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    Wednesday, December 30, 2009

    The Problem with PresBO's Bomber Response

    Rob provides some perspective on Obama's timing on his public statement to W's on the Shoe Bomber. He has a point on the timing of publicly addressing it. (original Politico article).

    I have some further comments of my own (my own, not lifted directly from a sheep herding right-wing web site):

    I don't find the 72 hours a real problem. People who think the President ever stops working are idiots. I realize the "Bush took more vacations than anyone else, ever" meme is very popular with the Olbermann crowd, but, let's concede that the apparatus of government follows the President everywhere.

    I can't speak for Representatives Hoekstra and Pete "I love the cameras as much as Chuck Schumer" King, but, I don't see anything wrong with a press release stating that the President is being briefed regularly, etc., then sometime later the POTUS giving a short statement, as Obama did here.

    My problems with Obama's response to this are: 
    1. He was briefed at noon Hawaii time. That was 3 hours after the incident occurred. Why so long?
    2. The words themselves, and
    3. A little thing I didn't think about - the lack of a tie.  
    On the actual words, I found his "alleged" language and all the law enforcement crap to be emblematic of this administration and their approach to the GWOT. I wonder how long it will be until the DoJ files an Amicus brief with the bomber over the loss of his gonads due to the quick actions of that Dutch passenger? This administration treats these acts as law enforcement matters. Period. They are acts of War. This guy should have been taken into custody by the military, shipped to the closest military hospital, treated, and then interrogated, as he was being detained as an illegal combatant, destines for..........Gitmo. But, I digress.

    The lack of a tie was a conscious decision on someone's part. I guess the impression was meant to be sent that Obama was rushing away from his vacation to make this statement and we were supposed to be impressed by this (and by his quick return to the golf course). I didn't really pay it much attention at the time, but, I like my presidents to have ties on when addressing the nation, unless they are literally doing it from the golf course.  

    Would Ronald Reagan have addressed the nation without a tie? No.  

    In general on the terror war, Obama has a credibility gap, and appearing blase' or disinterested, does nothing to help that.

    Trotting his incompetent DHS Secretary (Janet Incompetano) out to say, in Animal House fashion, "All is well!" further lampoons this administration.

    You can opine about the good old Bush days all you want, but, guess what, you bought it, you own it now.

    What? Me Veto? Obama breaks yet another promise...

    Back in August, the Commander-in-chief told the VFW:

    "If a project doesn't support our troops, we will not fund it. If a system doesn't perform, we will terminate it. And if Congress sends me a defense bill loaded with that kind of pork, I will veto it."

    This week, the Earmarker-in-Chief decided to blow that popsicle stand and broke his promise as he signed into law the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill .  The price tag: $636 billion of appropriations and $4.2 billion of pork.

    Worthwhile projects in the defense appropriation?
    • $5 million for a visitors center in San Francisco
    • $23 million for indigent health care in Hawaii
    • $18 million for the Edward Kennedy Policy Institute in Massachusetts
    • $1.6 million to computerize hospital records in Oakland
    • $47 million for anti-drug training centers around the country
    • $20 million for the World War II Museum in Louisiana
    • $3.9 million grant to develop an energy-efficient solar film for buildings
    • $800,000 for minority prostate cancer research
    • $3.6 million for marijuana eradication in Kentucky
    • $2.4 million for handicap access and a sprinkler system at a community club in New York
    While Mary "Name Your Price" Landrieu and John "Effing" Kerry boasted of their earmarks, Congress cut $300 million from a successful counterinsurgency program used by Army field commanders.

    Among actual military appropriations that the services did not ask for:
    • 2 destroyers the Navy doesn't want
    • 10 C-17's the Air Force doesn't need
    • Development of a new jet engine that no one cares about
    This is what "change" is all about.  Seems the usual business is what we're getting.

    Monday, December 28, 2009

    Krauthammer Rips Obama’s “Flaccid, Meaningless” Words On Iranian Freedom Protests (Video)

    From Gateway Pundit:
    Krauthammer Rips Obama’s “Flaccid, Meaningless” Words On Iranian Freedom Protests (Video):

    "This is a moment in history and he’s missing it.”

    On Special Report tonight Charles Krauthammer ripped President Obama for his “flaccid, meaningless” words on the Iranian freedom protests.

