Friday, December 31, 2010

The Obama family vacation: We'll leave the light on for you

No one said to stay at Motel 6, but they don't need the Ritz Carlton either

When all is said and done between travel, lodging, security, staff and incidentals (i.e. snow cones for the press corps.), the cost of the Obama vacation will probably approach $2 million (Washington Examiner).

Now while no one begrudges a president a family vacation, given the economy, people out of work, families making sacrifices just to get by and a promise to cut government waste shouldn't they have gone a little budget on this one? If not because he believes he should, at least so that the American people think that he thinks he should. Can anyone say 2012 election?

Even President Clinton, who apparently was the economic growth President, had the sense to do that!

Excerpt from the Hawaii Reporter with the full story worth the read:

"... They could have chosen a less expensive and more secure place to stay such as a beachfront home on the Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station – just a two-minute drive away from the Kailuana Place property where they are now. The president visits the military base daily to workout, bowl with his kids or enjoy the more private beach there. He also could have stayed at a home 15 minutes away on the beach fronting Bellows Air Force Base as President Bill Clinton did

Instead, Obama and his friends annually pool their money to pay for the rental of three luxury beachfront homes. The so-called “Winter White House” – or Kailua home that the president rents two weeks a year – can cost an estimated $3,500 a day or $75,000 a month, according to the web site The site describes the home where the President sleeps: “The 7,000 square foot home features 5 bedrooms, 5 ½ bathrooms, a media room with surround sound, a kitchen suited for a master chef, a dining room and great room, a secluded lagoon-style pool with tropical waterfalls and a lavish island spa. The ocean lanai and garden lanai showcase ornate landscaping and stunning views of Kailua Bay and Mount Olomana ...”

South Korea: Between the DMZ and a hard place

It's navy ship was sunk and 46 sailors died. Then it's island was shelled with four people dying. As a result, South Korea has only now upgraded the status of North Korea to enemy. What were they before?

As the title says the South Korean government is in a quandary.

On the one hand it is dealing with a maniacal regime in the midst of leadership change. The result of that may be a new leader crazier than the old one, and that's pretty damn crazy.

Much like our fight in the war on terror or against a government the likes of the one in Iran, it is difficult to know how far an enemy such as North Korea would be willing to go. If they don't care whether their own people live or die then they certainly don't care about the civilians in another one.

On the other hand the South has the United States as its primary ally, a country with a leader whose military and foreign policy resolve can only be termed as questionable. This leader is of course Barack Obama whose main concern is seemingly his handicap as opposed to dealing with the critical situations occurring globally that pose a direct threat to our national security.

South Korea, seemingly taking its strategy out of the Obama playbook, is utilizing a hope and pray strategy with North Korea, an atheistic country where this prayer will most likely go unanswered. Hope that the North will cease hostilities, hope the North will not ratchet up hostilities even more, hope that the North will not go to a nuclear option and prayer that if one of the second two occurs that the United States will have its back.

This hope and pray is similar to the Obama administrations handling of both Iran and North Korea where the hope of negotiations and diplomacy, the outsourcing of responsibility to the U.N. and scolding rhetoric takes the place of any substantive action. We the common citizens pray that will work but have some very serious doubts.

The North is gathering forces and weapons at the DMZ (called the most dangerous swath of land in the world), is most likely responsible for the sinking of a South Korean navy vessel and has bombed the South's civilians. The South Korean government, to this point, has chosen to take the path of rhetoric versus retaliation as its response.

One would have to assume that North Korea is not looking for full-blown war as it must know that this would involve the United States as well. I say would only because the United States has in the neighborhood of 28,000 military troops stationed there, and there would be no way that President Obama could not respond.

The South, in yet another show of restraint has not tagged North Korea with the moniker of main enemy. I can only surmise that they are keeping the powder dry on that response for the next act of aggression by the North.

As we enter 2011 this will remain one of the global flash points that we will be dealing with.and Hopefully President Obama recognizes that while we don't hold all of the cards, the deck is definitely stacked in our favor if we are willing to play our hand. This, as opposed to letting the other players at the table push us around.

Finally, I would like to wish the readers of TPC (and everyone else), a very Happy New Year and hopes for a great 2011!

Hugh Jidette for President in '12 (Video)

Hugh Jidette is running for president on the "deficits are good" platform

Hugh Jidette, aka huge debt, would like the American people to know just how great the federal deficit crisis is. That is great as in very good.

