Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Obama Creates A Ministry Of Truth

The Obama administration has created and staffed a new position tucked inside their communications shop for helping coordinate rapid response to unfavorable stories and fostering and improving relations with the progressive online community.  
What could go wrong?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Well, When You've Only Got One Success...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Obama's Immigration Hypocrisy

It hardly seems possible, but Barack Hussein Obama has managed to hit a new low in cynicism and hypocrisy.
Barack Obama's immigration speech in El Paso, Texas, on May 10 was an exercise in electioneering and hypocrisy. Hypocrisy because while Obama complained about "politicians" blocking comprehensive immigration bills, he was one of them himself.
In 2007, when such a bill was backed by a lame-duck Republican president and had bipartisan backing from Senate heavyweights Edward Kennedy and Jon Kyl, Sen. Obama voted for union-backed amendments that Kennedy and Kyl opposed as bill killers. 

In 2009 and 2010, President Obama acquiesced in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to pass cap and trade and bypass immigration, and in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision not to bring an immigration bill to the floor.

Both times the votes were probably there to pass a bill. Obama did not lift a finger to help.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

NYPD Bust Terrorist Plot Against A Synogogue

Lemme guess. Hindus? Plus WTF (and I don't mean Win The Future) is up with Eric Holder.
Two Americans have been arrested by New York City police for allegedly plotting to attack a synagogue in the New York area, Fox News has learned.
One source described the case as the latest example of “homegrown” radicalization. The two men were identified as Mohammad Mamdouh, of Moroccan descent, and Ahmed Serhani, of Algerian descent.
Serhani allegedly made a general statement about wanting to attack a synagogue –- though no specific synagogue was mentioned, according to initial information obtained by Fox News. With a history of drug dealing, Serhani was hoping to make enough money to purchase weapons and possibly explosives for the attack, one source said.
This is the curious part:
Serhani and Mamdouh are now being charged under a New York State terrorism law. Federal authorities usually prosecute terrorism-related offenses, but they declined to do so in this case.

Who Are You Gonna Believe - A Fake Tea Party Candidate...

More Evidence That Obama Has No Idea How The World Works

Community organizers think that you can just bully and harass businesses to get what they want. It's called extortion when the Mafia does it. In the real world, businesses hire people when they grow. They grow when they have they have a healthy environment for growth. Obama creates hostile business climates.
President Obama urged businesses to "step up" and hire workers, pressing banks and other corporations to do more to help an economy that he said would take "several years" to recover fully.
Several years is what people thought it would take to recover from Jimmy Carter. Many, including Carter, thought America was done. Reagan proved otherwise.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The World Would Be A Better Place If Repubicans Had Compromised On Slavery

But darn it! Those stubborn Republicans just insisted that slavery had to go.
The huge role of religion in American politics is nothing new but always a matter for concern nonetheless. In the years preceding the Civil War, both sides of the slavery issue claimed the endorsement of God. The 1856 Republican convention concluded with a song that ended like this: “We’ve truth on our side/ We’ve God for our guide.” Within five years, Americans were slaughtering one another on the battlefield.

Obama To Cops: Drop Dead

The President and the First Lady tonight shouldered aside criticism and welcomed to the White House a controversial Chicago rapper who has glibly validated threats and violence against police.

In an afternoon session, First lady Michelle Obama had welcomed various poets to the White House poetry event, but notably ignored the rapper, whose stage-name is Common. “Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Kenny Goldsmith, Alison Knowles, and Aimee Mann, let’s give them a round of applause,” Ms. Obama said. “We’ll get to hear from these folks,” she added.

Common was introduced at the evening session without any reference to the conservatives’ derision of his poetry or to some police advocates’ dismay at his poetic validation of cop-killers. “Thanks very much, I appreciate being here,” Common said, according to a CBS news report.

I'm certain that Barack Obama never heard one of Common's hateful lyrics.

Does The War Powers Act...

[C]ontinued U.S. involvement in hostilities in Libya in the absence of Congressional authorization might oblige the administration to take a position regarding § 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution, which calls for the President to “terminate” the use of armed forces within a certain number of days if Congress has not expressly authorized the deployment or at least extended the WPR deadline for doing so. 

Sear Preparing to Leave Illinois

Illinois is the model for precisely what the Obamatons have in mind for America, a high tax state that reward businesses and people who behave properly with tax breaks. Iconic Sears has had enough.
Sears Holdings Corp.’s confirmation Monday that it is considering leaving Illinois could push the fiscally crippled state to dole out incentives to another major company.
In 1989, Sears leveraged the possibility of moving to North Carolina to earn tax breaks that led it to leave Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) in the Loop for its Hoffman Estates campus, said Hoffman Estates Mayor William McLeod.
The threat looms large: Sears, a 125-year-old mail-order pioneer and retail institution, is the Chicago area’s fourth-largest publicly traded company by revenue ($43.3 billion in fiscal 2010). The parent of Sears and Kmart employs 280,000 in North America, including 6,200 at its 200-acre Prairie Stone campus.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

John Kerry Grasps The Obvious

Bashar Assad is not a reformer. What was your first clue genius? I guess this is an example of that nuance Kerry was talking about back in 2004.
Now that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has proven that he has no problem killing peaceful protesters in the streets, some of the most prominent advocates of engaging with the Assad regime are rethinking their views. That list now includes Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry (D-MA), who told The Cable today that he no longer believed the Syrian regime was willing to reform. 

