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    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    No more just guys on subs. It's official.

    In case you missed it, the Navy plans to allow women to serve on submarines.

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates notified Congress on Monday that the Navy intends to change its policy. Congress has 30 working days to object.

    They'll first go on SSBN's, where they can more easily be accomodated, and, officers first, since you only need 3, I guess.

    DVR Blogging Idol: 12 Girls Perform

    Ok, this post will be a little delayed since I am starting the DVR blogging at 9:15ish.  With almost an hour of commercials, this is the way to watch.

    I have no preconceived notions on the girls tonight, since Idol has done such a lousy job introducing them to us (contrary to what Kara says).  Pretty much same for the guys.

    Katie draws the coveted anchor slot.  She's one of the odds-on favorites.

    1. Paige Miles - It's Alright Now - Drawing the crap first slot.  Honestly, I think the song stinks, and she seems very nervous and off key to me.  And screaming. That's just me. Simon thinks she has the best voice.  Hated the song.  Kara thought the song was brilliant.  Randy didn't like the song.  Great job.  Ellen - adds little to this.  4 judges is one too many. Now 10 minutes of commercials.  
    2. Ashley Rodriguez - Happy - The microphone is bugging me.  Doesn't sound like she's in sync with the music to me.  Forgettable song, forgettable performance.  Dreaded number 2 spot.  Kara - nice moments with a big song, and some not great moments.  Randy - it was Leona Lewis, not Ashley.  Ellen - same comments as Randy and Kara.  Simon - clumsy, thinks she's going backwards.  In trouble tonight.
    3. Janell Wheeler - What About Love - After another 5 minutes of commercials.  When you have 24 minutes of songs, 24 minutes of comments, you got to fill the time somewhere in a two hour show.  The judges want to be rid of her I think.  She's off key (maybe I am tone deaf).  I think the song is too big for her, and she seems disconnected from the music.  Get ready for a reaming.  Randy - not good song choice, but he likes her voice.  Ellen likes it.  Ellen even caught the off-key notes.  Ellen is the new Paula, for sure, without the drugs.  Simon liked her voice at times.  Kara likes her and agrees the song was way too big.
    4. Lily Scott - Fixin' a Hole - She's weird and this is a weird choice.  Let's be honest, she can't win this competition, she's going for the top 10 and to get some recognition, because she is not the kind of commercial artist that Idol produces.  Will she make it there?  Ellen likes her song choice, and her distinctive voice.  I agree with that.  Simon likes her best so far and isn't feeling the "star power."  Kara - "believable."  Thinks she'll be remembered.  Randy - she's an Indie artist.  "Great."
    5. Katelyn Epperly - Oh Darlin' - Another Beatles song.  I think her voice is the best so far.  Potential winner.  Simon - likes her. "Quirky, interesting."  Kara - she knows what she's doing, and she liked the way she improved the song.  Doesn't like the makeover.  I agree - looks like a lounge lizard.  Randy like it.  But, he's a pervert.  But, he liked it and her vibe.  Ellen found it interesting.
    6. Haeley Vaughn - I Wanna Hold Your Hand - Ok, I really find her upper lip horribly annoying. I hope the nose piercing ruins her voice. She's screaming, the arrangement is awful.  It's definitely not an improvement over the original.  Let's see what the judges have to say.  Kara - technically there were issues, and you have fun. (Hey, Sanjaya also had fun).  Randy - unpredictable.  There's something wrong at the high notes.  Ellen - you have so much presence on stage.  Simon - being honest, verging on terrible (as usual, Simon and I agree).  A complete and utter mess.
    7. Lacey Brown - Landslide - Last year, Lacey lost out to Meghan Corkrey (awful!).  So, does she suck as much as Meghan?  Yes, but in a different way (hopefully we won't have to see the odd dancing).  I thought it was simply horrid.  Let's see what the judges say...Randy - terrible.  Ellen - "if you're back again next week."  Simon - "depressing, indulgent, boring."  Kara - felt forced.  
    8. Michelle Delamor - Fallen - Dangerous choice.  I thought the first half was good, but fell off after that.  I find myself asking, "who is she?"  Ellen - fantastic, but seemed easy, safe.  Simon - not as good as the original. No "wow." Kara - moments it wasn't great.  Believability lacking.  Randy - tough song, pretty good job.  Take some risks.
    9. Didi Benami - The Way I Am - Who?  What?  Huh?  Running out of time, are we? Simon - dreary, indulgent.  No spark.  Kara - Song good.  Thanks for the changes to the song.  Simon - no one will remember it.  Randy - no star factor.  Ellen - not the song for a first impression.
    10. Siobhan Magnus - Wicked Game - Another "who"? And another nose ringer. Singing one of the all time great songs in 90 seconds. A song that tells a story and really can't be distilled to 90 seconds.  I kind of like her, and think she could do something.  I'd like her to do the 4 minute version.  Kara - quirky girl, a little nasal.  Likes the connection she makes.  Randy - tough song.  Liked the second verse. Ellen - forgot for a minute this was a singing competition.  Simon - not nearly as good as her Hollywood week song.  
    11. Crystal Bowersox -Hand in my Pocket - Have I ever said how much I hate Alanis Morrisette?  I think she and Taylor Hicks may be the only Idols ever to play the harmonica on stage.  The judges will love her "authenticity."  Randy - one of my faves. He uses "honesty" vice authenticity.  'k?  Ellen - big fan.  Glad she's here, adds something fresh.  Simon - good, we like you, your story.  Truth is there are thousands of you doing this outside subway stations.  Kara - thinks you have greatness in you.  Don't be just a coffee house performer.
    12. Katie Stevens - Feelin' Good - With the coveted final slot is Katie.  There's a reason she's going last tonight.  Potential winner.  Ellen - didn't like the conservative nature of the song.  Be current.  Old.  Simon - agrees with Ellen (Simon hates the old stuff).  Pageanty  Kara - at the end of the day, you have a natural gift.  Randy - you got a big voice with a great talent.
     Ok, before I leave this post, let's check out dialidol.com.  They have Katie Stevens way ahead.  However, I wonder if this year dialidol may not be that great at predictions.  The number of actual calls seems way down, and the busy percentages are way down as well.  Certainly that hurts the model.  They have Katelyn and Siobhan in last.  Hmmmmm.

