We have always branded Bill Clinton a liar, at least about sex, and probably other things. But the amazing scoop by Breitbart.com today makes Obama one up on Bill. In all likelihood, the president will say that he never saw the information from his literary agents claiming he was born in Kenya. But as the author of 11 books, I can say that in EVERY instance that I have been published, I have seen such material in advance. It could be that Obama is the exception, but that is highly unlikely.
In other words, we have in the White House a man willing to bend his national identity for profit. Pretty cool! (He’s supposed to be cool, isn’t he? Well that’s as cool as it gets.)
In a few minutes, I will be interviewing Jack Cashill. Some time ago, Mr. Cashill wrote for the American Thinker that Bill Ayers wrote or rewrote Dreams From My Father, the Obama “memoir” that is at issue here. It will be interesting to see what Mr. Cashill has to say on PJTV, because this new revelation from Breitbart adds great credence to his theory.
UPDATE: Interview with Jack Cashill
Boy, was I not surprised when I saw the headline CNN Hits Lowest Primetime Demo Rating at 9PM in 15 Years. Nor did I bat an eye when reading the explanation:
Unfortunately for CNN, “Piers Morgan Tonight” was the apparent victim of the busy night, drawing only 39,000 viewers 25-54 at 9 PM. To say those ratings are anomalous would be something of an understatement. That is the lowest 9 PM weekday demo rating for CNN since at least 1997. While the ratings were an outlier, it was a fairly normal edition of “PMT,” with Morgan hosting. Guests included Jane Lynch and “The man with the golden voice” Ted Williams.
You’d think CNN would get that many people channel-surfing looking for the Home Shopping Network or some such. Never mind. Most viewers have a modicum of taste and would normally flee from Piers Morgan. CNN execs ought to take a hard look at this bizarre interview of Jonah Goldberg by Morgan. The subject was supposed to be Goldberg’s new book. Instead, it comes off as a display of a cognitive dissonance on the part of the interviewer. Quite interesting viewing if you’re interested in the Psychopathology of Every Day Liberal Minds.
The following exchange was transcribed from the Sean Hannity radio show on which bestselling author Ed Klein, author of The Amateur: Barack Obama in The White House (Regnery), appeared shortly after 4pm eastern time yesterday. Klein spent almost an hour on the air being interviewed by Hannity. During the interview Klein named, for the first time, the person who the Rev. Jeremiah Wright said initiated the attempt to bribe Wright with $150,000 for his silence before the 2008 election.
Klein: Well what happened is that after ABC, Brian Ross, broadcast the videotapes of the Rev. Wright Goddamning America and slamming whites, slamming Jews, and America, he was contacted by one of Obama’s closest personal friends. A guy who travels on Obama’s plane, who plays basketball with him, who goes on vacations with him.
Hannity: And you name this guy for the first time today because you did not name him in the book.
Klein: I didn’t name him in the book but I can tell you who he is. His name is Dr. Eric Whitaker.
Hannity: Dr. Whitaker.
Klein: Dr. Whitaker is the vice president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, and he’s a member of Obama’s very tight inner circle. And he sent an email to a member of the Trinity United Church.
Hannity: By the way is this the same hospital Michelle worked at.
Klein: Exactly the same hospital that she worked at.
Hannity: And this is where she got that big raise after he became Senator.
Klein: She was making, what, 300-some-odd-thousand dollars?
Hannity: But it was a significant jump up, after he became Senator.
Klein: That’s right. And, you know, Chicago politics is one hand feeds the other, as you know. And Eric Whitaker, very close friend of the Obamas, sent an email to a member of the church saying that the Rev. Wright could get $150,000 if he would shut up and not criticize Obama anymore. Then after the Rev. Wright said no thank you, Obama himself paid a personal call on the Rev. Wright.
Hannity: When did this personal meeting take place, this face to face.
Klein: Just to put it in context, if you remember Obama made a big speech.
Hannity: In Pennsylvania, in Philly.
Klein: That’s right, saying, this is his famous race speech which took place on the 18th of March. About ten days later he made this secret meeting with the Rev. Wright, after he had already denounced him, and begged him to not speak any further. Now we know this is true not only because the Rev. Wright told me so, but because the Secret Service logs logged in this meeting. So we have confirmation that it actually took place.