Kerry, who has served as Congress's point man on engaging the Syrian regime, told an audience at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as recently as March 16 -- shortly after the current uprising had begun -- that he still expected Assad to embrace political reform and move toward more engagement with America and its allies. 

"[M]y judgment is that Syria will move; Syria will change, as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States and the West and economic opportunity that comes with it and the participation that comes with it," said Kerry, who has met with Assad six times over the past two years.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Kathleen Sebelius: Documented Liar

According to the left wing Washington Post. There are limits to the demagoguery that even the Washington Post can tolerate.
“I think there's no question if you take a snapshot, people will run out of money, very quickly [under the GOP Medicare plan if you have cancer]. And if you run out of the government voucher and then you run out of your own money, you're really left to scrape together charity care, go without care, die sooner. There aren't really a lot of options.”
— Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, May 5, 2011

The Post's verdict: Bullshit!
There are a number of unanswered questions about the Ryan Medicare plan. It has not been fleshed out with legislative language, and that has allowed opponents to assume the worst about it. Certainly, serious questions have been raised about what the proposed changes would mean for people facing suddenly high health costs. But the budget debate in Washington is fierce enough that senior officials should avoid the temptation to make outrageous charges. 

Sorian’s statement is clearly a pullback, and that earns the secretary some credit. But this is in some ways akin to the false claim that Obama wanted to create “death panels” in the health care law.

Sebelius could have chosen to highlight the trade-offs people might face, or questioned the vagueness of Ryan’s proposals to deal with people who can’t afford to pay their bills. Instead, she decided to present a highly inflammable comment as a statement of fact — that there was “no question” people would run out money “very quickly” and then they would “die sooner.” She should be ashamed.

A Cautionary Tale For Republicans

You're on probation. Don't let us down.
The increase in Republican support for a third party since 2008 could be an outgrowth of the Tea Party movement, which is closely aligned with the GOP. The poll, which also assessed Americans’ orientation toward the movement, finds 60% of those who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters in favor of a third party, compared with 44% of Tea Party opponents. The opinions of those who say they are neither supporters nor opponents fall in between those of the two groups.

Osama's Dead - The Economy Still Stinks

Can we please drive a stake through the heart of Obamanomics?
The first-quarter GDP growth rate plunged to 1.8 percent, a steep change from the previous quarter's middling 3.1 percent growth rate. Even more ominously, imports increased by 4.4 percent vs. a 2010 fourth quarter decrease of 12.6 percent, and exports hit their lowest number (a 4.9 percent growth rate) since mid-2009. Meanwhile, personal consumption expenditures dropped from fourth quarter's 4 percent growth rate to 2.7 percent.

The real story, though, comes near the end of the April Commerce Department report. Federal government spending dropped 7.9 percent after staying nearly even in the fourth quarter. National defense spending dropped 11.7 percent. That drop in spending explains why previous growth rates had been artificially inflated. It also explains why jobs have not returned.

Cowboy Foreign Policy Is Cool Now

Imagine, for a moment, that these were George W. Bush’s policies at work. A quest for regime change in Libya, conducted without even a pro forma request for Congressional approval. A campaign of remote-controlled airstrikes, in which collateral damage is inevitable, carried out inside a country where we are not officially at war. A policy of targeted assassination against an American citizen who has been neither charged nor convicted in any U.S. court. 

Imagine the outrage, the protests, the furious op-eds about right-wing tyranny and neoconservative overreach. Imagine all that, and then look at the reality. For most Democrats, what was considered creeping fascism under Bush is just good old-fashioned common sense when the president has a “D” beside his name. 

There is good news for the country in this turnabout. Having one of their own in the White House has forced Democrats to walk in the Bush administration’s shoes, and appreciate its dilemmas and decisions. To some extent, the Bush-Obama convergence is a sign that the Democratic Party is growing up, putting away certain fond illusions, and accepting its share of responsibility for the messy realities of the post-9/11 world.

Randi Rhodes Buys Into Ultimate Conspiracy Theory

Or maybe she's just inventing it. Although she does have a precedent to follow. That's one of the big differences between leftist conspiracy theorists and conservative conspiracy theorists. Leftist conspiracy theorists are mainstream.

How The Hell Do You Screw Up Something As Great As Killing Osama Bin Laden?

Obama To Pursue Prosecutions Of Interrogators

The people Obama owes his single success to are still being pursued by his inquisitors. Essentially tells 9/11 widow to stuff it.
It’s a rare day when President Barack Obama’s escort of flacks, spinners and deputies let their guard down. At Thursday’s 9/11 commemoration in New York, Debra Burlingame used one of those fleeting opportunities to directly ask the president to halt a two-year federal inquisition of the CIA interrogators who helped reveal Osama bin Laden’s fatal hiding-place.

“He said it defiantly. ‘No, I will not,’ and turned and walked away,” she said.

Chuck U. Schumer Breaks Obama Promise

Airline security for trains. Obama promised that high speed rail promised transit without getting your junk fondled. Chuck U. Schumer doesn't agree.
Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for better rail security now that the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound has turned up plans to attack trains in the U.S.

Transparency Behind Closed Doors

The most transparent administration in history is awfully opaque.
Barack Obama promised a more active, more open government. He's delivered on half of that. 
Two House committee hearings last week focused on the Obama administration's lack of transparency. Cliff Stearns' Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and Darrell Issa's Government Reform Committee both assailed the administration for operating behind closed doors. The hearings only scratched the surface of the problem.

