December 31, 2009
Well if you insist, here's some predictions for 2010.
Keep in mind my predictions for 2009 were only about 40%. But if you are still, still reading, here's some even worse guesses about 2010.
1) The GOP will take 40-50 seats in Congress in 2010, and 4-6 in the Senate.
2) President Obama's approval rating will be in the low 40's.
3) A health care bill will sadly, pass into law. NOTE: If this one holds true, I think you can bump another 8-15 Congressional seats and another 1 or 2 in the Senate into the GOP column. If the GOP vows to revoke the law if in power, then the numbers will be add the higher end of that bump.
4) The viloence in Iran will continue to escalate and will likely, sadly, be brutally suppressed. It will result in international condemnation and no other change.
5) Iran will get very close to having a nuclear weapon by the end of the year.
6) The U.S. unemployment rate will stay above 9%.
7) The inflation rate in the U.S. will show some troubling signs of rising. Interest rates will rise in the latter half of the year.
8) Either San Diego or Minnesota will win the Superbowl. It won't be New Orleans but could still be Indianapolis.
9) China will experience some financial trouble. Weird. I believe they're overextended in some respects.
10) No cap and trade will pass in the U.S.
11) President Obama will attempt another feint towards the center to help Democrats in 2010 elections.
12) Rush Limbaugh will be fine.
That's enough rope to hang my predictive self.
Best wishes for 2010 to one and all - even Democrats.
POLITICO: Wrong Bertha Lewis
Nobody going to the White House these days are who they claim to be. It makes that couple that were able to sneak into the State Dinner oddly, more plausible. Except that the White House really wants you to suspend your disbelief on this.
From an AP article on the Transportation Security Administration's efforts to investigate;
TSA special agents served subpoenas to travel bloggers Steve Frischling and Chris Elliott, demanding that they reveal who leaked the security directive to them. The government says the directive was not supposed to be disclosed to the public.
Frischling said he met with two TSA special agents Tuesday night at his Connecticut home for about three hours and again on Wednesday morning when he was forced to hand over his lap top computer. Frischling said the agents threatened to interfere with his contract to write a blog for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines if he didn't cooperate and provide the name of the person who leaked the memo.
"It literally showed up in my box," Frischling told The Associated Press. "I do not know who it came from." He said he provided the agents a signed statement to that effect.
Actually, in the U.S. there has never been a right to protect sources in a federal court. However, federal courts will refuse to force journalists to reveal sources, unless the information the court seeks is highly relevant to the case, and there's no other way to get it. Journalists, like all citizens, who refuse to testify even when ordered to can be found in contempt of court and fined or jailed.
It's explained well here;
In Branzburg v Hayes (1972), the Court considered the case of a reporter who, in two newspaper stories about drug use, had reported his observations of persons smoking marijuana at a party and of two men turning marijuana into hashish. Called before a grand jury to testify concerning the identities of drug users and drug synthesizers, Branzburg refused, claiming that the First Amendment provided reporters with a privilege against testifying in such circumstances. The Court disagreed, rejecting the notion that the First Amendment offered any absolute privilege. Four members of the Court went so far as to write that the First Amendment offered the press no protection against testifying that would not be available to any member of the general public. In a critical concurring opinion, however, Justice Powell indicated that the First Amendment requires that goverment at least demonstrate that its demands have a real bearing to a subject under investigation and that there exists "a legitimate law enforcement need" for the information sought from a reporter. Lower courts have found Powell's concurrence to be the basis for a "qualified privilege" that protects reporters from government "fishing expeditions," as well as from having to testify in many civil cases. The four dissenters in Branzburg would have required the government to show a compelling need for a reporter's testimony and that there existed no good alternative sources for the sought-after information.
Given that the government is investigating a leak in national security information that could compromise the citizens of the United States, this represents a reasonable action on the part of the investigators.
Three questions remain that are still worth asking remain:
(1) Is this really that urgent of an investigation? It's not about the bomber, it's about the leak of a ramping up of security that undoubtedly would be divulged to the press and public anyway in short order. My opinion is that a leak poses a danger if not in this instance, then as the risk of further leaks in more sensitive instances. That's why it's worth investigating.