    Krauthammer: “The regime is weakening. This is a hinge in history. Everything in the region with change if the regime is changed. Obama ought to be strong out there in saying it’s an illigitimate government; we stand shoulder to shoulder with the people in the street. When he talks about diplomacy he should be urging our Western allies to that have relations to cut them off. He ought to be going into the UN every forum denouncing it. This is a moment in history and he’s missing it.“

    Another Black Conservative Bashes Moron Janet Napaolitano

    This guy is quickly turning into one of my favorite bloggers. From Another Black Conservative, Napolitano: “The system worked”. WTF?: "

    "For Napolitano stopping terrorism isn’t at Homeland Security issue, it is more a matter for criminal justice. Well, if that is the case what the hell do we need Homeland Security for? The FBI, CIA, local police and fire can do the job without her.

    "Early in this blog I labeled Napolitano a clown. Michelle Malkin and Pundit and Pundette appears to agree with me. Jonas Goldberg at the National Review is suggesting Napolitano be fired and I could not agree more."

    Thursday, December 24, 2009

    Merry Christmas!

    To both my readers (you know who you are!), I want to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    I know 2009 has been a tough year for many, but, remember, we're Americans.

    Thanks for reading!


    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    Economy Re-Tanking. Thanks Dems.

    Back on December 20th, a fellow sub-blogger posted about how the "recovery" is just around the corner and how the Right would ignore it.

    Among his proof, he cited:
    • Foreclosure filings falling 8% in Novermber
    • Slowing unemployment increases
    • GDP improvement
    • Narrowing Trade deficit
    • Stock market rising
    Just this week, we have these new numbers:
    • November new home sales sank an "unexpected" 11%.  Seems these days there's a lot of "unexpected" bad news in the Obamedia.  Existing homes sales were up, though. 
    • Even those foreclosure numbers were qualified.  Much credit was given to government programs that will eventually run out.  Still, not foreclosing is a good thing.
    • That "GDP" improvement was revised downward from the original 2.8% to 2.2%, with 1.45% of that attributable to Cash for Clunkers.  So, without the artificial CARS program, growth was 0.75%.  It's growth, but it's rotten growth..
    • Since that December 10th post, the latest jobs figure showed new jobless claims still growing faster than expected.
    • Not sure where Rob gets his trade deficit numbers.  In Q3, the US trade deficit rose by $16.2B.  Almost a 20% increase.That's actually taken as a good sign - that more Americans are buying foreign products.  It can also reflect fluctuations in the value of the dollar.  The dollar has generally been tanking for the last year. 
    • The stock market.  Hard to understand the market except in light of the fact that it precipitously crashed and is slowly getting back to its correct level.  I will also add that it was way overvalued at 14,000 and due a crash, so a recovery is not to be unexpected.  I would posit that there is relative safety in the established companies that are traded on the Dow and NASDAQ (to a lesser extent).  These companies will mostly benefit from the Fascist policies of the Obama administration, as opposed to small businesses, who will suffer and I think the market understands this.
    • Comsumer Sales - this is good news - consumer spending is up significantly.
    So, the economy is a mixed bag. The economy is also responsive to things other than fiscal policy.  So, it's not ALL about Obama, though he certainly has much influence, though barring absolute major policy initiatives (like health care and cofiscatory tax rates), there may not be that much he can do besides tinker.  it is a long held belief that the Fed via monetary policy, wields a much larger stick, and, of course, the participants in the economy asolutely determine its direction.

    Right now, we seem to be enjoying decent consumer spending, though not on the big ticket items (cars, homes) that are going to sustain any recovery.  Unemployment remains way too high with no real decreases in sight.  Deficits threaten to force the Fed to launch more money into the economy to increase the money supply and use inflation to pay off debt.  The massive regulation (at the least) or complete takeover (at the worst) of the 1/6 of the economy that is health care is not going to help, especially funded as it is by increased taxes and a reduction in doctor payments for Medicare patients (a reduction that will not happen, adding some $500B to the deficit over time.

    Cap and tax is, fortunately, most likely dead, so that won't drag the economy down.  But, the EPA's decision to treat CO2 like a pollutant may do the same thing.

    So, the administration is taking bold steps. Bold steps to throttle a fragile economy.  People have a right to be scared and apprehensive, and until the people see the light at the end of the tunnel and are willing to become entrepreneurs again, the turnaround won't happen, or, we're in for another lost decade, just like the Japanese are suffering through.