Stearns quoted President Obama's promise to have health care "negotiations televised on C-SPAN" so that "people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents and who is -- who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies."

Obama Still Has To Deal With Obama

Barack Hussein Obama had better enjoy it while it lasts. Because his biggest impediment to re-election remains himself.
Obama's worst enemy is Obama, and his downfall will commence when voters awaken to the fact that many of his current "crises" -- and all the most critical ones -- are self-inflicted.  They don't simply come out of nowhere, in the form of "events," unforeseen and random, but are generated through acts of omission or commission by none other than Obama himself.  This creates an opening that must not be overlooked by the GOP candidate, whoever that may be.

The gas crisis is something that, in its impact on the daily life of voters, should have a serious effect on Obama's chances in 2012.  So you'd expect some effort at a solution on his part.  But look as long and hard as you like -- that is something you will not find.


Most voters expect Obama to return to form.
Most voters believe the popularity boost President Obama has received following the killing of Osama bin Laden will disappear quickly, according to a new poll conducted for The Hill.

Almost three in five likely voters think the “bin Laden bounce” will vanish within three months, the poll indicates. Only one in four believes that Obama will still be benefitting in six months’ time.

How Bad Of A President Was Jimmy Carter?

So bad that a single success separates Obama from Carter. In truth, Carter had a single success as well - the liberation of the beer industry.

I find this all interesting. The eagerness of the leftist press to use this single success to distinguish Obama from Carter proves that they were thinking about it and seeing the similarities, even though their ideology prevented them from saying it out loud.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Obamatons Can't Explain Why Running Water Up Bad Guys' Noses Is Inappropriate

While shooting holes in Osama bin Laden is appropriate. Life is a lot easier when you have a consistent philosophy and not just a situational ethics.

Obama As Courageous As The Navy Seals

The Obamatons seem eager to squander whatever good will the killing of Osama bin Laden might have gained "The One."
Some have detected a touch of sycophancy and message coordination in all this, suspicions that might be increased by the fact that the newly-acquired domain name gutsycall.com will direct you to Barack Obama’s campaign website.

But the top prize for the most sycophancy towards Obama this week surely has to be awarded to Wendy Chamberlain, Middle East Institute president and former US ambassador to Pakistan, who had this to say on CNN:
"But he made that decision to go without telling Pakistan and that took some real courage, as much courage as our Navy SEALs did in pulling off a near flawless operation."

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Is It Past Time To Dump Pakistan And Embrace India?

Yes. And it has been for decades.
Nobody wants Pakistan to move even closer to Beijing or fall under the spell of Riyadh, but we have to be realistic. We cannot remain friends forever with both Pakistan and India.

Up to now, Washington has thought it could play both sides of the street. The CIA, for instance, believed it could work with the ISI against al-Qaeda while the ISI supported other terrorist groups—notably Lashkar-e-Taiba—as they launched horrific attacks against India.

A rising India, however, is beginning to signal it will no longer tolerate America’s own form of double-dealing. Relations between Washington and New Delhi have notably cooled during the Obama administration as it sought to please everyone. Last week, for instance, the Indians stunned Obama by ruling out the American entries in its $10 billion competition to pick their medium multi-role combat aircraft.

Soon, we will have to make our own choice, between the terrorism-sponsoring failed state of Pakistan and the next rising power, democratic India. This should be an easy decision for us.

UN Demands That Obama Justify Killing Osama Bin Laden

Just in case there were any of you out there who still think that the United Nations is worth a shit. It isn't.
The U.N.'s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, and the special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin,suggested that the raid carried out in Pakistan early Monday morning may have been legal under international law. However, they said the U.S. should prove that by releasing more details about the operation.

"In respect of the recent use of deadly force against Osama bin Laden, the United States of America should disclose the supporting facts to allow an assessment in terms of international human rights law standards. For instance it will be particularly important to know if the planning of the mission allowed an effort to capture Bin Laden," Heyns and Scheinin said in a statement.

"It may well be that the questions that are being asked about the operation could be answered, but it is important to get this into the open," the U.N. envoys said.

Vice Pays Tribute To Virtue

Barack Hussein Obama: A Beneficiary Of His Own Failures

Once again, President Barack Hussein Obama has seized success from the jaws of his own failures. He failed to dismantle the intelligence architecture that Bush created. He failed to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. And he failed to disband “Dick Cheney’s personal assassination squad,” as it was dubbed by New Yorker Magazine. Obama failed to do a lot of what he promised during the presidential campaign. And the left wing of his party has expressed considerable disappointment in his failures. But now, everyone’s celebrating, except Osama bin Laden, who is feeding crabs somewhere at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

Shortly after Obama’s announcement Sunday evening, during which he claimed as much credit for himself as possible, we learned that Bin Laden was tracked down using information developed during the course of Bush/Cheney-era “enhanced” or “harsh” interrogations at Guantanamo as well as Poland and Romania. Obama claimed that Bush’s anti-terror policies represented, “the most disastrous set of foreign policy decisions in the recent history of the United States."  Had we played nice, as the loony left advocated, Bin Laden would still be sipping sweet tea on his back porch.

