Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Obama Democrats: by the numbers

$34,000: the amount of federal taxes that Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner (D) failed to pay during his employment at the International Monetary Fund despite receiving extra compensation and explanatory brochures that described his tax liabilities.

$75,000: the amount of money that the head of the powerful tax-writing committee, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), was forced to report on his taxes after the discovery that he had not reported income from a Costa Rican rental property. His excuses for the failure started with blaming his wife, then his accountant and finally the fact that he didn't speak Spanish.

$93,000: the amount of petty cash each Congressional representative voted to give themselves in January 2009 during the height of an economic meltdown.

$133,900: the amount Fannie Mae "invested" in Chris Dodd (D-CT), head of the powerful Senate Banking Committee, presumably to repel oversight of the GSE prior to its meltdown. Said meltdown helped touch off the current economic crisis. In only a few years time, Fannie also "invested" over $105,000 in then-Senator Barack Obama.

$140,000: the amount of back taxes and interest that Cabinet nominee Tom Daschle (D) was forced to cough up after the vetting process revealed significant, unexplained tax liabilities.

$356,000: the approximate amount of income and deductions that Daschle (D) was forced to report on his amended 2005 and 2007 tax returns after being caught cheating on his taxes. This includes $255,256 for the use of a car service, $83,333 in unreported income, and $14,963 in charitable contributions.

$800,000: the amount of "sweetheart" mortgages Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) received from Countrywide Financial, the details for which he has refused to release details despite months of promises to do so. Countrywide was once the nation's largest mortgage lender and linked to Government-Sponsored Entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Their meltdown precipitated the current financial crisis. Just days ago in Pennsylvania, Countrywide was forced to pay $150,000,000 in mortgage assistance following "a state investigation that concluded that Countrywide relaxed its underwriting standards to sell risky loans to consumers who did not understand them and could not afford them."

$1,000,000: the estimated amount of donations by Denise Rich, wife of fugitive Marc Rich, to Democrat interests and the William J. Clinton Foundation in an apparent quid pro quo deal that resulted in a pardon for Mr. Rich. The pardon was reviewed and blessed by Obama Attorney General and then Deputy AG Eric Holder, despite numerous requests by government officials to turn it down.

$12,000,000: the amount of TARP money provided to community bank OneUnited despite the fact that it did not qualify for funds, and was "under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses." It turns out that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), a key contributor to the Fannie Mae meltdown, just happens to be married to one of the bank's ex-directors.

$23,500,000: The upper range of net worth Rep. Allan Mollohan (D-WV) accumulated in four years time according to The Washington Post through earmarks of "tens of millions of dollars to groups associated with his own business partners."

$2,000,000,000: ($2 billion) the approximate amount of money that House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) is earmarking related to his son's lobbying efforts. Craig Obey is "a top lobbyist for the nonprofit group" that would receive a roughly $2 billion component of the "Stimulus" package.

$3,700,000,000: ($3.7 billion) not to be outdone, this is the estimated value of various defense contracts awarded to a company controlled by the husband of Rep. Diane Feinstein (D-CA). Despite an obvious conflict-of-interest as "a member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, Sen. Feinstein voted for appropriations worth billions to her husband's firms ."

$4,190,000,000: ($4.19 billion) the amount of money in the so-called "Stimulus" package devoted to fraudulent voter registration ACORN group under the auspices of "Community Stabilization Activities". ACORN is currently the subject of a RICO suit in Ohio.

$1,646,000,000,000 ($1.646 trillion): the approximate amount of annual United States exports endangered by the "Stimulus" package, which provides a "Buy American" stricture. According to international trade experts, a "US-EU trade war looms", which could result in a worldwide economic depression reminiscent of that touched off by the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Act.

It's not just a culture of corruption. It's a culture of corruption and stupidity. And, unlike Republicans, Democrats appear to be above the law. All of the aforementioned clowns are still in office, ruling like the royalty they've become.