The federal government has accumulated over $13 trillion in debt with an annual interest expense alone of $200 billion. The debt number, unless some steps are taken, will grow very quickly to an even more unsustainable level.

The annual interest expense is huge with rates currently at extremely low levels. If and when rates rise as a consequence of inflation or if our overseas borrowers demand more return for their perception, or the reality, that US debt is a more risky proposition, that $200 billion will grow ever larger.

That is why Hugh Jidette or other politicians of a similar ilk regardless of party affiliation cannot be allowed to win in 2012.

Bush/Katrina versus Obama/California floods/Northeast blizzard

Mainstream media has no problem with Obama in the surf and on the golf course in Hawaii

Back in 2005 George Bush was vilified in the liberal press, on the liberal airwaves (T.V. and radio) and in the liberal blogosphere for their perception of the federal governments handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (despite the culpability of the Louisiana Governor and New Orleans Mayor who were for the most part given a pass).

As a reminder of the power of nature, on Wednesday the Acting Governor of California Maldonado requested that the state be declared a major disaster area due to the winter storms that have been relentlessly pounding them.

In the northeast they are still digging out from a major blizzard that hit earlier this week, severely affecting cities there and transportation around the country.

Some might say that comparing Katrina to these two events is apples and oranges, but I would say that pictures of Obama splashing in the surf and swinging on the course and offering the press snow cones as if he doesn't have a care in the world is indicative of his self-centered, self-important and callous approach to governing and the American people.

When will the MSM catch on?

Thanks to The Garnet Spy for the photos and link to The Huffington Post story from 2005 showing George Bush and Katrina.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What is your political IQ? Take the quiz and find out.

How much do you know about current events?

This short quiz that was conducted by Pew Research and given to 1,001 people in November. After you take it (only 12 questions) your score will be compared with the scores of this random sample.

I took it and scored a 9 which was a little disappointing, but let's see how you do.

Good luck!

Click on this link for the quiz.

A relaxed Obama hits the links yet again

Obama golfing for about the 50th time since taking office

Never mind the struggling economy, high unemployment, lack of jobs creation, American soldiers in harms way on two fronts, birth certificate gate, an approval rating dropping like a stone, Christians being murdered in Muslim dominated country's, questions about his own faith, federal deficits that will weigh on our children and their children, home foreclosures climbing once again, etc.

It's a beautiful day here in Hawaii so let's hit the links.

John Kim, a producer of events for the PGA Tour said of the President (from Politico),

“that’s more than me! But then again, my job is … golf. Wait, that doesn’t seem right.”

“the old adage is: those who work in golf never get to play. Guess I need to run for President to hit the links!”

Looking at the picture above in light of a summary of some of the country's problems, one can only wonder what the mainstream media would say if Bush was still in the White House

Forty-six years after the Kitty Genovese murder little has changed

Society today is definitely different from society in the 1960's, yet often people are still sadly the same as evidenced by a murder in East Harlem

Forty-six years ago in Kew Gardens, Queens Kitty Genovese was stabbed twice on the street shouting "Oh my God, he stabbed me. Please help me." A man yelled from his window to "leave that girl alone," so Winston Mosley, fearing that the cops were on their way, ran off. When he realized that no one was coming he pursued her again.

He reached her again at the door to her apartment that was located in a courtyard behind a building just as she opened it. She fell inside crying "I'm dying, I'm dying." Mosley then proceeded to stab her, rape her and kill her. It was determined by police that as many as 37 or 38 people had either seen or heard the stalking but had done nothing. It came to be known as the bystander effect or Genovese Syndrome.

The theory went that the more people that are witness to an event the more likely that an individual will assume someone else will take charge so that they don't need to get involved.

People just don't want to get involved

Fast forward to the case this week in which a Betty Williams was beaten to death in an apartment and disposed of on a street in East Harlem, her body inside a suitcase.

The victim and Hassan Malik fought for almost an hour inside his apartment. We know this because people in the building, home to hear it, told the cops.

There was screaming, loud banging and Williams shouting "no Daddy no" and then silence.

She was found later in a suitcase on the street.

While not an exact copy of the Kitty Genovese murder, although times have changed people seemingly have not.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Religion in American life (Gallup Poll)

According to Gallup the majority of people feel that religion, one of the basic fibers holding society together, is losing its influence on American life.