Osama’s demise was the handiwork of what is now known as the Joint Special Operations Command. That’s what grownups call it. During the Bush years they were disparaged as a lawless band of rogue killers who went around the world committing illegal targeted assassinations.

Nancy Pelosi, back in 2006, said that killing or capturing Bin Laden would be meaningless. “[T]o capture him now I don't think makes us any safer. But on Monday she said that, “The death of Osama bin Laden marks the most significant development in our fight against al-Qaida.” She then went on to praise the death squads. Excuse me, I mean the “intelligence community and military,” as they are now known.

Maybe this is what Spike Lee meant when he said that henceforth, history would be divided into two eras, pre-Obama and post-Obama.

When it was learned a few high value detainees suffered discomforts during their detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and other rendition sites around the world, the left suffered an attack of vapors and demanded that Bush and his entire administration be tried for war crimes. Attorney General Eric Holder sought to satisfy their bloodlust. Thankfully, he failed too. So far. But he hasn't given up.

All of those clichés claiming that torture doesn’t work (and I’m not prepared to yield the point that water boarding is torture) have been proven false. Obama has Osama’s scalp in his trophy case because water boarding and other enhanced interrogation tactics did work.

In fact, the torture myth is so ingrained in the loony left’s soul that a New York Times editorial Tuesday reiterated the claim that torture doesn’t work even though a news article in the same paper on the same day reported that the intelligence that led to Bin Laden was developed through enhanced interrogation.

It’s clear that the New York Times’ editors’ opinions are not informed by reading the New York Times.

This is not the first time that Barack Obama has claimed success for his own failure to follow through on a promise. He also promised that the US would be out of Iraq within 9 months of his inauguration. More than a year later Vice President Joe Biden was trumpeting Obama’s triumph in Iraq: “I am very optimistic about -- about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration.”

The reason that Biden could even dream of claiming success in Iraq (aside from his own incapacity for shame) was because we were still there 13 months after Obama took office. And yes, we’re still there.

Whatever success we’re having in Afghanistan can be credited to Obama’s mimicry of Bush’s strategy. Obama’s surge in Afghanistan so closely mirrored Bush’s strategy that Time magazine asked, “Did George Bush leave one of his old speeches in the Resolute Desk?”

In fact, Obama’s victories are mostly the consequence of his failure to bring the conduct of war under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice by treating terrorism as a crime rather than an act of war.

Rush Limbaugh made headlines in 2009 for his declaration regarding the upcoming Obama presidency: “I hope he fails.” Although he’s too vain to ever form it into a conscious thought, somewhere in the recesses of Obama’s mind, he’s thankful for some of his own failures.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Lawrence O'Donnell Does Not Get The Last Word

He needs to stop picking fights above his weight class.

Biden Calls Seal Team "The Assaulters?"

Somebody please put a sock in this idiot's mouth.
"I know from experience that your families want more than anything to spend more time with you," Biden tells the recently returned troops. He notes that he often thinks he wants to see "my kid" when he returns form service and goes through a return ceremony. (4:23 p.m.)

Biden says he and Obama just talked to
"the assaulters who got bin Laden."

Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys

Europeans prove that they deserve the title.
Europeans have been labelled 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys' by bloggers in the U.S. angry at being chastised for celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden.

While thousands of Americans took to the streets to celebrate the killing, the reaction in Europe was much more muted.

Many have questioned not only the manner of the killing of an unarmed man, but also the taste and dignity of the American public who celebrated the act by chanting 'USA' in the streets, mocking up T-shirts and generally revelling in the moment.

One of those expressing these sentiments is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who said: 'I think the killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling because it doesn't look as if justice is seen to be done.'

'In those circumstances, I think it's also true that the different versions of events that have emerged in recent days have not done a great deal to help.'

However, he went on: 'But I do believe that in such circumstances when we are faced with someone who was manifestly a war criminal in terms of the atrocities inflicted it is important that justice is seen to be served.'

When Bin Laden's men flew airliners into New York's World Trade Center ten years ago, it sparked an outpouring of solidarity from Europe, best captured by a French newspaper headline 'We are all Americans now'.

But that solidarity seemingly hasn't lasted.

Unemployment Rate Rises

The "real" unemployment rate rises to 15.9%.
[T]he so-called real unemployment rate—which the government calls the U-6—which encompasses discouraged workers as well, actually rose in the month two-tenths of a point to 15.9 percent.

MSNBC Conquers CBS

Katie Couric's replacement promises to "lean forward."
Scott Pelley, the incoming anchor for the CBS Evening News, dropped by Washington, DC’s CBS affiliate on Wednesday where he mimicked left-wing MSNBC’s “Lean Forward” slogan as he promised: “We’re going to be leaning forward.”

Bin Laden Lived In Abbottabad For Five Years

I think we know now what Pakistan's role was in assisting in our pursuit of Osama bin Laden. They provided him with a such a sense of  security that he stayed in one place long enough for us to find him.

One of Osama bin Laden's wives told Pakistani interrogators that the al Qaeda leader and his family had been living for five years in the compound where he was killed by U.S. forces this week, a security official said on Friday.

The official, who identified the woman as Amal Ahmed Abdulfattah, the youngest of bin Laden's three wives, told Reuters she was wounded in the U.S. raid on Monday.

The security official said Abdulfattah told investigators: "We have been living there for the past five years."
Both Pakistan's army and its powerful spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), have been facing mounting pressure to explain how it was possible for bin Laden to live deep inside Pakistan undetected for years.