      Joesph Stack: Left Wing Whack Job Terrorist (or, why Rob is wrong, again)

      I know it is a massive temptation for the Left to make Austin flyer Joseph Stack into a product of white man’s rage and the Tea Party movement. Rob attempts this today with his post, but, it’s just not a correct reading of the article he links, and is a complete misrepresentation of the totality of the lunacy of Joseph Stack. He may have hated the IRS because of what he perceived as a personal attack against him, but, his political views (such as they were) , trended Left, and this may better explain his daughter’s “hero” remark.
      Recall that in Stack’s manifesto, he railed against the current medical system. Sounding a lot like Representative Alan Grayson, he wrote, “the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple…It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.

      He certainly was no fan of GW Bush, “The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government,” and he closed with “The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

      In fact, the truth is that his daughter left the states for Norway not because of high taxes, but because she lost her job while pregnant and Medicaid would not cover her (so she claims). In fact, she does pay higher taxes in Norway and she gets more from them, like this health benefit. Of course, as a NATO member, Norway is largely protected by the United States, so her taxes don’t fund too much defense, but that’s another story.

      Calling her father a hero was wrong, and she later recanted and offered her condolences to the the victims. But, again, painting Joseph Stack as an angry, white, IRS-hating, teabagger, is also wrong, and misses what he truly was – an angry man with two failed marriages, a ton of debt, not too swift a businessman, a Left-leaning lunatic, and finally, a murderer.