Update: Neptunus Lex has details on serial tax cheats mistake-makers Geithner and Daschle.

Linked by: Gateway Pundit, Fausta, Sharp Right Turn, Clark County Politics and Hill Street Blog. Thanks!

RED ALERT: A trillion in pork, but Pentagon must cut 11%!


BUMPED AND UPDATED 01/31/09 04:38PM: SEE RUNNING UPDATES BELOW. MEDIA BLACKOUT: still not a peep out of the mainstream media (other than Fox News).

BREAKING 01/30/09 7:41PM ET
: Fox News Television reports that Barack Obama has issued a demand that the Pentagon reduce its budget by more than 10%
. The dollar figure is $55 billion.

President Obama wants to spend a trillion dollars on welfare, condoms, international STD prevention, 600,000 new government jobs and handouts for illegal immigrants... but negative funding for the very mission his Presidential Oath required.

Americans will die, needlessly, if this man gets his way.

Overreach? He's already pulled his arm out of its socket.

Here are the phone numbers for every U.S. Senator. Call now and demand -- with as much polite-itude as you can muster -- that they speak out against both the Porkulus package and this outrageous attempt to weaken America.

Update: Connie B. noted that the requested budget cut is just "a start"!

Update II: First mainstream media outlet to report appears to be InsideDefense (subscription) (hat tip: Ace): "'Substantial' Cut to FY-10 Budget Plan; Pentagon to Appeal"

Update III: Tommy emails: "We're all dead men walking."

Update IV: Iran. Nukes. Operation Starfish.

Update V: Via Reuters, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) says that long-range U.S. antiballistic missile system should be scaled down as part of a belt-tightening.

Update VI: Inside Defense: "[T]he Obama administration has directed Pentagon officials to pare back its original FY-10 topline proposal."

Update VII: Fox News headline (1/30/09 23:30): "Defense Official: Obama Calling for Defense Budget Cuts":

The Obama administration has asked the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff to cut the Pentagon's budget request for the fiscal year 2010 by more than 10 percent -- about $55 billion -- a senior U.S. defense official tells FOX News.

Last year's defense budget was $512 billion. Service chiefs and planners will be spending the weekend "burning the midnight oil" looking at ways to cut the budget -- looking especially at weapons programs, the defense official said.

Some overall budget figures are expected to be announced Monday.

Obama met Friday at the White House with a small group of military advisers, including Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman, and Gen. Jim Jones, National Security Council chairman.

Update VIII: Let's do the math. The Porkulus package includes:


• $83 billion in welfare payments (the earned income credit for people who don't pay income tax)
• $81 billion for Medicaid
• $66 billion on "education", more than the entire Department of Education required just ten years ago
• $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits
• $20 billion for food stamps
• $8 billion on "renewable energy" projects, which have a low or negative return
• $7 billion for "modernizing federal buildings and facilities"
• $6 billion on urban transit systems, dominated by unions and which, almost universally, lose money
• $2.4 billion for "carbon-capture demonstration projects"
• $2 billion for child-care subsidies
• $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that's run in the red for 40 years
• $650 million for "digital TV conversion coupons" (on top of billions already spent)
• $600 million on new cars for government (added to the $3 billion already spent each year)
• $400 million for "global-warming research"
• $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts


Update IX: Cold Fury, Environmental Republican, Gateway Pundit, Hot Air, Jawa, Jerome Corsi at WND, Just Barking Mad, SondraK, STACLU, TAB, Tammy Bruce, Texas Scribbler, One Big Dog, American Elephant ("Obama Slashes Defense to Pay-Off Unions and ACORN"), Riggword ("How 'bout stimulating the military?"), Blackshards, United Conservatives and Wizbang have updates.

Update X: As of 10:02AM, no mainstream media outlets -- other than Fox News -- are reporting on this debacle. Although the wheezing New York Times ("Obama Cultivates Military") and the Philadelphia Inquirer ("Army announces rise in suicide rates for 2008") found time to report on more important issues this morning.