Hannity: So they offered him – and this is all on the tapes that you have with Rev. Wright, Rev. Wright said this. So Rev. Wright, am I reading this correctly, is angry at Obama?
Klein: Rev. Wright is more than angry, he is absolutely fulminating. He feels that he’s been thrown under the bus by a man who he mentored for 23 or 24 years. You know we, all of us, complained about the fact that Obama sat in that church and listened to that hate speech for 20 years. But what we don’t realize is that even before he became a member of the church he was very close to the Rev. Wright who was like a second father to him. And who was his spiritual adviser, his political adviser. And, in fact, the Rev. Wright told me on tape that Obama came to him and said I need some spiritual advice, I don’t know exactly who I am. And the Rev. Wright said, and this is on tape, well we know your Islam background and you have that but what you need now is some coaching on Christianity. And I asked the Rev. Wright, did you convert him from being a Muslim to a Christian. And he said, well I don’t know if I can go that far, but I can tell you that I made it comfortable for him to accept Christianity without having to renounce his Islamic background.
Meanwhile…. back in high school… Mitt Romney gave someone a haircut.
Hannity: And this is all on tape.
Klein: This is all on tape.
Hannity: When can I play these tapes?
Klein: I’d be happy to give them to you.
Hannity: Can I have a copy of the whole 3 and a half hours?
Hannity: I’d love a copy of that and, believe me, we’re going to play them.
From a column by Yuval Porat in the WSJ:
Iran was placed on a continuum measuring the tendency of societies world-wide to foster liberal democracy. Remarkably, in comparison to 47 countries surveyed in the World Values Survey, Iranian society’s potential for liberal democracy was found to be higher than that of 23 others—including Arab countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Jordan, and Asian countries such as South Korea, India and Thailand. In comparison to 29 countries surveyed In the European Social Survey, Iran was found to have higher tendencies toward liberal democracy than Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and Romania.
We also discovered an abnormally large gap between the societal potential for liberal democracy in Iran and the actual level of democracy in the country. In most countries there is a high correlation between the two. When such a gap exists, there is a strong tendency for the country’s level of democracy to adjust in accordance with the society’s potential.
I’m not a great believer in “social science” surveys, but this gives some corroboration to those of us who wanted to believe in the Green Movement.
Do not miss Andrew Ferguson’s droll and brilliant essay “The New Phrenology/How liberal psychopundits understand the conservative brain“ at the Weekly Standard. It begins:
We are entering the age of the psychopundit (we can thank the science writer Will Saletan for this excellent word). Thomas Edsall, for example, is a veteran political reporter widely admired by people who admire political reporters. He has become very excited by social science, as so many widely admired people have. Studies show—as a psychopundit would say—that Edsall is excited because social science has lately become a tool of Democrats who want to reassure themselves that Republicans are heartless and stupid. In embracing Science, the psychopundit believes he is moving from the spongy world of mere opinion to the firmer footing of fact. It is pleasing to him to discover that the two—his opinion and scientific fact—are identical.
Now go read it. You’ll feel better.
From Ynet: ”A drawing provided to The Associated Press is said to come from inside an Iranian military site and to show a structure used in secret work on nuclear arms.
The image shows the type of explosives containment chamber needed for such tests that UN inspectors suspect Tehran has conducted at the Parchin military site. Iran denies such testing and has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of such a chamber.
The image was provided by an official of a country tracking Iran’s nuclear program who said the drawing proves the structure exists despite Tehran’s refusal to acknowledge it.
A former senior UN official said he believes the drawing is accurate.”
Ed Klein is publishing a book – The Amateur – which features the following exchange, according to the NY Post:
“Barack Obama,” Bill Clinton said, according to book excerpts, “is an amateur.”
The withering criticism is incredible, given the fact that Bill Clinton is actively campaigning for Obama’s re-election.
But according to the book, Bill Clinton unloaded on Obama and pressed Hillary to run against her boss during a gathering in the ex-president’s home office in Chappaqua last August that included longtime friends, Klein said.
“The economy’s a mess, it’s dead flat. America has lost its Triple-A rating . . . You know better than Obama does,” Bill said.