    The answer is something completely different.

    Sunday, December 20, 2009

    Vietnam and their deal with the Russians...

    The Vietnamese, concerned about China's growing navy and amidst tensions over the Spratley and Paracel archipelego, have agreed with the Russians  (I think this is the best link for info I have found, despite the "Kilo" class submarine misidentified in their photos) to buy 6 Kilo class subs and some aircraft.

    What does this mean for us?

    As we cultivate our relationship with the Indians, and affirm it with the Japanese, we need to also be looking at other regional powers to counter the Chinese.

    Hopefully, the Obama administration has some adults in the State and Defense departments who can see past the fact that China is bankrolling the American Left's Spending Spree, and we will act with something other than complete deference and kow-towing to the Chinese.

    We shall see.

    Economic Growth under O: Will be Anemic, Weak, and Lame...

    Last week, some actual decent economic news came out and fellow sub-blogger, and resident O-apologist, Rob, put a short post out on how the Right would never give the Big O credit for anything.  

    Well, I don't really think O deserves any credit, since his policies are all geared towards achieving no actual economic growth, and are designed only to encourage more statism, but, I will give the American people some credit. I think it's worthy of a cross posting:

    There is no doubt that eventually, the American, and World economies, will recover. And these items are all good signs. Of course, last week's announcement of a greater than expected additional 475,000 new jobs lost, doesn't point to much of a jobs recovery. Furthermore, experience and History are not on Obama's side. Expect a very weak recovery, and unemployment may slide slowly back to 8-9%. I doubt we'll see much better than that. With the passage of health care "reform", and the eventual promised elimination of the top end of the Bush Tax Cuts, and should cap-and-tax pass, we will have plenty of new tax and fee burdens on the American economy. The business cycle is controlled by much more than the president's fiscal policies. The Fed is doing all it can to pump money into the economy (which will ultimately lead to inflationary pressures), while the President seems intent on taking it out again. That could be a vicious inflationary cycle. What the country needs, is a little less government, and a little more entrepreneurship. But, this administration has decided to side with corporatists and the big players in the corporate world, and small businesses be damned. So, while Obama himself and Pelosi and Reid certainly lean socialist, the actual governing model they follow is that of Mussolini's Italy.

    Saturday, December 19, 2009

    Steyn, Hoaxenhagen. Read...

    It is not possible to read a Mark Steyn column without a couple of gems that you should use on your own.  Today, my favorite Canadian riffs on the results of the Hoaxenhagen conference, and you should read the whole thing.


    • "The City of Copenhagen distributed cards to every hotel room showing a lady of the evening at a seedy street corner over the slogan 'BE SUSTAINABLE: Don’t Buy Sex.'  'Be sustainable'? Prostitution happens to be legal in Copenhagen, and the “sex workers” were understandably peeved at being lumped into the same category of planet-wreckers as Big Oil, car manufacturers, travel agents, and other notorious pariahs. So Big Sex decided they weren’t going to take it lying down"
    • "Even making allowances for the stupidity of youthful idealism, the protesters in the streets of Copenhagen seem especially obtuse. Far from sticking it to the Man, they’re cheerleading for the biggest Man of all: They’re supporting a new globalized feudalism in which Prince Charles, Prince Al, Prince Rajendra, and others 'very high up in climate change' jet around the world at public expense telling the rest of us we need to stay put."

    ESPN: No More Green Propoganda

    Joe the Plumber is against ESPN's "Green Games" and since he took the time to actually compose a post and give you something to do, I will pass it along in its entirety.  Let me note - I cancelled my subscription to Sports Illustrated when they ventured into the realm of "client science" and decided to basically take Al Gore down their throat.

    I probably can't live without ESPN, but, Rupert Murdoch, are you listening???

    Anyway, here's from "Our Country Deserves Better" and Joe the Plumber:

    Today ESPN broadcast the "Green Game" a college basketball game featuring two of the best men's college basketball teams:  Kansas and University of Michigan.
    Friends, the broadcast was shameful.  Throughout the entire game the announcers, ESPN crew and college officials were focused on trying to shove down the viewers throats the hoax of climate change, featuring propaganda footage and biased commentary from the sports announcers declaring the need for Americans to reduce carbon emissions or risk devastation to the environment.

