Bill Gertz has an article running in this morning’s Washington Times, “Financial terrorism suspected in ’08 economic crash,” on a report prepared by the Department of Defense in June 2009. In the report, financial analyst Kevin Freeman argues that the 2008 economic crisis was assisted by outside forces. What the study (which we are providing a copy of exclusively here at PJ Tatler at the conclusion of this post) investigates is how outside forces could have helped things along by manipulating oil prices, naked short selling of U.S. financial firms (e.g. Bear Stearns), and attacking the U.S. dollar. Gertz reports:
Evidence outlined in a Pentagon contractor report suggests that financial subversion carried out by unknown parties, such as terrorists or hostile nations, contributed to the 2008 economic crash by covertly using vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system.
The unclassified 2009 report “Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses” by financial analyst Kevin D. Freeman, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, states that “a three-phased attack was planned and is in the process against the United States economy.”
While economic analysts and a final report from the federal government’s Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission blame the crash on such economic factors as high-risk mortgage lending practices and poor federal regulation and supervision, the Pentagon contractor adds a new element: “outside forces,” a factor the commission did not examine.
“There is sufficient justification to question whether outside forces triggered, capitalized upon or magnified the economic difficulties of 2008,” the report says, explaining that those domestic economic factors would have caused a “normal downturn” but not the “near collapse” of the global economic system that took place.
Suspects include financial enemies in Middle Eastern states, Islamic terrorists, hostile members of the Chinese military, or government and organized crime groups in Russia, Venezuela or Iran. Chinese military officials publicly have suggested using economic warfare against the U.S.
In an interview with The Times, Mr. Freeman said his report provided enough theoretical evidence for an economic warfare attack that further forensic study was warranted.
“The new battle space is the economy,” he said. “We spend hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons systems each year. But a relatively small amount of money focused against our financial markets through leveraged derivatives or cyber efforts can result in trillions of dollars in losses. And, the perpetrators can remain undiscovered.”
“This is the equivalent of box cutters on an airplane,” Freeman added.
It should be noted that Freeman doesn’t claim that outside forces were responsible for the major factors of the economic crisis, namely the subprime mortgage fiasco, but that these outside forces might have intentionally helped things along. The report identifies three key stages in this possible economic attack:
- The first phase was a speculative run-up in oil prices that generated as much as $2 trillion of excess wealth for oil-producing nations, filling the coffers of Sovereign Wealth Funds, especially those that follow Shariah Compliant Finance.
- The second phase appears to have begun in 2008 with a series of bear raids targeting U.S. financial services firms that appeared to be systemically significant.
- The risk of a Phase Three has quickly emerged, suggesting a potential direct economic attack on the U.S. Treasury and U.S. dollar.
Here’s the unclassified DOD report we’re making available exclusively here at PJ Tatler:
From Google: “Long-time allies Iran and the United States have been trading frequent accusations since the outpouring of Middle Eastern revolt started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya.”
Long-time ALLIES? I suppose they think it’s 1977 or something…
Attorney General Eric Holder testifies in front of a House Appropriations Subcommittee Tuesday. Chairing that Subcommittee will be Representative Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) to hear Holder ask for huge spending increases for the Civil Rights Division. The Justice Department has been stonewalling Congressman Wolf for over a year about the corrupt New Black Panther voter intimidation dismissal. Holder’s seat would be hot.
But Hans von Spakovsky in Tuesday’s Washington Examiner just made Holder’s seat even hotter. He has this bombshell open letter to Congressman Wolf called “They’re playing games, literally, in the Justice Department” in the Tuesday Washington Examiner.
It contains details about Holder’s management of the Justice Department that hard working (or out of work) Americans aren’t going to like:
* “This is also the same Justice Department division where, during a Voting Section staff meeting called to address chronic tardiness, numerous attorneys demanded permission to arrive at work up to 30 minutes late without penalty. Others wanted to work from home.”
* “reports from lawyers inside DOJ,  tell of Voting Section attorneys so bored that many spend the day playing computer Solitaire, watching videos, and venting at the lack of activity.”