The CIA Watched Osama Bin Laden For Months

Extensive surveillance of Osama bin Laden's hideout from a nearby CIA safe house in Abbottabad led to his killing in a Navy SEAL operation, U.S. officials said, a revelation likely to further embarrass Pakistan's spy agency and strain ties.

The U.S. officials, quoted by the Washington Post, said the safe house was the base for intelligence gathering that began after bin Laden's compound was discovered last August, and which was so exhaustive the CIA asked Congress to reallocate tens of millions of dollars to fund it.

"The CIA's job was to find and fix," the Post quoted one U.S. official as saying, using special forces terminology for locating a target. "The intelligence work was as complete as it was going to be, and it was the military's turn to finish the target."

The Gang That Couldn't Talk Straight

Five days later, we're still not certain what happened in Abbottabad. It's understandable, in a disgusting kind of way, that Obama can't decide what story to tell. In ordering the killing, but not the capture of Osama bin Laden, he undermined his goal of turning the war on terror over to the Justice Department.
The riotous cacophony of claims and counter-claims has emanated from official podiums and anonymous sources, reputable reporters and unknown websites, everything, it seems, equipped with a screen, a speaker, or a mouth. Yet so grandly cinematic is our collective vision of the heroism displayed by the U.S. Navy SEALs and intelligence operatives who pulled off this astonishing mission that we have hung on every word of their exploits. As TIME magazine's Michael Crowley tweeted on Tuesday: "Impossible to focus today: every 10 minutes some new fact comes along that would be the most interesting thing I've heard in a typical week."

The true irony is: From the first moments, a good number of the details about bin Laden's killing, on points large and small, have been wrong.

* * *
President Obama was the first senior U.S. official to disclose the operation, formally, in his East Room address. It was from his lips that we first heard that a "firefight" had taken place during the raid on bin Laden's fortified compound in Abbottabad.

The president's lone sentence describing what happened -- "After a firefight, they killed Usama bin Laden and took custody of his body" – did not specify whether the 9/11 mastermind had actually participated in the firefight; but it seemed to imply that he had.

In a conference call with reporters convened by the White House less than twenty minutes after Obama finished speaking, a trio of “senior administration officials” took things a few steps further. Asked if bin Laden was "involved in firing [a weapon] himself or defending himself," one of the briefers replied: "He did resist the assault force. And he was killed in a firefight."

Thursday, May 05, 2011

San Francisco Pinkos Not Happy About Osama Bin Laden's Demise

Okay, so they're not partisan, just anti-American. It's just that anti-Americanism's natural home is in the Democratic Party.
On the East Coast, and especially in New York and Washington, D.C., the mood was one of spontaneous celebration, combined with an upwelling of difficult and complicated memories of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Here in the Bay Area, there is also support — but it is accompanied by skepticism about the legitimacy of the war on terrorism, the truthfulness of the government’s account and the appropriateness of celebrating violence.
The differing perceptions appear to be an extension of the political schism between the Bay Area and much of the country, one that, to critics, exposes an easy naiveté, even when it comes to the demise of a man who killed thousands of Americans.
 On the East Coast, and especially in New York and Washington, D.C., the mood was one of spontaneous celebration, combined with an upwelling of difficult and complicated memories of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Here in the Bay Area, there is also support — but it is accompanied by skepticism about the legitimacy of the war on terrorism, the truthfulness of the government’s account and the appropriateness of celebrating violence.

The differing perceptions appear to be an extension of the political schism between the Bay Area and much of the country, one that, to critics, exposes an easy naiveté, even when it comes to the demise of a man who killed thousands of Americans.
On the East Coast, and especially in New York and Washington, D.C., the mood was one of spontaneous celebration, combined with an upwelling of difficult and complicated memories of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Here in the Bay Area, there is also support — but it is accompanied by skepticism about the legitimacy of the war on terrorism, the truthfulness of the government’s account and the appropriateness of celebrating violence.
The differing perceptions appear to be an extension of the political schism between the Bay Area and much of the country, one that, to critics, exposes an easy naiveté, even when it comes to the demise of a man who killed thousands of Americans.

Hezbollah Setting Up Camp On The Mexican Border

It's a good thing that we have Janet Napolitano to protect us.
A terrorist organization whose home base is in the Middle East has established another home base across the border in Mexico.

"They are recognized by many experts as the 'A' team of Muslim terrorist organizations," a former U.S. 

intelligence agent told 10News.The former agent, referring to Shi'a Muslim terrorist group Hezbollah, added, "They certainly have had successes in big-ticket bombings..."

..."Their operators are far more skilled … they are the equals of Russians, Chinese or Cubans," he said. "I consider Hezbollah much more dangerous in that sense because of strategic thinking; they think more long-term."

Hezbolah has operated in South America for decades and then Central America, along with their sometime rival, sometime ally Hamas.Now, the group is blending into Shi'a Muslim communities in Mexico, including Tijuana. Other pockets along the U.S.-Mexico border region remain largely unidentified as U.S. intelligence agencies are focused on the drug trade.

