Well, here’s another Obama first, ladies and gents. Like the Peace Prize awarded on the wings of hope in Obama’s ethereal glow, now various open-government organizations have given the One an award for — hold your breath and count slowly to ten — hoped for “transparency.” A mere week after the most transparent administration in the history of the world was trying to explain why a Biden advance team would confine a lone reporter to a storage room to keep him from mingling with Party fat-cats in Florida, the glorious bastion of open-government moguls decide to preemptively award President Obama with the “transparency” award.
But that’s not the juiciest bit of this. The award was supposed to be given at a public ceremony at the White House with press pool and photographers, but the president decided to cancel all that “transparency” and go with a closed-door, private meeting without a single member of the press in attendance to receive his “transparency” award.
Politico has the whole story here.
Just got this email from the Tea Party Express on a new ad they’re launching in Wisconsin:
TEA PARTY EXPRESS LAUNCHES TV AD CAMPAIGN IN WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT FIGHT
The Tea Party Express (www.TeaPartyExpress.org) launched an new ad campaign today targeting the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, where well-funded union groups are running attack ads against the sitting justice, David Prosser, and instead supporting a state prosecutor with zero judicial experience and a history of suing homeowners and businesses over environmental regulations.
Is Molly Goldberg part of the Israeli team competing for a Google prize to be the third nation to reach the moon?
Maverick and creative thinkers the Israeli trio appear to be: According to the X Prize organizers, the 29 competing teams will spend between $15 million and $100 million on the project, with the earliest launch not scheduled until 2013. The Israelis aim to spend less than that (around $10 million) and to launch before 2013.
The last, of course, did give the world Roger Ebert.
According to GlobalSecurity.org, “The Amphibious Ready Group’s capabilities range from providing medical supplies, personnel and food for evacuation in the event of natural disaster, to landing combat ready Marines ashore.”
Are we stepping up combat operations or are these units going to start supplying the rebels?
Fair point regarding the mighty past achievements of our mutually adopted home state of California — but does the culture that produced Casablanca exist anymore here? As we saw with Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney’s The Good German in 2006, Modern Hollywood still has the craftsmen to replicate that seminal 1943 film’s outward aesthetics, but certainly not its soul.
And ditto the Beach Boys. Sonically, a well-equipped L.A. recording studio can generate anything, but who’s the modern California equivalent to Brian Wilson — at least before he traded in the Little Deuce Coupe for massive quantities of LSD?
The one saving grace is the computer industry, which is lowering both the cost of entry and reducing the geographic element to those who wish to compete in these arenas. But then, Hollywood and Silicon Valley have long had a sort of quiet civil war going on beneath the surface.
I know – but what have you done for us lately? Well, just remember, until June at least – these guys are still champs.
Before joining the PJ empire I had a more directly political gig. I spent quite a bit of time gathering data points proving the superiority of Texas over its sickly rival to the west. All one needs to do is Google “texas stable housing market” to learn all about which state is better for property owners.
Get ready to get your boast on again, buddy — the foreclosure rate in Texas is 3.5 times lower than California’s.
Following up on what I’ve previously posted on the ATF Gunwalker scandal, where the ATF allowed thousands of guns purchased in the U.S. by Mexican drug cartel operatives to be transported across the border including the weapon used to kill a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
… may be California’s universities. Check out Roger Simon’s latest, about UCI and Hamas, on the front page. And then consider this, regarding Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, the PLO daughter, Hamas apologist and purported Holocaust denier who is on the UN Responsibility to Protect commission. She’s also connected to the Institute of International Studies at UC Berkeley.
CNN promotes Iranian agent, Hezbollah supporter on post about alleged victimization of American Muslims
After its hour-long piece on Islamic grievance-mongering Sunday night, CNN followed up Monday with a Belief blog post, “Your Take: Is American Muslim alienation valid?“. Featured at the top of that CNN blog post is a picture of Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn, Michigan.
Who is Imam Elahi? Funny you should ask.