You can tune in at 9 a.m. EST Tuesday to see what an Attorney General looks like when he tries to defend huge budget increases for a government component that hasn’t done much for over two years, except perhaps sharpen Solitaire skills.
Charles G. Koch writes in the WSJ:
Our elected officials would do well to remember that the most prosperous countries are those that allow consumers—not governments—to direct the use of resources. Allowing the government to pick winners and losers hurts almost everyone, especially our poorest citizens.
Recent studies show that the poorest 10% of the population living in countries with the greatest economic freedom have 10 times the per capita income of the poorest citizens in countries with the least economic freedom. In other words, society as a whole benefits from greater economic freedom.
Even though it affects our business, as a matter of principle our company has been outspoken in defense of economic freedom. This country would be much better off if every company would do the same.
Take those polls showing solid public support for collective bargaining with a grain of salt. Ask most anyone how they feel about some nice-sounding union benefit in the abstract, and of course they’ll say they support it. It’s squishy support for squishy issues Everybody likes to give nice things to other nice people, so long a it doesn’t cost them anything.
But ask people very specifically if they support the concrete things created by public union bargaining — health insurance plans and retirement plans they’ll enjoy — and their support fades pretty quickly. Even the New York Times story admits public support fades fast — but they sure don’t put that in the headline. In fact, they save it for the fifth graf.
Governor Walker seems to understand the public mood, and is behaving accordingly.
Caroline Glick breaks down the latest news from that great emerging “democracy” Egypt:
Two important things happened during Qaradawi’s appearance in Cairo. First, his handlers refused to allow Google’s Egyptian Internet revolutionary Wael Ghonim to join the cleric on the dais. For anyone willing to notice, Qaradawi’s message in spurning Ghonim was indisputable. As far as the jihadists are concerned, Ghonim and his fellow Internet activists are the present day equivalent of Lenin’s useful idiots.
They did their job of convincing credulous Western liberals that the overthrow of Mubarak was all about sweetness and light.
And now they are no longer needed.
The second message was Qaradawi’s call to destroy Israel. With millions of adoring fans crying out “Amen,” and “Allahu Akhbar,” Qaradawi called for a Muslim conquest of Jerusalem – that is, for the destruction of Israel. As a first step, he demanded that the Egyptian military open the Egyptian border with Gaza.
Says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
The Senate Democrats count on those in the public sector as a key funding source for their campaigns.
In fact, one out of every five dollars raised by those Democratic senators in the past two election cycles came from public employees, such as teachers and firefighters, and their unions, a Journal Sentinel analysis of campaign records shows. …
According to records compiled by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, the 14 Senate Democrats have raised a total of $1.9 million in campaign dollars since the start of 2007. Out of that sum, public employee unions and individual government workers contributed at least $344,000.
In truth, the figure may be even higher, but candidates don’t have to identify the occupations of those giving $100 or less.
President Obama told a meeting of state governors today that he backs waivers giving states “flexibility” to work out their own faith vis a vis ObamaCare. But that flexibility isn’t all it’s suggested.
Hosting governors of both parties on his own turf, Obama offered them what they often request: more flexibility as they cope with painful budget dilemmas. Declaring that he would “go to bat for whatever works,” Obama supported letting states propose their own health care plans by 2014 — three years faster than the current law allows.
Yet this would be no change to the fundamental requirements of a federal law that has divided the nation and prompted about half the states to try to overturn it through lawsuits. To gain new powers, states would first have to convince Washington that their plans would cover as many people, provide equally affordable and comprehensive care and not add to the federal deficit.
Basically, you can do what you want as long as you meet my goals, more or less my way. But his own plan doesn’t stack up to his own rules. ObamaCare doesn’t “cover” people, so much as it forces people to buy insurance or pay a fine. If they pay the fine, they’re still not covered. It doesn’t bend the affordability cost curve (except maybe to bend it up more steeply), and it does add to the federal deficit. Fortunately, the Republicans in the room didn’t seem to buy Obama’s new feint.
Around the same time the president was telling governors they could seek ObamaCare waivers, he had his PR staff telling liberal supporters why the waivers would end up fulfilling progressive dreams:
Health care advisers Nancy-Ann DeParle and Stephanie Cutter stressed on the off-record call that the rule change would allow states to implement single-payer health care plans — as Vermont seeks to — and true government-run plans, like Connecticut’s Sustinet.
The source on the call summarizes the officials’ point — which is not one the Administration has sought to make publically — as casting the new “flexibility” language as an opportunity to try more progressive, not less expansive, approaches on the state level.
“They are trying to split the baby here: on one hand tell supporters this is good for their pet issues, versus a message for the general public that the POTUS is responding to what he is hearing and that he is being sensible,” the source emails.
Obviously, that’s why the president praised Mitt Romney during today’s events. Romney implemented MassCare. Obama was putting the Moderate Face on for a while. That MassCare has proven to be an expensive failure doesn’t seem to be a problem.
From Popular Science:
Instructed by his father, 9-year-old Jose Hernandez marched up to the family television set to wriggle the rabbit-ears antenna, hoping to sharpen the black-and-white image of American men walking on the moon. It was December 1972, during Apollo 17, and Hernandez was transfixed.
“I would go outside, look at the moon, and come back inside and look at the images on TV. I remember being all of 9 years old and telling my parents, ‘That’s what I want to do when I grow up,’” he recalled. And he did it. He became an engineer and applied to be an astronaut 12 times before he finally made the cut in 2004. Then he made just one trip to space before hanging up his flight suit for good last month.
It wasn’t because he’d realized his dream and moved on. It was because there was nothing in this country for him to fly.
“Saturday Night Live” and “The Daily Show” take occasional shots at President Barack Obama, but humor aimed at liberals remains in short supply.
“SNL” regular Fred Armisen is trying to balance the ledger. His new series “Portlandia,” airing at 10:30 p.m. EST Friday nights on the IFC Channel, mocks the city’s uber-progressive citizens. The six-episode series serves up loosely connected skits starring Armisen and show co-creator Carrie Brownstein (of Sleater-Kinney fame).
It’s a gentle ribbing, to be sure, but it’s refreshing to see comedians traffic in material that doesn’t include obtuse swipes at Tea Party patriots, rednecks or other overused targets.
And “Portlandia” is often rigorously clever. Consider a scene where a couple quizzes a waitress about the organic, free range chicken they’re about to order. “His name was Colin,” the waitress tells them patiently as she describes the fowl’s local roots in painstaking detail. That isn’t good enough for the couple who insist on seeing where Colin met his untimely end before placing their order.
Not every skit is a knee slapper, but the show offers up some fun cameos by Aimee Mann, Jason Sudeikis, Heather Graham and Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”) to make amends.
“Portlandia” is the first program of its kind since ABC’s short-lived “Goode Family,” another comedy taking tree hugger types to task for their liberal extremes.
If Mother Jones and the Huffington Post are all that you read, you might be led to believe that pro-life groups are trying to get laws passed that would allow the killing of abortion providers. Headlines like these, and the story they festoon, are what I’m talking about:
Well, surprise surprise, the lefties lie. The bills in question have nothing to do with making a justifiable homicide out of killing abortionists. Here’s what the bills are actually supposed to do.
Americans United for Life Vice President of Legal Affairs Denise Burke tells LifeNews.com the “anti-life media once again got their facts wrong” in reporting about AUL’s “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act.”
She said the model legislation seeks to ensure that a pregnant woman and her unborn child are protected from criminal violence and that her decision to carry her child to term is respected and that the model legislation was drafted in direct response to the well-documented and growing problem of pregnancy-related violence against women.
AUL’s “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” does not allow the killing of abortion practitioners but, as written, provides that a pregnant woman may use force to protect her unborn child when she reasonably believes that unlawful force is threatening her unborn child and that her use of force is immediately necessary to protect her unborn child. The language explicitly limits the permitted use of force to a pregnant woman and does not expand it to third parties. Thus, under the express terms of AUL’s carefully crafted and narrow language, the “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” could not be used to justify criminal violence against abortion providers or anyone else.
The AUL law, as it strikes me, is intended to boost both a woman’s choice to carry her child to term, and her inherent right of self-defense. Which of these do the HuffPosters and Mother Jonesers find so problematic as to warrant a smear campaign?
Paul Krugman’s latest column is yet another waste of NYT editorial real estate. He take to the the Paper of Reactionary Zeal to blame the Lone Star State’s drop-out rate on its budgetary frugality.
And in low-tax, low-spending Texas, the kids are not all right. The high school graduation rate, at just 61.3 percent, puts Texas 43rd out of 50 in state rankings.
Slight problem here, namely, the cause and effect relationship that Krugman implies. If low state spending leads to high state dropout rates, as Krugman suggests, then riddle me this: Why does California spend more per pupil, yet have a higher dropout rate? And why does New York spend even more per pupil than California and Texas, and also have a higher drop-out rate? And why does the District of Columbia spend almost twice as much money per pupil as Texas, and yet have a much higher dropout rate than Texas?
Gaddafi on Gaddafi: “My people love me. They would die for me.”
He’s half right.
On the surface, the Koch brothers would seem unlikely targets for the political left. After all, they patronize the arts, favor gay marriage, support legalization of drugs and advocate reduced spending on defense.
But they also have a unique distinction: They are two of the very few billionaires in the country who actively contribute to libertarian and conservative causes. Consequently, many liberals have engaged in what can only be characterized as a vicious campaign to drive them out of public life.
You know what to do.
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey was tapped to revitalize morale and restore integrity to a Justice Department purportedly lacking both. He is a measured man with a dignified restraint. Thus, when he decides to hit, his hits land harder.
Mukasey today hits the Justice Department over the dismissal of the New Black Panther case, the racialist scandal that isn’t going away despite the work and wishes of Holder loyalists.
In an interview with Family Security Matters, Mukasey says:
“I think the handling of the New Black Panther Party case is something that seems deeply disturbing, and warrants either a full explanation, or a serious outside inquiry, possibly from Congress, or both. Two members of the New Black Panther party were seen intimidating voters outside a poll in Philadelphia during the 2008 election, and a case against them resulted in a decision for the government, which the defendants did not contest. A witness to the intimidation who had served as a highly civil rights lawyer at the Justice Department in the 1960’s, Bartle Bull, said that the defendants’ conduct was the most blatant kind of intimidation he had ever seen, including what he witnessed in Mississippi in the 1960’s.”
Mukasey helped restore integrity to the DOJ once before. Perhaps Mukasey will be available again in January 2013 because now the DOJ really needs some integrity restored.
Well here we go. Two weeks of shutting down the state’s Senate had to lead somewhere, and it’s leading to layoffs for the state workers the Democrats claim to be defending:
A statement released by Gov. Scott Walker’s office on Monday says the option of refinancing debt in order to save $165 million will be lost unless Senate Democrats return to work and vote on it by Tuesday. …
Werwie [the governor's spokesman] said he was giving the Democrats 24-hour notice. He added that the governor will delay sending out layoff notices “as long as possible.”
Walker is also scheduled to address a joint session of the Wisconsin legislature tomorrow evening. This address was originally set for Feb 22, but the fleebaggers’ run to the Tilted Kilt scuttled that. Now the speech is on, the layoffs are in play and the fleebaggers are still absent. It seems that Wisconsin will move, one way or another, this week.
Our very own CEO, Roger L. Simon, appeared on Fox & Friends Sunday morning to talk about his new book, Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine: The Perils of Coming out Conservative in Tinseltown. Here’s the video:
“The times, they are a-changing as Bob Dylan once said. And there are more conservatives coming out in Hollywood. That’s not to say it’s becoming a conservative town, that would be ridiculous. But the percentage shift is going on, and I think it’s partly because of the election.”
Judicial Watch is doing vital work in bringing the Ted Kennedy FBI files to light. The man was a real piece of work. At my old stomping grounds I chased a story about him that still hasn’t quite resolved completely, the question of what the KGB had on him in its files. The KGB had in its files a plan in which Kennedy hoped to use US journalists and Soviet help to defeat President Reagan in 1984.
That document is a memo regarding an offer made by Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts via former Senator John Tunney, both Democrats, to the General Secretary of the Communist Party, USSR, Yuri Andropov, in 1983. The offer was to help the Soviet leadership, military and civilian, conduct a PR campaign in the United States as President Ronald Reagan sought re-election. The goal of the PR campaign would be to cast President Reagan as a warmonger, the Soviets as willing to peacefully co-exist, and thereby turn the electorate away from Reagan. It was a plan to enlist Soviet help, and use the American press, in unseating an American president.
The intriguing thing to me now, after reading Clarice’s post over the weekend, is how well the KGB file fits in terms of character with what the FBI had come up with. The FBI files depict Kennedy as always being eager to meet with the hard leftists of whatever country he happened to be visiting.
“[I]n each country Kennedy insisted on interviewing ‘the angry young men’ of the country. He wanted to meet with communists and others who had left-wing views. …Ambassador Freeman, Bogota, said the first person whom Kennedy wanted to meet was Lauchlin Currie.” (The document subsequently identifies Currie as a person who “had been mentioned in Washington investigations of Soviet spy rings.”)
That information is from a 1961 State Department memo. The KGB file depicts Kennedy as being eager to work with the hard leftists of the USSR to unseat Reagan two decades later. Together, the FBI and KGB files paint a picture that’s hard to ignore (though the MSM will undoubtedly ignore it fully), of a man who chose a side in the Cold War, and the side he chose was the Soviet side. His entire career in and out of the Senate needs to be re-evaluated in light of what both the FBI and KGB have to say about the late Ted Kennedy.
The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes the Green Movement once again:
The background: Northern Californians feel guilty using water, thinking it better to let the state’s rivers flow free to support endangered fish species. Local greenies endlessly whine about human over-consumption of our water resources. One solution pushed by environmentalists is for everyone to install low-flow toilets, which use just enough water to flush away any excreta, but no more. San Francisco adopted this initiative, not only putting low-flow toilets at all city facilities, and requiring them in all new commercial buildings, but encouraging homeowners to install them as well with rebates and credits. Fast forward a few years: Success! Now the city uses 20 millions fewer gallons of water annually.
But then, as always, yet another green fantasy backfires spectacularly:
San Francisco’s big push for low-flow toilets has turned into a multimillion-dollar plumbing stink.
Skimping on toilet water has resulted in more sludge backing up inside the sewer pipes, said Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the city Public Utilities Commission. That has created a rotten-egg stench near AT&T Park and elsewhere, especially during the dry summer months.
The city has already spent $100 million over the past five years to upgrade its sewer system and sewage plants, in part to combat the odor problem.
Now officials are stocking up on a $14 million, three-year supply of highly concentrated sodium hypochlorite – better known as bleach – to act as an odor eater and to disinfect the city’s treated water before it’s dumped into the bay. It will also be used to sanitize drinking water.
That translates into 8.5 million pounds of bleach either being poured down city drains or into the drinking water supply every year.
Not everybody thinks it’s a good idea.
A Don’t Bleach Our Bay alert has just gone out from eco-blogger Adam Lowry who argues the city would be much better off using a disinfectant like hydrogen peroxide – or better yet, a solution that would naturally break down the bacteria.
As for whether the supposedly environmentally friendly, low-flow toilets are worth the trouble? Well, according to Jue, they have helped trim San Francisco’s annual water consumption by about 20 million gallons.
So, cutting way back on the water flushing out the municipal excretions has caused massive sewage backups in the pipes, stinking up the city. Who could have predicted that? Spending $100 million on repairs didn’t solve the problem. Thus, as a solution, the city pours 8.5 million pounds of chemical contaminants into the ecosystem.
Move along, folks — nothing to see here.
And then some similar thuggery in Massachusetts.
If these are previews of the 2012 election, then we’re closer to Greece than I thought.
By, according to Charlie Sykes, turning to GOP colleague Rep. Michelle Litjens after passage of the budget bill and telling her “You are f*&#@%! dead!” Hintz seems to have his own career mortality problems — follow that link.