(2) If Bush had tried these tactics, what would have been the hue and cry in the press? Don't answer, it's a rhetorical question that everybody knows the answer to already.
(3) Where's the ACLU on this? I know, it's a legitimate investigation, but stupid cases have never stopped the ACLU from getting on the wrong side of an issue before. Oh wait, it's Team Obama now, that explains it.
December 30, 2009
Schiff got the economic meltdown right and Dod, clearly got it wrong.
Schiff has the right ideas. But will he run? And can he win? The answers are YES! and yes.
The second yes, requires help. Donate to Schiff, because as good as he is on economic matters, unseating Dodd would make it a double win, and a high profile one at that. But in liberal Connecticut it will be tough.
Consider donating. Consider volunteering.
Barack Obama gets an 'F' for protecting Americans
The two most salient points for me:
4. In his studied desire to be the unBush by responding coolly to events like this, Obama is dangerously close to failing as a leader. Yes, it is good not to shoot from the hip and make broad assertions without the facts. But Obama took three days before speaking to the American people, emerging on Monday in between golf and tennis games in Hawaii to deliver a rather tepid address that significantly underplayed what happened. He described Abdulmutallab as an “isolated extremist” who “allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body” – phrases that indicate a legalistic, downplaying approach that alarms rather than reassures. Today’s words showed a lot more fire and desire to get on top of things – we’ll see whether Obama follows through with action. In the meantime, he went snorkeling.
5. There has been a pattern developing with the Obama administration trying to minimise terrorist attacks. We saw it with Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert who murdered a US Army recruit in Little Rock, Arkansas in June. We saw it with Major Nidal Malik Hassan, a Muslim with Palestinian roots who slaughtered 13 at Fort Hood, Texas last month. In both cases, there were Yemen connections. Obama began to take the same approach with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. We’ll see whether this incident shakes him out of that complacency. Whether it’s called the war on terror or not, it’s clear that the US is at war against al-Qaeda and radical Islamists.
More American journalists better start understanding the diabolical nature of these jihadists and the insidious nature of Islamic self-tolerance, along with the reticence of the President to do something about it sooner than too late, or the too much of the public will be fooled into disinterest while time runs out on freedom.
December 29, 2009
The problem is that the country wasn't buying it and the administration had to come back with the "systemic failure" talking points to prove that they are serious about threats to Americans. even if the President is in Hawaii.
The President's CYA response - blame the system, the agencies and the people. In other words, throw someone else under the bus. After all, it's all about nursing the approval rating through 2012, isn't it?
It's not often you see conservative artists, let alone openly conservative ones. They deserve your support for openly espousing freedom in what has to be a hostile climate for them.
December 28, 2009
Yes, I'm Canadian. Yes I want to some day be an American. But right now I have to say I'm proud of my conservative Prime Minister for having the guts to play the boogeyman in the global warming comic tragedy.
At last year's climate summit, Canada was voted the Fossil of the Year—an award handed out by Climate Action Network International to the conference's most obstructive country. So far, Canada is on track for a repeat victory—in the daily "fossil" awards at Copenhagen, it has landed in the top three six times. George Monbiot recently wrote that Canada is now to climate as Japan is to whaling. And on Monday, Canada took the second to last place on the Climate Protection Index, a project ranking major polluters on their efforts to curb emissions. Only Saudi Arabia scored lower on the list.
I'm just saying.
This story speaks for itself. Northwest Flight 253: al Qaeda Leaders Behind Terror Plot Were Released by U.S. - ABC News. While your at it, let's stop blaming the previous administration and take some responsibility for something, anything.
Remember, this is the guy who nominated his girlfriend Melodee Hanes for a U.S. attorney poisition, and was connected with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, so maybe he's just drunk with power.
Here's the video of Baucus after a brief exchange with Senator McCain.
Contrast that with this video:
December 27, 2009
Fresh Iran police, protester clashes: witnesses
Defying police orders to stay indoors, supporters of the country's pro-reformist movement used a text message campaign to urge hundreds of thousands of demonstrators to take to the streets.
They are capitalising on the fact that Sunday marks the final day of the ten-day festival of Ashura, which commemorates the murder of Imam Hossein, one of Shia Islam's most revered figures.