Interestingly this while the number of people who feel that religion is very important in their own life has remained fairly steady.

Rare earth elements and China: Flash back and now flash ahead

China, rare earth elements and an economic noose

Back in October I had written about the United States dependence on China for our budgetary well being in addition to our need for the critically needed rare earth elements that country controls so much of. Today they announced an export cut they claim is not strategic in nature. Let's wait for the ransom note before we pass judgement.

October 14, 2010: "China isn't just about the money": So you think that the only thing we needed China for was to buy our Treasury debt to fund our massive deficits? Wrong!... China, which we know has a quasi stranglehold on us financially, produces about 95% of the world's supply of REE... China is more than willing to flex its muscles and use any leverage at its disposal...

December 29, 2010: (Reuters) China has raised fresh international trade concerns after slashing export quotas on rare earths minerals, risking action from the United States at the World Trade Organization.

China, which produces about 97 percent of the global supply of rare earth minerals, cut its export quotas by 35 percent for the first half of 2011 versus a year ago, saying it wanted to preserve ample reserves, but warned against basing its total 2011 export quota on the first half figures.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office was "very concerned" about China's export restraints on rare earths and had raised its concerns with China, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

U.S. makers of high-tech products such as Apple Inc's iPads, along withJapanese companies have been scrambling to secure reliable supplies of the minerals outside of China as Beijing steadily reduces export allocations...

The Political Commentator honored by The Watchers Council

The Political Commentator receives honorable mention status in the Pre-New Years Eve Nominations

The Watchers Council
: Thirteen of the most important conservative blogs and voted the Best Blog Ring in the 2010 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

I am honored to have had The Political Commentator noticed and then honored by a group as prestigious and important as The Watchers Council.

My goal is that TPC will one day, when an opening occurs, be considered for inclusion, but this is a great honor for me and shows that hard work pays off.

Thanks again.

Happy 2011? Then read something else!

After ringing out a not so great 2010, some not so great predictions for 2011

With 2010 filled with disappointing US economic growth, the stated US unemployment rate hovering close to 10% with an actual rate is closer to 17-18%, the bailout of 2 of the 4 EU PIGS (with the other 2 not far behind) and a foreclosure crisis that may just be starting due to rampant fraud having potentially occurred in the process, what do we have to look forward to in 2011?

Some potential 2011 events

Portugal may soon be in need of life support and once that happens will there be enough left in the tank to take care of Spain.

While the US economy has shown some signs of life and the Fortune 500 companies had a decent year, the majority of any jobs that they created were outside of the US. Will jobs and economic growth be any better in the coming year?

While not a commonly known acronym, 2011 might find greater name recognition for a little known corporate entity by the name of MERS. MERS is an electronic database created for the most part by the mortgage industry as a way to streamline the process of storing mortgage documents and notes and avoiding recording fees while helping to supercharge securitization.

In the process MERS, along with robo-signers and faux VPs with fudged notarizations may have fraudulently foreclosed on borrowers and taken away their property. Not to say the borrowers weren't delinquent, but did the entity foreclosing have the right to do it?

It remains to be seen as there are more twists and turns than a mountain road, but banks could be left holding a rather large bag.

So what are some prognostications for 2011?

Two articles that explore the coming year from Zero Hedge definitely worth reading

The first makes some strong predictions for volatility, commodity prices, the global economy, deficits, quantitative easing, equity prices, domestic and global politics, social unrest and even the weather.

The title of this article is "2011 - What's coming?" and it can be found at this link.

The second article is about the "double dip" that the housing market has already entered into, and the fact that the expiration of the first time homebuyers tax credit and the moratorium on foreclosures will only exacerbate the problem. The interview with Nouriel Roubini also touches on the crisis in the EU, long-term structural deficits and state and local governments teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

The article, "It's pretty clear the housing market has already double dipped" can be found at this link.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Blizzard of 2010 was out of this world (Photo,Video)

If you were wondering, this was the northeast blizzard from space and below is the northeast blizzard from the streets of New York (as the Department of Sanitation destroys an SUV)

Is Hillary out? Maybe,but she sure is popular! (Video)

Not only is Hillary Clinton the world's most admired woman, but she may be leaving the State Department in anticipation of a presidential run in 2012

From the no accounting for taste department, Hillary Clinton, for the 15th time since 1992 was voted the world's most admired woman. Hillary placed first with 17% of the vote, Sarah Palin runner-up with 12% and Oprah 11% according to a USA Today-Gallup poll.

