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The PJ Tatler

Socialism, Obama, and Genocide

Sunday, May 29th, 2011 - by Howard Nemerov

Tom Blumer has an interesting article on Herman Cain labeling Obama “not a patriot”. Cain’s interesting because he’s more able to “get away with” such comments without receiving the usual, trite “racist” attack.

The comments began running towards the “Obama is a socialist” theme.

“Larry J” said: “If there was any justice, those who advocate socialism and Marxism would be social pariahs just like Holocaust deniers and Nazi (national socialism) sympathizers. After all, communism, Marxism and socialism resulted in the deaths of even more people than Nazism, perhaps 10 times as many.”

Rudy Rummel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Hawaii. Rummel has spent much time and effort documenting democide, which he defines as: “The murder of any person or people by a government…”

Overall, Larry is correct. However, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis) only had about 12 years (1933-1945) to murder 21 million people; over 1.7 million annually.

The USSR had about 7 decades, only murdering about 884,000 annually between 1917 and 1987; about 62 million total.

The People’s Republic of China “wins”, murdering over 1.9M annually between 1949 and 1987; about 73 million total.

But over half of that occurred during Mao’s famine of 1958-62: 38M; about 8M annually.

Maybe, given enough time to get the hang of it like their fellow socialist dictatorships, the Nazis would have “won”?

In any case, socialists, in all their variations take the crown for being the biggest murderers in history.

Of more pressing concern for America: If we have a socialist in the White House, and socialists historically are the most genocidal regimes, what does our future hold?

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Weinergate: Or, don’t believe in twitter coincidences

Sunday, May 29th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

If you’re going to have a scandal, a holiday weekend is an excellent time for it. Hardly anyone is paying attention to anything political. So the timing of Weinergate works very much in Rep. Anthony Weiner’s favor. But so far the facts are not working in the New York Democrat’s favor, at all.

At issue is how his twitter feed ended up sending a sexually suggestive photo to a college student in Seattle. He claims that both his twitter freed and yfrog accounts here simultaneously hacked. That’s always possible; hacks do happen. But the problem, as Datechguy notes, is that Weiner was following the college student on twitter before the incident occurred, and she was just one of 91 people he was following. How did this college student get followed in a NY congressman’s twitter feed? We don’t know yet.

Rep. Weiner married Huma Abedin, former aide to Hillary Clinton, in July of 2010. The college student, whom Weiner followed in twitter, had on April 9, 2011 tweeted “I wonder what my boyfriend @RepAnthonyWeiner is up to right now.” She had been on twitter for a long time, and had been on facebook since 2007. In the wake of Weinergate, both accounts have been taken offline.

It’s possible that both of Weiner’s relevant accounts were hacked, possible but unlikely. All of this seems very coincidental: A college student who happened to be one of the 91 people Weiner followed tweets about him being her “boyfriend,” and a few weeks later what looks like a private tweet to her is public. It takes some work to hack an online account, let alone two. It takes very little work to get a letter wrong: @ makes a tweet public, d makes a tweet private. Occam’s Razor suggests that the coincidences aren’t just that. But we’ll see.

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A Special Video for Barack Obama

Saturday, May 28th, 2011 - by Roger L Simon
YouTube Preview Image

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Best Memorial Weekend Lawn Poster

Saturday, May 28th, 2011 - by Roger L Simon

… from an Atlanta neighborhood:

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Racism damns you either way

Saturday, May 28th, 2011 - by Howard Nemerov

I was reading Jeff Dunetz’s article, along with the comments, when I remembered a perfect example where I live.

My wife is music director and plays organ at our African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church. (She’s the church’s token ghost…does that make us racist?)

A couple months ago, the middle school principal called in some seventh graders who were scoring 30% average on their tests. (Yes, that’s 30 correct answers out of 100.) The kids were all non-honkies (does that make me racist?)

The AME pastor decided to get a group of tutors together, which worked with the principal’s support to help the kids make eighth grade.

Next thing I know, the pastor brought in the NAACP from Austin to protest at a school board meeting, claiming the middle school principal was racist and should be fired, because she allegedly humiliated these kids, who were all non-crackers (does that make me racist?)

Because she singled them out for help, NAACP claims she’s racist. But had she done nothing and left these kids to drop out and rot their lives away, she would have been accused of racist oppression via neglect.

Recently, our ministerial alliance voted a female black minister in as chairperson. All the white ministers (does that make me racist?) supported her candidacy. There were three nay votes, all from male ministers of black Baptist churches. Supposedly, their Bible says only men can hold leadership positions in the church.