December 25, 2009
December 24, 2009
Twelve billion loaned to Chrysler,
One hundred forty bank closures,
Ten percent unemployment,
Nine thousand earmark omnibus,
Eight percent GOP ballot lead,
Seven hundred billion 'recovery' act,
Six years of Franken,
Five more Service Corps...
Four decades of Cap and Trade,
Thirty seven million on food stamps,
And Two thousand pages
Of a health care bill that nobody needs.
December 23, 2009
Watch CBS News Videos Online
BREAKING: Senate to Vote Today on Earmark-Vote Trading from Robert Costa at National Review
McConnell’s takeaways for an earlier Christmas Eve vote from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air
Obama's latest health care lie from Matt Welch at Reason
Another Bad 2010 Omen For Democrats: "Repeal the Deal" Will Be A Rallying Cry in 2010 from Hugh Hewitt at Townhall
CBS reporting on ObamaCare special deals? from Arkady at Right Condition
Check them out.
December 22, 2009
In the former, he makes a great case as to why the bill is political suicide despite what the Democrats are thinking it will do for them (either naively or delusionally). In the latter he explains while it is still likely to pass into law.
It's like watching a movie and knowing the outcome is going to be bad for those on screen. You can yell at the screen for the actors to change their path, but you know it won't help - they are doomed regardless of the turns of the story and whatever you manage to shout at them from the audience.
One that's quite relevant to this blog, 20 Things You Didn't Know About... Elections
My two favorites;
7. In 2007 neuroscientists examined the brain activity of undecided voters as they viewed the leading presidential candidates in the race.
8. The two candidates who elicited the least amount of activity? John McCain and Barack Obama.
It started with voter fraud. Even before the election there was the ACORN problem. And the SEIU problem. Dirty campaigning. Dirty politics. The President has been tarnished so many times with the guilt-by-association label that it's amazing the glimmer has taken so long to come off his angelic aura. Ayers and Wright apparently weren't enough last year to show the President for what he is - not an agent of change but an agent of dirty politics, as usual, but bigger.
Obama is trying to destroy our free enterprise system and “change” America into a failed socialist nation with growth-killing tax increases, the take over of private businesses through bailouts and trillions of dollars in irresponsible deficit spending on wasteful social programs. Millions of jobs have been lost since the passage of Obama’s Stimulus Bill that includes over 8,000 wasteful pork projects. That pork-laden bill will stimulate only the Democratic Party – not the economy, nor black communities. Incredibly, Obama turned a $450 billion deficit into a $9 trillion deficit, and he is promising to spend even more, including $1.5 trillion on a disastrous government-controlled health care scheme. All of this uncontrolled, budget-busting deficit spending will send our nation careening over an economic Clift [sic] into oblivion.
The tens of thousands of Americans participating in Tea Parties across this country – peacefully protesting Obama’s socialist actions and policies – are being mocked by President Obama and derided as “racist” by his fellow Democrats and liberal media allies, all in an effort to silence average Americans. Complaints are not allowed about the fact that under Obama’s America, all Americans will be dependent on the government for their well-being, just as are poor blacks.
It continued with the omnibus bill, another $410 billion worth of garbage;
A stopgap measure was voted in last Thursday to keep the federal government up and running until the vote. In case you do not know about this bill, it is essentially the short term federal budget for the next six months. It is an astounding $410, 000, 000, 000 spending bill that is essentially a catch all for over 8,000 pork projects. Over $7.7 billion dollars of this bill is attributed earmarks (aka pork projects and pet projects.)
• Reduce aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) by $662billion in 2035;
• Destroy 1,105,000 jobs on average, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by over 2,479,000 jobs;
• Reduce an average household’s disposable income by $879 in 2030;
• Raise electricity rates 90 percent after adjusting for inflation;
• Raise inflation-adjusted gasoline prices by 58 percent;
• Raise residential natural gas prices by 55 percent;
• Raise an average family’s annual energy bill by $1,241;and
• Increase inflation-adjusted federal debt by $114,915 per family of four by 2035.