      Is Samantha Bell a hypocrite? Despite that charge losing all its punch coming from the Left’s overuse of it, I don’t think so. I think her actions are exactly what the Left would have their haters of capitalism do. Escaping from “capitalist greed” to a model Euro-Socialist state like Norway? Why, that’s just what the doctor ordered. If Samantha Bell’s father wasn’t a murderous psychopath, the Left would be using her in TV ads demonstrating all that is wrong with the American health care system, with words like “the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple…It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.”

      You tell me who’s messed up here?

      Saturday, February 20, 2010

      CIA preventing former engineer from writing book on K-129 salvage

      David Sharp, now 75 and one of the CIA engineers behind the Glomar Explorer's attempt to raise the Soviet submarine, K-129, has been trying to write a book about the mission.

      The CIA has been denying him the ability to tell his story based on "security" concerns, although most of the details of this story have been revealed already.

      You may have read and seen it in Blind Man's Bluff, but there have been several documentaries about this, as well.

      Hopefully, Mr. Green will get to write his book, and tell us something new about this exercise.  Sounds like his angle is the engineering challenges this project faced.

      Thursday, February 18, 2010

      Austin Flyer a Left-Wing Idiot Influenced by Common Leftist Memes

      The Left has already begun their association of Austin murderer Joseph Stack with the Right and the Tea Party movement, cherry picking quotes from his manifesto/suicide note that describe his hatred of the IRS.

      Another Black Conservative posts the entire screed here

      First, and foremost, this guy was nuts.  He had one failed marriage, and, apparently, like a lot of software engineers, he seemed also to lack a whit of business sense, but, he was an equal opportunity lunatic.  Sometimes he sounded like the Unabomber:

      • He hated the Catholic Church, in a section regarding tax laws that favored the Catholic Church, he "zeroed in on a section relating to the wonderful 'exemptions' that make institutions like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy."  Later, "except that we weren’t steeling [sic] from our congregation or lying to the government about our massive profits in the name of God."  And, "The intent of this exercise and our efforts was to bring about a much-needed re-evaluation of the laws that allow the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of people who earn an honest living."
      • He bought into the Left's line that the wealthy live under a different set of rules, "I learned that there are two 'interpretations' for every law; one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us."
      • He lamented over the shabby treatment of the common man from the big corporations. Regarding a neighbor in his college years,  "Her husband had worked all his life in the steel mills of central Pennsylvania with promises from big business and the union that, for his 30 years of service, he would have a pension and medical care to look forward to in his retirement. Instead he was one of the thousands who got nothing because the incompetent mill management and corrupt union (not to mention the government) raided their pension funds and stole their retirement. All she had was social security to live on."
      • Like many on the Left, he blames Bush, "The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government."
      • Then he closes with these,

        "The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
        "The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed."
      Much of the post is rambling and incoherent.  But, to claim this guy was an angry, white, teabagger, is false.

      Tuesday, February 16, 2010

      Submariners needed for VFW and the USS Triton

      I haven't done a lot of submarine related posting for a while, so here are a couple of items for you to chew on.

      First, from the Norwich (CT) Bulletin, comes this item about the Ledyard VFW pinning its hopes of increasing membership with younger members on submariners.  Specifically, submariners with Strategic Deterrent Patrol Pins.  Now, those of us who served on boomers can join the VFW, while our fast attack friends will have to sit on the outside.  Sorry guys.

      And, the Associated Press notes that on this date in 1960, the nuclear-powered radar picket submarine USS Triton (SSN-586) departed New London, Conn. on the first-ever totally submerged circumnavigation by a vessel, a voyage which took nearly three months. Order Around the World Submerged and read Edward Beach's first hand account of this awesome feat by a unique submarine.

      Monday, February 15, 2010

      Hayworth v. McCain. Tea Party vs. Establishment. Palin vs. Palin.

      I admit I like John McCain. I voted for McCain in the GA primary and for president.

      He's a naval officer and a true American hero.  An honorable man who has been mostly conservative in his years in Washington.  He's been a tireless advocate against government waste and corruption in Washington.