Affirmative action works! Bigotry is now an equal opportunity employer.

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POLIWOOD: The Cannes Film Festival 2011: Anti-Semitic or Simply Boring?

Friday, May 27th, 2011 - by Roger L Simon
YouTube Preview Image

Lionel and I discuss the brouhaha at this year’s Cannes Festival over Danish director Lars Von Trier evincing sympathy for Hitler at a press conference. What the hard-working auteur has to do these days to generate a little attention from the public!… Methinks this is a symptom of how uninterested people are in the art cinema now. Or maybe Von Trier was off his meds. Who knows? In any case, long time Cannes Festival director Gilles Jacob “ankled” Von Trier. (That’s “Varietyese” for kicked him out.) Lionel says Jacob shouldn’t have done that. It martyrs Von Trier. I wonder if anybody cares… Well, as you will see on the YouTube of Poliwood above, Kirsten Dunst did. (You’ll also see some great old clips from Cannes’ glory years when there really were great filmmakers… like Fellini. They were dug out by our terrific editor Alina Bezdikian. Hats off to her.)

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New report: Iran aiding Syrian crackdown

Friday, May 27th, 2011 - by The Tatler

From the WaPo:

U.S. officials say Iran is dispatching increasing numbers of trainers and advisers — including members of its elite Quds Force — into Syria to help crush anti-government demonstrations that are threatening to topple Iran’s most important ally in the region.

The influx of Iranian manpower is adding to a steady stream of aid from Tehran that includes not only weapons and riot gear but also sophisticated surveillance equipment that is helping Syrian authorities track down opponents through their Facebook and Twitter accounts, the sources said. Iranian-assisted computer surveillance is believed to have led to the arrests of hundreds of Syrians seized from their homes in recent weeks.

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Some MSM columnist: Obama’s brain is too darn fast for his mouth

Friday, May 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

And if you don’t like the way he talks, it’s because you’re dumb. There — I’ve just given you a shorter Meghan Daum.

As polished as he often is before large crowds (where the adjective “soaring” is often applied to his speeches), his impromptu speaking frequently calls to mind a doctoral candidate delivering a wobbly dissertation defense.

But consider this: It’s not that Obama can’t speak clearly. It’s that he employs the intellectual stammer. Not to be confused with a stutter, which the president decidedly does not have, the intellectual stammer signals a brain that is moving so fast that the mouth can’t keep up. The stammer is commonly found among university professors, characters in Woody Allen movies and public thinkers of the sort that might appear on C-SPAN but not CNN. If you’re a member or a fan of that subset, chances are the president’s stammer doesn’t bother you; in fact, you might even love him for it (he sounds just like your grad school roommate, especially when he drank too much Scotch whisky and attempted to expound on the Hegelian dialectic!).

If you’re not, chances are you find yourself yelling, “Get to the point already!” at the television screen every time Obama’s search for the right word seems to last longer than the search for Osama bin Laden. And thanks to its echoes of the college lecture hall, you may think it comes across as ever so slightly (or more than slightly) left wing.

So it’s not his actual policies that are left wing; once again, it’s everyone else’s fault. And our president is a Woody Allen character? The leader of the free world is an incompetent neurotic who talks too much? I think Meghan Daum has accidentally found a truth in that one.

But riddle me this, Meghan Daum. If Obama is so brilliant, why does he pronounce the “p” in corpsman? Why does he give a tectonic shift a distinctly Germanic twist? What was up with that whole “57 states” thing? Why, even in his prepared remarks, does your boyfriend make hash out of longstanding US policy on the MidEast? Why did that WH meeting between Obama and Netanyahu come off like the Israeli PM was schooling President Obama, who was physically shrinking during the exchange? Why does everything Obama touches turn to crap? And why does he only sound like he knows what he’s talking about when he’s reading words off a screen, that were written by others?

Oh, I know — he’s too smart for his own mouth. Right.

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Great news: Unions have a legal right to masquerade as giant rats

Friday, May 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Or, display giant inflatable rats to pester businesses. Whatever.

Federal regulators say union activists have the legal right to display giant inflatable rats outside companies during labor disputes.

The National Labor Relations Board says putting up a 16-foot-tall rat balloon is allowed even if the business is not directly involved in the conflict between the union and another employer.

Wait doggone minute. You mean the National Labor Relations Board, a board that includes the recess appointed union lawyer Craig Becker and is currently waging an unprecedented attack on Boeing, agrees with the unions?  I’m shocked.