Bill Clinton insisted he had “no relationship” with Obama and had been consulted more frequently by his presidential successor, George W. Bush.
Well, what’s the big deal? Bush is basically a nice guy and Obama’s a drip. Everybody knows that. Who would want to hang out with Obama anyway? (George Clooney must be desperate.) It goes on:
Obama, Bill Clinton said, “doesn’t know how to be president” and is “incompetent.”
Well, duh. Nobody ever said Bill was stupid. As for whether this dialogue is accurate – how could it not be? The only part I question is this:
But Hillary resisted the entreaties, according to two of the guests interviewed for the book.
“Why risk everything now?” a skeptical Hillary told her husband [about her making another run against Obama], emphasizing that she wanted to leave a legacy as secretary of state.
Some legacy. My guess is they went out and tested the waters and didn’t get quite the response necessary. But who knows? In any case now begins….
The night of the long knives.
“The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here – on my behalf.”
The usually perspicacious Walter Russell Mead makes a dubious assumption regarding the just-announced new political alignment in Israel. (A new, broad centrist alignment has formed and Netanyahu has canceled the forthcoming elections.)
By contrast, the new centrist coalition relegates extreme parties to its fringe, increases Netanyahu’s maneuverability on everything from Iran to the economy to the peace process, and allows him to embark on much-needed electoral reform to reduce the influence on small extremist parties. But just as crucially, the new government will also put greater internal pressure on Netanyahu to deal with the Palestinians (Kadima and Mofaz are on record in support of a more conciliatory approach).
It is a mixed picture for Obama. On the one hand, this government may be a little easier to work with on Palestinian issues; on the other, it may be politically easier for the Israelis to launch an attack against Iran.
Keeping up the pressure against Iran, consulting with Israel as nuclear negotiations proceed, and looking for ways to start some kind of meaningful discussion between Israelis and Palestinians looks like the most fruitful course the US administration’s Middle East diplomacy could take right now. For President Obama, who has pretty much been locked into a tough policy approach to Iran without being able to get anything significant from the Israelis on negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, that looks like a step forward.
If he plays his cards well, and if he is lucky (always a vital component of successful policy moves in the Middle East), President Obama just might emerge as the victor in Israel’s election that never was.
Mead’s, admittedly tentative, conclusion has a major weakness. It depends on the Palestinians, or a significant component of them, actually wanting a two-state solution. Sadly, there is little evidence of that. Less and less, in fact.
Now this is interesting. According a Rasmussen Poll released today, Romney would win 44%, Obama 39% and Ron Paul 13% in a three-way presidential race including Paul. Latest reports, however, are that Paul does not intend to go third party. Still, food for thought.
And more good news for Romney in today’s Rasmussen Report. The governor is up over the incumbent by 49-44 in the Daily Presidential Tracking Poll. Rasmussen polls likely voters.
According to the Daily Mail, Scotland Yard has banned the use of the word “blacklist” because – you’ll never guess – it’s racist. They have instructed fellow police to use the terms “red list” or “green list” instead.
A few years ago I published a book titled Blacklisting Myself: Memoir of a Hollywood Apostate in the Age of Terror. Banned in the UK? Fortunately, no. When the book was reissued in paperback with some additional chapters it was retitled Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine: The Perils of Coming out Conservative in Tinseltown.
That was for cheesy commercial purposes – not for PC – but never mind. I got off Scot (or Scotland Yard) free. Otherwise I might have to rename the book Green Listing Myself: Memoir of a Tennessee Senator Cheated Out of the Presidency or something equally loathsome. Sometimes you get lucky.
Meanwhile, next time you’re in England, watch what you say. You might get blacklisted. I mean red listed. (Hey, isn’t that McCarthyite?-ed. No, it’s McCarthyist.)
This photo of the Obama’s big campaign kickoff rally in Ohio is making the rounds on Twitter. #not2008anymore indeed.
According to the vital ZeroHedge blog, over a half million people gave up looking for work this month and the Labor Force Participation Rate dropped to its lowest number since 1981 – 64.3%, a thirty year low. This is the number to watch and not the unemployment percentage. (Obviously, the stock market agrees because it is dropping today.)
If this decline continues, the situation could become catastrophic. The way back will not be easy. Be careful what you wish for, Mitt Romney.