      But...he's been too willing to roll over and play nice with liberals, and his McCain-Feingold legislation was largely unconstitutional and simply an incumbent protection program.  It knee-capped freedom of speech, and should have been overturned long before specific provisions were ruled unconstitutional this year.

      Furthermore, he fell into the Anthropogenic Global Warming lie, and, with Joe Lieberman, attempted to foist a cap and tax scheme on us to reduce greenhouse gases a few years ago. This was at the same time he was playing with Teddy Kennedy (and G.W. Bush) on immigration reform that would have led to a general amnesty.  Add to that his participation in the "gang of 14" and there's plenty to disagree with on McCain.

      So, now we have J.D. Hayworth, who was defeated in 2006 for his House seat, mounting a primary challenge to McCain.  Hayworth is a High Point, NC native who attended NC State.  He was a sportscaster in Greenville SC, before moving to Phoenix to be a sports anchor there, before serving in the House from 94-06.  has been hosting a radio show since his defeat and is a favorite of the Tea Party movement. He's a rock-ribbed conservative and the kind of primary challenger we should seek out and support, if we're serious about removing some of the old timers in Washington.  As old timers go, McCain is one of the few who hasn't become a porkaholic, but I think his other transgressions make him a suitable target.  Plus, his age (73).  The Democrats are the party of old men and old ideas (Harry Reid, Jay Rockefeller, Ben Nelson, etc., ad nauseum).  The GOP needs an injection of new, young blood, who know how to articulate conservative positions.  Hayworth's lifetime ACU rating was 98, vs. McCain's 83.  There should be no doubt who the conservative is here.

      Hayworth will be a provocateur, but, isn't that what we want from our Arizona senators?  He'll be pitted against another Tea Party movement darling, Sarah Palin, who has pledged to support McCain, for sentimental reasons.  For all you leftists and Palin haters, here's a chance to poke a finger in her eye and support my guy at the same time.

      Drop a dime on Hayworth now.

      Sunday, February 14, 2010

      John Brennan: Latest Obama Admin Idiot

      John Brennan is apparently just another buffoon in the Obama administration.

      According to Brennan, a 20% recidivism rate for returned terrorists is "pretty good."

      Saturday, February 13, 2010

      Obama Imperial Presidency Getting Into Full Swing

      As we dig out here in the South from Snow-a-palooza, I read this NYT article about Obama's plans to use Executive Power to push forward on much of his agenda.

      Would the use of Executive Orders be anything new?  Of course not, as the NYT points out, Clinton and Bush used it fairly regularly.  And Obama vowed to overturn most of Bush's executive orders.

      Obama was critical of Bush's "signing statements" (note: Link contains some disputed sections, Wikipedia being overrun by Leftists) when he signed bills into law (these allow the executive branch to state their Constitutional concerns, etc., and make statements about their enforcement intentions), yet has continued to use them himself.  Quite honestly, I think the use of signing statements should be a standard practice whenever the executive branch intends to enforce the law perhaps differently than Congress intended.  If I were Congress, I'd want to know what the executive was up to.

      The best thing about Obama? Two days (3/10/09) after saying this, "There is no doubt that the practice of issuing such statements can be abused," he issued a signing statement on the omnibus budget bill and has issued numerous since.

      Anyway, the other important thing to learn from this article is, despite having 59 Democrat senators and 240 odd House members, apparently, Mitch McConnell is now running the senate.

      So, what's really at play here?

      This administration is wedded to an agenda that is so opposed by the public at large, that they realize their chances of accomplishing anything through legislation is nil, and probably won't get enough Democrats to go along to get a majority .  Therefore, they will threaten the use of recess appointments to get nominees through the process, they will threaten signing statements to re-interpret laws passed by Congress, and they will use executive orders to regulate by fiat.

      Tuesday, February 9, 2010

      Brennan. Another incompetent who needs to resign. USA Today takes to task.