Unaddressed is the way the unions actually use their giant rats (the inflatable ones, not the union bosses): As big giant lies.

Eventually, if the public sees enough of these giant, inflatable rats, the public will mentally associate said rats with the unions that use them. Which is fine, actually.

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Romney comes out in support of ethanol subsidies

Friday, May 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

This is not what you’d call a gutsycall.com.

Bombarded with questions following his talk at the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Presidential Forum Speaker Series, the former Massachusetts governor told the gaggle of press and fans today that he supports the production of ethanol.

“I support the subsidy of ethanol,” said Romney, working his way through the Des Moines crowd, where he shook hands and doled out autographs. “I believe it’s an important part of our energy solution in this country.” (emphasis added)

Here we have an actual, substantive policy difference between GOP presidential candidates. Romney supports ethanol subsidies, while Pawlenty does not. Romney won’t get any Thor Photoshops if he keeps this up.

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Wanna cut MediCare? Just leave ObamaCare in place.

Friday, May 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

We know what the Democrats’ playbook will be running up to 2012: MediScare. They’ll run a play where they MediScare to the left, then they’ll MediScare to the right, and they’ll try running the MediScare right up the middle. The benefit of such a one-dimensional strategy is that as a political message, it will sink in unless the GOP comes up with a counter argument. A pair of writers deliver that counter argument in the Wall Street Journal:

[S]uppose the law is implemented just as it’s written. In that case, according to the Medicare Trustees, Medicare’s long-term unfunded liability fell by $53 trillion on the day ObamaCare was signed.

But at what cost to the elderly? Consider people reaching the age of 65 this year. Under the new law, the average amount spent on these enrollees over the remainder of their lives will fall by about $36,000 at today’s prices. That sum of money is equivalent to about three years of benefits. For 55-year-olds, the spending decrease is about $62,000—or the equivalent of six years of benefits. For 45-year-olds, the loss is more than $105,000, or nine years of benefits.

Do nothing, leave ObamaCare in place, Medicare takes a massive hit. The Ryan plan, which has become the basis of the Democrats’ MediScare campaign, was actually built to save Medicare and get the country back on a path toward solvency. The path we’re on is a path to unsustainable spending and ultimately bankruptcy. The Republicans are going to have to hammer away to counter the Democrats’ MediScare tactics, or defeat in 2012 is a real possibility.

Fortunately for the GOP, ObamaCare is already a loser for the Democrats. Making them defend that awful bill is already part of the GOP’s 2012 game plan.

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Godwin’s Law: The Steinberg Corollary

Friday, May 27th, 2011 - by David Steinberg

I like to relax by reading up on sports and fitness; my wife, celebrity gossip. (This may be a gender trend, though of course there is no clear demarcation on this one, as she also knows sports as well as I do, she just ran a half-marathon, and she certainly could manage the bullpen better than Girardi.)

She’s pointed out a more disquieting trend to me today: Whenever Hollywood blogs mention Jews, or Israel, or anti-Semitism, or in this specific instance, Hitler, it’s just a matter of time before a commenter accuses the Jews of genocide.

“Miley to perform at Bar Mitzvah?” Comment 37: “Sharon was a butcher, nuff said”

“Amare Stoudamire exploring his Jewish heritage”? Comment 43: “Israel just acts like they can do whatev they want because of Holocost, it’s f***d up.”

Today we’ve got “Banned Cannes director Lars Von Trier explains his Nazi rant“, and it only takes until comment 15 this time, so I’m going to have to run the math by William Briggs for probabilities. But I think we have an amendment to Godwin’s Law here.

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Pima County SWAT: Guerena wearing ‘boxer briefs’ when shot

Friday, May 27th, 2011 - by Howard Nemerov

Are these indications of cover-up, or just poor reporting?

Earlier this week, Pima County Sheriff’s Department acknowledgeda SWAT raid where Tucson resident Jose Guerena was shot and killed during a multi-residence search warrant executed for an alleged home invasion ring.

Sergeant Bob Krygier, SWAT supervisor, said no SWAT entered the house, but that shooting commenced “about two or three seconds” after breaching the front door. [Page 3, line 39 of PDF document] Officers didn’t enter Guerena’s house until after sending in a robot to determine he was dead.

Reportedly, “about $100,000 in cash, marijuana and firearms were seized that morning from the four homes that were searched” that day.

However, in Guerena’s house, they recovered “a Colt .38-caliber handgun, paperwork, tax returns, insurance papers, bank statements and a bank card.” There’s no indication if these documents were Guerena’s or a robbery victim’s.

Krygier says they also found body armor [page 9, line 4] and “an AR15 type rifle.” [Page 8, line 32] Owning body armor is legal in Arizona.

When asked what Guerena was wearing when SWAT fired “80 to 100 rounds” [page 4, line 6] into the house, Krygier said: “he basically had a pair of boxer briefs on and that was it.” [Page 9, line 13]

Earlier, the Sheriff’s Department claimed to have found “a portion of a law-enforcement uniform inside the house.”

Krygier testified there was “a US Border Patrol hat in the garage.” [Page 9, line 8]

You can buy Border Patrol hats at Amazon.

The Sheriff’s Department “determined that Guerena did not fire at officers.”

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Gov. Perry: From ‘tempted’ to ‘I’ll think about it’

Friday, May 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

I don’t mean to turn the Tatler or PJM into a Texas politics blog, I really don’t. But I also can’t ignore the tectonic shift that seems to be going on in Austin lately.

Gov. Rick Perry today gave his strongest indication yet that he may run for president.

“I’m going to think about it” after the legislative session ends Monday, Perry said. He added, “But I think about a lot of things.”

For years, Perry has said that he would not run for president and that he had no interest in the job. He has often said that he has said no to the presidential question in as many ways as he could.

But he and his advisers have inched closer to saying he may run all week, following the announcement that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels would not enter the GOP field. A couple of days ago, he told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News that a run was tempting.

There are knocks on Gov. Perry to be sure — that he’s not that popular in Texas (yet manages to keep on winning in a state with a long history of booting incumbent governors), that he’s a former Democrat (key word being “former,” and a tag that can be applied to an awful lot of Texas Republicans and such unreliable types as Phil Gramm and Ronald Reagan) and that the Gardasil and Trans-Texas Corridor history render him “not a real conservative” (despite Gardasil ultimately dying, and Perry signing all kinds of conservative legislation including a strong eminent domain and a pair of tort reforms, while building up the best state economic record in the country). The biggest negative is probably Texas fatigue — is America ready for another Texas governor to become president, so soon after Bush? Despite some superficial resemblance, Rick Perry is not George W. Bush and he is not shy about distinguishing his fiscal record from that of his predecessor. But Perry’s entry would make it all too easy for Obama to run against “another Bush term.” That has to be taken into account.

The 82nd Texas legislative session is reaching sine die soon. Once it’s done, there may be a scrum as the race for US Senate gets serious. One tea leaf to watch is Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. If he jumps hard into the run for that Senate seat, it could mean Perry has decided to stay put as governor. But silence from the Dew camp could mean he has reason to believe he is in for a promotion.

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NBA Finals and Mitt Romney

Friday, May 27th, 2011 - by Roger L Simon

Have you noticed how in both the East and the West, Chicago and Oklahoma City both gave up huge leads in their respective finals and lost? One of the major reasons is they played to protect their leads and not to win. That’s the way Mitt Romney is campaigning and why he will lose.

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Second look at Herman Cain?

Friday, May 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Nate Silver notes the Cain surge after the exits of several other GOP presidential candidates.

What’s especially interesting about Mr. Cain’s standing is that he polls at 8 percent despite being familiar to only about one-third of Republican voters, according to supplementary Gallup data. Of those voters who are familiar with him, 24 percent have him as their first choice. That’s the best figure for any candidate in the Republican field.

Those numbers tell us that Cain does very well with the Republicans who are familiar with him, and that he has a lot of room to grow just by making himself more visible and therefore more familiar. And in Cain’s case, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt. He speaks with conviction and spontaneity and with gravitas. The “right of return” answer from last weekend showed that he needs to get a bit stronger on foreign policy, but otherwise he’s off to a great start.

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Barone: What Texas can teach us

Friday, May 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Public policy matters.

In those 10 years, Texas gained 732,800 private sector jobs, far ahead of the number two and three states, Arizona (90,200) and Nevada (90,000). The nation overall lost more than 2 million private sector jobs, with the biggest losses coming in California (623,700), Michigan (619,200) and Ohio (460,900). …

The lesson of the previous decade seems clear: if you take a previously prosperous and creative state and subject it to high taxes and intrusive regulations, it loses 5% of its private sector jobs; if you take a previously somewhat less prosperous and creative state and govern it with low taxes and light regulation, it gains 9% more jobs, even as the nation’s economy is suffering.

No place is perfect, but the Lone Star State does pretty well.

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What keeps Pentagon generals up at night?

Friday, May 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

In a word: China.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Herbert J. Carlisle, deputy chief of staff for operations, said China’s rollout earlier this year of a new J-20 stealth fighter, which has made two or three test flights, is very troubling, along with another joint Russian-Indian stealth jet.

Both aircraft could be sold to Iran and affect a future U.S. intervention there against Tehran’s nuclear program.

“Those are discouraging in that they rolled out in a time that we thought there was maybe a little bit more time, although we weren’t sure of that,” Gen. Carlisle said.

The three-star general’s comments echoed earlier comments by Navy Vice Adm. David J. Dorsett, a senior intelligence official, who said of the J-20 in January that “we have been pretty consistent in underestimating the delivery of Chinese technology and weapons systems.”

U.S. military fighters will remain a pace ahead technologically of both the Chinese and Russian stealth jets. But if there are further F-35 delays, “then that pacing is in jeopardy,” Gen. Carlisle said.

For a generation, or really since the Korean War, the US has been able to count on a vast technological superiority gap to make up for the one advantage China could bring to bear: Sheer numbers. The technological gap is shrinking, and a time when the US economic advantage is also disappearing and when China has become bolder in supporting rogue states.

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Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

No, it’s not real. Yet.

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Congress won’t officially recess for the weekend, denying Obama another round of recess appointments

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Alternate headline — Republicans to Obama: How do you like me now?

U.S. Senate Republicans late Thursday declared victory in their effort to use a procedural maneuver to thwart the president from making any recess appointments during Congress’ Memorial Day break.

Congressional aides say the Senate will not go on a formal recess but instead will technically stay in session, making it highly unlikely that the president would use his constitutional power to make appointments while the Senate is on break. The so-called recess appointments are usually reserved for longer congressional vacations that occur after the Senate has officially adjourned.

A group of conservative Republicans had urged the House to block the Senate from adjourning as a way to prevent the president from tapping his consumer advocate adviser Elizabeth Warren to head the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new consumer watchdog agency created by the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul.

With his rampant use of czars and previous recess appointments, and his illegal war in Libya, President Obama has demonstrated a tendency to try and get around Congressional oversight however he can. He seems to have crossed the Rubicon on recess appointments with the elevation of SEIU lawyer Craig Becker to the NLRB, a position Becker has used to attack right to work laws. The Republicans’ move probably blocks the possible recess appointment of Elizabeth Warren to head up the new agency created without debate in the massive finance reform bill. She’s the one who jetted from a House hearing this week, rather than answer questions about her job.

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“Dominique” by The Singing Non

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Buzzsawmonkey

—with apologies to “Dominique” by the Singing Nun

Dominique, -nique, -nique
Il attaqua la femme de chambre
Quand il sortit en déshabille
De sa luxe salle de bain
Il scandalisa le Sofitel
Mais c’est la conduite usuelle
Mais c’est la conduite usuelle*

In the merry month of May
As our little tale will tell
Banker Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Came to New York’s Sofitel

Dominique, -nique, -nique
Il attaqua la femme de chambre
Quand il sortit en déshabille
De sa luxe salle de bain
Il scandalisa le Sofitel
Mais c’est la conduite usuelle
Mais c’est la conduite usuelle

Dominique he was a banker
Heading up the IMF
He’d loan money to the Third World
‘Til they hadn’t a thing left

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Where are Diogenes and his lantern?

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Dan Miller

Diogenes is known for having traveled about ancient Greece with his lantern looking for an honest man.  It was a different age and he may not also have looked for honest women. Perhaps there was no need because in those times all women were honest. Whatever.

Now it seems that Christine Lagarde, “the glamorous French minister hoping to succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the International Monetary Fund was today facing prosecution for financial sleaze.”

In a scandal which will pile further shame on France’s political class, Paris’s Court of Cassation started an enquiry into Ms Lagarde’s part in the Tapie case last month.

Tapie, former head of Adidas in France, claims he was cheated out of millions by Credit Lyonnais bank when the sports kit empire was sold in 1993.

In 2007, Ms Largarde – whom ITV News economics editor Daisy McAndrew has admitted to a ‘crush’ on – ended the epic dispute by ordering a panel of judges to arbitrate and, in turn, they awarded Tapie the £270million in damages.

Opposition MPs were furious, with former presidential candidate Francois Bayrou accusing Ms Lagarde of ‘dipping into the the taxpayers’ pocket for a private beneficiary.’

Strauss-Kahn’s Socialist Party also accused Ms Lagarde of improper conduct, pointing to the fact that Tapie was a vocal supporter President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP.

Judges will take a decision on whether to prosecute Ms Lagarde on June 10 – at a critical moment in her campaign to succeed Strauss-Kahn at the IMF.

Not important in the big picture; if guilty she should fit right in at the IMF and if not she will have plenty of opportunity to learn. Besides, Diogenes still has his work cut out in Greece.

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The Daily Strauss-Kahn (a continuing saga)

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Roger L Simon

Not to worry that Dominique Strauss-Kahn will suffer unduly as he awaits his rape trial in New York. The former IMF chief/putative Socialist French presidential candidate is comfortably ensconced in a Tribeca location that, according to The Independent, “is a detached four-bedroom townhouse, complete with a gym, home theatre and steam spa bath, for sale at an asking price of $14m (£8.6m) and renting for $50,000 a month.”

Meanwhile, the alleged victim is adding legal help in anticipation of an attack on her reputation by the defense team. Although her name has appeared widely abroad, as is the custom in the US, her name has been withheld by the domestic press, creating something of mystery about her identity. NOTE: The woman in the photo below is NOT the accuser.

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Elections Are Referendums….Only When They’re Not

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Alexis Garcia

The emerging narrative from Democrats and those in the mainstream press on Kathy Hochul’s upset win in the NY-26 special election this week is that this race was a referendum on Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid proclaimed that “the people of America resoundly spoke in rejecting the Republican plan to end Medicare” and New York Senator Chuck Schumer declared that “…[T]his election was a strong referendum…”

But remember back in 2010 when Scott Brown captured Ted Kennedy’s seat and Republicans handed President Obama a midterm “shellacking” over his unpopular health care reform legislation? Democrat leaders were singing a different tune then:

“Well, I think that this election was about 9.5 percent unemployment. It wasn’t a referendum on health care reform.” –House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, NPR (01/05/2011)

“This is a choice, a clear choice, not a referendum.” –Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, Meet the Press (10/31/2010)

“I think we’d be misreading the election if we thought the American people want to see us for the next two years relitigate arguments that we had over the last two years.” –President Barack Obama (11/03/2011)

“The election [to fill Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat in Massachusetts] on Tuesday was a message that we need to focus on jobs and the economy. It definitely was not a referendum on health care reform.” –Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (02/05/2010)

“[T]he Republicans would like this to be a referendum. It’s not going to be a referendum.” –White House advisor David Axelrod, National Journal (01/11/2010)

So for those on the left, elections are only referendums when they win.

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Pawlenty knocks out Obama in one tweet

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Hat tip to Jim Treacher — T-Paw tweets:

@BarackObama sorry to interrupt the European pub crawl, but what was your Medicare plan?

Everybody knows the president doesn’t have one. And everybody should know that his joke of a budget garnered exactly zero votes in the Senate.

Old and busted: Tim Pawlenty is nice but a bit of a bore. But after his foray into Iowa, Florida, and now this?

Tim Pawlenty is THOR.

Fear his mighty hammer.

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Judges selected to hear Florida ObamaCare case

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Dan Miller

According to this article, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals judges who will hear arguments and write the decision in the Florida ObamaCare case have been selected, randomly. The arguments will be held on June 8th.

The judges are Chief Judge Joel Dubina and Circuit Judges Frank Hull and Stanley Marcus. For what if anything it’s worth to the pundits who try to predict results from such things, Chief Judge Dubina is reasonably conservative, was nominated by President George H.W. Bush and his daughter is

U.S. Rep. Martha Dubina Roby, a Montgomery, Ala., Republican elected in November, [who] voted to repeal the health care ban because she said it was “less about providing health care for all citizens, and more about expanding federal government.”

Judge Hull was appointed by President Clinton and “has a reputation for peppering attorneys with challenging questions, often knowing the case as well as some of the attorneys involved.” That’s probably good.

Marcus, [a Clinton nominee]  like Hull, is considered a left-leaning judge but not known as an ideologue. He was a member of an elite task force in the late 1970s that investigated organized crime, and later became the U.S. attorney in Miami from 1983 to 1985, overseeing thousands of cases. He then spent 12 years as a federal judge in Florida. He, too, takes an aggressive approach during oral arguments, often cutting off attorneys.

Perhaps an audio recording of the oral argument will be available, as was the case with the Fourth Circuit oral argument on ObamaCare.

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Liberal Democrat calls for investigation of Obama’s Dept. of Education (Update: Video added)

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The liberal Democrat in question is Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY10). He has a problem with the way the Obama Department of Education has gone about drafting its new “Gainful Employment, or “GE” rules. These rules are directed at for-profit schools, and would limit the financial aid they can extend to students. Rep. Towns voices his objections to the GE rules in a letter, dated May 24, 2011, to Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD), who is the Democrats’ ranking member on the committee. Towns writes:

I am writing to ask you to initiate an investigation and to hold a balanced, non-partisan public hearing concerning the process by which senior officials at the Department of Education (“DoE”) drafted the proposed “Gainful Employment” (“GE”) regulation.

The GE regulation, if implemented as proposed, would apply virtually exclusively to college programs at career colleges – and not to private not-for-profit or most public college or community college programs. Since a majority of students who attend career colleges are minorities or from economically disadvantaged families, the DoE’s proposed GE regulation would disproportionately hurt some of the most vulnerable populations.

Thus, DoE has a special obligation to ensure that its rule-making regulatory process — whereby unelected federal officials are empowered, in effect, to make policy into law — is even-handed, open-minded and transparent in all respects at all times.

The letter, linked here, goes on to list serious allegations that the GE was drafted “with a predetermined agenda to harm career colleges,” and even appeared to intentionally mislead career colleges. Towns also accuses DoE of drafting the GE regulation in secret meetings. It’s strong stuff, especially coming from someone who is usually an ally of the Obama administration.

The new GE regulation is by no means the first time the Obama administration has been accused of acting in secret and using agencies of the executive branch to create what amounts to sweeping new law without input from Congress. The National Labor Relations Board’s actions against Boeing in South Carolina, the FCC’s move on net neutrality, and the EPA’s rules on carbon emissions have been hit hard for similar reasons. But this marks one of the few times a liberal Democrat has directly taken on an Obama agency.

Update: Here is video of the Washington Times quizzing Ed. Sec. Arne Duncan on why his department is pushing the rules though so fast.

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Horner 1, Mann 0

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Charlie Martin

Frequent PJ Contributor Christopher Horner and the American Tradition Institute have prevailed in a Freedom of Information lawsuit against the University of Virginia to force the release of retained emails from Dr Michael Mann.

Mann, currently at the University of Pennsylvania, was the primary author of the famous “hockey stick” report on paleoclimate data.  The conclusion that Mann’s data indicates unprecedented anthropogenic warming has now been largely discredited by a National Science Foundation report.

The "hockey stick"

The “hockey stick” was called by many a “smoking gun” proving that CO2-forced anthropogenic global warming was the primary cause of climate change observed over the last 1000 years.  The chart is featured prominently in the Al Gore film, book, and presentation “An Inconvenient Truth.”

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What are these people really running for?

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The other day I was guesting on a radio show, and the host aired an interesting theory. His theory was that a certain GOP presidential candidate was not actually running for president. This candidate, he said, was actually running for a different office they they had already lost, and was using the presidential primary to raise their profile nationally, to make the other office easier to win next time around by making it easier to attract funding sources, experienced campaign staff, and so forth.

Now, I’m not sure I bought that theory about that particular candidate. But I do think it’s possible that several of the purported GOP candidates know they can’t win the nomination, or at the very least, that it will take an act of God-level change in the Republican electorate to make it possible for them to win. They know this. But they’re running anyway. The question is why?

Kicking the debate off, take it as a given that the GOP tends to nominate the next candidate in line, and that tends to be a governor. I’m not saying that that’s a good thing, just that it’s the way it is. That being the case, Gary Johnson probably knows he won’t win the primary. Newt Gingrich knows that now, and he probably knew it when he decided to run. Unless he thinks MSNBC and Time magazine are GOP kingmakers, Jon Huntsman has to know that he is a very very outside shot candidate. In their heart of hearts, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and a few others similarly know, at some level, that their shot to win is the longest of long shots, at least as long as Romney, Palin, Pawlenty and so forth are in (or probably in) and Perry and Ryan may get in. Donald Trump’s “run” now looks more like it was a negotiating tactic with NBC than an actual presidential run.

So what are some of these other candidates really running for?

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Video: ‘Public Interest’ Groups Only Interested in Advancing Government’s Interest

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Seton Motley

Free Press, Public Knowledge, Media Access Project. The pro-government, anti-free market Media Marxists.

Who claim to be “public interest” or “consumer interest” groups, but are really only interested in advancing the government’s interest.

Every policy prescription they proffer results in bigger, more intrusive government.

Which is not at all in the public’s – the consumers’ – interest.

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Are you ready…for the Sarah Palin Bus Tour?

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Drudge says it’s coming this weekend, but you’ll have to be in the northeast to get a glimpse of it.