    The broadcast took place the week that the Copenhagen Climate Summit is taking place - yet another propaganda-driven effort to impose socialistic government regulations and government-control on the economy (and on the actions of individuals) and using the hysteria of climate devastation as the means to advance their propaganda.

    We call on ESPN to issue an apology for neglecting their responsibilities as a sports broadcaster and instead entering the territory of advancing propaganda on supposed climate change and to never again broadcast a "Green Game" or any other similar propaganda.

    We need to speak out and have the voice of consumers who don't buy into this junk science to be heard.  We have obtained the email addresses of 3 of ESPN's highest ranking executives.  We need you to contact them ASAP and register your protest for their shameful climate-change propaganda:

    Vice president: rick.alessandri@espn.com
    Programming Senior VP: Len.Deluca@espn.com

    And next we need you to sign the petition protesting ESPN for engaging in climate change propaganda.  We also need you to send this link on to dozens of other friends to get them to sign and share it with others as well: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/shameonespn/

    Plugged in appliances draining energy...puhhhllleeeeze

    Forced to suffer through the end of the "Green Game" here on ESPN, I learned all about the need to keep my hair dryer unplugged to save a bunch of energy (please, a hair dryer?).  Who has these fancy hair dryers that are constantly draining power???  Seriously.

    For those of you who want to save a few bucks a year, feel free to go around disconnecting your VCR's, satellite receivers, cell phone chargers, whatever.  Better yet, switch all your outlets to make it easy for you.

    Want to really save some money, replace all your windows with modern double pane, gas-filled ones, and have some ridge vents installed on your roof.  If you want a really cheap way to save big bucks, buy a programmable thermostat for $25 and set it up to turn the heat down at night and when you're not at home.  Close your fireplace flue.

    Go around turning off appliances, if you want.  But, if you're doing that and $300/month of heat is going out your windows and roof, you're an idiot, and don't call yourself an environmentalist.  Call yourself cheap, because that's what you are.

    Anoither Victim of ClimateHoaxsters: Wikipedia

    Over on Heliogenic Climate Change, the authors reveal how the ClimateGate emails show that the fraudsters were also erasing the evidence of inconvenient truths about the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warming Period on Wikipedia.

    There's a reason your kids teachers warn against using Wikipedia as a source - but, I bet most of these teachers would approve in this case.

    Full text of the post below:

    Wikipedia is controlled by RealClimate: "'How Wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles

    The Climategate Emails reveal something else, too: the enlistment of the most widely read source of information in the world — Wikipedia — in the wholesale rewriting of this history. ...

    One person in the nine-member Realclimate.org team — U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William Connolley — would take on particularly crucial duties.

    Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source the world has ever known – Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003, just when opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site. He rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period. In October, he turned his attention to the hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the band. Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer, two of the world’s most distinguished climate scientists, were among his early targets, followed by others that the band especially hated, such as Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, authorities on the Medieval Warm Period.

    All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.

    The Medieval Warm Period disappeared, as did criticism of the global warming orthodoxy. With the release of the Climategate Emails, the disappearing trick has been exposed. The glorious Medieval Warm Period will remain in the history books, perhaps with an asterisk to describe how a band of zealots once tried to make it disappear.' 'Wikipedia’s climate doctor' prior posts here"

    Jay to ESPN: Shut up and call the games

    So, I flip over to ESPN to watch the Michigan-Kansas basketball game, and I find we're being lectured about the environment and all we need to do to protect it (I suppose this has a tie-in to the conference over in Copenhoaxen).

    Apparently, this is ESPN's "green" game.  Other than the on-air moralizing (announcers arriving in hybrids, they probably turned the temperature in the stadium down to 68, etc), there doesn't appear to be much on ESPN's web site, other than to call this "The Green Game."

    My advice to ESPN - shut up and call the game.

    Because of this, I won't be watching some game I really don't care about anyway.  It's Antiques Roadshow for me, baby!

    Saturday, December 12, 2009

    Legacy Media deserves no viewers...or CBS News still sucks...

    Granted, Saturday is probably the day the least people watch any form of network news, but, after the Army/Navy game (won by Navy 17-3!!), I lingered on CBS News for a while, and in only 10 short minutes, CBS had shown two "stories" on issues where they decided to slant the coverage as far Left as possible.