Update XI: As of 10:26AM, an AP (via Yahoo News) headline reads "Under Obama, `war on terror' catchphrase fading."


Google malware detection FAIL

Starting at about 9:45 AM ET today, Google's search engine results began asserting that every site on the web was malicious (appending "this site may harm your computer" to every result).

This is still occurring as of 9:54 AM.

Update: Repaired as of 10:26 AM ET.

Larwyn's Link Kerplosion: "Billions on welfare, not a cent for defense"

200 Top Economists: "Stimulus" Won't Work: Gateway Pundit
Teetering on Complete Collapse: Organized Exploitation
Aboard Air Force One: The Anchoress

My bi-bartisan stimulus: WSJ (Rush Limbaugh)
New anti-Limbaugh attack ad to air: Radio Equalizer
Olbermann bloviates his way to ratings oblivion: Age of Pericles

Nationalized Health Care arrives via "Stimulus" Porkfest: Hot Air
Britain awakens: Ace o' Spades
Change! Obama sends $20 Million to Hamas: JWF

Voter Identification Laws Were a Success in November: WSJ
Geithner as good as his job as he is at taxes: Hot Air
Surprise! Daschle a tax cheat: JWF

EU: "We are on the road to serious social instability": London Times
It takes a proverb to run a village: Iowahawk
1.3 million crippled by strange, translucent global warming: Yahoo!

Krauthammer Drives over Obama's Inane Arguments, Then Backs Truck Up And Does It Again: Krauthammer
I'm starting to feel the love in DC: DPGI
Obama doesn't post bill before signing into law, as promised: Computerworld

Former USS Cole commander slams Obama on Guantanamo: McClatchy DC:

The former commander of the USS Cole, the American war ship that was struck by a suicide boat in Yemeni waters more than eight years ago, on Thursday slammed President Barack Obama's orders to close the Guantanamo detention center and reassess the prisoners being held there.

''We shouldn't make policy decisions based on human rights and legal advocacy groups,'' retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kurt Lippold said in a telephone interview. "We should consider what is best for the American people, which is not to jeopardize those who are fighting the war on terror — or even more adversely impact the families who have already suffered loses as a result of the war."

Lippold was responding to the decision by a U.S. military judge in Guantanamo to reject a request by Pentagon lawyers to delay next week's scheduled arraignment of Abd el Rahim al Nashiri, a Saudi Arabian who's charged with helping orchestrate the October 2000 suicide bombing of the Cole. The bombing killed 17 U.S. sailors.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Ad: Microsoft pulls out all the stops

With its stock price suffering, Microsoft isn't pulling its punches any longer. Check out the new ad campaign:

Okay, calm down: it's a satire.

This courtesy of Matt Asay, who does a great job as a blogger at CNet.

Larwyn's Link Kerplosion: Barack XVI

Barack XVI: Don Surber
The Worst Is Yet To Come: Forbes (Nouriel Roubini)
Democrats start a trade war with the EU: Prairie Pundit

Hillary Clinton constitutionally ineligible to serve at State: JudicialWatch
What happened to our last big "infrastructure" bill?: Instapundit
You've got hate mail!: Malkin

White House staff holds daily secret calls with media: NewsBusters
Visions of Glory: Pajamas Media
Only 42% support Democrat Porkulus plan: Prairie Pundit

Do you now, or have you ever, listened to Rush Limbaugh?: Instapundit
Iraq war vet declares war on Hollywood: Big Hollywood
The ultimate guide to sports statistics sites: Webware

Fannie Mae IT contractor indicted in malware case: CNet News
Obama attacks greedy Wall Street types while accompanied by noted tax cheat: Ace o' Spades
Distortions of Language: Dinocrat

Blago: Rahm Emanuel a 'Co-conspirator': American Thinker (Bill Tate)
Useless nuclear watchdog: Obama offers hope of 'saner' world: Jammie Wearing Fool
Google's new lab to detect net neutrality violations: GoogleBlog

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Finally: a practical plan for the Gitmo terrorists

This Obama guy was deadly serious about change!

Doolittle's Raiders: seldom seen photos

Papa B sent this one in.

Doolittle's Raid, 18 April 1942, was the first air raid by the United States to strike a Japanese home island (Honshū) during World War II. It demonstrated that Japan itself was vulnerable to Allied air attack and provided an expedient means for U.S. retaliation for Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December, 1941. The raid was planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle. Doolittle would later recount in his autobiography that the raid was intended to cause the Japanese to doubt their leadership and to raise American morale:

The Japanese had been told they were invulnerable. An attack on the Japanese homeland would cause confusion in the minds of the Japanese people and sow doubt about the reliability of their leaders... There was a second, equally important, psychological reason for this attack...Americans badly needed a morale boost.

16 B-25B Mitchell bombers were launched from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet deep within enemy waters. The plan called for them to hit military targets in Japan, and land in China. All 16 aircraft were lost and 11 crewmen were either killed or captured. The crews of 14 aircraft, including one interned in the Soviet Union for more than a year, returned safely to the United States.

18 Apr 1942

2010 Chevrolet Camaro spotted down under

EGM Car Tech has the scoop.

It reportedly drew crowds whenever it appeared in public, which is certainly an encouraging sign.

Taxpayers should demand a "Rangel Rule" exception

Writing at The Corner, Ramesh Ponnuru describes an exciting new proposal from Rep. John Carter (R-TX).

All U.S. taxpayers would enjoy the same immunity from IRS penalties and interest as House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Obama Administration Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, if a bill introduced today by Congressman John Carter (R-TX) becomes law.

Carter, a former longtime Texas judge, today introduced the Rangel Rule Act of 2009, HR 735, which would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from charging penalties and interest on back taxes against U.S. citizens. Under the proposed law, any taxpayer who wrote “Rangel Rule” on their return when paying back taxes would be immune from penalties and interest.

If I write "Dodd Rule" on my refinancing documents, I wonder if I could get a loan that's fifty basis points lower than market?

Update: Parkway Rest Stop suggests a "Pelosi Rule"!

"Stimulus" package will send government checks to Illegal Aliens

The Associated Press reports that the Porkulus bill may stimulate one thing and one thing alone: illegal immigration:

The $800 billion-plus economic stimulus measure making its way through Congress could steer government checks to illegal immigrants, a top Republican congressional official asserted Thursday.

The legislation, which would send tax credits of $500 per worker and $1,000 per couple, expressly disqualifies nonresident aliens, but it would allow people who don't have Social Security numbers to be eligible for the checks.

Undocumented immigrants who are not eligible for a Social Security number can file tax returns with an alternative number. A House-passed version of the economic recovery bill and one making its way through the Senate would allow anyone with such a number, called an individual taxpayer identification number, to qualify for the tax credits.

A revolt among GOP conservatives to similar provisions of a 2008 economic stimulus bill, which sent rebate checks to most wage earners, forced Democratic congressional leaders to add stricter eligibility requirements. That legislation, enacted in February 2008, required that people have valid Social Security numbers in order to get checks...

This pork package -- the SS Titanic of Stimulus Packages -- is like an onion. Peel a layer and start crying anew. It's a slap in the face for every American taxpayer.

Update: Gateway Pundit reports that the vote-fraud consortium known as ACORN remains a huge recipient of the wealth redistribution program.

Kurtis the Stockboy and Brenda the Checkout Girl

Amy sent this one in.

Here's the Story: In a supermarket, Kurtis the stock boy, was busily working when a new voice came over asking for a carry out at check register 4. Kurtis was almost finished, and wanted to get some fresh air, and decided to answer the call. As he approached the check-out stand a distant smile caught his eye, the new check out girl was beautiful. She was an older woman (maybe 26, and he was only 22) and he fell in love.

Later that day, after his shift was over, he waited by the punch clock to find out her name. She came into the break room, smiled softly at him, took her card and punched out, then left. He looked at her card, BRENDA. He walked out only to see her start walking up the road.

Next day, he waited outside as she left the supermarket, and offered her a ride home. He looked harmless enough, and she accepted. When he dropped her off, he asked if maybe he could see her again, outside of work. She simply said it wasn't possible. He pressed and and she explained she had two children and she couldn't afford a baby-sitter, so he offered to pay for the baby-sitter. Reluctantly she accepted his offer for a date for the following Saturday.

That Saturday night he arrived at her door only to have her tell him that she was unable to go with him. The baby-sitter had called and canceled. To which Kurtis simply said, "Well, lets take the kids with us." She tried to explain that taking the children was not an option, but again not taking no for an answer, he pressed. Finally Brenda, brought him inside to meet her children. She had a older daughter who was just as cute as a bug, Kurtis thought, then Brenda brought out her son, in a wheelchair.

He was born a paraplegic with down syndrome. Kurtis asked Brenda, "I still don't understand why the kids can't come with us?" Brenda was amazed. Most men would run away from a woman with two kids, especially if one had disabilities. Just like her first husband and father of her children did.

That evening Kurtis and Brenda loaded up the kids, went to dinner and the movies. When her son needed anything Kurtis would take care of him. When he needed to use the rest room, he picked him up out of his chair, took him, brought him back. The kids loved Kurtis. At the end of the evening, Brenda knew this was the man she was going to marry and spend the rest of her life with. A year later, they were married and Kurtis adopted both of her children . Since then they have added two more kids.

So what happened to the stock boy and check out girl? Well, Mr. & Mrs. Kurt Warner, now live in St. Louis, where he is employed by the St. Louis Rams and plays quarterback.

Touching story.

And what's crazy is that the real scoop, at least according to Snopes, is even more surprising.

Larwyn's Link Kerplosion: Let's call it 'greenboarding'!

The Democratic Porkfest Bill of 2009: Hot Air
The stimulus is a fiscal straitjacket: Financial Times
Obama and Adviser "B": QandO

House Democrats' top 100 broken promises: GOP leader
The day America lost the War on Terror: Townhall
The 'Rangel Rule': National Review

GOP holds the line. It's a Dem Crap Sandwich: Malkin
A 40-year Wish List: WSJ
A useless exercise in government economic intervention: Strata-Sphere

Ohio charity threatens lawsuit over exposé: Pajamas Media
Mossad foils Hizbullah attack in Europe: JPost
Nothing's changed: a cartoon from 1956: Elder of Ziyon

Giving Russia no respect: QandO
What if Mexico collapses?: Hot Air
Congratulations, kids: you each now owe the government $50K!: Macsmind

A disgrace: Phil Gingrey: Organized Exploitation
Death Spiral: NY Times earnings plunge 48% in Q4: Jammie Wearing Fool
Searchable text version of Senate Generational Theft Act; House Dems’ package tops $1.1 trillion: Malkin

Pathetic 'Message': Obama's odd Islamic outreach: New York Post (Amir Taheri)

THE truth is that the Middle East is not much better off than at any time since its emergence as a geopolitical unit after World War I. Thanks to the transformation of America from a power guaranteeing the deadly status quo into one that supports reform and change, the region has started to experience new currents of democratization.

Afghanistan and Iraq have been liberated, their peoples given a chance to build new systems of their own choice. The Syrians have been kicked out of Lebanon. Libya has been disarmed. Egypt has been forced to allow multiparty presidential elections. More than a dozen Arab states have adopted constitutions and introduced some form of electoral politics. Kuwaiti women have won the right to vote and get elected.

Iran's democratic forces are encouraged to launch their campaign against the mullahs. The Islamists have been roundly defeated in Algeria, Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

For the first time, the question of democracy is top of the political agenda in virtually every Muslim state...

Dennis Miller: Waterboarding needs a marketing makeover: let's face it, the water cuts down on CO2 with fewer terrorist exhales... let's call it greenboarding.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Mercedes Gullwing has some surprising features

AutoExpress has the rundown on a new Mercedes Gullwing that just happens to be a 40mpg hybrid: it's reported to be the new SLK flagship and could outstrip the SL itself.

[the] SLK variant will use battery packs located in its side sills. Because the sills need to be high to accommodate the packs, designers hit on the idea of turning a potential flaw into a virtue, combining them with the roof-mounted doors to create a baby brother to the SLC.

It’s likely the range-topping SLK will use the same advanced lithium-ion battery technology as the Blue Zero E-Cell concept which debuted at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this month. It has batteries that drive an electric motor, and the model can run for around 120 miles before needing to be recharged.

In the SLK, this combination will be teamed with a petrol engine, possibly a development of the 3.5-litre V6 used in the current car. With a brake-energy regeneration system – like the KERS set-up on this season’s Formula One cars – plus stop-start, the SLK Gullwing would be extremely efficient, with fuel economy of around 40mpg and CO2 emissions of 150g/km.

Performance will be superb, too. Combined with the V6 engine, the petrol-electric set-up would have as much torque as a regular V8. And with the electric motor assisting the engine under full throttle and up hills, owners could expect awesome acceleration, with 0-60mph in five seconds and a top speed of 155mph. Fine-tuning of the performance and handling is likely to be carried out by Mercedes’ AMG division.

Word is that it won't be ready until 2011. AutoExpress has all of the details.

Hat tip: AutoSpies.

Bell & Ross' 2008 Press Wrap-up

Watchmaker Bell & Ross -- no relation, unfortunately -- published its 2008 press roundup.

Click the image or here to check it out.

The SS Titanic of Stimulus Packages

The inventory of items in the Obama stimulus package is truly shocking.

The 647-page, $825 billion list of boondoggles is a blistering slap in the face to the American taxpayer.

The Wall Street Journal called it four decades of pent-up Democratic demands and concludes, "[w]e've looked it over, and even we can't quite believe it."

The litany of lunacy includes the following gems:

• $83 billion in welfare payments (the earned income credit for people who don't pay income tax)
• $81 billion for Medicaid
• $66 billion on "education", more than the entire Department of Education required just ten years ago
• $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits
• $20 billion for food stamps
• $8 billion on "renewable energy" projects, which have a low or negative return
• $7 billion for "modernizing federal buildings and facilities"
• $6 billion on urban transit systems, dominated by unions and which, almost universally, lose money
• $2.4 billion for "carbon-capture demonstration projects"
• $2 billion for child-care subsidies
• $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that's run in the red for 40 years
• $650 million for "digital TV conversion coupons" (on top of billions already spent)
• $600 million on new cars for government (added to the $3 billion already spent each year)
• $400 million for "global-warming research"
• $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts

The Journal notes that "only $90 billion out of [the] $825 billion, or about 12 cents over every $1, is for something that can... be considered a growth stimulus."

Quid pro quo tributes are paid throughout the document to various unions. On page 257, for exmple, it states that "No recipient . . . shall use such funds to provide financial assistance to students to attend private elementary or secondary schools." Put simply: no non-union teachers need apply.

This list is many things (a pile of manure strikes us as one possible description), but "stimulus" ain't one of them.

Some of these social programs will, like the ill-fated Social Security and Medicare debacles, will be impossible to remove until its too late.

Congressional Republicans suggested two simple tax cuts for the lowest brackets: cut the 10% bracket to 5%. Cut the 15% bracket to 10%. They were turned down.

Obama calls the package a "jolt to the economy." That's one of the few statements he's made with which I completely agree.

Democrats own this cluster****: lock, stock and barrel.

Related: Thomas Sowell asks "What are they buying?"
Hat tips: Brutally Honest and Larwyn.

He's the President. He has a Presidential Seal. So why would he continue to use the Obama logo?

This frickin' thing is like a bad penny.

It keeps turning up in the strangest places.

Barack Obama is the President. He has a Presidential Seal. Why would he still need the inspiration for the new Pepsi logo?

Why would he need his own youth group? A group named for him, not his political party.

A group operating outside the auspices of the U.S. Government, but with its implicit approval.


To satisfy someone's ego?

To build a cult of personality?


Perhaps before the New York Times closes its doors for the last time, they could devote a couple of hours of investigative journalism to discover the motivation behind the continued use of this odd symbology.

Larwyn's Link Kerplosion: Spending like drunken liberals

Succinct: Paul Krugman is a lying a****le: Ace o' Spades
The Great Unifier attacks Rush: EIB
Fools Rush In: Jules Crittenden

Ob Ed: Soccer Dad
Stand Tall: Don Surber
Drunken Liberal Spending Bill: Gateway Pundit

200 economists call Obama a liar in full-page ads: Cato
Ya'alon: No more retreats: Arutz Sheva
Change: two more Putin critics take bullets to their heads: WaPo

Egyptian TV cleric prays for another Holocaust: LGF
Israel tells UN to shove it's war crime accusations: STACLU
The complete guide to UNRWA: Elder of Ziyon

Does Foreign Aid Fuel Palestinian Violence?: Middle East Quarterly
Ten things Hollywood can do to save the planet: Big Hollywood
Crash Course Chapter 15: Bubbles: Chris Martenson

Fun with Timothy Geithner: OTB
Obama nominee: Taxpayer-funded abortion is a free speech right: Michelle Malkin
Obama already pushing to ban 'assault' weapons: ECR

Faked Antarctic data another "honest mistake"?: Flopping Aces
The Ten: GM's Place
Obama's first week: 153 dead; media silent: Flopping Aces

Iran close to nuclear weapon; US looking forward to discussing it with them: Ace o' Spades
Low-level employee rips off Oak Ridge: American Thinker (Thomas Lifson)
Thrift store has good deal on MP3 player , US secrets: Prairie Pundit

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obama rips Limbaugh, extends hand of friendship to Iran's genocidal mullahs

We are in deep, deep trouble. What other reaction might a citizen have when informed that President Obama's criticism of Rush Limbaugh is more severe than his words for Iran's genocidal Mullahs.

I've culled several interesting tidbits from the full transcript of President Obama's interview with Al Arabiya. Interestingly, the White House did not deign to reprint the entire transcript, choosing just a few paragraphs. My comments are italicized.

Q: You’ve been saying essentially that we should not look at these issues — like the Palestinian-Israeli track and separation from the border region — you’ve been talking about a kind of holistic approach to the region. Are we expecting a different paradigm in the sense that in the past one of the critiques — at least from the Arab side, the Muslim side — is that everything the Americans always tested with the Israelis, if it works. Now there is an Arab peace plan, there is a regional aspect to it. And you’ve indicated that. Would there be any shift, a paradigm shift?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, here’s what I think is important. Look at the proposal that was put forth by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia... I might not agree with every aspect of the proposal, but it took great courage... to put forward something that is as significant as that. I think that there are ideas across the region of how we might pursue peace.

The Saudi intiative offers Israel Arab recognition in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from territory it occupied in the 1967 war, including the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and a "just solution for the problem of Palestinian refugees." Consider that for every one acre of land Israel has, Arab nations have 510, begging the question: why do the Muslims even want this miniscule bit of desert?

THE PRESIDENT: ...we are looking at the region as a whole and communicating a message to the Arab world and the Muslim world, that we are ready to initiate a new partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interest, then I think that we can make significant progress... Now, Israel is a strong ally of the United States. They will not stop being a strong ally of the United States. And I will continue to believe that Israel’s security is paramount. But I also believe that there are Israelis who recognize that it is important to achieve peace. They will be willing to make sacrifices if the time is appropriate and if there is serious partnership on the other side.

Six decades of war just to survive isn't, apparently, enough of a sacrifice. Is there a word that means "naive", only multiplied by a million?

THE PRESIDENT: I think it is possible for us to see a Palestinian state — I’m not going to put a time frame on it — that is contiguous, that allows freedom of movement for its people, that allows for trade with other countries, that allows the creation of businesses and commerce so that people have a better life...

Which would mean opening Israel's tiny sliver of land to another wave of suicidal terrorists. Brilliant! Why didn't anyone think of that before?

THE PRESIDENT: Now, my job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries.

Countries? We knew about Indonesia, but do tell.

Q: Tell me, time is running out, any decision on from where you will be visiting the Muslim world?

THE PRESIDENT: ...We’re going to follow through on our commitment for me to address the Muslim world from a Muslim capital. We are going to follow through on many of my commitments to do a more effective job of reaching out, listening, as well as speaking to the Muslim world.

And you’re going to see me following through with dealing with a drawdown of troops in Iraq, so that Iraqis can start taking more responsibility. And finally, I think you’ve already seen a commitment, in terms of closing Guantanamo, and making clear that even as we are decisive in going after terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians, that we’re going to do so on our terms, and we’re going to do so respecting the rule of law that I think makes America great.

What Obama describes is a return to lawfare -- the treatment of terrorist acts of war as law enforcement issues. It's almost as if 9/11 never happened. At least for Democrats, that is.

Q: President Bush framed the war on terror conceptually in a way that was very broad, “war on terror,” and used sometimes certain terminology that the many people — Islamic fascism. You’ve always framed it in a different way, specifically against one group called al Qaeda and their collaborators. And is this one way of –

THE PRESIDENT: I think that you’re making a very important point. And that is that the language we use matters. And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations — whether Muslim or any other faith in the past — that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith’s name.

He has a point. Whether it's nuns quietly passing SBDs in church, or Jewish dentists performing dental surgery with insufficent anasthesia, or even militant Quakers engaging in random cow-tipping, religious extremism in any form is completely unacceptable.

And so you will I think see our administration be very clear in distinguishing between organizations like al Qaeda — that espouse violence, espouse terror and act on it — and people who may disagree with my administration and certain actions, or may have a particular viewpoint in terms of how their countries should develop. We can have legitimate disagreements but still be respectful. I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down.

Because only those carrying laminated Al Qaeda Life Member cards can be targeted. We know that Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda-in-Iraq, Ansar al-Islam, Islamic Jihad, Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiyah, Fatah and Darul Islam have nothing to do with one another and can only be targeted with a complete police investigation after a crime has been committed.

Q: Will the United States ever live with a nuclear Iran? And if not, how far are you going in the direction of preventing it?

THE PRESIDENT: You know, I said during the campaign that it is very important for us to make sure that we are using all the tools of U.S. power, including diplomacy, in our relationship with Iran... Now, the Iranian people are a great people, and Persian civilization is a great civilization. Iran has acted in ways that’s not conducive to peace and prosperity in the region: their threats against Israel; their pursuit of a nuclear weapon which could potentially set off an arms race in the region that would make everybody less safe; their support of terrorist organizations in the past — none of these things have been helpful.

But I do think that it is important for us to be willing to talk to Iran, to express very clearly where our differences are, but where there are potential avenues for progress. And we will over the next several months be laying out our general framework and approach. And as I said during my inauguration speech, if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us...

Diplomacy... not conducive to peace... pursuing nukes... setting off an arms race... supporting terrorists... all of that is "not helpful". So let's extend a hand.

Correction: is there a word that means "naive", only multiplied by ten trillion? Oh. Yeah. "Jimmy Carter".

We are in deep, deep, deep manure.

Update: Dan Riehl's reaction.

Hat tips: Gateway Pundit and Bob McCarty. Linked by: McClatchyWatch. Thanks!