Sarah Palin will hit the road this Memorial Day weekend on a tour of the Northeast -- with a stop in New Hampshire -- aboard a red, white and blue bus emblazoned with the words: "One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty & Justice For All."

SarahPAC has posted some photos of the bus. Between this and the feature-length film that’s coming out next month, it’s beyond fair to say that Palin is getting her game on, and that she aims to re-cast the image that many hold of her thanks to media portrayals, Tina Fey etc. The question is, can she win?

And that’s actually two different questions. Can she win the primary? And, can she win the general election? The polls at this point say no, but what else would you expect from polls that consistently oversample Democrats?

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Poll: Americans choose lunch partner unwisely

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Granted, he is the president, which is why most Americans say they would prefer to have lunch with President Obama over any other political figure. But based on his record, Barack Obama is liable to bring Joe Biden along for no apparent reason, push other patrons out of his way, order far more than he can possibly pay for and then stick you and your children and grand children with the tab. If there are any toasts to be made, he’ll botch them. All while blaming the whole debacle on you.

A new Sachs/Mason Dixon poll gets to the heart of the presidential choices in front of us. Who would you rather have lunch with? More than three times as many Americans – 53 percent – would choose to have a one-on-one lunch chat with President Obama over any of the Republican presidential conentenders. Sarah Palin placed a distant second, with 16 percent.

“Overwhelmingly, Americans find President Barack Obama to be the most likable and lunch-worthy date compared to any of those hoping take his job in the 2012 election,” said Ron Sachs, President of Ron Sachs Communications. “There is no baloney in this simple truth: the ‘lunch pal’ poll very likely reflects the significant advantage President Obama enjoys heading into his re-election against a party that has no ‘candidate du jour.’”

One in ten said they’d choose none and prefer to eat alone.

Of the available group, seems to me the choice is easy: Sarah Palin. Whether I’d vote for her or not is hard to say, but Mama Grizzly is easily the most interesting and entertaining of the bunch. Who else has run a state and hunted for and cleaned their own food?

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Change! Libya suing for peace, Gaddafi may get to stay in power?

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The Independent has an interesting exclusive up today regarding President Obama’s illegal war in Libya:

The Independent has obtained a copy of a letter from the country’s Prime Minister, Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, being sent to a number of foreign governments. It proposes an immediate ceasefire to be monitored by the United Nations and the African Union, unconditional talks with the opposition, amnesty for both sides in the conflict, and the drafting of a new constitution.

David Cameron and Barack Obama met yesterday to try to find an exit strategy from a conflict increasingly appearing to have no definitive military solution in sight. The US President acknowledged that the allies now seem to face a long, attritional campaign.

Behind the scenes, there are signs that Western powers may agree to a ceasefire without the precondition of Muammar Gaddafi and his immediate family going into exile.

Both the British Prime Minister and the US President declared yesterday that the Libyan dictator must leave the country. However senior officials from both sides of the Atlantic increasingly indicate that talks should start if the regime forces end their military action, and there are also genuine signs that Colonel Gaddafi is relinquishing direct control of the state apparatus.

What those “signs” are, the article doesn’t say.

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Pawlenty calls on Justice Kagan to recuse herself from ObamaCare case

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by The Tatler

In a statement reacting to the SCOTUS ruling upholding Arizona’s E-Verify law:

“I applaud the United States Supreme Court in upholding Arizona’s right to do what the Federal government has failed to do and confront the problem of illegal immigration. President Obama broke his promise to address illegal immigration, leaving states and businesses in an untenable situation. As governor, I took aggressive steps towards better enforcement of illegal immigration, but ultimately we need a President who will be serious about fixing America’s immigration system.

I also am pleased that Justice Elena Kagen properly recused herself from participating in this ruling because of her previous position as President Obama’s Solicitor General, a precedent she must also follow when Obamacare is presented before the court.

Emphasis added.

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It’s official: NJ Gov. Chris Christie pulls out of 10-state greenhouse gas initiative

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 - by The Tatler

Previewed at the Tatler this morning, now a reality in Trenton:

In a blow to clean energy advocates throughout the Northeast, Gov. Chris Christie said this morning that he will no longer participate in the region’s cap-and-trade program.

“This program is not effective in reducing greenhouse gases and is unlikely to be in the future,” Christie said at a press conference in the Statehouse.

The goal of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, called RGGI is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants across 10 Northeast and mid-Atlantic states from Maine to Maryland by 10 percent in the next seven years.

It’s the first cap-and-trade program of its kind in the United States.

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