    In the wake of the capture of 5 Muslim-American students seeking to join jihadists in Pakistan, the first, they lamented the fact that terrorism is becoming increasingly an "American" problem (i.e. Muslims in American are being radicalized).  While CBS mentioned the mosques in Virginia that these students and Fort Hood scumbag Islamofascist Nidal Hassan frequented, they then used the Council on Islamic/American Relations (CAIR) as their source for a bunch of hooey about increased attacks on Muslims in the States, and on increased discrimination against Muslims worldwide.  CBS News then went on to portray CAIR as some kind of moderate organization, mentioning in passing the accusations that it is a front group for Islamoterrorists, bent on the destruction of the United States from within.

    I guess as these news organizations sink to nothingness, they don't care if they take the rest of the country with  them when we're all practicing Sharia law.

    In the second story, CBS blatantly focused on the "protestors" at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, or, the Big Lie Show.  I thought they might focus on those protesting the use of faked data and intimidation tactics by scientists to support Anthropogenic (Man-caused) Global Warming (AGW), but, nooooooooooooooooooooo, they chose instead to waste air time on those protesting to get an agreement ("any agreement") on climate change.

    I guess if Bishop Desmund ("Don't Mess With My") Tutu is there, it must be a cause celebre amongst the network's Saturday news teams.

    With reports like these, on two issues where one means the death of Western Civilization through violent jihad, and the other means the death of Western Civilization through the slow bleeding of our economies, CBS comes down firmly on the side of the Leftists.

    Do you people need anything more to convince you that the Legacy Media cares not about this country????



    From Erick Erickson at Redstate (and lately on TV). This is critically important and you need to pass to your GOP senators, that we expect a fight. Republished in its entirety.

    Fight.: "

    “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”— Winston Church

    The Founding Fathers created a Republic, but 60 Senators are poised to take it away. With the pending disaster of the passage in the Senate of a bill nationalizing one sixth of the U.S. economy and our entire healthcare system at a cost of over $2.5 trillion, we are faced with a crucial question: are the Republican senators using every means at their disposal to stop this looming, tyrannical abuse of power? Unfortunately, the answer appears to be “no.”

    The Senate, unlike the House of Representatives, has parliamentary rules and procedures that give the minority the ability to stall legislation. In fact, unlike the House, the minority have the ability to virtually paralyze the Senate. Doing so is not something we would want or expect for every bad bill that comes through Congress, but the proposed healthcare legislation is probably the worst piece of legislation ever considered by the United States Congress. It is the most intrusive, most damaging, most costly, most dangerous bill to the economic and personal freedom and liberty of individual Americans that Congress has ever considered. If there is any bill that deserves being stopped by shutting down the Senate, it is this one.

    There are a whole series of parliamentary maneuvers that could be used by Republican senators to stop this bill. There is a hard backstop to the current process (Christmas). The Republicans’ goal should be to prevent Reid from passing the bill before that time. If he goes past Christmas and is forced to adjourn or recess, the momentum will shift in favor of those opposing the bill.

    How could this be done?

    To start with, they should stop constantly agreeing to “unanimous consent” requests from the Democrats. Senate Republicans, to date, have allowed Democrats, by unanimous consent, to process 10 amendments. The amendments that have been accepted – Democrat amendments – did not make the over 2000-page atrocity any better. The Republican strategy of trying to pass their own “message” amendments carries no message unless you consider “no strategy to kill the bill” a message. There are no amendments that could possibly make this bill a palatable piece of legislation – and any amendments the Republicans get passed that supposedly make the bill “better” may just make it easier for the Democrats to get final passage. If the Republicans want the news media to cover what they are doing to educate the American people even further about the atrociousness of this bill, they have to create drama on the floor of the Senate. And the only way to do that is through an all-out fight with no holds barred. They need to look like Braveheart, fighting to the end to save freedom. Because, in fact, it is our very freedom and liberty that is at stake.

    The most powerful words in the Senate are “I object.” Senate Republicans should have been shouting those two words on the Senate floor early and often from the moment this bill was considered, instead of the complete silence we have heard – other than to constantly agree to conduct business through unanimous consent. Here are just a few ways those words can (and should) be used in a very effective way:

    The rules of the Senate require that a quorum be present to transact business. A quorum is 51 Senators. In most instances, outside of roll call votes, there are no more than 4 Senators on the Senate floor. If a Republican Senator suggested the absence of a quorum, Democrats could not transact business on the bill. It is a common courtesy to allow the quorum call to be dispensed with, without requiring 51 members to show up on the Senate floor (to get 51 Senators to appear without a roll call vote is very time consuming). When the Democrats ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with, the Republican should immediately shout “I object.”