Where is Joy Behar on that list?

Is she or isn't she, will she or won't she or he?

The speculation has been that there were going to be some changes made within the Obama administration, but is SoS Clinton one of them? And would she be replaced by 2008 surprise Obama supporter Bill Richardson, just back from a trip to North Korea? Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says nothing big is on the horizon, but is this just plausible deniability? What are the possibilities?

a) Hillary wants out, potentially for a primary run against the incumbent Obama;
b) Hillary doesn't want out and a rumor is just a rumor;
c) Richardson went to North Korea at the behest of the White House as he says, or on his own as the White House says;
d) Richardson definitely is out of office in a week so the timing is right.

What makes me think that there may be some truth to the rumor is the fact that the White House strongly denies it. Only time will tell, but this is the kind of thing that makes the week between Christmas and the New Year a little more interesting.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hugh Hefner does it again!

Some non-political warmth on blizzard Monday provided by Playboy

I try to stay away from the fluff, but with about 16 inches of snow on the ground, winds gusting to 50 M.P.H and wind chills in the single digits, how about some warmth for a Monday morning

The story: 84-year old Hef got engaged to 24-year old Crystal Harris. You know what Hef is thinking, but Crystal's thoughts are a little bit of a mystery.

In any event, here is the happy couple:

Must read: "Refusing to Identify or Name Our Enemy"

Important article from the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO)

To read, "Refusing to Identify or Name Our Enemy," please click on this link.

As promised I am providing access to the article, "Refusing to Identify or Name Our Enemy," written by S. Eugene Poteat in the AFIO journal "The Intelligencer, the Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies".

The AFIO "focuses on understanding the critical need for effective counterintelligence and security against foreign, political, technological or economic espionage, as well as covert, clandestine and overt counter-terrorist or criminal operations threatening US security, the national infrastructure or corporate and individual safety."

In "Who exactly is our enemy?" I had written that in his article S. Eugene Poteat discusses the fact that "... the United States, in dealing with and identifying those who wish to destroy us, regularly and quite deliberately omits the word Muslim in the description.

He cites many examples, but begins in the beginning with Jimmy Carter and the U.S. Embassy attack in 1976 when it was said that the event was an uprising of Iranian terrorists. In similar fashion he recalls the Pan Am 103 bombing, the attacks on our embassies in Africa, the USS Cole bombing, the attacks on September 11, 2001, the London subway bombing and the train bombings in Spain and the fact that these terrorist acts were never identified specifically as the work of Muslim extremists..."

To read, "Refusing to Identify or Name Our Enemy," please click on this link.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Burka love ballad (Video)

Very funny video to the tune of Pretty Woman about chasing love when the woman stealing your heart is wearing a burka.

Heads up from Debbie Schlussel

Google Zeitgeist 2010: The Year in Review (Video)

Some of the events that defined 2010

Patients counseled on the beginning of the end

January 1st, 2011 doctors to be reimbursed by Medicare for providing patients options for end-of-life care

Is this the beginning of the slippery slope to medical decision making based on economics and actuarial tables?

Read the article at the New York Times and decide.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on world peace

She cut her teeth in the Carter administration under Zbigniew Brzezinski and served as Secretary of State for President Clinton

Madeleine Albright worked in the White House of Jimmy Carter, the president who presided over the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Iran and the hostage crisis that lasted for 444 days. She was Secretary of State in the Clinton administration which spent little time and energy focusing on foreign policy or dealing with the growing threat of Islamic fundamentalism, instead poll watching and keeping primarily to a domestic policy agenda.

Albright Interviewed by Jim Axelrod on CBS News

It should come as little surprise that one of the solutions to world peace according to the former Secretary of State is that non-Muslims need to show more tolerance and that the change to the mindset of terrorists needs to come from within the Muslim faith itself.

Some quotes follow, but her point of view and ideas for solutions to a problem as great as this makes me think that she would be very welcome as a new addition to the Obama administration. This, the same administration that is in strong competition to become the worst ever, fighting with Jimmy Carter for the honor. From CBS News:

"What I believe is that there is a natural reason for people to get along if they think about the future and don't get completely stuck with the fights of the past."

