Site for Free Markets and Free People

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Marines in Haditha

Most people have now heard of the Marine incident in Haditha. If you haven't stay tuned: it will be on the news for the next six months if the allegations are true. Power Line has more.

I expect John Kerry to come out and agree with John Murtha that the whole military is guilty of "pillaging villages in a manner reminiscent of Genghis Khan." The day of joy for the MSM seems to be coming soon...they can hardly wait. The U.S. is evil. George Bush is evil. You're evil. I'm evil. Shame on all of us.

Virginia Tax Rebellion

Today's WSJ (sub req'd) discusses the good news for Virginians: Republican legislators are starting to act like Republicans again.

Last week a gang of conservative GOP members in the general assembly foiled Democratic Governor Tim Kaine's plan to raise $1.4 billion in car, gasoline and diesel taxes to pay for more roads and mass transit. This was a victory against long odds, because the renegade house members were lined up against the Governor, powerful Republicans in the state senate, elements of the business community and the state's largely pro-tax media.

The funny thing is that media darling and former Dem. Gov. Mark Warner did exactly the same thing as Tim Kaine - was elected on a "no raising taxes" pledge, and changed course to higher taxes almost immediately.

Of course, the moonbats in the legislature offer the standard rhetoric of blaming the "gridlock" on the GOP - note Democrat Janet Howell:

Howell attributed the deadlock to "intransigent House Republicans" who are unwilling to compromise. "House Republicans haven't recognized the crisis we have," she added.

The GOP should be proud of, and draw attention to, the "gridlock." I don't think people would quite consider a $2.5 billion surplus a crisis...Perhaps next election Virginians will realize the Democrats are not as "moderate" as they claim.

Voting/Lottery Together in Arizona

A proposal by Arizona physician Mark Osterloh would require the government of Arizona to pick a random ballot to award a $1 million lottery prize. The proposal will be decided by referendum by a ballot measure this November. More here.

I'm pretty sure this is a terrible idea - and for more reasons than it is a waste of $1 million in taxpayer funds.

Supreme Court Limits Whistleblowers' "Rights"

In Garcetti v. Ceballos, the Supreme Court decided a case which, if decided before Alito joined the bench, probably would have gone the other way. As Scotus blog explains,

Today, the Court took that very signifiant step, holding that "when public employees make statements pursuant to their official duties, the employees are not speaking as citizens for First Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not insulate their communications from employer discipline." This apparently means that employees may be disciplined for their official capacity speech, without any First Amendment scrutiny, and without regard to whether it touches on matters of "public concern" -- a very significant doctrinal development.

What this means is that many government leaks cannot simply hide behind the First Amendment if part of their job is to notify their supervisors of wrongdoing. Another way to look at the case is to review which justices agreed with the majority opinion, written by Kennedy: Scalia, Roberts, Alito, Thomas. You know it was a good decision when the four liberals on the Court (Souter, Breyer, Stevens, Ginsberg) dissented. And it is likely that O'Connor would have joined them were she still voting.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Snow v. Thomas

Reporters better bring their 'A' game when questioning Tony Snow, as Helen Thomas learned today. Snow is funny, personable and very smart. As an example, he corrected Thomas today on the use of the term contemptuous versus contemptible. Read the exchange here.

One Less Tax

Last week signaled an end to the phone tax used to pay for the Spanish-American War in 1898. Hey, it took about 108 years too long to abolish the tax, but better late than never.

EU Would Rather Be Sorry

Ever hear the expression, "Better safe than sorry?" Well the EU has just apparently decided that when it comes to giving out certain information about people trying to enter the US, that it is better to be sorry (even if their own passengers' safety is at risk).

The EU has decided that they don't want to give out certain information to the US government, such as what food is ordered by each passenger on the flight. Likewise, asking which seat the individual has chosen is taboo. Additionally, the US wanted to store the data for 50 years, while the EU apparently believes that three and a half years is enough. I can think of about 100 reasons why I personally would rather have 50 years of data if I'm studying potential terrorist activity (if I'm an FBI agent). I'm not sure what kind of trends can be extrapolated with a few years of data, or why such a crazy number like 3 1/2 years would even be suggested.

Remember when GW was pooh-poohed by people (mostly three kinds of people - liberals, Europeans, and terrorists) when he said "either you side with us or you side with the terrorists." Does anyone really know which side the EU is on?

Paulson In at Treasury

President Bush nominated Henry Paulson, chairman of Goldman Sachs, as the new Treasury Secretary. Another excellent choice - Paulson should immediately get the confidence of Wall Street and be a better communicator than was Snow. He's also a firm believer in Bush's tax cuts.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Harry Reid Re-enters the "Culture of Corruption"

Harry Reid appears to have done something as unethical as those in the Jack Abramoff circle: accepting free tickets to boxing events in Nevada while he was working on legislation to provide oversight of boxing. Hmmm.

Of course, this isn't the first ethical problem of Harry Reid's. As I mentioned last year, he has no problem with conflicts of interest regarding his family and their employment.

Unfortunately, we already know the outcome: Reid will say he did nothing wrong and no one will ask him to resign (including Republicans) - and this storm, if it ever becomes one, will pass. The appearance of a corrupt Republican always causes resignation, the appearance of a corrupt Democrat usually causes denial.

Happy Memorial Day

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Guardian Writer Threatens LGF

This is interesting. I'll start off by saying it might be a coincidence, but it looks as though part-time Guardian writer, Inayat Bunglawala (I'm not making the name up) sent an email to Little Green Footballs saying: I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut....

There's enough evidence here to even get OJ worried.

Bunglawala has also called Bin Laden a "holy warrior" and has also called the blind sheik Rahman "courageous" one month before he bombed the World Trade Center.

Yep - the Guardian sounds pretty objective. Unfortunately while this guy strums up a lot of hate, he doesn't seem too bright. Hats off to LGF for busting him (assuming it's all true).

Friday, May 26, 2006

Good News in Afghanistan (unless you're taliban)

Sounds like good news to me. Strategy Page has the title: Taliban Offensive Shot to Pieces.

Pretty interesting. It's kind of the opposite of what CNN is reporting.

Al Gore Admits Exagerrations

John Hawkins has an interesting quote from Al Gore. He admits that some exagerration of global warming is needed to get people to take action.

Also, South Park tells us of Gore's advice to beware of the manbearpig.

EU Warns Taliban of "Bloody Nose"

EU envoy to Afghanistan, Francesc Vendrell is trying to show the EU's toughness:

“There is larger Taliban activity than there was a couple of years ago. It is not good news. If the Taliban persists in such attacks they will get a bloody nose."