    In 1988, when the Democrats were attempting to pass campaign finance reform, and Republicans refused to help them make a quorum, it took 53 hours for the quorum call to be dispensed with. If at any moment at least 50 Democrats are not on the floor, a Republican Senator could again suggest the absence of a quorum and start the process over again, causing huge delays in the legislative process being able to move forward.

    No amendment can automatically or without substantial delay receive a roll call vote without every member of the Senate agreeing. Again, the Senate generally operates on collegial courtesy, but a $2.5 trillion courtesy is too much. Once an amendment is pending, it only takes one Senator to step in front of this freight train. If a Senator objects to ending debate on the amendment or having the amendment set aside, the majority must file cloture on the amendment. First cloture has to ripen and it cannot ripen until the next day’s session of the Senate, so that kills a day of the majority’s time. Assuming 60 Senators vote in favor of ending debate, the Senate is then required to spend 30 hours of its session time before voting on final passage for the amendment. Suffice it to say, if the Republicans had continuously objected from the start, the ten amendments they allowed the majority to process would have taken more days than Harry Reid has on the Senate calendar.

    Senators have an obligation to protect the Constitution and the budget and points of order can be raised on both. Many constitutional scholars have pointed out that numerous bill provisions, particularly the individual mandate, are unconstitutional. Under the Senate’s rules, constitutional points of order are debatable. The Republicans should be constantly bringing up constitutional points of order, one after another, on every questionable provision. Reid would presumably be forced to file cloture on the points of order and another three days could be burned up on each one.

    The healthcare bill violates § 425(a)(2) of the Budget Act, which prohibits consideration of any legislation that contains an unfunded intergovernmental mandate in excess of $69 million per year. If the point of order is raised and sustained, a simple majority may vote to waive the point of order. But the waiver is debatable and thus would presumably require 60 votes to cloture the motion to waive. This would require them to produce 60 votes at a time when they do not have their deal wrapped up yet, once again burning up three days.

    On every vote, including on constantly raised points of order, the Republicans should be objecting that the vote total is incomplete – the Democratic Chair will rule that it is complete and the Republicans then appeal and once again force a vote, delaying the process again and again.

    The Republicans should be offering one amendment after another on all of their favorite issues such as guns, abortion, elimination of the death tax, ending the TARP program, and gay marriage in the District of Columbia. Nothing connotes trench warfare like non-germane amendments on hot-button social issues. When you look back at all of the great filibusters of past decades, they almost always involved non-germane, explosive amendments on contentious social and other issues. Republicans should be offering hundreds of such amendments on every topic and using the rules to force votes on every single one. And the Republicans should be forcing the reading of the bill and every single amendment, not consenting to waiving that requirement.

    Some might argue that Republicans should not look “obstructionist.” But they are wrong – the vast majority of Americans don’t like this bill and don’t want it to pass. The Tea Party movement was the upheaval of millions of ordinary Americans who are scared and angry about the out-of-control growth of the federal government, federal spending, and the national debt. They want to see the Republicans obstructing passage of this bill and if they think the Republicans are not fighting with every tool they have at their disposal, then any advantage that the Republicans think they will get in next year’s elections from such a bill being passed will evaporate. Conservatives will mount challenges to what they see as weak Republicans, just like what happened in New York’s special congressional race, helping Democrats eek out wins. And other conservative will stay home (like they did in 2008) rather than support GOP incumbents who did not fight.

    The view coming out of the Senate of the Republicans has the appearance of business-as-usual – colloquies, speeches, and unanimous consent agreements. It does not convey the sense of urgency that should come with an issue of this magnitude and it does not provide any assurance to the public, including most especially the conservative base that is the heart of the Republican Party, that Republican Senators are willing to do everything it takes to stop this bill. If they don’t starting acting forcefully quickly and immediately, not only will they allow the country’s future to be unalterably damaged, they will be hastening the end to their own careers in the elections coming down the road faster than they can imagine.