Interesting question: Will the mainstream media report this accurately or will they continue to pretend some kind of “recovery” is in the air for the sake of Obama? If they do continue, what remains of their paltry reputations may be in tatters by November.
Elizabeth Warren’s – Harvard’s own Pocahontas and Democratic senatorial candidate whose Native American heritage is yet to be authenticated – nose grew another inch today. From the Boston Herald:
Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, fending off questions about whether she used her Native American heritage to advance her career, said today she enrolled herself as a minority in law school directories for nearly a decade because she hoped to meet other people with tribal roots.
“I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am. Nothing like that ever happened, that was clearly not the use for it and so I stopped checking it off,” said Warren.
Talk about the higher education bubble – this is a Harvard Law professor promulgating this idiotic baloney.
Question: How much would you pay to be in one of her classes? (answer accepted in dollars or wampum)
“Listen, Hamid…. Is the mic off?… Okay… Where was I? Oh, yes. Hamid, here’s the thing – we’re both in a little trouble. Have you seen the polls? That Romney guy is running neck and neck with me. No telling what will happen. Either you deal with me now or you deal with him later. And I don’t think you want do that. He’s a Mormon, you know. And they have more wives than the Taliban… Okay, just kidding. But have you heard the things he said about Iran? A little over the top if you ask me. I don’t’ think he’ll make as nice with you. He might look into all your Swiss accounts. And the Cayman. He’s a business guy and knows how to read spreadsheets better than either of us… Are you sure the mic is off?… Okay… So do we have a deal? Great…. No, I’m not interested in any of that poppy stuff. That’s was for college… Okay, gentlemen, Mr. Karzai and I are ready to talk. Roll cameras.”
The trouble with Beinart, J Street and the rest of the soi-disant “progressive” Jewish crowd is that their palaver doesn’t come close to accounting for videos like this that come straight out of Nazi Germany. Until they attack this Palestinian racist child porn with anywhere near the vehemence with which they attack Israel, I cannot but regard Beinart, et al as psychologically disturbed.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, which countries hide their taxes most of all?
Well, the US with the biggest economy may have the biggest shadow economy en toto, but some others beat us pretty badly when it comes to percentage of GDP. Would you believe Bolivia? I thought that was a “good” socialist country. And speaking of socialists, the old USSR, better known these days as Mother Russia, has got a shadow economy the size of Brooklyn – or Moscow. (No surprise there.) Artful Dodgers in Foreign Policy tells all.
And while you’re reading that fun article on this tax-y day, why not listen to The Beatles’ ever popular “The Taxman”? (“Let me tell you how it will be…”)
From the Times of Israel:
A former Israeli ambassador to Iran, now serving as an adviser to the minister of strategic affairs, says he has little faith in Saturday’s talks on Iran’s nuclear program yielding a breakthrough. He also says the American administration is being duped by Iran, has consistently misread the regime there, and has misunderstood the needs of the people.
“I am very, very skeptical about this meeting,” Uri Lubrani, a senior adviser on Iran to Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon, told The Times of Israel.
“It’s just another trick in a package of tricks meant to buy time,” said Lubrani, who served as Israel’s head of mission in Tehran, with the rank of ambassador, from 1973-1978, the final years of Israel’s warm relations with Iran before the fall of the Shah.
h/t Dan Friedman
How bad is our national debt? At 15.1 trillion bucks the US debt tops the Eurozone plus the UK by a cool 2.4 trillion. The graph below (click to enlarge) is being released by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee today.
Well known Egyptian blogger and Tahrir Square activist Sandmonkey has surfaced with a lengthy post on the Egyptian election. I certainly can’t vouch for any of it, but it is much more detailed than anything in our press and makes interesting reading. Like all political parties, the Muslim Brotherhood apparently has its internal struggles.
Turns out severe global warming is not caused by man, sun spots or even the hot air expended by Keith Olbermann.
It’s the Earth’s orbit, according a new study by a climate scientist (I know, I know – climate science is to science as political science is to…) at UMass. From the Daily Mail:
The extreme warming events were called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) and took place over thousands of years.
Could space dust be at fault for climate change? New research links particles in space to ever changing weather conditions
Previously it was thought that the oceans were the source of the carbon.