In a Nov. 16, 2008, Health Care Watch column, Emanuel explained how business should be done: "Every favor to a constituency should be linked to support for the health-care reform agenda. If the automakers want a bailout, then they and their suppliers have to agree to support and lobby for the administration's health-reform effort."
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has two great summaries on the health care kickbacks, here and here.
December 21, 2009
Socialized health care is coming to America. You protested, you complained, you marched en masse and the Democrats, masters at protest themselves, hypocritically chose to ignore the American people. Democracy only seems to count if it's on their terms. It was a noble effort from the "mob", but it came up short. Did you honestly expect any different outcome? In reality as dumb as this legislation is, as dumb as the decisions were, this was representative democracy in action. Leaders are elected to lead. That involves making decisions, even if the decisions are unpopular. Unfortunately, that logic doesn't also apply to decisions that are stupid. It doesn't apply to decisions that are dishonest. It doesn't apply to decisions that are ultimately damaging to America.
Americans opposed to this have two possible courses of action remaining - armed insurrection (not a good idea), and the only tool they really can wield - voting. With this white elephant about to be foisted on a suspicious nation, 2010 now requires a Herculean effort because repealing this atrocious act will require a massive swing in Congressional and Senate representation. While Congress may be obtainable (though not a certainty by far), the Senate is not going to swing far enough to be able to make the change needed to reverse this.
A country that has allowed itself to be represented by Al Franken, Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Roland Burris to name but a few, has foisted upon itself it's own eventual demise. Somewhere right now, Hugo Chavez is laughing himself to tears. You get what you vote for, America. Conservatives, furious over this no doubt, unfortunately share in the blame. Beaten into a sense of abandon because of the lefts unyielding and misrepresentative hatred of Bush, did not nearly enough to stop the 2008 elections from becoming the train wreck it did. There are no new worlds to move to at this time to start over. This was it, and you let it slip away. The point is that voting isn't really enough (though running gunfights in the streets clearly are a bit much). You need to do more. You. Personally.
Where are the petitions? Help me somebody. Where are the 10 million man marches? Where are the calls to news outlets demanding better coverage of politics? Where are the boycotts of anyone supporting these America-bankrupting ideas? Where are the work stoppages? Where are the sit-ins and the civil disobedience? If the left can do all this, why should conservatives sit at home and passively grumble? That's not the American spirit. Is it? Has it come to numbly laying down and letting yourself get steamrolled by a bunch of liberal bullies?
December 18, 2009
December 17, 2009
Speaking of making sense, some of the “false choices” Obama has identified in the last year are more puzzling than misleading. “I reject the false choice between securing this nation and wasting billions of taxpayer dollars,” he declared in March. So according to Obama, we can secure the nation and waste billions of taxpayer dollars. Actually, that sounds about right.
Obama’s depiction of his critics is a bit further removed from reality. In the health care debate, he says, “there are those who simply don't believe Washington can bring about this change”; “there are those who will say that we do not go far enough”; “there are those who would have us try what has already failed, who would defend the status quo”; “there are those who will oppose reform no matter what”; and “there are those who want to seek political advantage.”
What about those who do not like the status quo but have a different vision of reform, not because they want to go farther than Obama does but because they want to go in a different direction, toward more choice, more competition, and less government involvement? In Obama’s world, they do not exist; instead we have his bold yet achievable plan, pitted against socialist utopianism and blind partisan intransigence. Let me be clear: This is a false choice.
December 16, 2009
fools. AP Manages to do it again, claiming the debate on healthcare has already gone on too long;
WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats' drive to pass the health care overhaul by Christmas sputtered Wednesday as a lone moderate holdout remained undecided and Republican delaying tactics stretched an already protracted debate even further.
In other words, 21 minutes of debate per page. Among 100 Senators. That's 12.6 seconds of speaking time per Senator per page.
How do you sleep at night?
The bigger play for them is why she's talking in support of socialized hospitals. The fact is she isn't - she's talking in support of two cancer centers.
Palin will speak at a fundraiser for the Juravinski Cancer Centre and St. Peter's Hospital. Organizers hope to sell 1,000 tickets at $200 a plate, but raise more via photos with her.
No doubt there will be mad Canadian protesters, but on the other hand, the fundraiser will sell out far in advance.