    Finally, I often hear that Senators express frustration when we dare to tell them how to fight, and that their frequent refrain is “we just don’t understand how the Senate works.” Actually some of us understand better than they do how it should work (whether they agree with every particular parliamentary tactic described), and the current frustration they feel with us will be nothing like what they may feel if they don’t stop this bill at all costs and act to preserve our Republic.

    “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

    — Benjamin Franklin


    Wednesday, December 9, 2009

    Russian Bulava SLBM: Epic Fail

    The Russians just can't seem to get their latest SLBM, the Bulava missile, right.  Another failed launch today, as seen from Norway, it spirals out of control before being destroyed in the atmosphere.

    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    Bam's Afghan Adventure

    This week Obama walked into "enemy territory" (or, at least that's how "thrill up my leg" Chris Matthews described the United States Military Academy) and delivered a speech that was neither inspiring, decisive, nor terribly thoughtful.

    If you want insightful commentary on Bam's speech, read either Charles Krauthammer's take on it, or Mark Steyn's.

    If you want something a little more amatuerish and about as will thought out as the Obama administration policy on Afghanistan, keep reading me!

    Bam has decided to send 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan.  At the same time, NATO allies have agreed to send an additional 7,000.  Together, this gets us pretty close to the 40,000 that Obama's hand-picked leader, General Stanley McChrystal, had asked for to carry out the counterinsurgency strategy that the administration had settled on in May 2009.

    The real problem, from my perspective, with O's speech, is the continued politicization of the war that was the candidate's "necessary war."  As Steyn points out in his column, Obama invokes Afghanistan as the central battleground of the War on Terror (well, he doesn't use those EXACT words) for the entire WORLD.

    Yet, he gives a timeline of 18 months to start a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.


    This is the central front of the most important war of the world, and we are going to leave in 18 months because....well, because Obama's left-wing nutroots demand some timeline to end all wars, and this is what Obama has chosen to give them.  As Steyn points, out, "Hey, Taliban, just hold on for 19 months, and all is well!"  I agree, if I was an Afghan strongman, I'd be working my best deal with the Taliban, rather than supporting an American initiative against them, when I knew the Americans would be departing in 18 months, leaving me and the Taliban (still) behind.

    We will not successfully carry out a counterinsurgency operation without winning over the people who control security in every part of Afghanistan.  Just as in Iraq, the success of a COIN strategy rests with winning over the local population, and yes, the tribal (and often militia) leaders who control those parts of the country.  It is only with our backing, and the sure knowledge that we will be there to provide security for those same people against the Taliban, that we will win them over to our side.

    A timeline is the worst possible thing Obama could have done, yet he did it.  A sop to his political left-wing (as if there could be a wing left of Obama).  He further mixed domestic concerns into his speech.  He can't make a speech without tying it somehow to his aggressive domestic agenda.  At least now, we won't have to hear Democrats complaining how much the War costs and how it's bankrupting the country, since they're doing a fine job of that with their out of control money and power grabs.

    So, we on the right know that Obama has likely cynically given this promise to his Left.  He weaselly says the withdrawal will "begin" in 18 months.  Those on the right expect that in 18 months, he'll be reneging on that promise, should conditions require more troops, or the same strength.  In the winter of 2011, as the 2012 campaign is gearing up, does Obama want to be remembered as the President who lost Afghanistan?

    We don't think so.  But, what if Obama faces a primary challenge from his left in 2012?  A Kucinich (laughable) or perhaps a Feingold (more credible to me)?  In that case, he might feel compelled to make good in some substantive way on his promise.  And, that could lead to disaster in Afghanistan.

    I think, though, that it's more likely that Obama, in late 2011, will be facing a primary challenge from his right. As the economy continues to struggle (we're already in the midst of one of the weakest recession recoveries in recorded American history), I think the odds of a Hillary Clinton resignation and subsequent attempt to unseat Obama becomes more and more likely.  Especially if the GOP fails to bring forward a credible candidate, or, if the GOP candidate appears to be a far right conservative (Palin).  In this scenario, Hillary will see herself as not just the savior of the Democratic party, but of the country as well, and she may have a case.  If Bam's approval ratings continue to sink into Bush territory, even his uninidicted co-conspirators in the Legacy Media will leave him, and will relish the opportunity to be the ones to resurrect Hillary.

    Possible?  I make it up, you vet it.