Would we prefer a temporary federal government shut down, or would we prefer that House Republicans compromise (read cut and run on their campaign promises) with Democrats to finalize the budget?
Speaking yesterday of the looming showdown, Speaker of the House John Boehner said: “This is very simple: Americans want the government to stay open, and they want it to spend less money.”
Comparing his words to last fall’s Tea Party/Conservative inspired rhetoric, something about this didn’t ring true.
Today, as noted here on the Tatler earlier, Rasmussen published a new poll, finding that 58% of voters “would rather have a partial shutdown of the federal government than keep its spending at current levels.”
Besides, if Boehner purposefully misreads our intent regarding the government staying open, his next mind-reading divination will be that we weren’t serious about government spending less of our money.
The Tatler might have to get a siren or some other symbol of shocking, breaking news. We’ll think of something. Until we do, here’s the story that’s spurring the need:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 33% of Likely U.S. Voters would rather have Congress avoid a government shutdown by authorizing spending at the same levels as last year. Fifty-eight percent (58%) says it’s better to have a partial shutdown until Democrats and Republicans can agree on what spending to cut. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The partisan differences are striking. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Democrats prefer avoiding a shutdown by going with current spending levels. But 80% of Republicans — and 59% of voters not affiliated with either major party — think a shutdown is a better option until the two sides can agree on spending cuts. (emphasis added)
A majority of independents would side with the GOP in a shutdown to get spending cuts… The Democrats might want to party like it’s 1995, thinking that will get them back on the winning side, but if Rasmussen is right, it really isn’t 1995 anymore.
The last doughboy has gone onto his reward.
Mr. Buckles said he was just a naive schoolboy chasing adventure when he enlisted Aug. 14, 1917, after the United States joined a war that had been raging for three years, with millions dead. “I knew what was happening in Europe, even though I was quite young,” he told a Washington Post reporter when he was 105. “And I thought, well, ‘I want to get over there and see what it’s about.” …
“Every last one of us Yanks believed we’d wrap this thing up in a month or two and head back home before harvest,” he said. “In other words, we were the typical cocky Americans no one wants around until they need help winning a war.” …
He weathered the Depression at sea on his purser’s salary, regularly making port calls in newly Nazified Germany. He saw Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Summer Olympics, he said, and watched Jesse Owens anger the dictator by sprinting to victory in Berlin’s Reichssportfeld.
Then, in December 1941, he was working in a shipping company’s Manila office when Japanese invaders landed in Luzon after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“Three years, two months,” he said of his captivity in the Philippines, eventually at a notorious camp in Los Banos. There, under pitiless Japanese guards, hundreds of Allied civilian and military internees lived in squalor, subsisting on often wormy rations.
On the one hand, Farrakhan predicts the US will see protests like the Middle East. But on the other hand, he still calls Gaddafi “a friend.” Really:
“Name one ruler that has the 100 love of his people,” Farrakhan said. “You can’t find one.”
When Roger calls modern liberals “reactionary,” he’s not kidding.
The question with Calypso Louie Farrakhan is always whether he’s coming up with his ideas on his own, or whether the UFO mother ship is telling him what to say. You make the call here:
“What you are looking at in Tunisia, in Egypt … Libya, in Bahrain … what you see happening there … you’d better prepare because it will be coming to your door,” Farrakhan said in a booming voice, thousands of followers cheering in his wake.
Farrakhan also called on President Barack Obama to allow protesters to march, urging the president not to attack innocent people when they do.
Wait — if Obama has to be urged not to attack the protesters, then the marchers must be against him, right? Is Louie turning into a Tea Partier? Or maybe he’s just going Hollyweird.
Farrakhan extolled the virtues of Scientology and its auditing process, which is considered spiritual counseling by its members.
“L. Ron Hubbard is so exceedingly valuable to every Caucasian person on this earth,” Farrakhan said.
“… L. Ron Hubbard himself was and is trying to civilize white people and make them better human beings and take away from them their reactive minds … Mr. Hubbard recognized that his people have to be civilized,” Farrakhan said to a cheering crowd.