[NOTE: I hate to openly ask for donations on my site, but there is a donation via PayPal section at the bottom of the main page on my blog. It might ensure someone's attendance at the event *hint, hint*. If I were to get a photo with Palin, I'd feel obligated to post it on my blog.]
Palin no doubt is getting a substantial fee for the engagement as well, but it's a win for the hospitals, and a win for those who want to see her as well. It's a three way win. But as an observation, if she's got a best selling book and she's engaging in speaking events and fundraisering for herself now, she should be able to compile quite a war chest by 2012. Don't expect her, whatever her intentions are by then, to follow the McCain financing model that put him at a huge disadvantage to President Obama by agreeing to federal matching funds.
I still say, despite how the condescending liberals paint her, she's quite shrewd. They're transfixed with the "okiedokie" style language, but they misunderestimate her, at their own peril. She's smarter than they want anyone to believe, she's smarter than they believe.
They don't, on all three counts. They are playing with a weak hand - that's why they are rushing, struggling, arguing and fumbling. They are nowhere near ready, and yet they want something done by Christmas.
Is it time to call their bluff? Should the GOP agree to whatever procedural steps are necessary to get it to a floor vote? It's a risky strategy because it could result in passage of a bad bill. But it does have some merits.
-it neutralizes the GOP are obstructionist in the liberal media, that's good PR.
-it catches the Democrats off guard and forces them to vote on the current version of the bill, which will have as many moderate Democrats opposed/in favor as it does liberal Democrats in favor/opposed to it. In other words it doesn't pass the floor vote because in the end the disaffected side of the Democrats will vote with the GOP against the bill.
-it draws a line in the sand - while the Democrats dither like Obama did on Afghanistan, the GOP looks more decisive and action oriented. More good PR.
-it works very will with a commitment from the GOP to reverse the bill if elected.
-it may be making the most of a weak hand for the GOP. If there is no real way to stop this travesty at least it grabs the public's attention to tell them why you are doing it - you can control that message and for good measure one last time say why you think the bill is bad. In fact it may rouse the town hall/Tea Party protests into action again. They did make an impact.
Conversely it could blow up on the GOP. Most importantly it could turn off the base if either they don't understand it or if the ploy backfires and the bill passes. But when you are dealt a bad hand that you have to play out, you have to consider all options and calling the Democrats' bluff when they are in disarray themselves might not be a bad idea. Frankly, I'm not sold on the idea myself, but I'm not sure if it's even been considered by the GOP.
December 15, 2009
Way to go Al. Bad "science" however, makes great headlines though, doesn't it?
December 14, 2009
I noticed the same link didn't exist in Google, Google UK, Google France or Google Germany. Apparently we Canadians are the test bed for global warming hysteria. Great - thanks a lot Google.
Google - I'd switch search engines if you didn't have a stranglehold on my blog, my ads, my web tracking, my gmail. Still, maybe it's time. It's not like you are going to banish my readership, since that I seem to have managed to do successfully on my own...
Disingenuous. It was a message for America's left to trust him that he still is an anti-war guy.
Why disingenuous? Because the reason he stated, while valid could have been delivered in private, with Afghan leadership, stating also it is being delivered in private because we don't want to tip our hand to the Taliban and Al Qaida.
The President is proving once again, that his lack of experience and partisanship-driven politics are a bad combination for America.
Apparently it was African nations who took issue with the conference agenda, which apparently had plans that would put developing nations at a serious developmental disadvantage.
Don't count on it derailing Cap and Trade legislation in the U.S. Expect to hear something along the lines of "they are expressing legitimate economic concerns, however we don't want the fact that a deal couldn't be achieved to stop us from doing what we can to prevent a global ecological disaster. "
Just remember two things - man made global warming (AGW) is either a host or at least suspect and Cap and Trade is a wealth transfer vehicle, not an anti-global warming solution.
December 13, 2009
The Senate on Sunday passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill with increased budgets for vast areas of the federal government, including health, education, law enforcement and veterans' programs.
The more-than-1,000-page package, one of the last essential chores of Congress this year, passed 57-35 and now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.