      It is political.  The latest Obama admin dimwit to go on a Sunday show, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security, John Brennan, needs to be fired.

      I previously posted about Brennan's appearance this weekend.

      USA Today weighs in:
      "Ever since the botched Christmas Day plot to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner, the Obama administration's national security officials have struggled to assure the public that they know exactly what they're doing.

      "So far, they're achieving the opposite."
      This, they write in an op-ed headlined, "Our View: National Security Team Fails to Inspire Confidence" in which the administration (including Mr. Brennan) is taken to task for their handling of the underwear bomber.  It's pretty damning coming from the notoriously right-wing, nation's newspaper [that's called sarcasm]. 

      In his "Opposing View" Brennan maintains, "Immediately after the failed Christmas Day attack, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was thoroughly [his words] interrogated and provided important information."  How thoroughly interrogated was he, since we learned last week that he was now providing more "useful" information?

      Brennan doesn't want people "misrepresenting the facts to score political points" but, what facts are getting misrepresented? An extremely important fact is that the entire leadership team, Dennis Blair (National Intel Director), Leon Panetta (CIA Director), Janet Napolitano (DHS Sec'y), Bob Mueller (FBI Director), and the elected President, knew nothing of the decision to Mirandize the exploding crotch man until after the fact.  It's not political grandstanding, nor is it scoring political points, to recognize that the public has a right to know how the hell this all happened without their knowledge.   Mueller blames his own field agents.  Well, if this was the right decision, let's get these guys names.  The Left will lionize them (they can be their very own Ramos and Campean).  However, everyone else just sits around and has a "Duh! moment," as written by USA Today.

      Brennan reminds us that in the Obama administration, "There is little difference between military and civilian custody, other than an interrogator with a uniform. The suspect gets access to a lawyer, and interrogation rules are nearly identical."  Maybe Mr.Brennan should have his own "Duh! moment" here, and realize that with this administration's throwing enhanced interrogation techniques to the wind, that statement is more damning and evidence of this administration's own naivete' than it is comforting. Mr. Brennan is tone deaf to the political lesson of Massachusetts, but, that's par for the course in this group of political neophytes, and I don't blame him for being clueless to the political winds.

      Brennan continues, "Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda."  I'm not sure where he was during the Bush years, back when politically motivated criticism was "patriotic dissent," but USA Today reminds that on his weekend appearance, he "chafed at the criticism the intelligence community is getting. He said it was demoralizing and urged cheerleading instead."  They pointed out that "cheerleading doesn't get problems fixed, and it's undeniable that there are plenty to address."

      Our political leaders, elected and appointed, have one most important Constitutional requirement, and that is the protection of the American people from enemies foreign and domestic.  In this case, the administration has failed miserably, saved only by the quick thinking of a (Dutch) passenger.  We could only say this is not a political issue if we all agreed on the politics of Mirandizing unlawful combatants and trying them in civilian courts.  We don't.  Therefore, it's political, and it requires a political change - either in heart of those currently in power, or in their work location.

      Sunday, February 7, 2010

      No Smoking Gun on GOP briefings on Panty Bomber. Sorry Rob.

      Rob, who keeps me apprised of what they're doing over at the HuffPo and Daily Kook web site, has a post up today about GOP congressmen being briefed about the Panty Bomber.

      Responded over there, but my reply is cross-posted below:

      Working Link to Politco article about this.


      Brennan never told the GOP members whether the suspect had been Mirandized (in fact, if we believe the timelines we're hearing, he was already Mirandized by this point).

      Brennan assumes (you know what THAT means), "I explained to them that he was in FBI custody. That Mr. Abdulmatallab was in fact talking, that he was cooperating at that point. They knew that 'in FBI custody' means that there's a process then you follow as far as Mirandizing and presenting him in front of the magistrate."

      I am not sure it's fair to assume they knew all THAT from 'in FBI custody.' That sounds like a huge dodge to me.

