Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Good News Is That We Will Not Immediately Bomb Syria

The bad news is that we now have a "Wag the Dog" situation. As Congress slowed down Benghazi/IRS/NSA investigations--for political reasons dare I say it--they set themselves up for a lively autumn. Now, these investigations might be eclipsed by the prospects of a Syrian war.

But we did get a reprieve. We can breathe deeply once more.

September Could Be The New Cruelest Month

R. S. Eliot said April was the cruelest month. He might be right. April 15 is harsh even without workplace violence or man made disasters. Suicides peak in April and the weather is usually lousy.

Meanwhile, placid September might cause poets to rethink the cruelty rankings. Even if we do not start a war with Syria, fireworks will fly. Congress has slow-walked investigations on Benghazi, IRS, and internal snooping. It is rumored that all of these investigations will switch to turbo mode. Uh oh.

Then there is September 11. The preceding day will feature a Tea Party event and they will then wisely get the hell out of Dodge. On the anniversary of American slaughter we will witness the Million Muslim March on DC. A loose coalition of motorcycle enthusiasts has pledged to bring two million riders. If I were president, I would ask the pea brain who thought MMM was a good idea to reschedule this event. I am genuinely concerned for the safety of the guilty and the innocent alike.

This administration does not care about the attitudes and opinions of the little people. Big Media and Hollywood are just as dismissive. They don't need no stinking zeitgeist. Let's talk about carbon credits. My other car is a Prius.

The intelligentsia has ignored blue collar discontent. Two million bikers could deliver a harsh reminder of just how aloof this administration has chosen to be. September will be interesting if not cruel.

In Defense of Miley Cyrus

I am allergic to sanctimony. The Sean Hannitys are OK most of the time but their impulse to assert their moral superiority nauseates me.

I for one find Miley's VMA much more watchable than "Hannah Montana." For better or worse, Miley's career will not be determined by her entertainment value in the traditional sense of the term. Acting bizarre, outrageous or sexual has become essential, especially for female performers. Taylor Swift is on the Hasbeen express to Branson.  She can live a comfortable life as the next Alison Krauss but it is doubtful the paparazzi will follow her into her middle years in the same way they follow J-Lo or Madonna.

"Video Music Awards" are what they have been since their inception. There is no history of elegance on the red carpet. This is Howard Stern unveiling his Fartman character in 1992. It is all about tweaking the noses of the Hannitys and to politely afford them the opportunity to polish their halos in public.

MTV started out as Music Television. They shortened their name for the same reason Arts and Entertainment became A&E and The Learning Channel became TLC and The Nashville Network became TNN.

With a few notable exceptions--Hee Haw being the most obvious--music has not usually thrived on television. It did not take long for MTV to ditch the vids and install cheesy reality shows. Duran Duran was no match for a slob defecating in a hot tub.

Everyone knows about Miley's twerking but can anyone name the song she performed as she shared her skin with us? Does anyone care? Her music is immaterial to her success. She will unleash periodic publicity stunts to stay of the radar for years to come. That is how the game is played and all the piety in the would will not change that.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Google, Microsoft to Sue Over FISA Gag Rules

Silicon Valley may be losing some of its ardor for the man who promised hope and change. Google and Microsoft will sue the US government to win the right to reveal more information about official requests for user data. The announcement was made by Microsoft's chief lawyer, Brad Smith on Microsoft's company blog in a post entitled Standing Together for Greater Transparency. Oh please, that sounds like it was written by an Obamabot.
To followers of technology issues, there are many days when Microsoft and Google stand apart. But today our two companies stand together. We both remain concerned with the Government’s continued unwillingness to permit us to publish sufficient data relating to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders.
Each of our companies filed suit in June to address this issue. We believe we have a clear right under the U.S. Constitution to share more information with the public. The purpose of our litigation is to uphold this right so that we can disclose additional data.
On six occasions in recent weeks we agreed with the Department of Justice to extend the Government’s deadline to reply to these lawsuits. We hoped that these discussions would lead to an agreement acceptable to all. While we appreciate the good faith and earnest efforts by the capable Government lawyers with whom we negotiated, we are disappointed that these negotiations ended in failure.
Yesterday, the Government announced that it would begin publishing the total number of national security requests for customer data for the past 12 months and do so going forward once a year. The Government’s decision represents a good start. But the public deserves and the Constitution guarantees more than this first step.
For example, we believe it is vital to publish information that clearly shows the number of national security demands for user content, such as the text of an email. These figures should be published in a form that is distinct from the number of demands that capture only metadata such as the subscriber information associated with a particular email address. We believe it’s possible to publish these figures in a manner that avoids putting security at risk. And unless this type of information is made public, any discussion of government practices and service provider obligations will remain incomplete.
Over the past several weeks Microsoft and Google have pursued these talks in consultation with others across the technology sector. With the failure of our recent negotiations, we will move forward with litigation in the hope that the courts will uphold our right to speak more freely. And with a growing discussion on Capitol Hill, we hope Congress will continue to press for the right of technology companies to disclose relevant information in an appropriate way.

To Russia With Love

I don't claim to be a foreign policy wizard but I think I could be slightly less inept and only half as clueless as our smart diplomat leading from behind. Anyone who put America first and followed the doctrine of common sense would be a better leader than that empty suit in the Oval Office.

What is obvious is that Russia is a natural ally. I remember when Mitt Romney threw us a curve and said that Russia was our enemy. Huh? It was not a high point of his campaign. Russia, like India--another natural ally--borders both China and the Muslim world. They have suffered their share of workplace violence in theaters and day care centers. They have said their Soviet mea culpas and have committed themselves to free enterprise. Being that they have a flat income tax of 13 % and no politically-oppressive thugs comparable to the IRS, I submit that Russia has a better human rights record than the United States.

Putin is many things but he is no dumb ass. I would say that he is a good leader if only because he puts his country's interests first. He has a a cozy relationship with Assad. He does not want to see Assad trampled and Al Qedah 3.0 to grab the reins of power. It is in Russia's interest to maintain stability in the region. Country first.

I am grateful that we never had a blow out with the Soviet Union. We came close a couple of times but fortunately, prayers were answered. Are we now going to light the powder keg just to prop up Barry's ego? I have not heard the case made--because it cannot be made--that it is in the USA's best interest to topple Assad. Worse yet, let's not hurl Tomahawks as some sort of exercise to "make a statement."

Yes, we elected an egomaniacal, anti-American opportunist. We reap what we sow. But just this once, Barry, do the right thing. You got enough blood on your hands.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Picture of Global Warming Implosion

It's been sometime since media has panicked over hot summer temperatures as if each day the mercury rose above 100 degrees in El Paso the closer the world was to a global warming apocalypse. It's not the the media has has changed its thinking it's that there are fewer record high days to report.

What If Neil Bush Had Been A Terrorist Power Broker?

In this era of media selectivity, it is easy to find a story the orthodox press ignores. The IRS harassment of dissidents saturated the blogosphere long before the media reluctantly glanced at the subject. NSA criminality was reported from disparate sources long before Edward Snowden blew the whistle. Voter fraud is widespread but still ignored by our media elite.

We have accepted media corruption as a matter of course. So maybe one more spiked story will be met with a collective yawn. If half of the reports of Malik Obama are accurate we might have a new Scandal of the Century on our hands.

Meanwhile, Obama's Rasmussen numbers are about what they have been for four years. Information is not a concern for the loyalists. Information, no matter how damning, does not sway the Obot's opinion. That is some damn good Kool-Aid.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Items From My Mailbox: Thanks Bonnie

We're the battling boys of Benghazi
No fame, no glory, no paparazzi.
Just a fiery death in a blazing hell
Defending our country we loved so well.
It wasn't our job, but we answered the call,
fought to the Consulate and scaled the wall.
We pulled twenty Countrymen from the jaws of fate
Led them to safety, and stood at the gate.
Just the two of us, and foes by the score,
But we stood fast to bar the door.
Three calls for reinforcement, but all were denied,
So we fought, and we fought, and we fought ‘ til we died.
We gave our all for our Uncle Sam, But Barack Obama didn't give a damn.
Just two dead seals who carried the load
No thanks to us..........we were just
"Bumps In The Road".

Obama the law giver?

Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal, reads an opinion piece in the New York Times. Yeah, and water board the hell out of them too. The author of the opinion is Ian Hurd, an associate professor of political science at Northwestern not Jodi Arias as I first suspected. I don't recall the Times having ever endorsed vigilante justice when George Bush sat in the oval office but I suppose legal norms have "evolved" since then. In liberal land laws and constitutions are perpetually evolving to fill the gaps that legislative bodies refuse. The opinion piece is not as exciting as the headline but rather a pedantic account of laws and treaties that don't seem to pertain to Syria in this case.
To evade the laws that the professor thinks constrain Obama the professor thinks it appropiate for Obama to just make up a new law. Clever!
Since Russia and China won’t help, Mr. Obama and allied leaders should declare that international law has evolved and that they don’t need Security Council approval to intervene in Syria.
Attention Republicans: Don't try this.

Rand Paul gets his daily dose of slander

Jennifer Rubin is the token conservative blogger at the Washington Post, meaning that she can be depended upon to exhibit only  slightly less asinine examples of Beltway provincialism than Ezra Klein or Eugene Robinson. Of course Ted Cruz and Rand Paul make her jaws tight. She had a political crush on  Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock who managed to lose a safe Senate seat and she learned to like Marco Rubio after he became a gang of eight gangster but at heart she's a blue state RINO groupie. Lately, seldom a day passes that Rubin does not devote a post critical of either Cruz or Paul.
In her latest post, Why Rand Paul should never, ever be commander in chief, she quotes the Senator from Kentucky;
The United States should condemn the use of chemical weapons. We should ascertain who used the weapons, and we should have an open debate in Congress over whether the situation warrants U.S. involvement. The Constitution grants the power to declare war to Congress, not the President. The war in Syria has no clear national security connection to the United States, and victory by either side will not necessarily bring in to power people friendly to the United States.
To Rubin this statement "is bone-chilling in its moral indifference and ignorance about America’s national security." What is the point of condemning the use of chemical weapons if we are not prepared to do anything about it? asks Rubin.
 Every diplomatic protest should be eschewed in favor of an act of war? The late George Keenan, known has the father of the containment policy that did eventually contain the Soviet Union until its demise frequently criticized US foreign policy as being too moralistic and legalistic. In other word international relations should be taken seriously and problems countered with tactical actions rather than the creation of ineffectual laws or incessant raving about legal violations. Similarly, moral indignation impedes coherent policy. The United States has created an awesome military to defend its citizens not to indulge the narcissism of an ass clown president in his single actor morality play.

Rubin; We don’t need to ascertain whether chemical weapons have been used (does he read the papers?). We already know.
 Neither the UN nor the CIA has confirmed that the Assad regime did use chemical weapons. Ambassador Rice has tweeted to that effect but one might forgive the Senator from Kentucky if he does not immediately buy the administration's line in light of its explanation of the cause of the Benghazi raid.
Rubin; But the worst is his declaration that we have no national security interest in Syria.
Oh yeah, I forgot all about that. Yes, Syria has always been at the core of US interest along with Serbia, Albania, and Kosovo. That is the worst of Paul's " bone-chilling moral indifference and ignorance"?
Rubin could write legitimate criticisms of Paul and Cruz but not everyday. As much as I admire them I disagree with both of them from time to time but she is not interested in serious discourse as far as Cruz and Paul are concerned. Critical thought has given way to mendacious slander. Read her blog only for laughs.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Obama invites impeachment in Syria

We used to all know the drill. The president would ask the three television networks for time to address the nation. He would appear in the oval office, somber but faintly smiling as if to say things are scary but we'll get through this alright. He would then dispassionately spell out the problem and explain to the American public the course of action he intended to take. When he was finished speaking the public knew what too expect in the coming days and usually a ranking member of the opposition party would briefly appear and say that after consulting with the president he endorsed the proposed plan of action and partisanship has no place in matters of national defense.
Enter President Obama where partisanship dominates matters of national defense. Is there any reason other than rabid partisanship that prevents the greatest teleprompter reader in history from addressing the American public and consulting with the Congress? It could be Congress would say no. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, taken August 19-23 found that just 25% of Americans would support US intervention in Syria even if chemical weapons had been used and 46% oppose any intervention whatsoever. Only 9% support unilateral action by Obama. I would suggest that's pretty thin.
Should Obama ignore the Congress and the will of the people I would hope the House leadership would have the gumption and truly, the sense of duty, and push an impeachment. There is no doubt in my mind it would attract more bipartisan support than a resolution authorizing the use of force in Syria. The impeachment may fail in the Senate but then Senators Begich, Hagan, Landrieu, Pryor, and Shaheen could explain their no votes in 2014.

War on Syria? HELL NO!!!!

I am not saying Middle East politics is simple by any means. What is absolutely essential is that we display clear principles and consistency of action. We have neither.

Remember when we told that electing Obama would improve the USA's standing in the world? Insert laugh track here. I could explain the Bush foreign policy in a couple of sentences. I can't begin to understand lead from behind/Arab Spring/return to 1967/ launch Tomahawks when we don't know what else to do Obama administration policies. Can anyone explain the logic of the smartest man in the world as his actions pertain to the Middle East?

Assad is no saint but I will take him over the Syrian rebels. I would rather have sarin in Assad's hands than in the clutches of Hezbollah. We have a powder keg on our hands and unfortunately we handed the matches to the walking refutation of the Peter Principle. Is anyone optimistic?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Please Don't Feed the Homeless or You'll Go to Jail

Love Wins Ministries won, at least for now. The Raleigh, North Carolina Christian organization has been feeding the homeless for the past six years on the sidewalk outside a city park. To use the park for such an event would cost the group $800 per day. Last Saturday they were told they could not pass out their coffee and sausage on biscuit sandwiches.
"An officer said, quite bluntly, that if we attempted to distribute food, we would be arrested,” the Rev. Hugh Hollowell wrote on the group’s website. “We asked the officers for permission to disperse the biscuits to the over 70 people who had lined up, waiting to eat. They said no. I had to face those who were waiting and tell them that I could not feed them, or I would be arrested.”
While the group said it was aware they could not use the park itself, they had set up on the sidewalk for the past six years without issue, their website said.
“No representative from the Raleigh Police Department was willing to tell us which ordinance we were breaking, or why, after six years and countless friendly and cooperative encounters with the Department, they are now preventing us from feeding hungry people,” Hollowell wrote.
The Rev Hollowell's blog worked wonders. Even left leaning Think Progress was offended. Sensing she had more than just a messaging problem Mayor Nancy McFarlane said in a statement the police officer was "trying to let everyone know this is the existing ordinance, and this is why it's not really working right now."
"We're going to find a better way," she said, noting the issue would be taken to the public service committee "immediately" to work out a plan "to reach out to those in need."

Nikki Haley Will Run Again

Governor Nikki Haley, one of the Tea Party superstars swept into office in 2010 announced her intention to seek a second term. "I promised I'd bring jobs to South Carolina," Haley said, speaking on the same day her campaign released a web video featuring endorsements by members of her state's business community. "As of today, 37,500 jobs in 45 of 46 counties. That's what we did in South Carolina."
Haley will face the same opponent she beat in 2010. Her approval rating at 43% could be better but South Carolina is not apt to put a Democrat in the governors mansion. She raised $619,000 in the latest campaign contributions filing period and had almost $2.5 million cash on hand as of July 10.

Ran Paul Gives Gift of Sight

Burke, a health-care worker who helps elderly men and women with home care, says she heard about the pro bono cataract surgeries from a friend. For about five years, she had suffered from cataracts. “Here’s the thing: When the sun goes down, or if the sun’s not up yet, this girl can’t drive. I have no vision at all in my right eye,” Burke told me before the surgery. She was tired of all the limitations the cataracts imposed on her: “I’m only 55 years old, come on, it’s not time to give up on this life.”
Today, she is all smiles. “I’ve been so excited I can’t hardly wait,” says Burke, who has a blonde-brown bob hairstyle and wears a plaid shirt. She jokes that she should ask Paul to inscribe a small tattoo under her eyelid that shows he did her surgery so people will know she’s telling the truth. “Nobody else will ever believe that Rand Paul, the senator of Kentucky, did my cataract surgery,” Burke predicts. “The girls at work are going to say ‘No, no, no,’ and I’m going to say ‘Oh, yes.’”

I wonder how much pro bono work Chris Christie does. There may be historical parallels to Rand Paul's good work in the senate but I'm not aware of any. Notice that the patient is not only happy about her surgery, she is proud and honored that a sitting senator performed it but that's what Hobbits do.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

As Bad As The Economy Is, There Is Hope If...

We remove the impediments and disincentives from domestic oil production.

Yes, the J. R. Ewings will prosper. So too, will rural America and men who sweat when they work and prefer Silverados to Volts (go figure.)  Red states might fare better than blue states--but that too, could change--and the unwashed bitter clinger types might prosper. Giant sigh.

As good as domestic fossil fuel production could be for the producers, it could also re-establish USA as the manufacturing king of Planet Earth. Energy costs would be cheaper here than say, China or India or Japan. There would be a boom in things like drills and trucks and containers and all things associated with production.

 If pipelines were constructed the components would be made in the good old USA. So too, would train cars and big diesel trucks.

And let us not forget the myriad of products made from petroleum. Plastic, nylon and other materials could be created here cheaper than it would cost ANY country that had to import its oil.

The ripple effect of cheap, abundant energy is mind-boggling. America could have a renaissance like nothing the world has witnessed. Let us hope for change.

Thugocracy In Action: Democratic AG Sues Donald Trump For $40 Million

From USA Today:
New York's attorney general sued Donald Trump for $40 million Saturday, saying the real estate mogul helped run a phony "Trump University" that promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and mostly useless seminars, and even failed to deliver promised apprenticeships.
Trump shot back that the Democrat's lawsuit is false and politically motivated.

Remember Wayne Allyn Root's back to back audits? Remember the DOJ threatening Romney donors? Remember the choreographed IRS attack on Tea Party/Conservative/Patriot organizations? The thuggery continues, and the new target is Donald Trump.

If every student who got bilked by an institution of higher learning sued his alma mater, it would bankrupt academe. I know a Millenial woman who racked up a $120k tab at a prestigious musical institution. She genuinely believed that she would earn a high wage job in a glamorous industry. She never earned a dime from her education and later went back to school to become a nurse.

Like most Millenials, my friend sees herself as a victim. There are millions of sadder but wiser (slightly wiser) graduates out there but the revered institutions of higher learning are not being sued en masse. That is because said institutions were not founded by critics of the Obama Administration.

If the Attorney General of New York was genuinely concerned with the pipe dreams sold by higher education, he would have sued on behalf of the NYU grad I supervised last decade who was working for $10/hr, the same wage she would have earned with her high school diploma. The AG would file a class action suit for all graduates of CCNY, even if the student went for free. Every New York college or university would be the subject and object of litigation, bar none.

We have never seen an administration so abusive of power. There are no close seconds. Sadly, thugocracy is the new norm.

Anthony Weiner , "Pathetic Dork", "Jabbering Cartoon Weasel"

Pathetic dork! That's Camille Paglia's assessment of Anthony Weiner. I assume everyone has read Paglia's not too kind evaluation of Hillary but you owe to yourself to read Salon's entire email interview. On Weiner:
Two words: pathetic dork. How sickeningly debased our politics have become that this jabbering cartoon weasel could be taken seriously for a second as a candidate for mayor of New York. But beyond that, I have been amazed by the almost total absence of psychological critique in news analyses of the silly Weiner saga. For heaven’s sake, Weiner is no randy stud with a sophisticated sex life that we need to respect. The compulsion to exhibit and boast about one’s penis is embarrassingly infantile — the obvious residue of some squalid family psychodrama in childhood that is now being replayed in public.
I assumed at first that Huma Abedin stayed married to Weiner out of noble concern for her unborn child, who deserved a father. But her subsequent behavior as Weiner’s defender and enabler has made me lose respect for her. The Weiners should be permanently bundled off to the luxe Elba of Oscar de la Renta’s villa in the Dominican Republic. I’m sure that Hillary (Huma’s capo) can arrange that.

Sunday Hymn: I'll Fly Away

The most soothing voice in country music history.

Obama Clown Will Appear at Texas Rodeo

He's back!

You just can't keep a good man down! Maybe this time he'll get the respect he deserves. I can't wait until MSNBC finds out. From the Dallas Observer blog;
Come see what is causing all the ruckus as the Mesquite Rodeo 2013 season closer gets visit from a "special guest president"
You've heard about the controversy surrounding the Obama clown in Missouri. This weekend, an Obama clown is a special guest star as the Mesquite Rodeo puts on the grand finale to its 2013 season with non-stop rodeo action you will only find in the aptly named "Rodeo Capital of Texas." Though he promises to remove his hat for the prayer, people are wondering: How will an Obama clown be received in the Lone Star State?