The weekend action underlined the legislative crush faced by Congress as it tries to wind up the year. After the vote, the Senate immediately returned to the debate on health care legislation that has consumed its time and energy for weeks. Senate Democrats hope to reach a consensus in the coming days on Obama's chief domestic priority.
That's not the only bad news for him. Overall his approval rating is 46% and disapproval is at 53%. His aproval index is into the negatives among even the under 30 criwd. Forget about seniors - his index is at -29.
Among those who consider the economy to be the most important issue, just 26% Strongly Approve of the President’s performance while 39% Strongly Disapprove.
Among those who consider fiscal policy issues the most important, just 1% Strongly Approve and 81% Strongly Disapprove.
December 12, 2009
Learning from history is important and James Burke's work is an enlightening, important and entertaining analysis of history from a unique perspective. I highly recommend it.
For other works by James Burke (and others), search this site for "Saturday Learning Series".
December 11, 2009
Aside from becoming an American citizen someday, and marching and voting myself, can I do more more immediately? My blog used to generate more traffic than it does now. Lately it can't seem to draw flies, although the visitors I do have, have become more responsive and a few have even added comments regularly.
But that doesn't leave me much room to have a conservative impact in the US elections in 2010. Of course I'm a foreigner, should I even be able to do so? Well, if certain Chinese donors can do so, apparently without any fallout, then it's only fair that I should be able to donate to conservative candidates in Senate or Congressional elections.
I'm pretty familiar with American politics, but not campaign finance - as a Canadian, can I donate? I would only do so if it were legally allowed.
I'm just asking.
The Washington Post this morning had an article talking about conservative fund-raising potential and the fact that the 2010 election cycle could be greatly impacted by it.
Great, it sounds like some real coverage of a real issue. No doubt it was prompted by the recent Rasmussen poll that found a fictious Tea Party would outperform the GOP in a three way election contest. Perhaps also prompted by the idea of promoting a conservative support split and relegating conservatism to an etrnal back burner in American politics. Conservatives aren't that stupid. Maybe for a cycle or two a split would benefit liberals/Democrats, but after that it would necessarily sort itself out.
Regardless, the WaPo article can't resist doing two things - slagging conservatives and the Tea Parties, and continuing to lie about the strength of the movement.
Take for example this parapgraph;
Buoyed by their success in capsizing a moderate Republican candidate this fall in Upstate New York, tea party activists and affiliated groups are unveiling new political action committees and tactics aimed at capitalizing on conservative opposition to health-care reform, financial bailouts and other Obama administration policies. The goal is to harness the anger that led to hundreds of protests around the country from spring to fall, including a gathering of tens of thousands of protesters on the Mall in September.
Tens of thousands? Once again, REALLY?
As far as actually slagging conservatives, it's not really harsh criticism, but they do question the possible effectiveness of the movement in such a way that it makes you question whether they went after the Obama organization or MoveOn group in the same way. I'll give you the answer; no.
Let them deride all they like. While the movement is bound to experience growing pains, and may not be at it's most effective yet, grass roots are grass roots, and it's still free to vote. The WaPo's best hope for stifling conservatism in 2010 is to hope for a 3rd party - a Tea Party to take hold. But in order to do that, you have to hold off on the slagging just a little Washington Poat. Will that happen? I doubt it. I also happen to doubt whether a 3rd party is realistic for 2010. My guess is the Washington Post thinks the same way.Can the movement unite?
But Kibbe and others acknowledge that they are not near that point yet, and political experts in both parties say it is unclear if the movement can become the kind of unified force that can win, and not just disrupt, elections.
The tea party movement is splintered into hundreds of local and state-level groups that have differing rules and goals and for the most part have not participated in big-money politics. Many of the groups have been torn apart by personal feuds in recent months; one major umbrella organization, the Tea Party Patriots, has filed a lawsuit against a founding board member who signed on with a rival, the Tea Party Express.
December 10, 2009
“We’ve incurred this debt. We have to pay our bills,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told POLITICO Wednesday. And the Maryland Democrat confirmed that the anticipated increase could be as high as $1.8 trillion — nearly twice what had been assumed in last spring’s budget resolution for the 2010 fiscal year.