      Regardless of what GOP congressmen knew and didn't know and when they knew it, the decision to Mirandize and treat this SOB like a shoplifter and not like the illegal combatant he is, was WRONG.

      Rob, this is what is wrong with the left. You think you have some kind of "gotcha" moment here, but the America people know that the treatment the panty bomber got was wrong, is wrong, and will remain wrong, and the people in charge - the Obama administration - will be held to account for it.

      Better start learning the lessons of Massachusetts or suffer a lot of them in November.

      Saturday, February 6, 2010

      Cancer Lady: Insured and Cremated. Does the media or Obama vet what he says?

      Yesterday, I posted about a St. Louis woman and Obama campaign worker, who recently died of breast cancer and was called out by President Obama because one of her last wishes was to be buried in her Obama t-shirt.

      Turns out, the woman referred to in this post (and elsewhere on the Internets), Melanie Shouse, was a St. Louis business owner who, contrary to what Obama told us,( "She didn't have insurance"), actually had health insurance - a catastrophic policy with a $5000 deductible. Turns out she wasn't buried in her Obama t-shirt, but maybe she was cremated in it. JustOneMinute has more details and takes the MSM to task of their failure to provide ANY meaningful fact checking on this story.

      Look, I understand that Ms. Shouse had a new business and, like many business owners, had maxed out all her available credit, but...why did she pay for a health insurance policy at all if she wasn't in some way prepared to do whatever it would take to cover the $5000 deductible? I mean, if she considered this her "hit by a bus" policy, even that would likely eat up $5000. I know people roll the dice on health insurance, but, when you're a middle-aged woman and you find a lump in your breast, get it checked out. Please.

      And, if Democrats hadn't been blocking GOP efforts to extend Health Savings Accounts, perhaps Ms. Shouse could have contributed to an HSA for a couple of years, and had the money to pay her mammogram costs, or to cover any of her deductibles for just such a catastrophe.

      So, I blame Democrats for this woman's death.

      I blame Obama for lying about it.

      Friday, February 5, 2010

      It's settled science: Global Warming was a fraud

      In light of the ClimateGate emails, the lies in the IPCC report (melting Himalayan glaciers, shoddy temperature data), and the record cold winter (Atlanta's is the coldest since 1983 and one of the 10 coldest since the 30's), can we now declare that the only thing that is settled is that AGW is a fraud?

      Cancer? No insurance? Don't expect the Obama campaign to provide it...

      I guess it doesn't matter to the universal health care crowd that this a woman who was "very active" in the Obama campaign had breast cancer and no health insurance, but, at least she will be buried in her Obama t-shirt.

      From Moonbattery, Moonbat Burial Shroud:
      'I got a letter - I got a note today from one of my staff -- they forwarded it to me -- from a woman in St. Louis who had been part of our campaign, very active, who had passed away from breast cancer. She didn't have insurance. She couldn't afford it, so she had put off having the kind of exams that she needed. And she had fought a tough battle for four years. All through the campaign she was fighting it, but finally she succumbed to it. And she insisted she's going to be buried in an Obama t-shirt.'"

      Tuesday, February 2, 2010

      Ripley riffs on Glenn Beck. Leftists prepare the assault on Ripley's Porch.

      One of my faves in the sublogosphere is Letters from Ripley.

      An Alabamian who has spent many years in Europe, he brings a great perspective.

      Read his post today, Observations of TV.  He's really onto something here.  READ IT!

      After you read his post, here are my thoughts (posted over there in the comments, too):
      Ripley has gotten to the root of why the Left hates Glenn Beck so much. It's not Beck's over-the-top (but, oh-so accurate) characterizations of the Left and their Maximum Leader, it's the thought that people listening/watching him might feel challenged to actually consider and research the thoughts of the men who founded this nation.
      THAT scares the Left more than anything - not that you or I would get our validation from Beck or Limbaugh, but that we should get it from Madison, Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Adams, et.al.