NOTE TO PRODUCERS: You should really use entertainers, not dull, flat actors, as your hosts. James Franco and Anne Hathaway were like two stiff presenters at a high school graduation. It’s no accident that the audience rose for a standing ovation when Billy Crystal appeared. They were relieved. It was like seeing a water in the desert. He could even crack a joke. And the holographic Bob Hope was even better. Oh, for another era when Hollywood was Hollywood and had a little glamor.
What kind of an evening was it? There wasn’t even any good phony leftist politics (well, a little). The whole event even made you yearn for Marlon Brando sending an Indian to collect his prize, dopey as that was. At least it had some pizazz.
Ironically, this snore fest came in the midst of a pretty good year for movies. There were at least three excellent films: The King’s Speech, The Social Network and Toy Story 3. Although I cast my Academy ballot for The KS, good as that is, I should really have voted for Toy Story 3. Taken as a trilogy, The Toy Story movies are for the ages, masterpieces of a new form of animation. Pixar is the ONLY move studio functioning the way the studios once functioned in the glory days, producing film after excellent film with their unique stamp on them. Is it because they are out of Hollywood? Because of Steve Jobs (or John Lasseter)? Who knows, but they’re doing it.
Best acceptance speeches: David Seidler, KS writer, and Toby Hooper, KS director, who acknowledged his mother for giving him idea to do film.
Lionel Chetwynd and I will have more on Poliwood. We’ll try not to be boring.
Bernie Madoff to N.Y. Magazine: Government a Ponzi Scheme
Of course he’s right.
The J Street national conference in Washington, D.C. has emphasized that they are pro-Israeli. Yet they didn’t say anything about being pro-Jewish.
This morning Jikileaks reports that the J Street organizers at the Washington Convention Center are not offering Kosher food at its Jewish conclave with more than 2,000 participants. J Street boasts that hundreds of their attendees are rabbis.
The Jikileaks person on the ground at the J Street extravaganza explained his dilemma: “I arrived at the sandwich cart and requested the kosher option. I got a blank stare in return, and when I asked the manager she told me she had no idea what I was talking about. She hadn’t heard anything about kosher sandwiches.”
Kosher foods are those that prepared with strict rabbinic oversight. Observant Jews believe you are what you eat. It’s pretty shocking that J Street was so indifferent toward their own Jewishness as to not offer any Kosher food options at its conference.
The lack of Kosher food does make sense. J Street’s director once said his own staff was alienated from Judaism and once bragged to the New York Times that many instead prefer to conduct Buddhist Seders.
Matt Bai, writing in today’s New York Times:
While Christie has flatly ruled out a presidential run in 2012, there is enough conjecture about the possibility that I felt moved to ask him a few weeks ago if he found it exhausting to have to constantly answer the same question. “Listen, if you’re going to say you’re exhausted by that, you’re really taking yourself too seriously,” Christie told me, then broke into his imitation of a politician who is taking himself too seriously. “ ‘Oh, Matt, please, stop asking me about whether I should be president of the United States! The leader of the free world! Please stop! I’m exhausted by the question!’ I mean, come on. If I get to that point, just slap me around, because that’s really presumptuous. What it is to me is astonishing, not exhausting.”
It’s a pretty kind piece from Bai, despite dropping the occasional adjective like “well-worn” or “fleshy.” But the important thing is how Christie comes across and the one word answer is: Blunt.
These are tough times, but our politicians remain as glib as ever. That’s why Christie stands out. It isn’t his size, it’s the fact that he’s the one guy telling us the hard facts no one else will.
If you wonder why so many are against Obama’s health care law, simply replace the word “Canadian” with “American” in this true story involving a baby north of the border: “Canadian health care allocation officials already ruled that Joseph had to be taken off life support and allowed to die in the hospital.”
Health care allocation officials? Pass the Soylent Green please.
We should know better. Right now the Wikipedia entry for Kirk Douglas says:
December 9, 1716 (1716-12-09) (age 294)
Amsterdam, New York, U.S.
When you’re a ruthless dictator and you’ve lost hot the Ukrainian nurse, you’ve lost the war.