the nation -- are under fire from the Department of Education for saddling students with debt loads without concern about whether they will be able to pay it back.

Shares of the Post tumbled 8 percent to $315.65 on the news as stocks of for-profit colleges nationwide plunged. Strayer Education Inc., an Arlington for-profit university, dropped 18 percent to $163.26.

The Department of Education estimated that only 28 percent of former Kaplan students are repaying their loans, compared with 36 percent at for-profit colleges nationwide and 54 percent at public universities nationwide.

Arlington-based Strayer University had a repayment rate of 25 percent. Devry University, with several campuses in the Washington region, inched near the average with 35 percent.

Under the new rules, most schools that fail to have 45 percent of their former students in repayment would not be fully eligible for federal funds. They would be subject to limits on enrollment growth and would need to demonstrate employer support for their academic programs.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bed Bugs Favor Democrats

Americans are turning on the Democratic Party, but they're not entirely friendless. It turns out that bed bugs favor Democrats by a six to one margin.

The New York City Bed Bug Crisis Of 2010 continues to garner headlines, as last week it was reported that the Time Warner Center suffered an infestation.

This comes on the heels of bed bug outbreaks at retailers like Abercrombie and Victoria's Secret.

So the New York Daily News has done a survey of whom the bed bugs have gone after. What they've found?

While 10% of New Yorkers have had to grapple with bed bugs at some point, the poor are hit particularly hard, with twice as many respondents making less than $50K/year having experienced a bout as those who make more than $50k. And in keeping with the demographics you'd expect, only 2% of Republican voters have been hit, while 12% of Democrats have.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/new-york-bed-bug-demographics-2010-8#ixzz0wpD7djom

Obama Embraces The Criminal Class

According to the Obama regime, it is now illegal to discriminate against convicted criminals in hiring decisions. You can't deny a child molester a job at a daycare centers simply because he's a child molester.

The hiring process involves a series of value judgments, with only a few objective measures. For employers who conduct background checks, conviction records supply one of the few objective measures in the process. If an employer has a choice between two equally qualified applicants and one has a conviction for fraud or theft, it would be absurd to tell the employer that the hiring decision cannot rest on that data. And yet, that’s exactly what the EEOC argues in this “advice” on compliance with its regulations — which in this case the EEOC acknowledges doesn’t exist on this topic. The EEOC is making a recommendation based on its own opinion rather than actual law.

Cokie Roberts Dismisses Obama's Weaseling

Cokie Roberts isn't buying Barack Hussein Obama's walk back on the Ground Zero mosque.

Hamas Joins Hands With Obama

Hooray for the Ground Zero mosque!

A leader of the Hamas terror group yesterday jumped into the emotional debate on the plan to construct a mosque near Ground Zero -- insisting Muslims "have to build" it there.

"We have to build everywhere," said Mahmoud al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas and the organization's chief on the Gaza Strip.

"In every area we have, [as] Muslim[s], we have to pray, and this mosque is the only site of prayer," he said on "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio" on WABC.

"We have to build the mosque, as you are allowed to build the church and Israelis are building their holy places."

T. C. Chen Can Finally Rest Easy

Dustin Johnson will now be the butt of jokes for the next 25 years.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

German Economy Growing At 9% Annual Rate

Germany adopted precisely the opposite economic strategy that Barack Hussein Obama steered us onto. And they're getting precisely the opposite results.

Germany has sparred with its European partners over how to respond to the financial crisis, argued with the United States over the benefits of stimulus versus austerity, and defiantly pursued its own vision of how to keep its economy strong.

Statistics released Friday buttress Germany’s view that it had the formula right all along. The government on Friday announced quarter-on-quarter economic growth of 2.2 percent, Germany’s best performance since reunification 20 years ago — and equivalent to a nearly 9 percent annual rate if growth were that robust all year.

Barack Hussein Obama Saves The World

All those teacher's jobs that the Obama-Pelosi-Reid axis of evil claimed to have saved last week never were in peril.

The reality, as the Education Intelligence Agency's Mike Antonucci noted, is that "it's common practice for school districts to overestimate the number of teachers that will be laid off in advance of budgets being set, and in advance of the school year." So the vast majority of those dire warnings of 100,000 teachers being laid off were mostly just hot air.

And here's something else to ponder: If it cost $10 billion to save 100,000 teachers' jobs, they are each being paid $100,000 a year. Since the national average teacher salary is just over $54,000 a year, somebody -- federal bureaucrats? -- is making a bundle on overhead.