Lying Is Stressful

There is increasing concern in Washington that Jay Carney, the new White House Press Secretary, isn’t up to the job. Even when faced with an innocuous question that requires only that he trot out the official line, he looks completely stunned, as if the questioner is Bob Woodward asking him about Deep Throat. He gathers himself, embarks on a stuttering reply, pauses for what seems like an eternity, then starts gabbling, tripping over his words, rephrasing what he’s just said, then looking plaintively back at the questioner as if to say, “How did I do? Was that okay? Or would you like me to try again?”

“I think he’s doing very badly,” says a political contact based in Washington. “And I’ve heard others say that he’s really struggling.”

This is a pivotal moment in Barack Obama’s presidency, a moment when the eyes of the world are locked on Washington. In the global battle for hearts and minds, it is essential that the leader of the free world exudes an air of calm authority at this time. Yet the White House’s handling of the media in the aftermath of Sunday’s events has been breathtakingly amateurish, planting seeds of doubt about the legality of the operation and about Osama bin Laden’s death that would not otherwise be there. The constantly changing narrative – or “fact pattern”, as one White House official described it – suggests that the president and his advisers have been caught on the hop and have no clear strategy for dealing with the fallout from bin Laden’s death. This is epitomised by the halting, timid delivery of Jay – “How’m I doin’?” – Carney, who must bear some of the responsibility for this communications failure.
To be a press secretary in this administration, you must be unencumbered by conscience.

Osama Bin Laden Was Executed

"Common sense tells you he was executed. That was the plan all along. Just tell us that and quit treating us like children."

"I have a lot of faith in Obama, but we’ve received three different stories in three days. We heard, "There was a firefight." "He used a woman as a shield." Now it turns out none of these things were true. He wasn’t armed."
 At least you can't accuse Michael Moore of partisanship. He's an equal opportunity idiot.

Network News And Obama Cooperate On Stagecraft

Can you imagine the mainstream news media behaving so compliantly with George Bush?
Reuters White House photographer Jason Reed describes how the president made his speech to a single TV camera, then immediately after finishing, he pretended to speak for the still cameras.
Reed writes:
“As President Obama continued his nine-minute address in front of just one main network camera, the photographers were held outside the room by staff and asked to remain completely silent. Once Obama was off the air, we were escorted in front of that teleprompter and the President then re-enacted the walk-out and first 30 seconds of the statement for us.”
That means the photograph that appeared in many newspapers Monday morning of Obama speaking may have been the staged shot, captured after the president spoke. This type of staging has been going on for decades.

Job Market Worsens

Unexpectedly, of course.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 474,000, the highest since mid-August, the Labor Department said.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dropping to 410,000. The prior weeks figure was revised up to 431,000 from the previously reported 429,000. 

The four-week moving average of unemployment claims, a better measure of underlying trends, increased 22,250 to 431,250, the highest since November. 
Hmmm. You don't suppose this is why Obama needed a big distraction all of a sudden. Maybe that 16 hour deliberation was about whether or not this was the best time to pull the rabbit out of his hat.

Why So Much Sensitivity Toward Islamist Feeling?

They don't worry too much about hurting out feelings.
"It is important to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool," said the president.

"We don't trot out this stuff as trophies," Mr. Obama added. "The fact of the matter is, this is somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received."
Okay, so what about the propaganda value of Abu Ghraib photos?

White House Goes Silent On Osama Raid

Well, considering that they can't tell the same story twice, it's probably best.
Just days after one of the most heralded covert actions in U.S. history, the White House found itself struggling to tell the story of the dramatic raid and having to justify the legal basis for it.

The conundrum mirrored problems that the Obama administration has had communicating its national security approach in the past. From the immediate aftermath of an attempted airliner bombing on Dec. 25, 2009, to the early management of the H1N1 flu crisis, the White House has repeatedly labored to prove its command of inflammatory facts during fast-moving events.

This time, officials backed away from several of the most provocative elements disclosed in the first 24 hours. Bin Laden was not “killed in a firefight,” and he did not use his wife as a “human shield,” as originally claimed. White House officials volunteered the corrections, saying the errors were caused by haste as investigators debriefed the Navy SEALs thousands of miles away and officials attempted to brief reporters in real time.
Stephen Green has more on Team Obama's ineptitude.
First, there was that weird burial at sea “in accordance with Islamic tradition.” There, the White House managed to annoy most everyone. There are those like me, who thought Bin Laden’s corpse was treated with too much respect, to those in the Islamic world now inflamed because it wasn’t really done properly after all.

Then there was the president’s oddly bloodless speech Sunday night. For almost ten years we’d been trying to get the guy who murdered 3,000 Americans, attacked our military HQ, and ripped the heart out of the New York City skyline. The effort spanned two continents, four or five countries, a Caribbean Navy base, and the persistent efforts of two presidents, the American intelligence community, and the best of the best of our special forces. And yet President Obama sounded as if he were announcing a “worthwhile Canadian initiative.”

Now the Administration can’t even decide whether or not to release a photo of the body. They didn’t have a PR plan in place before the killing? It must be amateur night at the White House, because what I’m hearing sounds increasingly like karaoke. More specifically, a Last Call group chorus of “My Way,” with the participants too drunk to remember all the words.

It looks so ugly in DC right now, that it lends credence to the wacky (or so I thought) report that Obama himself couldn’t make up his mind to order the attack, forcing CIA chief Leon Panetta to make the call. Valerie Jarrett was the source of the president’s wishy-washiness? Clinton’s people were leaking like a cracked dam to prod Obama into action?

We're Supposed To Be Talking About The One

Barack Hussein Obama is unhappy that, since the killing of Osama bin Laden, the conversation has turned to water boarding and away from the wonderfulness of Barack Hussein Obama.
Officials inside the Obama administration have grown discouraged by the abruptness with which the news over the killing of Osama bin Laden has turned into a debate over the efficacy of harsh interrogation techniques and torture. 

Just days after the al Qaeda leader was killed in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the political conversation has shifted from the implications of the assassination to questions of whether the waterboarding of valuable detainees was crucial in gathering intelligence on bin Laden's whereabouts.

Defenders of the interrogation technique raised the issue, earning write-ups in several high-profile publications, including The New York Times and Time magazine. It was also put forward in most bin Laden-related news interviews with Obama officials. The problem, those officials stress, is that questioning the effectiveness of waterboarding in the bin Laden case oversimplifies a complex issue to which there may not be any concrete answers.
 Of course, if Barack Hussein Obama possessed the grace and generosity to give credit to his predecessor and admit that his criticism of Bush Administration tactics were excessive and misguided, this wouldn't be a problem.

In Obamaland, The Hallmark Of Any Great Leader...

Let’s start with that speech Sunday night. It was originally announced for 10:30 but didn’t happen until 11:30. By that time, the news Obama was supposed to be breaking had broken already. Not the best start. Presumably he was delayed arguing with his speechwriters about keeping in all the “I,” “Me,” and “Mine.” Everything having to do with this raid was “I”; anything that could be attributed to the Bush administration was “We.” “I gave the order, I did this, I did that.” The hallmark of any great leader is a willingness to bravely take credit for the hard work and sacrifice of others.

Then there’s the official narrative of the raid, which has already gone through more versions than the Star Wars movies. First Bin Laden had a gun; then he didn’t. He hid behind one of his wives, who was killed; wait, no, scratch that, she’s alive and wasn’t his wife. Maybe? Now Leon Panetta says he and President Obama didn’t actually see the whole thing go down, after the White House made a point of releasing that instantly iconic picture of the whole gang watching it go down.

Water Boarding Deniers

John McCain joins the fraternity of pinheads who cannot admit that Osama bin Laden was found using information developed using water boarding.
“So far I know of no information that was obtained, that would have been useful, by ‘advanced interrogation.’ In fact, according to published reports … some of the key people who knew about this courrier (sic) denied it,” McCain said, careful to note that he was not relaying information from Panetta’s classified session with Senate Intelligence and Armed Services Committee members.

“Where there is published information in the various newspapers and media that the information about this courrier was intercepted conversation between two individuals — that’s as far as I know,” the top Republicans on the Armed Services Committee added. “I stand on the side of the United States and by the Geneva conventions, of which we are signatories, which we were in violation of by waterboarding.”
Somebody forgot to tell Leon Panetta.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Professional Victims Protest Osama Bin Laden's Code Name

The top staffer for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee is objecting to the U.S. military's use of the code name "Geronimo" for Osama bin Laden during the raid that killed the al-Qaida leader.

Geronimo was an Apache leader in the 19th century who spent many years fighting the Mexican and U.S. armies until his surrender in 1886.

Loretta Tuell, staff director and chief counsel for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, said Tuesday it was inappropriate to link Geronimo, whom she called "one of the greatest Native American heroes," with one of the most hated enemies of the United States.

"These inappropriate uses of Native American icons and cultures are prevalent throughout our society, and the impacts to Native and non-Native children are devastating," Tuell said.

Pelosi Thanks Bush For Assistance In Finding Bin Laden

After all those years of calling Bush a traitor and worse, Nancy Pelosi impersonates a human being.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said she called former President George W. Bush on Tuesday to congratulate him on the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden.

Following a classified briefing on the operation to take down bin Laden, Pelosi told reporters that she called the former president earlier in the day to "congratulate him and thank him for the leadership role he had played in this quest over the years."

Obama Vindicates John Yoo

President George W. Bush, not his successor, constructed the interrogation and warrantless surveillance programs that produced this week's actionable intelligence. For this, congressional Democrats and media pundits pilloried him for allegedly exceeding his presidential powers and violating the Bill of Rights. 

As a candidate in 2008, then-Sen. Obama held Mr. Bush and Sen. John McCain "responsible for the most disastrous set of foreign policy decisions in the recent history of the United States." These decisions, he said, allowed bin Laden and his circle to establish "a safe-haven in northwest Pakistan, where they operate with such freedom of action that they can still put out hate-filled audiotapes to the outside world."

Upon taking office, Mr. Obama tried to fulfill the dreams of the antiwar left. In January 2009, he signed executive orders to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and limit the CIA to U.S. military interrogation methods. He made it clear that al Qaeda leaders would be tried in civilian courts. And in August 2009, his attorney general, Eric Holder, launched a criminal investigation into CIA officers who had interrogated al Qaeda leaders.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Pakistan Did Its Part

Ineptitude and treachery were Pakistan's parts.
“Some in the U.S. press have suggested that Pakistan lacked vitality in its pursuit of terrorism, or worse yet, that we were disingenuous and actually protected the terrorists we claimed to be pursuing,” he writes. 

“Such baseless speculation may make exciting cable news, but it doesn’t reflect fact. Pakistan had as much reason to despise al-Qaeda as any nation. The war on terrorism is as much Pakistan’s war as it is America’s. And though it may have started with bin Laden, the forces of modernity and moderation remain under serious threat.”

His government, he adds, will keep fighting terrorism, through military and intelligence operations, and by supporting democracy.

“We can become everything that al-Qaeda and the Taliban most fear — a vision of a modern Islamic future,” he says. “Our people, our government, our military, our intelligence agencies are very much united. Some abroad insist that this is not the case, but they are wrong. Pakistanis are united.”

Monday, May 02, 2011

Enjoy Your Virgins - Asshole!

Obviously, Bin Laden Was Tight With Pakistani Security

The final bit of evidence is that we pulled it off without even informing the Pakistanis.
The compound was raided by a helicopter-borne force. Officials shared little about the attack, but noted that the raid was designed to cause little collateral damage. The 40-minute raid killed four other people, including two couriers, one of bin Laden’s sons and a women who was used as a shield. One of two U.S. helicopters was destroyed after it malfunctioned.

U.S. officials conducted the raid without alerting any Pakistanis.
Apparently Obama's talent for reciting Pakistani poetry was much good after all.

Obama Distinguishes Himself From Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter would have fucked it up.

But, of course, Obama being Obama (being Jimmy Carter part deaux) did manage to fuck it up some.
“Major mistake. OBL was/is a powerful cult figure who has vanished with no ‘death certificate.’ His body should have been displayed. The only thing more powerful than a living cult leader is one who disappears off the face of the earth. Making his body disappear was a deadly blunder that plays straight into the hero myth. Joseph Campbell couldn’t have written a more terrible ending.”

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Obama Mocks Patriotism

Okay, he's entitled to have a little fun at Donald Trump's expense. Few people deserve mockery more than "The Donald." Although in doing so he actually feeds Trump's ego. Better to starve it with indifference. Expending his office's prestige on a reality show host is not the best use of a limited commodity. But did he really have to make a mockery of patriotism in the process?

Eric Holder: Taking The Justice Out Of The Justice Department

The Department of Political Expediency.
"It is time for Eric Holder to step forward with the facts," King said Saturday, calling on the Justice Department to release the formal March 2010 memo declining to proceed with the prosecution.

Testimony in other cases and Justice Department documents suggest the proposed case against Ahmad, who has never been charged, would have alleged that he acted to support Hamas. Efforts to reach Ahmad for comment have been unsuccessful.

One More Reason Why The New York Times Is Doomed (from 2009)

And why nobody should give a shit.

Obama Shallow Foreign Policy Learning Curve

Obama's foreign policy appears less founded in principles than in his desire to create the illusion of having been on the right side all along.
"President Obama likes to hedge. If he puts four chips on black, he almost immediately wants to put three chips on red."
Lizza gives a detailed account of how Obama and his advisers have been putting chips on black and red in Egypt and Libya over the past two months. And he provides a revealing summing up. "One of his advisers described the president's actions in Libya as 'leading from behind,'" he writes. 

"It's a different definition of leadership than America is known for, and it comes from two unspoken beliefs: that the relative power of the U.S. is declining, as rivals like China rise, and that the U.S. is reviled in many parts of the world."

"That's not," Lizza, who often writes on domestic politics, interjects, "a slogan designed for signs at the 2012 Democratic National Convention." No, it's not. But it's one you may hear about from Republicans.

The Deal Between Big Pharma And Obama

In one major instance, the pharmaceutical drug sector agreed to back the legislation as long as the costs to that sector did not exceed $80 billion. The drug sector eventually spent over $100 million on television advertisements touting the law.

Burn Dara To The Ground

Reformer Bashar Assad has ordered his military to crush the Dara uprising, by any means necessary.

A Syrian military source says President Bashar Assad's security forces have been ordered to quell the uprising in Dara 'even if this means that the city is to be burned down.' Tanks destroy a mosque, witnesses say, and at least four people are killed.

Is mass slaughter reform by other means?
“No,” Clinton said when asked on the CBS program “Face the Nation” if the U.S. would intervene in Syria’s unrest. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s security forces clashed with protesters in several cities over the weekend after his promises of freedoms and pay increases failed to prevent dissent from spreading across the country. 

Clinton said the elements that led to intervention in Libya -- international condemnation, an Arab League call for action, a United Nations Security Council resolution -- are “not going to happen” with Syria, in part because members of the U.S. Congress from both parties say they believe Assad is “a reformer.”

Jimmy Carter Part Deaux As The Best Case Scenario

Then, of course, there is the economy. Carter had big government, but Obama has brought us monstrous government, running up bigger deficits in the first half of his first term than Bush did in eight years and increasing the national debt by more than 50 percent.

The stimulus, which was touted as a way of keeping unemployment below 8 percent, couldn't even keep it out of double digits, and even now 8 percent looks pretty good by comparison with what we've got.

But while all that spending didn't stabilize unemployment as promised, it did destabilize America's credit rating. As bad as things were under Carter, the United States wasn't at risk of a credit downgrade, as it is now.

Plus, inflation is beginning to ramp up, as gas and grocery prices skyrocket. Some worry that the inflation rates of the Carter era will look mild by comparison with what's coming down the pike.

And that's the lesson: Up to now, comparisons with Carter were a tool of Obama's critics. From now on, they're likely to be a tool of his defenders. Because as bad as Carter was, Obama is shaping up to be worse. Much worse.