"... is that religion is like a knife that you can pick up and stick in somebody's back or use to cut bread. And so, it's the cutting bread part that we have to get to."

"What has happened is the extremists are the ones that get the attention, that create the acts that are divisive to everybody else. Whatever changes come in terms of a different approach among the extremists of Islam has to come from within the Muslim religion."

"I'm unhappy about it, I really have to say. What's interesting is that you saw it at different other times. I was in the Carter administration during the Iran hostage crisis and there clearly was a rise of anti-Islam at that point and then people realized that it wasn't all Muslims that had this particular feeling."

"A lot of it is based on complete misunderstanding. Imam Feisel is one of the most remarkable people that I have met, who has made it his life's work to get understanding."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Obama outrage over Christian persecution? Not exactly.

Update to "Attacking Christians on Christmas, where is the outrage?"

This morning the question was where President Obama was concerning the violence taking place against Christians in Iraq, the Philippines and Nigeria. Still waiting to hear, but he was right there condemning the violence against Muslims in Pakistan.

In all instances the religiously motivated violence is wrong, but why ignore the egregious acts committed against Christians?

From the BBC: US President Barack Obama has condemned as "outrageous" Saturday's deadly suicide bomb attack on a town in north-western Pakistan.

Is that chicken soup in your thermos, or are you just trying to kill me?

A twist on the old standard, is that a gun in your pocket...

In a TSA attempt to stop terrorists from bringing down a jetliner, coffee containers and thermoses will now be subjected to closer scrutiny by airport security.

If little Jimmy or Jane needs to bring chicken soup for their cold along on that flight to see grandma, expect them to be under surveillance.

From the TSA website:

Passengers may observe additional security measures related to insulated beverage containers. TSA is carefully monitoring information related to terrorist tactics and working with our international partners to share information and security best practices.

The possible tactics terrorists might use include the concealment of explosives inside insulated beverage containers, so in the coming days, passengers flying within and to the U.S. may notice additional security measures related to insulated beverage containers. While such items are not being banned from travel, TSA Officers have been trained to detect a variety of threats including the concealment of explosives in common items.

TSA will continue to deploy risk-based security measures and work with our international, federal, state, local and private sector partners to protect the traveling public.

As always, the safety and security of the American people is our highest priority and we ask the public to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to their local authorities.

Attacking Christians on Christmas; Where is the outrage?

Christians around the world who live in countries dominated by the Muslim faith live in fear of attack and even death everyday, but particularly on Christmas

"Most of the churches here in Baghdad have canceled Christmas celebrations." CANON ANDREW WHITE

Yet where is the overriding public demonstration of outrage? Where is President Obama and his administration with wholesale condemnation? Where is the condemnation from leaders around the world and the United Nations?

If the positions were reversed and Muslims living in Christian dominated countries suffered from daily persecution that included mosque attacks, physical violence, death and the inability to observe holy holidays, what do you suppose the reaction would be?

I think we know.

This is a small sample from an article in Aljazeera:

"... Fresh attacks against Christians have marred Christmas festivities as church leaders condemned religious persecution and called for global peace and reconciliation.

As Christian leaders highlighted the plight of believers facing the threat of attacks around the world, a bomb in a church during Christmas mass in the southern Philippines on Saturday wounded 11 people, including a priest.

Military officials would not immediately name any suspects in the blast on Jolo island, but the island is a known bastion of the Abu Sayyaf, an al-Qaeda-linked group, blamed for deadly attacks in the Philippines and for kidnapping priests and nuns.

"There is a possibility that this could be the handiwork of the Abu Sayyaf because they have been perpetrating similar attacks against the Catholic church," Lieutenant Randolph Cabangbang, a military spokesman, said..."

Viral videos of 2010: A retrospective (Video)

Heads up from The Daily Dish

Just for fun on Christmas Day morning:

A sampling of some videos that went viral in 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Who exactly is our enemy?

"If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. But, if you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat." Sun Tzu, Chinese General and author of The Art of War

I was reading an article written by S. Eugene Poteat in The Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies titled "Refusing to Identify or Name Our Enemies", and his thesis was spot on. The central idea is that the United States, in dealing with and identifying those who wish to destroy us, regularly and quite deliberately omits the word Muslim in the description.