‘The standard hypothesis has been that the source of carbon was in the ocean, in the form of frozen methane gas in ocean-floor sediments,’ DeConto said.
‘We are instead ascribing the carbon source to the continents, in polar latitudes where permafrost can store massive amounts of carbon that can be released as carbon dioxide when the permafrost thaws.’
Many scientists have long suspected that rising levels of carbon dioxide and the global warming that ended the last Ice Age were somehow linked, but establishing a clear cause-and-effect relationship between carbon dioxide and global warming from the geologic record has remained difficult.
But a new study, published in Nature, identifies this relationship and provides compelling evidence that rising carbon dioxide caused much of the global warming.
Up to now carbon dioxide’s role was unclear because the Earth began warming before levels of the gas in the atmosphere began to rise.
But now Jeremy Shakun from Oregon State University has worked out what happened.
He believes that changes in the Earth’s orbit melted northern ice sheets, which meant that fresh water flowed into the Atlantic Ocean and stopped the circulation of warm currents.
‘When the heat transport stops, it cools the north and heat builds up in the Southern Hemisphere,’ Shakun said.
‘The warming of the Southern Ocean may have shifted the winds as well as melted sea ice, and eventually drawn the carbon dioxide out of the deep water, and released it into the atmosphere. That, in turn, would have amplified warming on a global scale.’
DeConto’s team used a new, high-precision geologic record from rocks in central Italy to show that the PETM occurred during periods when Earth’s orbit around the sun was both highly eccentric – non-circular – and oblique, or tilted.
BTW, to be clear – that’s PETM, not PETA.
MORE IMPORTANTLY… in case you missed it… the U.N.Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may have reversed itself on AGW. (Whatever you do, don’t tell Debbie Wasserman Schultz.)
No, it’s not true – at least as far as I know – that Peter Beinart is leading Friday’s Passover seder at the White House. But it is certainly true that a revised version of the Four Questions is called for with the current administration. Israel Matzav has them.
My favorite: “Why is it that in other administrations the president visits both Muslim and Jewish states, but this administration visits only Muslim states?”
But the others are good too.
Then play this:
Some terrifying stats as I write this:
Debt per citizen: $49,797
Debt per taxpayer: $137,733
JERUSALEM – Two reports today about Iran’s nuclear program and the possibility of an Israeli military strike have analysts in Israel accusing the Obama administration leaking information to pressure Israel not to bomb Iran and for Iran to reach a compromise in upcoming nuclear talks.
The first report in Foreign Policy quotes anonymous American officials saying that Israel has been given access to airbases by Iran’s northern neighbor Azerbaijan from which Israel could launch air strikes or at least drones and search and rescue aircraft.
The second report from Bloomberg, based on a leaked congressional report, said that Iran’s nuclear facilities are so dispersed that it is “unclear what the ultimate effect of a strike would be…” A strike could delay Iran as little as six months, a former official told the researchers.
“It seems like a big campaign to prevent Israel from attacking,” analyst Yoel Guzansky at the Institute for National Security Studies told ABC News. “I think the [Obama] administration is really worried Jerusalem will attack and attack soon. They’re trying hard to prevent it in so many ways.”
No comment necessary.
It’s not just because my name appears in it that I felt impelled to cite Jonathan Cohen’s lengthy, brilliant comment on Ron Radosh’s column today. Cohen writes in part (but definitely read it all):
The left wing of the Democratic Party is made up of liberal interest groups whose initial involvement stemmed from humane concerns but whose continued involvement was driven by much more personal concern of how politics could advance their own lives. Eric Hoffer is reported to have written something to the effect that causes begin as movements, evolve into businesses and end up as rackets. Left wing aggression in the academy is essentially a racket, where it is driven by the desire to use “correct opinions” as a weapon to secure all the benefits small and large that were formerly apportioned as a reward for good scholarship,teaching and honest service in promoting good teaching and scholarship. Victim politics has become the basis for demanding positive tenure outcomes, merit raises, promotions, appointment to important committees, creation of staff positions, growth of administrative staff, the inventions of departments and programs outside traditional disciplines and above all the creation of a pervasive ideology that says that all this self-aggrandizing activity is justified by the claim all objections to any of this is the result of a deeply ingrained institutionalized culture of prejudice and oppression. This ideology has become so self-evidently obvious that the unwillingness to confront its obvious stupidity gives academic life the feel of a cult rather than a place were ideas can be discussed in an open and honest way.