Let's hope he is using the term "bloody nose" figuratively and not literally.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lay, Skilling Convicted

Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling were convicted of conspiracy and fraud for their leadership of Enron during its collapse. A sorry tale is over.

Sadly, Sarbanes-Oxley, which was produced from the scandal, is still going strong. Too bad that Congress didn't have to take the same pledge as CEOs when and perform audits of the Social Security books. The whole lot would go to jail for that ponzi scheme.

Brian Ross's Dan Rather Moment

Brian Ross of ABC News claimed last night that House Speaker Dennis Hastert is a prime target of the DOJ's investigation into Jack Abramoff. The DOJ said the ABC story is false, but Brian Ross is sticking by the story. Jawa calls it a "Dan Rather moment."

Incidentally, Brian Ross was behind the NBC Dateline report in the early 90s whereby NBC rigged explosive devices in an attempt to argue that pickup truck gas tanks were dangerous. Essentially, the story was made up.

The Senate Debate

Michelle Malkin summarizes the Senate debate on immigration on the floor today. I wouldn't get too emotional over this bill though - the House won't accept many of the provisions anyway.

So I won't post any more on the immigration bill until it enters the House committee.

Al Gore = Hypocrite

He and his guys driving in cars to Cannes film festival - 500 meters away! What's that - a seven minute walk?

His tour to promote his new film is supposedly carbon neutral. Any bets that he jacked up the AC in his hotel the night before?

Gotta practice what you preach Al.

Man "Too Short" for Prison

A convicted sex offender will not go to jail because Judge Kristine Cecava believes he is too small to endure the dangers of a prison lifestyle.

I'm sure that future prisoners will be begging to get Judge Cecava residing over their cases.

Bush's Approval Ratings Based on Iraq Success

Robert Tracinski at Real Clear Politics argues that President Bush's approval ratings have declined precisely because Americans understand that we are going to win in Iraq and the War on Terror, so that Americans can now worry about things like gas prices and illegal immigration.

Iraq is going just badly enough that it can seem like an issue that Bush should be blamed for "mishandling." But it is going just well enough that the American people don't seem to be afraid that we are actually going to lose, either in Iraq or in the War on Terrorism as a whole.

Of course, it's Congress who typically misreads public sentiment and could decide to cut and run at any time, just as they did in Vietnam.

Al Gore's Carbon Footprint

Al Gore is lecturing us lowly peasants about how we must change our use of hyrdocarbons - or else the government will change it for us.

But of course, Gore himself knows better and should not be included in this obligation. The Competitive Enterprise Institute has a video here which makes its point.

Deloitte & Touche Needs Sarbanes Oxley

James Quigley of Deloitte & Touche, one of the world's largest accounting firms, sounds off as to why we need Sarbanes Oxley. Umm, ok.

Sarbanes Oxley is a giant piece of bureaucracy, which basically taxes every American public company, big and small. And the money goes straight into the pockets of accounting firms. Most of us outside the accounting field would call this pork. As a result, a lot of America's youngest start-ups are deciding to go overseas, say to the London Exchange, where they don't have to pay this over-bearing tax. Well, everyone knew this would happen, everyone but Congress.

If Congress continues to do stupid things, they're going to lose a lot of good American companies.

Quigley knows where he can put Sarb-Ox.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

House Uproar Over Jefferson Search Misplaced

House speaker Denny Hastert, as well as Majority Leader John Boehner, expressed their displeasure that the office of one of their fellow congressmen, William Jefferson, was searched last week.

Nevermind that there was a search warrant granted by a judge. Nevermind that Congress can form committees to investigate the President or judicial system whenever they want. But if the DOJ gets a warrant to search a corrupt Congressman's office - that's somehow unconstitutional and outrageous? Give me a break.

McCain Criticizes Limbaugh, Dobbs, Savage

If Sen. McCain hasn't already doomed his chances at a presidential run, he's getting close. At a closed-door talk in New York last week, McCain apparently blamed the illegal immigration problem on Michael Savage, Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh. Savage is an idiot and Dobbs is a Pat Buchanan-type isolationist. But he obviously has never listened to Limbaugh, who is one of the most logical conservative minds in media.

Blaming the problem on Limbaugh and his 20 million listeners is not only incorrect, but will not win McCain many new friends.

Google Bans Criticism of Islamofascism on News Sites

Let the censorship begin...or continue. Google decides what is "hate content" and bans such articles from its news site. It's not very hard to find "Bush hate" content all over the place on Google's news service, but I guess that has become so ubiquitous that it's no longer hate speech. Or maybe it's just what Google hates...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Guantanamo Outrage

The American Thinker expresses my beliefs well about the recent prison revolt at Guantanamo. People should be outraged at prisoner treatment - it's far too lenient.

The interesting thing is that if the prisoner who faked hanging himself actually committed suicide, it would have been the U.S. soldiers who were blamed (or perhaps prosecuted) for his death.

Conservatives, Moderates and Liberals Agree on Immigration

According to Rasmussen, a majority of self-identified conservatives, moderates and liberals all agree with the House's approach to immigration enforcement. John Hawkins has more.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Milberg Weiss Scandal

Professor Bainbridge talks about Walter Olson's op-ed in this morning's WSJ, with other links to the story. In essence, the top class-action law firm in the country seems to have gotten caught up in a kickback scheme. I have to admit, it's pretty amusing seeing the king of lawsuits receive a taste of its own medicine. This could very well be the making of the next Arthur Andersen. In fact, the firm was already fired from its first case as a result of the indictment.

And if that weren't enough, Milberg Weiss has been a major contributor to Democratic politicians, including Hillary Rodham and John Kerry. Hey, if receiving donations from Jack Abramoff clients is tantamount to corruption, then this is potentially corruption times two.

I have to admit, there will be quite a bit of schaudenfraude here. Let's see if the MSM picks up on it.

Saudi Men Board Florida School Bush

Two Saudi men were arrested on Friday for boarding a school bus. Was this an innocent case of cultural misunderstanding or a dry run for something more sinister? They now know that there is absolutely no security on buses should they target school kids.

Of course Bill Clinton now takes the Al Gore approach that global warming is a bigger danger than terrorism.

Make that a school "bus." Sometimes these computer gremlins do strange things to my spelling.

Gibson's Nitwits of the Week Award

John Gibson, host of Fox News' Big Story, rightly gave the Nitwit Award to the BC professors who decided to protest Condi Rice's speech today at the school.

BC professor Steve Almond resigned over the school's decision to give Rice an honorary degree. I'm pretty sure that the school and future BC students will benefit from Almond's decision.

Jefferson's Cold Hard Cash

Forgive the pun, but Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) continues to undercut the Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid charge of "Republicans' culture of corruption" when authorities found nearly $100K in bribery money in Jefferson's freezer at home. They also have him on tape with an FBI informant.

The only question is why Jefferson hasn't been indicted yet. He would have already been hanged if he attended Duke or his last name were DeLay.

Kofi's Solution For Youth Unemployment: Government Control

UN Chief Kofi Annan suggests a way to bring down high youth unemployment, which he seems to believe all countries share equally. The solution? The government needs to do a better job to control the supply of labor and offer job placement.

Labour market policies should be reviewed to better balance flexibility and security that both employers and workers need in a fast changing world. At the same time, strengthened job placement schemes can help ease the entry of first-time job seekers into the workforce.

Another way could be to make it easier for companies to hire and fire workers, as well as reducing the minimum wage for youths. Demand for labor would increase and eventually, high demand will force higher wages through a natural economic system.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Oliver Stone to Make New Chavez Film

Hugo Chavez said Sunday that filmmaker Oliver Stone is planning to make a movie about the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela. No doubt all Stone needs to do is visit Chavez for a 2-hour interview and he will have all the material necessary for his customary flick.

Tax Revenue Up Again

According to the US Treasury, April tax revenue was up 13.5% from last year, showing that the Bush tax cuts are continuing to work as they were designed. According to the WSJ, even the budget deficit will be less than the CBO estimated ($350B vs. the $371B estimate). That's still only 3% of GDP, but just think if Congress could control spending.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Ensign Amendment Fiasco

Ross Kaminski gives a good overview of the failure of the Ensign Amendment in the Senate, 50-49.

The Democrats are in favor of anything that keeps more people addicted to government. In this case, the idea that millions of people would suddenly have claims on Social Security is a dream come true for them, second only to giving illegal aliens both claims on government funds and the right to vote for the politicians who promise to give them more of it.

On a similar note, if this provision becomes law, the future liability of the Social Security system will explode along with estimates of future budget deficits, allowing the Democrats to call the (Republican) Immigration Bill another example of GOP fiscal irresponsibility. And again, who could say they are wrong?

Outrageously, Leaky Leahy says the following about rewarding identity theft with government benefits:

"We should not steal their funds or empty their Social Security accounts," he said. "That is not fair. It does not reward their hard work or their financial contributions. It violates the trust that underlies the Social Security Trust Fund."

Now that the amendment has been defeated, I will no longer have to go to bed with the guilt that I "stole funds" from the Social Security accounts of illegal immigrants who also committed identity theft to get false social security cards. Thank you, senators - I feel much better.

What Happened To Reagan's City on the Hill?

Larry Kudlow asks what all the fuss is about in addressing immigration. I pretty much agree with him. People point out that Reagan's amnesty bill was a disaster. But looking at the US economy since then shows something different - the contrary in fact.

If we compare the US with Japan or Europe, the biggest major difference is that their populations are either stagnant or declining, while ours is not. Without immigration, the US would be similar to these old economies.

The US legally allows very few people into the country every year. The 65,000 H1B visa quota for skilled workers is already used up until October 2007. So no new skilled worker can enter the country for another 18 months unless the process has already begun. This is why Microsoft and Intel are begging the government to increase its woefully low quotas. And if they don't, guess what? These companies will start moving R&D facilities abroad in their search for qualified people. The US government is forcing our successful companies to do this now.

On social security, immigrants will likely solve our underfunded system, not break it. Most immigrants who enter either illegally or legally are young. Half of Mexico's population is under 15 (compared with 20% in the US).

If we're worried that immigrants are leeching off the system, then we need to cut the benefits that can be leeched, simple as that. On the language issue, English should be the only one used for public documents - end of story, and it's not racist if you say that.

I'm in favor of legal immigration, but unfortunately, it's almost impossible to enter the US legally these days. The US needs twice as any people as we're currently taking in. Let's change this.

I agree with Kudlow. Bush has a reasonable plan, certainly more reasonable than rounding up 12 million people and sending them home.

Friday, May 19, 2006

UN Criticizes Gitmo Again

The UN is encouraging the US to close Gitmo. In response, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) said the following:

“Instead of finding new ways to criticize the United States, the United Nations should focus their attention on real human rights abuses. Iran is reportedly trying to revive Nazi tactics of discrimination against Jews and Christians and hundreds of thousands are dying because of genocide in Darfur,” said Senator DeMint. “In the meantime, America will not forget the lessons of September 11th, and will keep captured terrorists from killing more innocent Americans.”

Amen to that.

Reid Thinks 84% of Americans are Racist

A Zogby poll earlier this year found that 84% of Americans believe that English should be the official language.

However, yesterday on the Senate floor, Harry Reid called such an amendment "racist." Democrats are so far from the mainstream on the issue, but no one in the media seems to care.

Fox Criticizes Venezuela, Bolivia

Vincente Fox at least seems to understand the dangers of socialism. In an interview with the Financial Times,

Vicente Fox, the president of Mexico, on Thursday delivered a salvo against the leftwing policies of Venezuela and Bolivia, warning that protectionism and nationalisation could damage the prospects of Latin America as a whole. In an interview with the Financial Times, he made a thinly veiled attack on Hugo Chávez, Venezuela's president, and Evo Morales, his Bolivian counterpart, who recently moved to nationalise the gas industry. "I respect the opinions of other presidents and do not want to interfere in their decisions," Mr Fox said, when asked about the rise of economic nationalism in the region. "But, yes, I can say if something has not worked well in Latin America, it's precisely populism, demagoguery, deception, which only hurt the process of development and impoverish people even more."

I guess Fox has some rational sense after all.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

As Social Security Funds Dwindle, Illegals Still Get Theirs

Every day the illegal immigration argument becomes more painful to endure. By a vote of 50-49, the Senate defeated a bill that would have prevented illegals from receiving credit for future Social Security funds while they were working illegally.

Apart from problems with trying to figure out how much illegals have contributed to Social Security, they now get free health care, free benefits, free education, the right to vote,....does citizenship even matter anymore? Why not have a bill that forces Americans to open their checkbooks and give a $10,000 check to every illegal?

This Senate bill must not pass. I don't care if it costs the GOP the Presidency, the House and the Senate (really). I don't care if it costs us the tax cuts or if Bush gets impeached. In addition to everything else, the Democrats will have created a permanent majority for the next 50 years. The GOP simply cannot out-Democrat the Democrats and win the votes of illegals - it just won't happen. The bill would be a long-term disaster for the GOP and the nation.

Peace Treaty with North Korea

The U.S. is now considering offering a peace treaty with North Korea in exchange for its return to talks about its nuclear program. It's worth a shot. Hey, if North Korea threatens us, I am pretty sure the treaty wouldn't be worth the paper it's written on anyway.

The tricky thing is how Democrats are going to respond because direct talks was their suggestion. But to endorse it would mean to agree with Bush now and I just don't think they want to agree with him on anything.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hal Rogers (R-KY): A Disgrace

Congressman Hal Rogers is supposed to be a conservative. He is supposed to despise pork projects and instead be concerned with efficient government. Sadly, as the National Review points out, he is just a typical "what about me?" politician.

As the man in charge of Congress’s homeland-security budget, Rogers’s abuse of federal funds is not just a financial scandal—it is a matter of national security. Instead of directing his budget with the sole aim of providing for the public defense, he has turned the power of his position to his benefit—and, by extension, to the benefit of the companies who finance him and the local constituents who keep him in office.

I expect this crap from Democrats, but as we all now know, the GOP is also guilty of cronyism. This is one reason why I will always favor cutting taxes until we produce a high budget deficit. Until we get to a reckless level of deficit, the government will keep up its wasteful behavior. If they have $1 trillion or $10 trillion, they will still spend it all.

Some Good News: Tax Cut Extension Signed

A little positive news for President Bush today - he just signed a bill that will extend dividend and capital gains tax cuts for another two years, until 2010. While the cuts should be made permanent, this is better than what Democrats want, which is to raise everyone's taxes. I can't believe they still believe that the tax cuts are actually reducing government revenue...can't they read the government income statement?

So let's applaud the President for getting this done - especially as the markets are reeling.

Hotel Guantanamo Better than Belgium

According to Alain Grignard, head of Brussels' police anti-terrorism unit, Guantanamo is a model prison, and prisoners are better treated than they are in Belgium. While I'm not surprised (can anyone name three things that Belgium does better than the US?) this is one thing that I'm not very proud of. Navy Rear Admiral Harry Harris explains:

These are enemy combatants. Yet here's what they get:
- food which is 3x as expensive as food eaten by US servicemen
- $30MM facility to make detainees' lives better, including exercising equipment
- koran from 40 different countries
- thousands of books and magazines written in native languages
- $2.4MM hospital where 300 surgeries and 5000 dental procedures performed
- 200 pairs of eyeglasses
- time and space to pray 5x daily

What US servicemen get in return:
- feces, blood, and semen concoctions thrown at them daily

These people are treated 10x better than they are treated in their home countries with one exception - they don't get to kill Americans.

For once, maybe we should follow Belgium's lead on this one (first time this has been said in the history of the world). Let's treat these prisoners like crap. Anyone think they deserve better?

Da Vinci Code Damage

The Da Vinci Code has done serious damage to the Catholic Church. A poll found that the majority of the book's readers believe that Jesus fathered a child with Mary Magdalene.

Two thirds of Britons who have read Dan Brown's thriller believe that Jesus fathered a child with Mary Magdalene, a claim rejected as baseless by historians and Bible scholars.

Those who have read it are also four times as likely to think that the conservative Roman Catholic organisation Opus Dei, whose members include the Cabinet minister Ruth Kelly, is a murderous sect.

Seventeen per cent of readers are convinced that the lay group, whose founder was canonised by the late Pope John Paul II, has ordered or carried out a murder, compared with four per cent of those who have not read the book.

Yes, it's fictional - informed people realize that. But as critics have rightly mentioned, this simply wouldn't happen to Islam. If it did, Tom Hanks and Ron Howard would be in hiding for fear of their lives and theaters that showed the film would risk being burned to the ground.

America's First War on Terror

Bill Bennett has a new book, "America: The Last Best Hope," in which he discusses one of America's first foreign crises in the form of Arab raids on shipping on the African coast. Thomas Jefferson confronted an Arab diplomat over the issue:

The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners.

I guess Islam was the religion of peace even back then. Bennett's book looks like another good read.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mexico to File Lawsuits Against U.S.

Mexico said it will begin filing lawsuits in U.S. courts if National Guard troops begin detaining illegals. And believe it or not, some Mexican newspapers criticized Vincente Fox for "not taking a stronger stand" against the U.S. for protecting its own borders.

What a joke...but sadly, it's not.

Another Reason to Hate France

Michelle Malkin points out another reason I hate France.

The EU's Great Negotiators

The EU3 (Britain, France, Germany) is supposedly going to offer to send Iran light water nuclear reactors if it agrees to halt its uranium enrichment.

They liked Clinton so much that they decided to follow his 1994 deal with North Korea. Iran will likely accept the offer, and thereby allow the EU3 to pat itself on the back for a job well done. Meanwhile, Iran will have gained time to continue its enrichment secretly. Call me a skeptic, but the EU3 are proving once again that they need US adult supervision.

Bush Speech Effect: Blog Crackup

Bush's speech to me was nothing new. However, it seems to have destroyed the cohesion at Polipundit. For the most part, Polipundit editors were not happy with the speech (to say the least). See here and here. One editor, Lorie Byrd, departed - seemingly unimacably. In the meantime, Polipundit has explained the editorial change.

Wow - Bush has really chosen a topic of focus whereby he has zero chance of succeeding. If he succeeds, he destroys a large part of his base. How about a live press conference about the benefits of those tax cuts to help make them permanent?

Whose God May We Mock?

Pat Buchanan writes about the Da Vinci Code and the movie's blasphemy towards Catholics. Yes, it's fictional - just as were the Danish cartoons that caused Muslims to riot in the streets and threaten to kill the offenders.

In nine countries of Europe, Holocaust denial is a crime. In the United States, to deny the Holocaust happened or suggest that it has been exaggerated is not a crime, but marks one down as a social leper...

Like the "Hitler's Pope" smear of Pius XII, a man who did more than any other to save the Jews in World War II, "The Da Vinci Code" is a Big Lie that, though readily refuted by the facts, will be believed.

Unfortunately, we already know the answer to Buchanan's question.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Bush's Speech: Uh Oh

Judging from the reactions of conservatives, Bush's speech on immigration reform didn't go over very well. The main problem, in my opinion, is one of credibility. People just don't believe that the President cares about controlling the border (his slowness in beefing up border guards despite funding from Congress; calling the Minutemen "vigilantes," etc.). John Hawkins, John Hinderaker and Michelle Malkin weren't impressed. Common Sense Junction has a rundown of the reactions.

I don't think it was a terrible speech but he tried to find some middle ground for which he has basically alienated everyone. My bet, however, is that his bill never gets passed by the House in anything close to its current form.

The other positive is that the Democrats have shown Bush once again that there is no point in trying to appease them. This is more or less the Democratic plan, but they still could do nothing but criticize it. Let this be another lesson to support those who put him in office.

Poll result guess: 100% of liberals still hate Bush and he lost another 10% of conservatives who supported him.

The Coming Immigrant Invasion

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) completed an analysis of the proposed Senate immigration bill from a numbers perspective. So far most of the emphasis and debate nationally has been on border security and illegals, but according to the analysis, between 78 million and 216 million new immigrants would enter the U.S. over the next 20 years if the current legislation is passed.

Many free market conservatives enjoy cheap labor and the necessity of a growing population to help fund Social Security, Medicare, etc. However, as France and other European countries are now finding out, there are serious assimilation issues when demographics change so quickly (for example, going from a Christian nation to a Muslim nation). I don't want to sound alarmist because I don't think the dynamics of our country would change that drastically, but the INS truly holds an incredible amount of power to change the future of this country if they so choose.

Changes to annual quotas for any particular nationality, race or religion could make a real difference to society when compounded over 10, 20 or 30 years. For example, not many people living in France 10 years ago would have predicted how quickly the the Muslim population will grow on a percentage basis if current trends continue.

Immigration is a good thing and a necessary thing, but if a bill is thrown together as quickly and/or as shoddily as the prescription Medicare bill, the U.S. could hurt itself in the long run. Let's protect our borders but I hope we take our time with immigration reforms.

Pork Busting

The bill for Hurricane Katrina relief and the war on terror is still not finished, thanks to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who should be widely praised for his efforts to reduce pet earmarks. Among other projects, Coburn is at odds with handing $500 million to Northrop Grumman for shipyard damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Trent Lott and Thad Cochran, of Mississippi, are all in favor of pork when they are the recipients:

"This is personal with me. I admit it. This is my hometown (Pascagoula). ... My dad was a pipefitter in that shipyard and was in the pipe department when he was killed in an automobile accident. I don't just see statistics and numbers. I see neighbors, classmates, men and women who believe in what they do and build a quality product. They have been hit a grievous blow."

Sorry, but that shouldn't cut it. Every town in the U.S. has neighbors and classmates - that doesn't mean we can afford to hand out a billion dollars to each of them.

Flutie to Retire?

Away from the political world, Doug Flutie may announce his retirement today when he speaks at a 12 pm press conference today. Both Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft will be on hand, so I am inclined to believe this is it for the quarterback's playing days.

It's official - Doug Flutie has retired. I don't think he has to worry about job offers though - either in broadcasting or coaching.

Michael Schiavo Blogging at Daily Kos

Michael Schiavo is blogging at the Daily Kos and promoting the YearlyKos conference. This is not a slightly Democratic blog site. This is an extreme Left site whereby bloggers believe that the only difference between Hitler, Stalin and Bush is that Bush is a little worse.

If anyone did not question Schiavo's judgement previously, they should certainly do so now.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

CIA Leaker McCarthy Will Still Receive Pension

The Washington Post is again defending recently-fired CIA analyst Mary McCarthy by writing a piece from McCarthy's friends' viewpoints. The point of the article is that McCarthy believed that the CIA lied to Congress about behavior that she considered to be cruel and/or inhumane. However, the article then spends most of its effort defending McCarthy's work and stressed that McCarthy was not an "ideologue," at least according to an "anonymous source." Rick Moran has a great post here.

The most bothersome fact, mentioned in the last paragraph of the article, is that McCarthy will still receive her pension. This, despite the fact that she was fired for leaking highly classified information to the press that likely endangered national security. Just another example of outrageous government entitlement.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Schumer Proposes Outsourcing Cargo Security to Dubai

Chuck Schumer, who so badly wanted to be known as the man who killed the Dubai Ports deal, proposed an amendment to a spending bill that would have handed most of our cargo handling records to Dubai Ports World. Rush Limbaugh also comments:

The Republicans and Democrats were in a race to see who could first stop the deal and the Republicans got there first and Harry Reid called a press conference: "It was Senator Schumer who did it! Senator Schumer you led the way on this. We are proud that you led the way." Fine, Senator Schumer led the way. Now he wants to outsource cargo inspection coming into this country to a Hong Kong firm that is actually run by Dubai Ports World. I just love this story. I have always loved this story.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Give Credit to Democrats for Tax Cuts

At least to 3 of them. 3 Democrats voted for the latest tax cut extensions.

So remember come voting time, 41 out of 44 Senate Democrats (43 out of 46 including chafee and snowe) want to RAISE OUR TAXES.

So if you're a disgruntled conservative as I am with the current state of government, remember: IT COULD BE WORSE - MUCH MUCH WORSE.

Sen. Kyl: "This [Leak] is Nuts"

While Democratic Senators are having a field day with our leaked national security programs, particularly Sen. Leahy (who is no stranger to leaking classified information), there are still a few Senators who have some common sense. From today's NY Sun:

"This is nuts," Senator Kyl, a Republican of Arizona, said. "We're in a war and we got to collect intelligence on the enemy, and you can't tell the enemy in advance how you're going to do it, and discussing all of this stuff in public leads to that."

And of course, Sen. Roberts (R-KS), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stressed that the eight designated members of Congress have been fully briefed on all the workings of the NSA programs. The briefings, of course, were classified, which makes me wonder how we haven't already heard about them.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

More NSA B.S.

You probably don't want to watch the news these days, as it's all about the "secret NSA programs." Well, they used to be secret anyway. The latest rhetorical uproar on Capitol Hill is rather ridiculous. The program apparently started in 1999 (guess who was president then), whereby the NSA would collect which phone numbers called which numbers, and use supercomputers to recognize patterns of people trying to contact Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, etc. The NSA used algorithms to help track terrorists. Of course, we don't know the extent of the security program and we probably won't - unless Mary McCarthy starts working for the NSA.

Michelle Malkin has a good post on all of the windbags on the Hill. Mark Levin sums it up best:

Is not life the most important of civil liberties? These intelligence programs are trashed without any curiosity as to whether they've prevented any attacks and saved any lives. The hostile responses are largely knee-jerk and lack any kind of context.

And the USA Today was on a roll today. They also wrote an idiotic editorial supporting Johnny Taliban at Yale, implying that Johnny is a Muslim "friendly to U.S. interests." What nonsense.

Loss of Luttig is Big

J. Michael Luttig was a perfect Supreme Court candidate - he was conservative, very smart, young and he scared the bejesus out of liberals. And now he is gone. Luttig resigned his lifetime appointment to the Fourth District Court to accept a general counsel position with Boeing.

I have no doubt that the Bush Administration's flip flop from holding Jose Padilla indefinitely to its desire to try him in a civilian court helped Luttig with his decision. As noted on the front page of the WSJ this morning, the Administration basically "pulled the rug" from under him.

The American Scene has more. It's a shame that we lost one of the top conservative judges in the country - due to a lack of principled conviction within the Bush administration. No doubt liberals are happy - one more empty judicial seat to filibuster.

ElBaradei Encourages "Compromise" With Iran

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the IAEA, is falling into line exactly as expected. He encourages compromise and dialogue, and says that the West might "have to accept" an Iranian enrichment program.

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said he was pleased the U.N. Security Council was holding off from sanctions against Iran as Europeans work on a package of benefits to induce Tehran to cooperate.

"I'm very optimistic. I hope both sides will move away from the war of words, I hope the pitch will go down, I hope people will adopt a cool-headed approach," he told a news conference at Amsterdam airport. "We need compromises from both sides."

"I hope that at this stage we will use more carrots before we think of using sticks," he said. "It is a very good idea that the Security Council is holding its horses."

What this means to me is that everyone once again wants to throw a few bribes at Iran, ask them to tone down the rhetoric, look the other way, and hope for the best. It's what the UN does best.

Status of the "Plame Leak Case"

As Monty Python has once shown us, if you claim your favorite color is blue when it is really yellow, you are in deep trouble, at least according to prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

Byron York explains the surreal nature of the case and what it has become. Fitzgerald now says that it doesn't even matter if Plame was ever in the CIA or if any damage was done. Apparently the case is now above those minor details.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Democrat Message Misses Middle Class

Martin Frost, a former Democratic Congressman from Texas, says that according to liberal think tank Third-way, the Democratic message to middle class voters is all wrong.

In 2004, John Kerry lost middle class white voters by 22 points and Congressional Democrats lost middle class white voters by 19 points. Kerry lost all middle class voters as a group (including whites, Blacks and Hispanics) by 6 points.

According to Third-way, “Americans are optimistic about the nation’s future and their own; (Democratic) messaging is not. Americans see our society as a basically fair one, where hard work is rewarded; progressives emphasize obstacles to middle-class success.”

That's right - Americans are optimistic about the future. So forget about the recent CBS push polling data that show Americans as negative on Bush's economy. I trust internal Democratic data than I do about news polls that have a singular purpose of editorializing.

The study faults Democrats for always attacking the wealthy, noting “the middle-class aspires to wealth and doesn’t see big business or the wealthy as enemies.”

It adds that Democrats “downplay the strengths of the American economy…and fail to inspire conviction that America can continue to lead the world.”

Hmm. Looks like they have their work cut out for them.

When Are Minorities No Longer Minorities?

According to a census report, nearly half of all children under 5 years old are racial or ethnic minorities. WaPo has more.

When do we stop giving out affirmative action treatment to "minorities?" When they become 51% of the population? Pretty soon I will qualify for minority status myself.

Israel to Set Final Borders by 2008

Israel is setting a deadline for the negotiation of its final borders. It sounds like a good idea to me and it might actually light a fire under Hamas (although that is doubtful). What's the worst that happens - the UN signs a resolution condemning it? Oh no...

Deal on Tax Cut Extension

House and Senate Republicans have agreed to extend the dividend and capital gains taxes to 2010. The only thing that bothers me is that tax increases are forever, while tax reductions must be re-voted every few years. Some journalists still recite the old line that the tax cuts will "cost the treasury revenue." (They missed the news that tax revenue actually rose 14% after the last tax cuts.)

The tax agreement would cut revenue to the Treasury by $90 billion over the next five years, but other measures would raise about $21 billion, for a net loss to the Treasury of about $69 billion.

Dana Priest's Troubling Connections

As many in the blogosphere know, Dana Priest and her husband, Leftwing activitst William Goodfellow, were part of a web of connections related to the anti-Bush movement. Jennifer Verner at Accuracy in Media lays out some of the troubling links.

...not a single mainstream media outlet has examined the documented histories and hard connections of money and political interest shared by Dana Priest, William Goodfellow, Mary McCarthy, Joe Wilson, Fenton Communications, Melvin Goodman and other vocal enemies of the Bush Administration. These relationships cannot be chalked up to random "inside the beltway" webs of acquaintance. They pose obvious and deeply troubling questions for anyone who values a free and independent press. The evidence suggests that Priest is part of a Democratic Party influence operation designed not only to politically damage the Bush Administration but to subvert U.S. foreign policy.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bush Still Silent on Saddam's Terrorist Training Camps

As FrontPageMag points out, there is only silence from the White House about recently released documents that show Saddam's terrorist training camps throughout the 90s. And the silence is completely bewildering.

The White House doesn’t believe in re-fighting the decision to go to war, which is painfully logical. But politics isn’t logical. Neither are Bush’s political enemies. If the President wants people to trust that he made the right call by toppling Saddam, he needs to reiterate everyday what we know: Saddam was a threat who could no longer be tolerated.

“Blessed July” and Saddam’s terror training camps would be as good a place as any to start.

In Bush's defense, the MSM probably wouldn't cover the story or believe the documents that disprove their theories anyway. The rule is that you cover the anti-Bush story, then drop it if the story proves to be false (think Joe Wilson).

Feingold, Another GOP Gift

Russ Feingold (D-WI) is another gift to the stumbling GOP. If Democrats just showed a tiny bit of common sense and centrism, they could win Congress this year. But alas, they prove time and again that they have no clue what most Americans want. Feingold:

"We must get out of our political foxholes and be willing to clearly and specifically point out what a strategic error the Iraq invasion has been."

So the problem is that Democrats are agreeing with Bush too much. Yeah, he nailed it.

Thank you, Nancy Pelosi

Even liberal Slate magazine says that Nancy Pelosi is hurting her party by promising that, if the Dems reclaim the House, one of the first orders of business will be to investigate President Bush on anything and everything.

Neither liberals nor conservatives are too happy with President Bush these days, but this is still a Utopia compared with having a Congress with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, and John Kerry in charge.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Bush Wants to Close Guantanamo

President Bush, if you are a regular reader of my blog, I ask you: "What in the world are you thinking?" Liberals will never like you, nor will many of our corrupt European "allies" - if you lose conservatives too, you've lost everything.

In an interview last week with a German tv station, Bush said:

"Of course Guantanamo is a delicate issue for people. I would like to close the camp and put the prisoners on trial," Bush said in comments to German television to be broadcast on Sunday night. The interview was recorded last week.

Are you kidding me???!!? Of course, Bush likely means "military tribunal" rather than a civilian trial, but still...he sounds like these are simply thug criminals rather than warriors who want to cut his head off and blow up the U.S.

If Bush doesn't reverse course here and start sticking to his principles, I believe he will see his poll numbers below 20 soon.

Rupert Murdoch Hosting Hillary Fundraiser

Drudge reports that Rupert Murdoch is going to host a fundraiser for Hillary.

Are Murdoch and his evil, Bush-friendly Fox News still part of the vast right-wing conspiracy? Hmmm. I used to think Murdoch had some taste.

Mark Steyn on Darfur

Steyn on Darfur. Kofi Annan has done his investigation on Darfur and in 2004 determined there is no genocide in Sudan (and if there were, rest assured, the UN would not have tolerated it).

There have been a lot of good people out there for a long time asking that something be done about Darfur. And they're right. Something should be done.

But who's going to do it? The UN has already declared there is no genocide. China buys 6% of it's oil from Sudan so they don't want to rock the boat. Russia, Africa, and other Arabic nations also have their reasons for keeping status quo.

The US and UK could help, but wouldn't this be another war over oil? It's interesting that the same Hollywood people against War in Iraq are in favor of War in Sudan. Wouldn't we just be democratizing another country that really doesn't want it? Plus, if they think our soldiers are in a civil war in Iraq, just wait until they get to Sudan. They'll be in for some treat.

I'm in favor of helping Sudan get their freedom (or at least survival), just as I am in favor of helping any oppressed country that needs it and that includes Iraq. I don't have the answers of how to help, but we can start by sacking Kofi. If the UN can't help keep the peace then what good is it? Time for overhauling this irrelevant organization.

Hayden as CIA Director

I agree with The American Thinker that Gen. Michael Hayden is the most qualified for the CIA job. The fact that he's in the military is irrelevant. The last time I checked, we have had presidents, CIA directors and secretaries of state who were also generals.

The most interesting point on the nomination was from Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) on Fox News Sunday. Specter said that this will give the Senate an opportunity to question Hayden in the hearings on the terrorist surveillance program to find out more details and therefore, give the Congress its proper "oversight." Ha! The Senate (or Specter) simply wants to assert its power over President Bush.

I have a feeling President Bush will be only too happy to allow a nationally televised exchange over the NSA program.

A Dentist Shortage in Britain

This is just about the last thing the British need - a dentist shortage. According to the NY Times, people are having real problems keeping their teeth healthy:

it is due in large part to the deficiencies in Britain's state-financed dental service, which, stretched beyond its limit, no longer serves everyone and no longer even pretends to try.

We've been down this road before; socialized medicine ultimately leads to shortages, long lines and substandard care. Other than that, it sounds great - sign me up.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Carter: Punishing the Innocent is Criminal

Jimmy Carter is still trying to generate some kind of legacy. In a letter published in the International Herald Tribune, Carter again has some interesting claims:

Althought Hamas leaders have refused to recognize the state of Israel while their territory is being occupied, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has expressed approval for peace talks between Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel. He added that if these negotiations result in an agreement that can be accepted by Palestinians, then the Hamas position regarding Israel would be changed.

Apart from Carter's claim that Isreali lands are illegitimate, he is also dumb enough to believe that Hamas would actually be a friendly neighbor if only "an agreement can be accepted by Palestinians."

Regardless of these intricate and long-term political interrelationships, it is unconscionable for Israel, the United States and others under their influence to continue punishing the innocent and already persecuted people of Palestine.

Yes, the U.S. is obligated to spend money on a crookedly-run Palestine, but it is unconscienable that we helped the Iraqi people by removing a Stalinist dictator and terrorist.

President Until 2031

Hugo Chavez, the Left's second favorite leader in Latin America, is going to propose a referendum in which voters will decide whether he should be president for the next 25 years.

Hmm - George Bush, not a bad idea...maybe you could suggest something similar.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Not Every BC Professor is Against Free Speech

This was a letter to the editor in BC's Heights newspaper. I'm publishing the whole thing. While the subscription is free, you still have to register:

The furor over the choice of Condoleezza Rice as the 2006 commencement speaker once again illustrates why the "real" world views academia as an "unreal" and hypocritical world.

In the case of a Catholic university, both sides of this debate will say that they uphold "freedom of speech."

But in order to avoid hearing opinions that are contrary to their own, they will appeal to those church documents that conveniently support their banning of another opposing point of view.

Let's say that the University had invited Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) to speak. The uproar from conservatives on campus would center on how a Catholic university could give an honorary doctorate to someone who is an abortion-rights activist. Meanwhile, the liberals on campus would maintain that you would need to look at the "whole" Catholic thought. Thus, because of the other positions that Kennedy takes in favor of the poor, it would make him a worthy recipient. Isn't the same true with Rice? While the Iraqi war certainly flies in the face of Catholic teachings,don't her other positions grant her a hearing from a University audience?

It would be virtually impossible to invite a major public figure who would not have some difference from Catholic thought.Isn't the ability to listen and think about differing points of view the hallmark of a truly liberal education?

Rev. Richard McGowan, S.J. Carroll School of Management

Friday, May 05, 2006

Goss Resigns from CIA - Power Transfer to Negroponte

Porter Goss has resigned from the CIA. Much more here at Hotair.

I don't think Goss resigned because he felt slighted that John Negroponte is the one with all the power in the intelligence community. I believe Porter Goss was told by Bush to go in and clean house of the partisan atmosphere (if possible) and he has started to do that. It's also likely that Goss told Bush that the agency is beyond repair, which is the reason that an increasing amount of responsibility is now going over to Negroponte's agency. Rather than completely reforming the CIA from within, Bush likely decided to start from scratch with Negroponte and just have the CIA as a small appendage of Negroponte's agency.

Regardless, it will be interesting to see who would want the position now, as the CIA has lost most of its prestige and power.

Andy Garcia's "Lost City" Upsets Lefties

(Hat tip to Babalu Blog for link.) Andy Garcia is learning that his colleagues don't like movies depicting the truth about their favorite dictator, Fidel Castro. Many film festivals and Latin American countries have refused to show his film, "Lost City."

The film's offenses are many and varied. Most unforgivable of all, Che Guevara is shown killing people in cold blood. Who ever heard of such nonsense? And just where does this uppity Andy Garcia get the effrontery to portray such things? The man obviously doesn't know his place.

Garcia – that cinematic bomb-thrower – has seriously jolted the mainstream media's fantasies and hallucinations of pre-Castro Cuba, of Che, of Fidel, and of Cubans in general. In consequence, the critics are unnerved and disoriented. Their annoyance and scorn are spewing forth in review after review.

Maybe next time Garcia will use Oliver Stone's tactic and base his movie on an interview with Castro.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Kennedy Makes the Law; Doesn't Follow It

Rep. Patches Kennedy (D-RI), apparently drunk as a skunk, isn't required to follow the laws that Congress creates. He gets in a car accident near the Capitol at 2:45 am with his car lights off, stumbles out of his car, claims that he is late for a vote, and then is given a ride home by two police sergeants. Drudge has more.

Most drunk drivers could only hope to get such treatment.

Bush Soaking the Rich

In the article of the day, Stephen Moore pens a WSJ article (sub. req'd) that shows the truth about Bush's tax cuts (hint: the Democrats' charges are off by 180 degrees). Here are a few highlights:

Between 2001 and 2004 (the most recent data), the percentage of federal income taxes paid by those with $200,000 incomes and above has risen to 46.6% from 40.5%. In other words, out of every 100 Americans, the wealthiest three are now paying close to the same amount in taxes as the other 97 combined.

The most astounding result from the IRS data is the deluge of revenues from the very taxes that were cut in 2003: capital gains and dividends. As shown in the nearby chart, capital gains receipts from 2002-04 have climbed by 79% after the reduction in the tax rate from 20% to 15%. Dividend tax receipts are up 35% from 2002 to 2004, even though the taxable rate fell from 39.6% to 15%.

Oh, and that final charge - that the tax cuts are causing the budget deficit:

Just last week, the Department of the Treasury released its tax receipt data for March 2006. Tax collections for the past 12 months have exploded by 14.4%. We are now on course for a two-year increase in tax revenues of at least $500 billion, the largest two-year increase in tax revenue collections after adjusting for inflation ever recorded.

Hanoi Jane the New Face of L'Oreal

Hanoi Jane Fonda is the new face of L'Oreal. An American traitor teamed with a company from an anti-American nation - what a perfect fit.

Moussaoui Trial Not Over?

According to Zack's mother, we can count on plenty of appeals in this case. Nevermind that she should be thanking God that he only received life in prison (where, hopefully, he will rest peacefully in the hands of violent sodomites for a long, long time).

Just another reason that it's absurd to try terrorists in a civilian court. If a military tribunal is good enough for U.S. soldiers, it's certainly good enough for terrorists.

Tax Cuts Coming?

According to the Washington Post, President Bush and Congress have agreed to a partial extension of the dividend and capital gains tax cuts through 2010. The bad news is that they haven't agreed to the income tax rate cuts and that we will have to go through this entire process again in just a few years.

I really hate the fact that the government can raise taxes permanently, but any tax cut must be "renewed" every few years. One day (hopefully very distant from today) Democrats will get elected and then you can forget about any chance of "renewing" these tax cuts.

How about if we had to vote to renew Congress' salaries and benefits and if there is no agreement, then they don't get paid?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Kofi the Back Scratcher

Claudia Rosett (who deserved a Pulitzer more than the other leaker/traitors) discusses the latest Kofi scandal at the UN:

Here’s one for the new ethics office at the United Nations: Not only do we now know that Secretary-General Kofi Annan accepted a $500,000 prize from the ruler of Dubai, courtesy of a judges’ panel rife with U.N. connections, one member of which Annan then appointed to a high U.N. job. Less well known is that Annan was advised to take the prize money by another senior U.N. official, Mark Malloch Brown—according to Malloch Brown himself in an interview this past February.

Since then, Annan has promoted Malloch Brown from U.N. chief of staff to the U.N.’s number-two post of deputy secretary-general...

Can we please just disband the UN and use the savings for something that doesn't result in several scandals every year?

Joke of the Week: Geena Davis' Award

Geena Davis, star of the soon-to-be-pulled tv show, "Commander in Chief," received an award last night from the White House Project, a Left-wing woman's rights group that is trying to get Hillary Clinton elected as President.

"Every interviewer eventually says, `Do you think we will see a female president in our lifetime?', Davis said.

"I think it's appalling that we haven't yet. The crime is not that it's taken so long, but why haven't we done it yet?" she said to loud applause from the predominantly female audience that included Martha Stewart and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

I wonder what Davis would have received if anyone actually watched her show.

Louis Rukeyser: 1933-2006

Lou Rukeyser, host of Wall Street Week, died yesterday of multiple myeloma, a rare bone marrow cancer.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Article of the Day: White Guilt and the Western Past

Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institution wrote a must-read article in today's Opinion Journal. It helps explain several Left-wing issues in the U.S. today, from immigration to affirmative action to fighting "minimalist" wars. The reason is "white guilt" - and it only worsens our problems.

Illegals Not Winning Hearts and Minds in Santa Ana

My hunch is that illegal immigrants didn't win any hearts and minds in Santa Ana yesterday when several protestors started throwing rocks and bottles at police officers. Apparently it wasn't a boycott from stupidity...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bolivia to Nationalize Natural Gas Industry

Add Bolivia to the list of Leftist nations (including Venezuela and Cuba) that are taking over private industry. Bolivia today ordered its military to occupy its natural gas fields and take over operations from foreign investors.

President Evo Morales seems to be following in Hugo Chavez's footsteps, which should be very troubling to the Bush Administration.

Bernanke Spooks Markets

This afternoon, Maria Bartiromo said that Fed Chairman Bernanke told her Saturday night that his comments last week were misinterpreted by the markets to indicate that the Fed would pause after one more rate hike.

There are 2 problems here:
1) Bartiromo should have mentioned this news earlier in the day rather than waiting until 3:30 in the afternoon to announce it. She should know that anything Bernanke says can move markets and she should relay it as soon as possible. Very unprofessional of her, in my opinion.

2) Bernanke should be more direct in his language. Greenspan created the impression that the Fed Chairman should speak in a cryptic manner. I think a Fed Chairman should simply be direct and tell the markets what he intends to do - and if he is still uncertain, simply say he is uncertain. Is that too hard?

The more I think about it, the more I think Bartiromo might have taken Bernanke's comments out of context. Maybe it's because I'm skeptical of reporters in general, and Bartiromo's rather lackluster abilities in particular. Of course, we won't know unless Bernanke clarifies his comments, which I hope he does. But I have still more faith in Bernanke's ability to communicate effectively than I do in Bartiromo's ability to report accurately. It would not surprise me if she were looking for a way to bring attention to herself.

"Immigrants Make Their Case Across U.S."

I get a kick out of this AP headline: "Immigrants Make Their Case Across U.S."

I still can't figure out what case they are making. That they can hurt their employers for a day if they don't show up to work? That they deserve to be citizens? That we should get out of Iraq?

The illegal immigrants' message is so muddled that one would think they have John Kerry's campaign manager as their strategist.

Meat Plants Shutting Down for Illegal Immigrant Boycott

Tysons and Cargill, two of the largest meat plants in the country, are shutting plants today due to the illegal immigrant boycotts.

Hmmm....If the Feds really want to crack down on companies that hire illegal labor, I think I know where I would start.

Neville Chamberlain Still a Role Model in Europe

Hirsi Ali has been evicted from her home in the Netherlands by her neighbors because they don't feel safe. Right. And the courts decided in her "neighbor's" favor.

There's been a lot of this going on in Europe lately.