In a lengthy video report a few years ago, my colleague Erick Stakelbeck, terrorism correspondent for CBN News, interviewed Elahi. Stakelbeck showed numerous pictures of Elahi with Iranian government leaders, which he has posted on the Islamic House of Wisdom’s website, including photos of Elahi with Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini. A U.S. Institute for Peace research report cited by Stakelbeck states that:
In 1991, Mohammad Ali Elahi received a four-month visa which enabled him to inspect American branches of Hizbullah (Tehran’s network of agents) and to reinforce Tehran’s influence on Shi’ite communities (in Dearborn).
That’s correct: According to the U.S government-funded think tank, Imam Elahi is an agent of Iran and Hezbollah. This is who CNN chose to highlight in their blog post on the alleged victimization of American Muslim community.
The Central Intelligence Agency has inserted clandestine operatives into Libya to gather intelligence for military airstrikes and make contacts with rebels battling Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces, according to American officials.
While President Obama has insisted that no American ground troops join in the Libyan campaign, small groups of C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks and are part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes can help set back Colonel Qaddafi’s military, the officials said.
This is coming from US officials. Why? Why now?
There is a war over the war-we’re-not-calling-a-war within the administration.
And I’d be willing to bet that these CIA operatives aren’t the only American boots pennyloafers gators shoes of indeterminate structure on the ground in Libya. We’ve previously reported on the insertion of A-10′s and B-1′s into the conflict. Typically, such aircraft require some tactical assistance on the ground. That’s usually Air Force enlisted personnel; it’s a segment of the AF special operations called combat control.
CIA could possibly be trained to perform combat control, but it’s more likely that any CC activity is being done by actual US airmen. Who, odds are, are wearing boots.
…we would have a secretive president using his executive power to take America to war without Congressional approval. And they were right!
President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
Obama signed the order, known as a presidential “finding”, within the last two or three weeks, according to four U.S. government sources familiar with the matter.
Of course, we don’t know what’s in the finding, what it rules in or rules out, because it’s seekret. Congress needs to start conducting some hearings, if only to restore some Constitutionality to this action.
If Bush had done anything like this with Iraq or Afghanistan…
(hat tip to Prof. Reynolds for the “They told me if…” meme)
ObamaCare is bringing us closer to a single payer — and that single payer is broke. Here’s the meat from The Foundry:
Joel Ario, an official at the Department of Health and Human Services, reinforced this possibility, saying, “If it plays out the exchanges work pretty well, then the employer can say ‘This is a great thing. I can now dump my people into the exchange and it would be good for them, good for me.’”
Those outside the beltway know that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. As employers drop health plans for their employees, taxpayers will be left to pick up the tremendous cost of offering more and more subsidized coverage in the exchanges. This will drive up the cost of Obamacare and its already-huge impact on deficit spending. Since the subsidies represent a new entitlement program, the only way to control the cost would be to pass legislation reducing benefits or eligibility.
Higher prices, less service. It’s the Washington way.
Second, they have a special teeshirt with the slogan “Ganbare, Nihon!” — “Don’t give up, Japan!” — with 25 percent of the price going to the Japan Red Cross.
If you haven’t already, this is a good way to contribute. And remember, while we overheat about the Fukushima reactors, Japan has had a real catastrophe, not just a hypothetical one.
(By the way: they have lots of other wonderful products there, but when a Japanese company tells you their “adult section” is “not safe for work”, they Are Not Joking.)
According to President Obama in his speech Monday night, the United States pulled together a coalition to act in Libya when it became clear that Gaddafi’s forces were about to overrun rebels in Benghazi and massacre the people of that city. Obama refused, he said, to wait for the images of mass slaughter before acting. So hastily passed UN resolution in hand, first the French and then the US and British launched strikes, and soon the rebels took the offensive and Gaddafi’s forces reeled. Now a few days later, the offensive shoe is on the other foot and it’s the rebels who are in retreat as Gaddafi’s troops retake land lost just a few days back.
The combatants could remain in this back and forth contest for a while, and now there’s word that we (the US and NATO) are contemplating directly arming the rebels. But there may be a problem with that.
President Obama has a plan — doesn’t he always? — to wean us off of foreign oil:
He called for a fuel-saving strategy of producing more electric cars, converting trucks to run on natural gas, building new refineries to brew billions of gallons of biofuels and setting new fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles. Congress has been debating similar measures for years.
There was no mention of renewed domestic drilling, other than to repeat Energy Secretary Ken Salazar’s debunked claim that everything is hunky-dory with Gulf production.
I hate to play Captain Obvious, but the first lesson learned from the Libya campaign: Without some help from above, tanks beat trucks. From today’s CSM:
The rebels can advance easily along the sparsely inhabited desert running west towards Sirte, Qaddafi’s hometown, as long as foreign warplanes are plowing the road in front of them; Absent that air support, Qaddafi’s army drives them relentlessly back.
I know we got into this so President Obama wouldn’t have to see pictures of mass graves. But until the rebels win, there’s no way we can get out. And yet regime change isn’t our policy.
Shouldn’t we be in it to win it?
Uganda has said Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi would be welcome, in what appears to be the first country to offer him a possible exit route.
“So we have soft spots for asylum seekers. Gaddafi would be allowed to live here if he chooses to do so,” Mirundi was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.
President Museveni spokesman Tamale Mirundi said Wednesday the country’s policy is to accept asylum seekers.
Uganda has a history of its own leaders going off into exile rather than face trial for their crimes. Idi Amin ended up in Saudi Arabia, and Milton Obote was deposed and exiled to Namibia.
Okay, look, everyone knew that there is some Central Committee of the Democratic Party that defines what words are supposed to be spoken in all discussions, not just of the budget but of pretty much everything. The phrasing and even intonation is so consistent that it can’t be coincidence.
It does make me wonder a little bit if lunch with the Senate Democrat leadership wouldn’t go a little like this:
I’ll have the club sandwich with Boehner painted into a box.
I’d like the draconian bean soup and an extreme small side salad.
But what really puzzles me is: what the hell is “painted into a box” supposed to mean? ”Painted into a corner” — okay, I’d get that. “Boxed in”, ditto.
But “painted into a box”?
The highly-paid message crafters at the CCDP couldn’t manage a meaningful, unmixed, metaphor?
The most fearsome weapons wielded by Mexico’s drug cartels enter the country from Central America, not the United States, according to U.S. diplomatic cables disseminated by WikiLeaks and published here Tuesday by La Jornada newspaper.
Inventory includes grenades and rocket launchers, necessary items for beating the Mexican army.
This corroborates an LA Times report from early 2009, which catalogued “hand grenades, grenade launchers, armor-piercing munitions and antitank rockets…”
The U.S. still blames American gun owners, by asserting that American guns “fuel” Mexico’s drug war. Even President Obama asserts: “More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States.”
In statistics, “sampling error” essentially means that a small subset isn’t representative of the entire group.
In 2008, Mexico confiscated 30,000 firearms from drug cartels. Out of this, they selected 24% (7,200) to send to the U.S. for tracing. Of these, the ATF was able to trace 4,000. Of the 4,000, 3,480 (87%) were American.
Actually, 90% of all cartel guns are not American. (For more, read here.)
Why would cartels spend over $1,000–plus a background check and smuggling risks–for a decent American semi-automatic rifle, when they can buy 4-5 fully automatic AK-47s for the same price on the black market?
Covered here at PJ Media.
Or is the New Jersey Democrat a sexist pig? You make the call:
“Imagine ho we would all feel if God forbid a Republican president were elected and he or, God forbid she, decided to attack North Korea because Kim Jong Il is brutalizing his people, without consulting the Congress.”
Emphasis added. It may seem as if he’s saying “God forbid a president attack North Korea,” but the way he phrases it takes it in different direction. He asks God to forbid two things: That a Republican, and that a woman, be elected president. Evidently Sarah Palin is occupying some space, rent free, in the Congressman’s head.
(hat tip Disrupt the Narrative)
The Firearms Coalition is promoting action regarding the ATF plan to ban many commonly-used shotguns because they have “no sporting purpose.”
Here’s where we seem to be going: If you want to own a firearm, you’re a criminal. But if the government wants to aid and abet a violent criminal enterprise, it’s legal.
The ATF reportedly acted as co-conspirator–and accessory before and after the fact–to enhance firearms transfers from American gun stores into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. (Read LA Times article about ATF’s “Fast and Furious” caper. View CBS video interview of ATF agent. Recent CBS article.)
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the Obama administration’s response to the Libya situation as good or excellent, marking little change from two previous surveys. Thirty percent (30%) give the administration poor marks, up from 21% earlier this month before the president committed U.S. forces to Libya. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Forty percent (40%) of voters felt at that time that the administration was doing a good or excellent job responding to the political crisis in Libya. Last week, with the U.S. military actively involved in Libya, 41% rated the Obama administration’s response as good or excellent, but 28% said it was doing a poor job.
As LifeNews.com reported in February, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards joined the talk show of pro-abortion activist Joy Behar and defended Planned Parenthood against legislation in Congress seeking to revoke its federal taxpayer funding.
“If this bill ever becomes law, millions of women in this country are going to lose their health care access, not to abortion services, to basic family planning – you know, mammograms,” she claimed.
Previously, LifeNews.com and pro-life blogger Jill Stanek followed up with phone calls to various Planned Parenthood centers and confirmed they do not do mammograms.
Today, Live Action released videotaped footage of calls to 30 Planned Parenthood centers nationwide in 27 different states where abortion facility staff were asked whether or not mammograms could be performed on site. Every one of the Planned Parenthood centers admitted they could not do mammograms. Every Planned Parenthood, without exception, tells the women calling that they will have to go elsewhere for a mammogram, and many clinics admit that no Planned Parenthood clinics provide this breast cancer screening procedure.
So CEO Cecile Richards’ defense of Planned Parenthood is, what’s the word for that again? Oh yeah — a total lie.
Update: Here’s Live Action’s latest video, in which they call around to see if any PP facilities even provide mammograms (they don’t, and as CEO, surely Cecile Richards knew that. If she didn’t, what does she know?). Note how the first PP staffer says that their services are mostly “surgical.”
(hat tip Breitbart.tv)
The other day in a long-winded post, I speculated that because the UN’s Responsibility to Protect doctrine is so broad, it may end up being used in ways Americans will not like. I wondered:
Might the time come when Israel faces a UN R2P action for taking out terrorist bases in the Palestinian territories or southern Lebanon?
Well, it’s worth a little digging around to find out who’s actually behind the R2P project. It’s fairly new and has not generated a great deal of public debate, even amongst folks like me who closely watch foreign policy trends. Turns out there’s a UN commission on the subject, with members listed here. Most of the names are unfamiliar, but one does jump out.
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi – former Cabinet Minister of the Palestinian National Authority
Dr. Asrawi is more than just a former government official in the PA. Her father founded the Palestinian Liberation Organization. That group projects a more moderate image these days (compared to Hamas), but at its founding it was a violent terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel. According to its charter, the PLO is still dedicated to that goal. As for Ashrawi, daughter of a PLO founder:
Or, when hope for luck became a plan for war kinetic military action. After saying that he’s glad the American president won’t wait for images of mass slaughter to act (but what if there are no photographers on hand?), Friedman rubs the belly of a lucky totem, wishes upon a falling star and searches his yard for a four-leafed clover:
I don’t know Libya, but my gut tells me that any kind of decent outcome there will require boots on the ground — either as military help for the rebels to oust Qaddafi as we want, or as post-Qaddafi peacekeepers and referees between tribes and factions to help with any transition to democracy. Those boots cannot be ours. We absolutely cannot afford it — whether in terms of money, manpower, energy or attention. But I am deeply dubious that our allies can or will handle it without us, either. And if the fight there turns ugly, or stalemates, people will be calling for our humanitarian help again. You bomb it, you own it.
Which is why, most of all, I hope President Obama is lucky. I hope Qaddafi’s regime collapses like a sand castle, that the Libyan opposition turns out to be decent and united and that they require just a bare minimum of international help to get on their feet. Then U.S. prestige will be enhanced and this humanitarian mission will have both saved lives and helped to lock another Arab state into the democratic camp.
Dear Lord, please make President Obama lucky.
Maybe you should get to know Libya, Tom. Hope is not a plan. Hoping for luck is even less of a plan. Hoping for luck in a part of the world where the enemy of your enemy is your very temporary friend, and where religious/political violence is a way of life and a frequent path to power, is insanity.
Drudge writes “SHOCK” and ABC tut-tuts a lot that “43% don’t know Obama’s religion.” ABC writes:
Despite Obama’s public professions on religion and spirituality, many Americans continue to doubt the president’s faith.
Nearly one in five Americans incorrectly believes that Obama is a Muslim, according to a poll by the nonpartisan Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released late last year.
The poll found the number surveyed who knew correctly that Obama is Christian actually declined, from 48 percent in March 2009 to 34 percent in August 2010. Forty-three percent of Americans now say they don’t know what Obama’s religion is at all.
As is often the case, the American public is right. Why? Not because Obama is Muslim or Christian. He is neither. He is a modern agnostic through and through. I am too and, as the cliche goes, it takes one to know one. All this prayer stuff is so much horse hockey for public consumption. Obama is no believer. He is situational believer, perhaps, able to convince himself in certain circumstances (election), but that’s about it. A plurality of Americans seems able to recognize that. (I’m sure too that he wasn’t the first president to be an agonistic or atheist pretending to believe.)
Interesting and inspiring read in the Daily Mail:
The last person you might expect Christopher Hitchens, one of the world’s best known atheists, to turn to for help would be an evangelical Christian.
But a highly religious doctor might be the only individual who can help the author and journalist who is suffering from cancer.
Dr Francis Collins, the former director of the National Human Genome Research Project was one part of the team which developed techniques to map out the entire human DNA make-up is using Hitchens as a guinea pig for a new treatment.
According to the artible Collins mapped Hitchens’ genome and has isolated the cancerous mutations. That led to a treatment that’s less grueling than full chemotherapy.
Both have written books about God, Hitchens arguing against, and Collins seeing the handiwork of God in his scientific discoveries. It was their debate over faith that ended up bringing them together to keep Hitchens alive.
Hitchens added: ‘It is a rather wonderful relationship.
‘I won’t say he doesn’t pray for me, because I think he probably does; but he doesn’t discuss it with me.
‘He agrees that his medical experience does not include anything that could be described as a miracle cure.’
Not according to MSNBC hack Ed Schultz:
ED SCHULTZ: Republicans are attacking the Commander-in-Chief during a time of war! . . . There should be no debate: we should be kicking [Gaddafi's] ass . . . Whose side are you on, Sarah: are you with the terrorists, Sarah, or are you with the President of the United States? . . . And I have to ask the question tonight: where is the patriotism from all of these war-hawks? Where’s the patriotism of the Republican party? . . . What about being a patriot? . . . So the question now for the doubters who are out and about: why don’t you support the president? . . . We’ve been talking about the lack of patriotism from prominent Republicans . . . Laura [Flanders] what about the patriotism?
The “are you with the terrorists…or are you with the President of the United States?” question is morbidly ironic. Never mind that for years many figures on the left have explicitly sided with terrorists — Cindy Sheehan and Medea Benjamin, Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan, etc, with Schultz ever once calling them out on that. In Libya in the current fight, no matter which side you choose, you end up on the side of terrorists.