Obama Backs Away From The Obama That Backs Away From Obama

If you don't know where Barack Hussein Obama stands on the Ground Zero mosque, you've got a lot of company, including Barack Hussein Obama.

[M]ost mosque opponents concede the Muslim group's legal right to place the mosque in the planned site. They just argue that it's a terrible idea and have appealed to the organizers to cancel the project. At the iftar dinner, Obama cast his vote with the mosque builders. And then he pulled back.

And then he had his spokesman pull back the pullback. "Just to be clear, the president is not backing off in any way from the comments he made last night," the White House's Bill Burton said Saturday. "It is not his role as president to pass judgment on every local project. But it is his responsibility to stand up for the Constitutional principle of religious freedom and equal treatment for all Americans. What he said last night, and reaffirmed today, is that if a church, a synagogue or a Hindu temple can be built on a site, you simply cannot deny that right to those who want to build a mosque."

Barack Obama Distances Himself From Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama has joined the growing list of Democrats who have chosen to distance themselves from Barack Hussein Obama.

"I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding," Obama said. "That's what our country is about. And I think it's very important, as difficult as some of these issues are, that we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about."

The backtracking came as the president's approval rating dipped to 44 percent, according to yesterday's Gallup poll.

Not quite what he said the day before.

Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities – particularly in New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. The pain and suffering experienced by those who lost loved ones is unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.

But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.

I'll be he wishes that he had just left it where Robert Gibbs tried to vote present.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/obama_mosque_retreat_dvGNFwj80p7jrpSIZz7VmK#ixzz0wgEIJZxz

Russ Feingold: Second Amendment Champion!

Don't laugh. Russell Feingold has grown so desperate in his re-election bid that he's now criticizing his opponent for not supporting gun rights.

You won't find too many Democrats these days attacking their conservative opponents for being soft on gun rights.

But that's exactly what Sen. Russ Feingold did last week in a radio ad, trading fire with GOP challenger Ron Johnson over who's a better friend of the Second Amendment.

"I have been one of the true leaders in fighting for a greater right to bear arms," Feingold said in an interview last week.

Republicans scoff at such claims, noting Feingold received an "F" and a "D" from the National Rifle Association during his first two re-election campaigns in 1998 and 2004.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Christine Gregoire Caught Lying

The lie isn't news. What's news is that it was reported.

Public Trusts The Mainstream Media Only Slightly More Than Congress

Well, the mainstream media are nothing more than the propaganda arm of Congressional Democrats, so it makes sense that confidence in both should fall together.

The decline in trust since 2003 is also evident in a 2009 Gallup poll that asked about confidence and trust in the "mass media" more broadly. While perceptions of media bias present a viable hypothesis, Americans have not over the same period grown any more likely to say the news media are too conservative or too liberal.

No matter the cause, it is clear the media as a whole are not gaining new fans as they struggle to serve and compete with growing demand for online news, social media, and mobile platforms. The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism's annual report on the State of the News Media, released in March, found for a third straight year, only digital and cable news sources growing in popularity, while network news, local news, and newspaper audiences shrink. These findings align with a similar 2008 Gallup poll that found cable and Internet news sources growing in popularity while all others held steady or declined.

Obama Spends Money Like A Drunken Sailor

Except where sailors are concerned.

Facing a giant U.S. deficit, Gates this week unveiled a series of cost-cutting measures that will shed thousands of jobs and shut down an entire military command.

In a speech later in San Francisco at the Marines' Association memorial club, Gates said the pressure would be huge to slash defense spending because of the political and fiscal realities, but he cautioned against that, saying similar mistakes were made after previous wars.

"We must have modest and sustainable growth in defense spending to allow us to maintain our capabilities, reset our fighting forces and invest adequately in modernization and future capabilities," Gates said.

"To make the case for growth at a time of economic and fiscal duress requires the Defense Department to make every dollar count -- to fundamentally change the way we spend the taxpayer's dollars and the way we do business," he added.

The U.S. budget gap hit a record $1.41 trillion in fiscal 2009 and is poised to grow wider this year, unnerving many Americans grappling with unemployment at 9.5 percent.

Many of the proposed cuts have upset members of Congress who face the potential loss of jobs in their home districts, but Gates hopes his austerity plan will show lawmakers the Pentagon can spend tax dollars wisely in tough economic times.