He cites many examples, but begins in the beginning with Jimmy Carter and the U.S. Embassy attack in 1976 when it was said that the event was an uprising of Iranian terrorists. In similar fashion he recalls the Pan Am 103 bombing, the attacks on our embassies in Africa, the USS Cole bombing, the attacks on September 11, 2001, the London subway bombing and the train bombings in Spain and the fact that these terrorist acts were never identified specifically as the work of Muslim extremists.

His crystal clear point is that through our timidity and refusal to name the enemy, we do nothing but embolden them. In fact for those who may dare, they face accusations of religious intolerance and in the case of Juan Williams, formerly of NPR, the losing of one's job.

"... Our tepid response is clear to Islam; America is weak, reeling, broke... a shadow of the nation it once was. America is so frightened, we dare not speak the name of the enemy coiling around our necks. Instead we dance around with terms "criminal," "extremist," "suicide bomber," "terrorist," "Chechen," "Freedom Fighter," "Wahabbist," etc. but never "Muslim" nor "Islam."

There are many other points made, to numerous to mention, but my hope is that Mr. Poteat will allow me to present the full article here.

After the attacks of 9/11 the realization hit most of us that we were involved in a war. Now, a mere 10 years later, some of us, including those charged with our defense, seem to have forgotten!

How underfunded are the public pension plans in your state? The numbers are staggering! (Interactive chart)

The crisis of grossly underfunded public pension plans

How badly underfunded are the public pension plans in your state? The interactive map below will give you an idea and the picture is not a pretty one. This is from a follow-on article from Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis in which he is specifically examining the looming crisis in New Jersey.

The estimate of the unfunded public pension liability in the United States is an astounding $3 trillion as calculated by the American Enterprise Institute. This represents yet another ticking economic time bomb that will only be addressed when the situation grows dire and the states assumptions for returns on their portfolios prove impossible to achieve (i.e. New Jersey estimates are for an annual 8.25% portfolio return).

If the map below doesn't load or your state is cut off, click on this link.

Remember, as the quote by John Adams at the bottom of The Political Commentator reads,

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rex Ryan foot-fetish? Is he running for office? (Video)

He is a football coach, not running for president after all

We are all aware that if you run for elected office there is nothing that is off limits to the prying media. It is the media that will typically perform the vetting of the candidates that you or I can't.

Are there any issues or actions that have occurred in the past that should possibly preclude a man or a woman from serving in public office? The public needs to know in order to make what will hopefully be an educated decision which makes the vetting process critical.

The one exception to this was of course now President Obama whose vetting by the mainstream media could only be described as his past getting a pass in a weak effort to keep the theme on football.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, foot-fetish?

As the New York Jets prepare to play the Chicago Bears this weekend in their run for the playoffs, attention has now been directed onto the coach, Rex Ryan, and the alleged video of his apparent interest in, and appreciation for, the foot.

Could anything be less relevant, and yet this will be the media focus for the rest of the week. Does the press, many of whom are no doubt embroiled in activities far worse, have anything better to do?

They asked if the NFL would be looking into the alleged fetish. They asked Jets management if this presented an issue or if Coach Ryan had the full support of the team.

Apparently they do not.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Clap on, clap off, no clappin' clue (Video)

National Intelligence Director James Clapper found clueless on UK terror arrests in an interview with Diane Sawyer - It is an embarrassment and extremely disturbing that this is the team protecting our well being.

Although the White House attempted to spin this fact as a positive that Clapper doesn't spend his day watching the news on T.V., the fact remains that he should be aware of a little development such as this. White House rationale as expressed by counterterrorism advisor John Brennan,

"Should he have been briefed by his staff on those arrests? Yes. And I know there was breathless attention by the media about these arrests, and it was constantly on the news networks. I‘m glad that Jim Clapper is not sitting in front of the TV 24 hours a day and monitoring what’s coming out of the media. What he is doing is focusing on those intelligence issues that the president expects him to focus on and to make sure that we don’t have conflict in different parts of the world."

Just one more sign that the Obama administration has little clue in the area of protecting the United States. Below is the clip from the Sawyer interview. Clueless is the best description.

Bon Appétit? New terror warning!

New concern out of DHS regarding the simultaneous poisoning of food in restaurants and hotels across the United States. The targets would be salad bars and buffets.

As if the need for vigilance across the board wasn't intense enough, a new warning out of DHS warns that al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has plans to conduct a simultaneous attack on the food at hotels and restaurants across the US.