From the JPost (no relation!):
Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett was added on Friday to the list of speakers to address the J Street conference opening here this weekend.
She joins Tony Blinken, national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, in representing the administration before the 2,500 activists the progressive Jewish lobby is expecting to host at its third annual conference.
In addition, for the first time the Israeli Embassy will send a high-level participant. Barukh Binah, the deputy chief of mission, will offer opening remarks at the gala dinner.
An Israeli official pointed to recent steps that J Street has taken that show a “positive trend” in its positions, which have often been criticized by the Israeli government. He pointed in particular to J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami’s rejection of journalist Peter Beinart’s call for a boycott of West Bank settlements – in contrast to Israel proper – published on Monday in The New York Times.
Beinart, however, is still being welcomed at the conference and will hold a book signing for his new work, “The Crisis of Zionism”.
[Well, that's relief.-ed. Yep, gotta have 'em all in one place. Btw, have you read "The Crisis of Zionism"?` I've boycotted it.]
The specter of A Jew-Free Europe has been raised again in this chilling post-Toulouse oped by Giulio Meotti:
A new exodus from the Diaspora could now take place. In the past few years, the number of French Jews immigrating to Israel has doubled. Hundreds of French Jews have bought apartments in Israel. It’s their “pied-a-terre” in case the situation gets darker in Europe.
According to the statistics available, due to aliyah and assimilation, French Jewry is projected to experience a dramatic decline from 520,000 in 2000, to 480,000 in 2020, to 380,000 in 2050, and to 300,000 by 2080. The Jewish population in the United Kingdom will also decline to 240,000 in 2020, 180,000 in 2050, and 140,000 in 2080.
Why the rise European anti-Semitism after the Holocaust? Meotti continues:
To quote psychiatrist Zvi Rex: “Europe will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.” Europe doesn’t want to live under the psychological burden of Auschwitz forever. The Jews are living reminders of the moral failure of Europe. This leads to the projection of guilt on Israel and the remaining European Jews.
[I wonder how Peter Beinart feels about that?-ed. He doesn't.]
For some time Jack Cashill has been doing textual and other analysis on whether Barack Obama, Bill Ayers or a combination wrote Obama’s one well-written book Dreams from My Father. Today Cashill has more about his highly-controversial, not to say charged, accusation:
To be sure, there is much other evidence to believe that Ayers crafted Dreams: the comprehensive postmodern patois that Obama and Ayers share, the matching 50 or so nautical metaphors, the shared use of the Conrad-like triple-parallels, the nearly fetishistic eye and eyebrow metaphors, the three stunning parallel stories, the four matching errors, the same weary ’60s worldview, the borrowed Ayers girlfriend in Dreams, the inarguably similar Homeric openings, the dramatically inferior writings of Obama before and after Dreams, and more. It is Ayers’ strategic use of black surrogates, however, that will tell us why he involved himself in Dreams.
The first of the surrogates readers of Dreams know as “Frank.” In real life, of course, he was poet, pornographer, and Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis. Despite his influential role as mentor to the teenage Obama and his talents as a writer, Davis remains unknown to 99 percent of Obama supporters. The media are queasy about the “Communist” part.
Nearly a quarter of French citizens still show anti-Semitic attitudes, the Anti-Defamation League revealed in a new poll published on Tuesday.
The findings were released a day after the brutal murder of three children and a rabbi in front of a Jewish school in Toulouse, France.
According to the poll, “the overall level of anti-Semitism increased to 24 percent of the population, an increase from 20% in a previous ADL poll conducted in 2009.”
The big news in the business world today was the announcement by Apple that they were finally giving a dividend ($2.65 quarterly) as well as the opportunity for a stock buy back of as much as ten billion. (Apple holds close to 100 billion in cash.) Apple stock went up around twelve points – nothing really unusual for Apple in this day and age. It has been the most heavily capitalized company in the world, at least in terms of market valuation, for some time now.
Buried more deeply in the WSJ coverage, however, was what should have been the lede – why is Apple keeping so much of its horde of cash overseas?
Apple’s comments highlight the issue of the taxes that U.S. companies pay when they try to bring home foreign profits. Critics, like Apple and Cisco Systems Inc., argue the U.S. rate is too high and forces companies to keep and invest that money overseas, instead of in the U.S. On Monday, Mr. Oppenheimer said Apple has talked about the issue with the federal government.
“We think that the current tax laws provide a considerable economic disincentive to U.S. companies that might otherwise repatriate the substantial amount of foreign cash that they have,” he said. “That’s our view, and we’ve expressed it.”
This seems potentially like a big issue for the Republicans. Over to you… Mitt, Rick and Newt.
The gang at Condé Nast must be cringing at the release of the lovey-dovey his and her emails of the bloodthirsty Assads. In recently revealed emails, the oh-so-chic (at least according to Vogue) Asma claims to be the real “dictator” in the Assad home and even makes jokes about Homs, where civilians are being shelled by her husband. Making Marie Antoinette look like a piker, she spends her time shopping online, evidently under various pseudonyms, while the people of her country are murdered.
Now as many will recall, Asma was the subject of a fawning interview in Condé Nast’s Vogue last March entitled “A Rose in the Desert.”
Oops, you may have noticed you get a 404 “page not found” at the link, replete with a Vogue model no less. That’s because the magazine has scrubbed the article.
These days that seems worse than pathetic. It’s horrifying and disgusting. No copy of Vogue is going to darken our house again. How about yours?
In the ongoing scandal surrounding Mike Daisey’s assault on Apple, Daisey is now blaming his “translator” [sic]. From CNET:
Mike Daisey made a name for himself by taking on mighty Apple but is now challenging the credibility of a little-known Chinese translator.
The actor and Apple critic is putting his word against hers. The woman who assisted him during a trip to China in 2010 disputes many of his claims about witnessing inhumane working conditions at factories where iPads and iPhones are assembled. Daisey does this though he has recently acknowledged making up numerous facts about what he saw during his visit. An Apple spokesman declined to comment for this story.
Daisy [sic] created the one-man show “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” which helped whip up public condemnation of Apple and Foxconn Technology Group, the company that makes products for Apple as well as other consumer-electronics companies. During his monologues, Daisey describes plants in Shenzhen factories where he says he spoke to workers who were underage, poisoned by toxins, and disfigured by iPod-making machinery.
We know now that much of this did not occur or was embellished. During last night’s show at The Public Theater here, Daisey informed the audience he removed material he couldn’t stand behind any longer, according to members of the audience who spoke to CNET. He also added a couple of lines where he informs the crowd that his recollection of events at the factories differs from his translator’s.
Amazing that The Public Theater is still presenting this reactionary trash. Maybe they’re waiting for The New York Times to review it again and bless the script changes. It would be right in the spirit of Walter Duranty. Meanwhile, someone should inform all concerned about the definitions of “interpreter,” which I assumer was meant here, and “translator“. Of course, that’s the least of their problems. A lie, whether interpreted or translated, is still a lie.
Bjorn Lomborg writes in Gone With the Wind:
Efforts to stem global warming have nurtured a strong urge worldwide to deploy renewable energy. As a result, the use of wind turbines has increased ten-fold over the past decade, with wind power often touted as the most cost-effective green opportunity. According to Connie Hedegaard, the European Union’s commissioner for climate action, “People should believe that [wind power] is very, very cheap.”
In fact, this is a highly problematic claim. While wind energy is cheaper than other, more ineffective renewables, such as solar, tidal, and ethanol, it is nowhere near competitive. If it were, we wouldn’t have to keep spending significant sums to subsidize it.
And speaking of “Gone With The Wind,” here’s my favorite version…
The NY Times has a fascinating roll-over map of the 2010 US census, comparing the populations and ethnicities of every county in the country with 2000 census.
The population of my own home Los Angeles County is up a tiny bit, pushing ten million and ironically approaching the population of Greece (11 million) whose economy LA seems to be emulating. What is the solution to this mess?
One possibility: Apple bails out Greece and LA. It shouldn’t be that difficult. According to Moody’s, the company’s got well over a trillion dollars of cash on hand.
h/t: Anita Longin.