(IPT) The plot, uncovered earlier this year, involved the simultaneous poisoning of food served in hotels and restaurants across the U.S. over a single weekend. Two different poisons, ricin and cyanide, would be slipped into salad bars and buffets.

According to CBS, a "key intelligence source" confirmed that the threat was "credible." So credible, in fact, that the DHS, Department of Agriculture and the FDA briefed key security officers in the hotel and restaurant industries about the attack.

Do you believe the United States is exceptional? (Gallup)

By a large margin Americans do feel that we have a unique character that makes us the greatest nation in the world (Gallup results below)

Gallup then asked which which presidents past and present they felt possessed a belief that America has a unique quality that makes us the greatest country in the world

The results will most likely not come as much of a shock, but current President Obama, with his propensity to apologize on behalf of the United States for our actions both past and present, was a distant last at 58%. His competition in the poll, Presidents Reagan, W. Bush and Clinton were all at 70% and above.

What does it mean when the citizenry of the greatest nation on earth feels that its leader does not believe in that fact? It means that we need to remember and help others to remember in 2012. We need to fight to insure that we effect real Change in the White House that we can believe in!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cartoon Tuesday: No

c/o DBKP

The Party of No defined, once and for all

Government intervention and unintended consequences (Video)

Offshore drilling bans, Cash for Clunkers, spiking college tuition expenses, inflation and the unintended consequences when the government gets involved

This from the National Inflation Association. The statements have some definite correlation to the idea discussed yesterday that the United States may at some point lose its AAA rating, and the effect that would have on our financial system.

"...With a $13.6 trillion national debt, $6.3 trillion in Fannie/Freddie debt and $61.3 trillion in unfunded obligations for programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the U.S. government has total obligations of over $81.2 trillion or 5.57 times our GDP of $14.59 trillion. It is our belief that the United States for all intents and purposes is bankrupt and Americans need to take steps immediately to protect themselves from the potential loss of the purchasing power of their U.S. Dollars.

NIA believes the largest financial crisis in history is ahead of us as a direct result of the U.S. government unwilling to accept a much needed recession. We are now at a point where our national debt is impossible to pay off. Due to rising interest payments on our national debt, it is unlikely the U.S. will be able to balance its budget ever again. Foreigners will eventually stop lending the U.S. money and the Federal Reserve will most likely have to print the money to fund our deficit spending out of thin air..."

Monday, December 20, 2010

63 and tired

An open letter regarding one man's state of the union

The following letter was written by a man who happens to be an actor, but beyond that who is a true American. He waxes on work ethic, religions of peace, left-wing hypocrisy, taxes, mainstream media bias, entitlements and much, much more. If after reading it you agree with his thoughts, pass it along.

It has been appeared before, but it is powerful and is worth being repeated.

"I'm 63 and I’m Tired,"
 written by Robert A. Hall

I'm 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I've worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm tired.. Very tired.

I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I'm tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to "keep people in their homes." Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I'm willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them with their own money.

I'm tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China, the crime and violence of Mexico, the tolerance for Christian people of Iran, and the freedom of speech of Venezuela..

I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari'a law tells them to.

I'm tired of being told that "race doesn't matter" in the post-racial world of Obama, when it's all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois.

I think it's very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an all-knowing government.

I'm tired of a news media that thinks Bush's fundraising and inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama's, at triple the cost, were wonderful; that thinks Bush exercising daily was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example for the public to control weight and stress; that picked over every line of Bush's military records, but never demanded that Kerry release his; that slammed Palin, with two years as governor, for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever. Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I didn't vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004.

I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America, while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore's, and if you're greener than Gore, you're green enough.

I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don't think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I'm tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.

I'm tired of illegal aliens being called "undocumented workers," especially the ones who aren't working, but are living on welfare or crime. What's next? Calling drug dealers, "Undocumented Pharmacists"? And, no, I'm not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it's been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I'm willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English, doesn't have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military.... Those are the citizens we need.

I'm tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close. So here's the deal. I'll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we'll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear.

I'm tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I'm tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois, where the "Illinois Combine" of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to mention the tax cheats in Obama's cabinet.

I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

Speaking of poor, I'm tired of hearing people with air-conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans didn't have that in 1970, but we didn't know we were "poor." The poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing.

I'm real tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.

Yes, I'm damn tired. But I'm also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate.