Site for Free Markets and Free People

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Homelessness Down 20% from Last Year

You probably won't see this on the evening news, but a new study from the Office of Housing and Urban Development shows chronic homelessness is down 20% from last year.

Obviously the situation has improved a lot more than the media gives credit for a large percentage of the poorest Americans.

Obama Accuses McCain of Racism

Barack Obama implied that Sen. McCain is a racist:

"And so the only way they figure they’re going to win this election is if they make you scared of me. So what they’re saying is, ‘Well, we know we’re not very good but you can’t risk electing Obama. You know, he’s new, he’s... doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency, you know, he’s got a, he’s got a funny name.'

The only person who keeps reminding us that Obama is black is Obama (well, and his supporters). In fact, John McCain went out of his way to scold a supporter who used Obama's middle name Hussein. This is about victimhood - and Obama enjoys playing the role.

Obama the Comedian

People have criticized Obama for not having any sense of humor and taking himself too seriously. C'mon - that's a little harsh. He told a very funny joke yesterday, when he said that Americans should be blowing up their tires - and that would save American consumers more than drilling for oil would. He's funny!

The late night guys said they had no material on the guy. Come on - he could have his own show!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Los Angeles Bans Fast Food Restaurants

Welcome to the nanny state, Los Angeles. The city council passed a ban on all new fast food outlets in certain poor neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

I know one group of people who this law will not help - anyone who looks to these restaurants for their jobs. (Hey, without a job, they probably won't become obese, right? I suppose that could be viewed as a positive.) But then again, socialism has a long history of failure and those facts never get in the way of liberals.

WaPo Mocks Obama "Victory Tour"

You know it's bad when even the Washington Post mocks Obama's arrogance.

Is Obama Offering Reparations?

It certainly sounds like Obama is in favor of offering reparations to Native Americans and African Americans. His quote:

I consistently believe that when it comes to whether it's Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds.

Well, I can't say I'm surprised, after the standing O he received by apologizing for America's history to a crowd full of Germans.

It's uncertain how Obama would actually go about offering this "deed." For example, would he be entitled to a check himself? Yes he had a black father, but his ancestors were never slaves in the United States. And would people of European, Asian, Latin American, and even African decendancy who arrived in the US after slavery was outlawed be forced to pay this "deed?" This is more than half of the country.

I fully expect the media to ignore Obama's speech, but if they do not, I cannot see how people continue to think that this is the man who can unite the country. I thought this year's election had nothing to do with race?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Vote on Drilling Helps Lower Oil Price

Harry Reid will allow for the Senate to vote on offshore drilling. The mere allowance of a vote in the Senate on offshore drilling has helped reduce the price of oil, today touching approximately $120/barrel.

Since President Bush has lifted the Presidential moratorium on drilling, the price has fallen by nearly $28 from a high of $148 per barrel. As expected, the Democrat argument that "it's useless to drill because it would take 10 years to reach the market" was wrong. All the market requires is the possibility of more drilling for the price to fall.

Just imagine how low the price would get if Congress allowed us to drill - perhaps another $40-50 per barrel.

Obama: Odds of Winning are Very Good

At first I thought Obama was turning optimistic about America, as it continues to trounce Al Qaeda in Iraq. Shame on me.

Obama was talking about his chances of winning this November - his priorities are lined up.

Fannie Mae's Lobbying Donations

How would you like it if Congress took your money and then gave it to a bunch of Far Left politicians and organizations? That is exactly what is happening with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which is more bothersome by the fact that we taxpayers are essentially bailing them out.

From the WSJ. Fannie Mae has given $800K to House and Senate members this election cycle, including $10K to Nancy Pelosi, $5K to Barney Frank, $10K to Rahm Emanuel, $7,500 to John Boehner,...

Even worse, Left Wing institutions such as Harvard University, Brookings Institution (liberal think tank), Acorn (the folks who keep getting indicted for election fraud), Ranbow/Push (Jesse Jackson's group), Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus,...

You get the idea. Just a bit of a conflict of interest there. And some people wonder why critics argue that these institutions should be dismantled entirely.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Petraeus Says "No Timetable"

Most Americans realize that General Petraeus is one of the people most responsible for turning around an ugly situation in Iraq into a huge victory over Al Qaeda. He is regarded as a hero within both the military and among ordinary Iraqis. He is universally respected (well, except among the Far Left).

And as John Hawkins points out, Petraeus says that putting out a public timetable to withdraw is a terrible idea. But for some reason, Obama and the rest of the Dems couldn't care less what our top commander says.

"Global Warming" to Reduce Hurricanes

Woops. Remember what everyone said about global warming effecting more frequent hurricanes? Nevermind. They now think it will actually reduce the number of hurricanes. From the Heartland Institute:

Global warming is likely to reduce the number of hurricanes that occur each year, according to two new studies by forecasters who previously claimed global warming would cause more hurricanes.

And Americans are not supposed to laugh at the suggestion of global warming affecting everything from floods to hurricanes to sea leevels? This article reminds me of the 1975 Newsweek cover alarming everyone of "global cooling." A few years later they decided that the opposite was true.

Democrat Congress Produces Record Budget Deficit

Since the Democrat Congress won control in 2006, they have completely reversed the gains of reduced budget deficits. Next year is expecting a record $482 billion budget deficit.

Yes, I understand the AP calls it "Bush's" budget deficit, but let's not forget that the Democrat-proposed stimulus package accounted for one-third of this amount. (And this doesn't take into account the new housing bailout that they proposed.) Second, let's not forget that the Democrats have been hoping for, even stoking, recession fears to help them win the election this fall. If a recession does actually happen, it will be largely due to soaring gas prices, which everyone now knows have been promoted by the environmentalists for years - and Democrats still refuse to allow a vote in increased drilling.

Obama thinks that we need another useless, expensive, non-stimulating "stimulus package." He clearly doesn't understand economic growth and he doesn't care about deficits. Oh, and of course, people who don't pay any taxes will be the ones who get the "rebates."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Law Professor Calls House Judiciary Committee Demented

After listening to an outright bashing of President Bush by nutroot Democrats, George Mason Law Professor Jeremy Rabkin had enough:

"I am really astonished at the mood in this room," commented one witness, George Mason University School of Law professor Jeremy Rabkin.

"The tone of these deliberations is slightly demented," Rabkin said. "You should all remind yourselves that the rest of the country is not necessarily in this same bubble in which people think it is reasonable to describe the president as if he were Caligula."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Environmentalists Oppose CO2 Removal

Scientists at Columbia University are developing a device that removes approximately one ton of carbon dioxide per day from the atmosphere, but the device is being opposed by environmentalists.

This is just another example that shows environmentalists are not as concerned with solving the problems as they are with limiting peoples' lifestyles and opposing capitalism.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Boehner: SPR Bill "A Joke"

Rep. John Boehner responded to the Democrats' attempt to pass a bill that would require the sale of 70 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by saying "this bill is a joke."

According to Obama/Pelosi/Reid, we "can't drill our way out of the problem," even if that means 90 billion barrels in the Arctic alone. But 70 million would do the trick. Ok.

Howard Stern Done with Democrats

Howard Stern vowed never to vote for another Democrat again, calling them "communists" after their opposition to the XM/Sirius merger. Huh.

Obama Leaves Campaign Posters at Western Wall

The Obama campaign left posters and stickers at the Western Wall. Nice - very classy. But no, this isn't a political campaign event...

Obama's Strange Berlin Speech

I heard the opening of Obama's political speech in Berlin and I have to admit, it was very strange. He talked about Berlin's (and the U.S.'s) struggle for freedom and the necessity of "never giving up" in defense of freedom against its enemies (ie. communism during the Berlin Air Lift).

How this idea fits with his long-held stance on abandoning Iraq's freedom in the face of terrorists is beyond my imagination.

The rest of the speech included the typical cliches of "global citizenship," poverty, racism, sacrifice, etc....

The worst part of the speech was when Obama accused the U.S. of being racist, unaccepting of immigrants and condoning torture. Again, very classy ripping your own country while in Germany.

Will we acknowledge that there is no more powerful example than the one each of our nations projects to the world? Will we reject torture and stand for the rule of law? Will we welcome immigrants from different lands, and shun discrimination against those who don’t look like us or worship like we do, and keep the promise of equality and opportunity for all of our people?

People of Berlin - people of the world - this is our moment. This is our time.

I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

Criticizing the U.S. and apologizing to the world for U.S. actions - nice.

Senate GOP Throws Down Gauntlet

Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told Democrat Harry Reid (NV) that he will not allow procedural votes on any legislation until Dems agree to a vote on offshore drilling.

About time they grew a spine. And let's face it - we wouldn't want any of the other legislation that would pass anyway.

States Face Tax Shortfalls

The front cover of the WSJ (subscription may be req'd) this morning shows how states are struggling with their budgets this year. The very interesting thing about the state map is where the budget shortfalls are worst - the most liberal states like California, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Masschusetts and Maryland, where there are huge government welfare programs.

Let's just hope the Federal government doesn't bail them all out like we are with the mortgage crisis. Doing so will only force them to continue their free-spending, irresponsible behavior.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

San Diego to be a "Sanctuary City" for Foreclosures?

San Diego is suing Bank of America to prevent the firm from foreclosing on any homes. First of all, this is the definition of Marxism - a government stealing a company's property (despite the Kelo Supreme Court decision, it is a violation of the Constitution). Imagine if businesses were not allowed to collect on bounced checks or fraudulent credit cards - credit wouldn't exist very long in such a society.

One thing is certain - if B of A loses, San Diegoans can forget about ever getting mortgages in the future. Banks don't appreciate lending money to people who are not legally required to return the funds.

Up to 90 Billion Barrels in Arctic

A study found that there may be as many as 90 billion barrels of oil in the Arctic, one-third of which is in Alaska. This is as much oil as the reserves of Nigeria, Mexico and Kazakhstan combined, and could meet the demand of the entire U.S. for 12 years.

What Obama Bias?

NY Times writer Alessandra Stanley's take on Obama is representative of the fawning media coverage. From The Corner.

[I]t's not pro-Obama bias in the news media that’s driving the effusion of coverage, it’s the news: Mr. Obama’s weeklong tour of war zones and foreign capitals is noteworthy because it is so unusual to see a presidential candidate act so presidential overseas. Mr. Obama looks supremely confident and at home talking to generals and heads of state…

When posing for an official photograph with a foreign leader, Mr. Obama often places his hand paternally on the other man’s arm, subliminally signaling that though a visitor, he is the real host of the meeting. Touring ruins of the Citadel in Amman, Mr. Obama strode confidently with his jacket crooked over his shoulder in classic Kennedy style…

EU Trying to Brainwash Public by Adding Medal Count

Some in the EU would like to publish an EU total of medals won during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The idea would be that:

a certain pride in Europe could be created, and an urgently needed positive perception could arise.

George Dutlik, head of the EU Commission in Vienna added:

If all the EU members' medals in the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens were added up, the EU would have a better count than the United States, Russia and China combined.

He forgets to mention that the EU has 25 countries and so, for example, can send up to 75 athletes to the 100 meter dash. The US can only send 3.

If this is what the EU needs to feel positive about itself, then so be it.

Moderate vs. Radical Muslims

John Hawkins helps explain why it's so difficult to tell the difference between moderate and radical Muslims. A Muslim group in NYC is planning on an ad campaign this fall to explain Islam to non-Muslims. One of the ads features Siraj Wahhaj, one of those "moderates" who was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Stunningly Shameful

Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard is right on in his article about the State Department's massive flip-flop related to its dealings with Iran and North Korea. This type of action is something we could expect from Clinton or Obama Administrations, but I never thought the Bush Administration would give in to such appeasement. Condi Rice has officially become the standard, wishy-washy, "carrot-only" Secretary of State and continues three decades of a soft line towards Iran.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cliff Notes on Obama Trip

Michelle Malkin does a nice job of summarizing Obama's overseas trip. She's not kidding either - if you hear any of the clips from his press conference, you would be astonished at how poor a public speaker Obama is without a teleprompter (nevermind some of his ludicrous statements) - we're talking...ahh...uhh...errr...uhh.. George Bush x 100.

Obama Still Discredits Surge; Admits Al Qaeda in Iraq

In an interview with Terry Moran of ABC News, Obama was asked whether he can now admit that his view of the surge was wrong. Obama discredits American troops' success, instead giving credit to other factors. From Marc Ambinder:

In an interview with ABC's Terry Moran, Obama said that he "did not anticipate, and I think that this is a fair characterization, the convergence of not only the surge but the Sunni awakening in which a whole host of Sunni tribal leaders decided that they had had enough with Al Qaeda, in the Shii’a community the militias standing down to some degrees. So what you had is a combination of political factors inside of Iraq that then came right at the same time as terrific work by our troops. Had those political factors not occurred, I think that my assessment would have been correct."

Moran noted that Obama had claimed that the surge "would not make a significant dent in the violence."

Responded Obama: "In the violence in Iraq overall, right. So the point that I was making at the time was that the political dynamic was the driving force between that sectarian violence. And we could try to keep a lid on it, but if these underlining dynamic continued to bubble up and explode the way they were, then we would be in a difficult situation. I am glad that in fact those political dynamic shifted at the same time that our troops did outstanding work."

So Obama now admits Al Qaeda was, and is, in Iraq (reversing his previous position that we should leave Iraq because Al Qaeda isn't even there). Second, he says that his position would have been correct, if the facts ended up being different...

"But," asked Moran,"if the country had pursued your policy of withdrawing in the face of this horrific violence, what do you think Iraq would look like now?"

Obama said it would be hard to speculate. "The Sunnis might have made the same decisions at that time. The Shii’as might have made some similar decisions based on political calculation. There was ethnic cleansing in Baghdad that actually took the violence level down," he said.

So Obama's plan might have actually worked if we tried it. And it was merely coincidence that the militias stood down and the Sunnis stood up as U.S. troops were increasing their presence. OK...and this guy is supposed to be a serious potential commander-in-chief?

Fannie, Freddie Donate Cash to Jesse Jackson Foundations

It's bad enough that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac receive backing from the federal government. It's worse still that unemployed politicians (Jamie Gorelick, Jim Johnson, Franklin Raines) make millions of dollars as incompetent managers who can't figure out their own accounting issues. But to then donate millions of dollars, including to organizations like Jesse Jackson's PUSH coalition, Fannie and Freddie have more than just a small conflict of interest. I'm guessing that they don't donate money to the Heritage Foundation or American Enterprise Institute.

Maybe we really don't want to know what's behind Fannie and Freddie's numbers.

Glowing Media Review of Obama Iraq Visit

Gateway Pundit has a roundup of the media reporting on Obama's Iraq visit. Not surprisingly, it is a glowing review.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Gulf Nations Switching to Coal Power

Despite their vast oil reserves, gulf states are now turning to coal-fired electric plants and instead are selling their oil overseas. The result is significantly higher emissions than oil (the oil haters never mention that), but at a much lower cost.

Bob Barr Praises Al Gore's Energy Plan

Libertarian candidate Bob Barr has gone off the deep end, defying his own "libertarian" bona fides. In talking to the Netroots conference, Barr praised Al Gore's energy plan to eliminate the use of carbons within ten years.

Note to Barr: most of our electricity runs on coal, our cars and planes run on oil, our heat is natural gas or oil. People like Al Gore use 20x the amount of carbon than the average American. Eliminating carbons within a decade is impossible and would wreck the economy. And by the way, this position is not compatible with libertarianism.

Democrat Congress Discussing Raising Gas Tax

Forget about the gas tax holiday, proposed by McCain to reduce gas prices for consumers over the summer. Now the Democrat-led Congress is instead discussing raising the gas tax by an additional 10 cents per gallon.

It's hard to believe that anyone could win an election with insane proposals like this in the face of significant economic headwinds but the Dems just seem addicted to higher taxes. If McCain were smart, he would call attention to this absurd idea.

Shocker - Obama Says Afghanistan Needs More Troops

Obama is nothing if not audacious. After 143 total days working in the Senate and a mere 48 hours in Afghanistan, Obama declares that we need more troops.

Really? Perhaps Obama and the media should listen to our Commander in Chief, who has been saying the same thing to our NATO allies for a long time now. (After all, this is a NATO mission, which Obama may have forgotten.) Incidentally, as Chairman of the Subcommittee on European Affairs, which has oversight of our NATO allies, Obama has not held a single hearing to date. He must not have been too worried about it up until now.

Global Warming Produces Average Weather?

Two years ago, after a hot and dry summer in the UK, radical warming pundits said "we told ya so." Then last year after a very cool and wet summer, the same gang, thinking no one would remember their year-earlier predictions said "we told ya so."

This year is pretty average. Not too hot, some rainy days, but not too many, and not too cool. If people are thinking that global warming causes every type of weather - they are probably right.

For an idea as to how right these people generally are, this was issued by the UK Met Office in April '07, predicting the 2007 summer.

The latest seasonal forecast from the Met Office issued today, reveals that this summer is, yet again, likely to be warmer than normal...The forecast for rainfall is less certain, and currently there are no indications of an increased risk of a particularly dry or particularly wet summer.

This was way off. In April 2008, here's what the Met said about 2007:

The main feature of Summer 2007 was the high rainfall experienced in many regions...Summer 2007 was relatively cool – the coolest since 1998.

Hmm. Pretty clueless, as expected. This year the same Met office first said that summer 2008 temperatures should be warmer than usual, although we should expect some cool days. That was said in April. In June, they backtracked slightly saying, there will be more cool and cloudy days.

It is unknown whether the same idiots who predicted UK temperatures in 2007 are continuing to be wrong in 2008.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Iraqi PM Disputes Report on Withdrawal Plan

Despite the glee with which the MSM is reporting that Iraqi PM al Maliki "backed a proposal" by Obama, he says it is simply not true.

But a spokesman for al-Maliki said his remarks "were misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately."

The other absurdity being reported is that President Bush's Iraq plan is moving closer to Obama's. There's one huge distinction. Bush has always claimed that the U.S. will withdraw forces after we win; Obama has always claimed we can't win and we should withdraw forces anyway. A bit different, I think.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

KFC Means Victory

When KFC is able to open shop in Fallujah, Iraq, you know that it is time to take some credit on the incredible progress there.

Maybe Obama will stop by and pick up some extra crispy along with some arugula.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Democrats Relax New Rules on Lobbyist Disclosures

Say goodbye to the Democrat falsehood of "draining the swamp" of lobbyist money in Washington. As the WSJ points out (subscription may be req'd), Congress relaxed recently passed rules of transparency from donations and parties from lobbyists.

The new guidance statements from the Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate say businesses don't need to reveal payments toward events honoring lawmakers, as long as they aren't a main sponsor -- an exemption that potentially keeps tens of thousands of dollars in spending from public view. Lobbyists also don't need to disclose their donations to lawmakers' charitable causes, except under certain conditions.

Add lobbying reform to the long list of promises that Democrats failed to honor since taking control of Congress.

Democrats Planning More Spending

Dont' look now but another stimulus package is being crafted by the democratic congress. My support for the bill all depends upon what goes into the plan. I have nothing against giving taxpayers back their own money (this is better than just allowing your congressmen to figure out what's best for you), however people who understand economics know that this has more of an impact if it's made permanent. This is unlikely though as Reid says he's against more tax rebates anyways. So it sounds like this stimulus plan is just good ol' fashioned democratic spending.

Funny, but ever since the dems took charge of Congress, they don't seem to care about paring back spending anymore. And the media is conveniently forgetting to report about those deficits they used to talk about. Anyone other than me not surprised by this?

Wes Clark: I'm a Victim of "Right Wing Freak Machine"

What is a disliked wannabe political hack general to do after he continually shows his incompetence by putting his foot in his mouth? Of course, he blames it on the "right wing machine."

"There is just no other way to say it," said Clark. "Someone said to me 'This is a playbook operation by the right wing freak machine, the great freak show where they take a statement, distort it, blast it out of context and make it personal.

It does sometimes appear appealing to be a Democrat. You can say whatever you want, make up facts and slam people as dumb, incompetent, unpatriotic and racists and then claim your victimhood to the government. Wes Clark has his rightful place in the party.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

OK to Eat Tomatoes Again...Thanks FDA

The FDA says that it's ok to eat tomatoes again, as the likely cause of salmonella was actually jalapenos.

Just another example of a highly incompetent government agency and one that can change the lifestyle and habits of millions of farmers, workers and consumers without all the facts. And some people (including the Democrat-led Congress) want the government to control the entire health care system...

Romney Will Not Seek Repayment for Contributions

Mitt Romney, unlike Hillary Clinton, will not seek reimbursement from donors for his campaign contributions during the primary this year. But according to the Boston Globe, this is a bad thing.

Some analysts said McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, might undermine his reform message if he picks someone who bankrolled so much of his own campaign.

‘‘Democrats would use it as an issue,’’ political analyst Stuart Rothenberg said today. ‘‘They would they try to undermine his reputation as ‘Mr. Reformer.’ "

He said it might also undercut McCain’s effort to criticize Democratic rival Barack Obama for switching his position and rejecting public financing for the general election.

This is obviously going overboard. Does anyone really care if Romney financed his own campaign? I don't recall anyone mentioning this when John Corzine bought his $50 million Senate seat or when the MSM speaks giddily about the ability of Michael Bloomberg to spend up to $1 billion in a potential Bloomberg-Obama campaign. Once again, it appears that the Globe is trying to create a moral equivalence between McCain's campaign finance message and the flip-flop of Obama.

US Cancer Patients Live Longest

According to a recent study in the Lancet, US cancer patients live the longest in the world. The author states that:

Survival was highest among patients with private insurance but just intermediate among those with national insurance.

European patients with all types of cancer had much lower survival rates than those in the U.S.

Wonder if this will change Obama's opinion on nationalizing healthcare. Probably not - I'd expect him to stick with Michael Moore's Sicko view of the US healthcare system.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Obama to Rid the U.S. of Nukes

Obama is proclaiming that he will eliminate nuclear weapons from the world, including those within U.S. hands.

Does Obama really think that nuclear weapons in the hands of the U.S. is really a threat to the rest of the world?

Governor Deval Patrick Gets an F!

The survey was one I just took in the Boston Globe. The question asks: How confident are you that the state (MA) and local governments can get things done? The answers:

Not at all confident: 31%
Not too confident: 30%
Somewhat confident 28%
Very confident: 8%

The survey is a little crude and while it does not actually state Governor Patrick by name, it has his picture next to the question. The results speak for themselves: about 2/3 are not confident while only 8% are very confident. Keep in mind that the Boston Globe and its readers tend to slant left. Now that's saying something!

Take the survey.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Markey: Global Warming Led to Black Hawk Down

Some Democrats have gone way over the line by claiming that the U.S. needed 1,000 Mogadishus. But Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) has a new one. In his own view of history, global warming was actually the cause of the 1993 battle in Mogadishu that caused the humiliating defeat during the Clinton Administration. From Gateway Pundit.

Sorry, but people this stupid should not be allowed to run our government.

AP's View on Snow: Lacked Command of the Facts

In the world of obituary tributes, Doug Powers of the AP's "tribute" of Tony Snow is one of the more offensive.

With a quick-from-the-lip repartee, broadcaster's good looks and a relentlessly bright outlook — if not always a command of the facts — he became a popular figure around the country to the delight of his White House bosses.

First of all, this is incorrect - Snow's command of the facts far outweighed any reporter by far. Second, does anyone recall the press saying the same thing about Tim Russert (or any Democrat journalist)? Of course, the AP also takes no pains to take a few digs at the President, reminding us of a few quotes where Snow as commentator criticized Bush.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow Dies of Cancer

Tony Snow died today after a battle with colon cancer, at age 53. RIP.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Schumer Helps Destory Indymac Bank

The Office of Thrift Supervision officially took control of Indymac Bank today. The confidence evaporated last week, causing a panic run on the bank. The reason? Chuck Schumer violated all common sense and regulatory protocol by opening his mouth and telling people that the bank might well fail. Hot Air has more.

Even the OTS admits the immediate cause was Schumer's fault, which will now cost taxpayers between $4 billion - $8 billion. (via Red State):

In a written statement, the Office of Thrift Supervision, which regulated IndyMac, said "the immediate cause" of the failure was statements made by Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat. Mr. Schumer in late June publicly raised concerns about the bank's solvency.

It's just too expensive to have these idiot senators/congressmen working for us anymore. They should just stay on permanent break.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wealthy Now Pay Largest Share of Taxes Ever

According to Stephen Moore of the WSJ (subscription may be req'd) and contrary to Obama's claims, the wealthy in this country are paying a record share of all U.S. income taxes.

New data from the IRS will be out in a few weeks on who pays how much in taxes. My contacts at the Treasury Department tell me that for the first time in decades, and perhaps ever, the richest 1% of tax filers will have paid more than 40% of the income tax burden. The top 50% will account for 97% of all federal income taxes, while the bottom 50% will have paid just 3%.

But Barack Obama has decided the rich still don't pay enough. He would redistribute the tax burden even more heavily on small business owners and the entrepreneurial class (two-thirds of the tax filers in the highest income tax bracket are small-business owners.) The nonpartisan Tax Foundation's Scott Hodge has just crunched the numbers on the Obama plan and concludes that "more than $131 billion would be redistributed from the top 1 percent of taxpayers to all other taxpayers."

Of course, Obama will never answer the question of what their "fair share" of the burden is (I think Obama means 100%).

Jesse Jackson Wants to Rip Obama's N*ts Off

This should be fun to see how Jesse Jackson squirms out of this one. Jackson didn't realize a microphone was on when he apparently said he wants to "rip Obama's n*ts off."

Let's see which Republican's fault it was this time...

I got my information wrong. Jackson wants to "cut his n*ts out," not "rip them off." My apologies for the error.

California Dems Propose $9.7 Billion Tax Increase

The Democrat-controlled California legislature is proposing a $9.7 billion tax increase to "pay for" its $15 billion budget deficit.

For those of you who live in California, I feel very sorry for you. When the Governator was elected several years ago, he pretended to be a Republican. Now Republicans (and taxpayers) should understand why it is dangerous to elect liberals, whether with an R or D in front of their name. Schwarzenegger is going along with the Democrats' refusal to cut the government budget because of scare tactics such as "we would have to cut schools or essential health care services." What a bunch of garbage. The California budget sucks up every last dollar during the boom times and then refuses to shrink during the slower times.

My prediction is that even if this tax increase passes, the deficit will not disappear, as millionaires will either move to another state or find a way to avoid paying the tax increases, thus reducing the projected increase. And in the process, California will become the next Michigan.

This could be another valuable lesson to all Americans.

UK Telegraph: Bush a Great President

OK, so it may not yet be the universal belief in Britain, but it is refreshing to see some perspective from Brits occasionally. From the Telegraph:

Whatever happened to leadership and honesty as presidential traits? I happen to believe that the only leader in the West to have these two admirable qualities in droves is the leader of the free world: George W Bush...

Let’s not forget how Europe does wars.

Usually we wait and wait until the enemy starts attacking, then we let them win a bit, then we fight until we are tired, then we just call the US to come over to clean our mess.

That is what happened in WWI, WWII, and the Balkans.

Bush is just showing us what a bunch of dangerous ditherers we are and we hate him for it. Naturally.

Developing Economies Say No Thanks on Climate

While a group of developing countries, including China and India supported the G-8's proposal to destroy their economies with greenhouse reduction measures, they said no thanks to participating in such a goose chase themselves.

I can't say I blame them.

Obama on Languages

Watching Obama speak without a teleprompter shares insight into the real Obama. As Red State points out, Obama is "embarrassed" by Americans because of their lack of language skills. He thinks that instead of focusing on others speaking English, we need to ask our kids why they don't speak Spanish.

Arugula and foreign languages. How mainstream.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Oil Down Again

With oil down $9 in just two trading days, isn't it time for Congress to step in with a bailout for oil traders? Let's crack down on those counterparties who sold oil to those poor traders at an unknowingly high price.

Dems Pass on Energy Legislation

Maybe this is why the Democrat-led Congress has a 9% approval rating. According to The Hill newspaper, Democrats have decided not to press forward with energy legislation out of fear that the Republicans would ask for a vote on offshore oil drilling.

And apparently Democrats don't want Americans to know that the reason we are needlessly paying $700 billion a year to foreign countries is due to the Dems' unwillingness to upset their environmentalist fringe.

About Obama's Plane Trouble

Barack Obama's plane trouble yesterday was described as "extremely serious," in which the passengers had to assume the brace position upon landing. The interesting point about this story comes in the last paragraph:

This was not Obama's regular campaign plane, which is being overhauled. It was a loaner, having previously been used by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY.

And you thought Hillary was going to just fade away into the night...

Who Does Obama's Director of Economic Policy Talk To?

Larry Kudlow interviewed Jason Furman yesterday, who is Obama's Director of Economic Policy. There was one interesting tidbit on energy policy when Kudlow asked him whether the prospect of greater oil supply via lifting restrictions on drilling would lower prices.

Kudlow: Did you see Marty Feldstein’s story in the [Wall Street] Journal today? He says if you have the expectation of more drilling as the moratoriums come down, traders would sell oil and prices would fall?

Furman: I saw Marty said that. And most of the energy experts I’ve talked to say the exact opposite. You’re talking at something that – and, and one of those experts by the way is the administration’s own Department of Energy, which doesn’t think this would have very much of an impact on prices, and that impact would be, you know, 10 or 20 years from now.

I would like to know which "experts" Furman talks to. It's pretty scary if Obama's director of economic policy truly believes that an expected increase in supply would actually raise prices. If that's the case, then why aren't home prices going through the roof with all of the excess supply there? It's incomprehensible but then again this is Obaman policy and it is not to be questioned.

Congress: 9% Approval Ratings

The Democrat-led Congress has fallen to an all-time low of 9% approval. Reid and Pelosi are just trying to figure out how to blame President Bush for this one.

I hate to admit it, but I generally approve of their lack of getting anything done. Nothing is a lot better than their desired alternatives.

Monday, July 07, 2008

AP: US Removes Uranium from Iraq

After years of telling us that Saddam Hussein had no nuclear program, the AP says that a significant amount of uranium was finally removed from the country.

The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program - a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium - reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.

The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" - the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment - was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.

Better late than never I guess.

Murtha Admits Surge Working, but Lies About Troops (Again)

Pittsburgh news station KDKA reporter Joe Delano (who incidentally, is a longtime Democrat, even losing a bid for Congress himself) interviews John Murtha about the Iraq surge. Although Murtha admitted that the surge has been working, he also had these interesting tidbits (from Newsbusters):

Incidents have decreased, but still, the problem politically still faces, the fact that we can't solve the problem, the political guidelines that have been set up. I think we have 17 guidelines and they've solved four or five of them. (1) So there's a long way to go.

The report that came out last week obviously showed that they have solved 15 of 18 benchmarks. So have the surge tactics worked?

Well, I think for the short-term, it has certainly reduced incidents. I'm not sure whether it's because of the Iraqis just being worn out, but certainly the way they're doing it today makes a big difference. It used to be we broke down doors, we went in and we killed people inadvertently. Now they're much more careful about that.

Despite the much-hyped Haditha charges being thrown out, Murtha still insists that U.S. troops are thugs. Just another day in the life of a Blame America First Democrat.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

On the Verge of a "Spectacular Victory" in Iraq

The London Times says that the entrapment of approximately 1,200 Al Qaeda fighters in Mosul is soon to become a "spectacular victory." Too bad the U.S. media has missed it.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

British Schoolkids Punished for Not Praying to Allah

UK schoolchildren aged 11-12 were punished with detention for refusing to pray to Allah as part of a class lesson.

And some people still think Muslims are not receiving preferential treatment. As one parent said, there would likely be a war if Muslims were forced to go to Church and take Holy Communion. But don't expect to hear from the ACLU anytime soon.

No Class from Code Pink...Again

During a swearing in ceremony for new US citizens on July 4th, Leftist group Code Pink interrupted with loud outbursts several times. From soldier funerals to naturalization events, no protest is too obnoxious for some of these Leftist groups.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Sharia Law Enfoceable in UK

Britain's top judge said that Sharia law should be used to settle dispute between Muslims. I guess this means they need special Muslim judges who are experts in Sharia law and then be able to reconcile that with British law.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Plasma, LCD TVs Causing Global Warming

And the list goes on. Now televisions are also bad for the environment. The farce continues.

Former Bank Regulator to Schumer: Please Shut Up

Last week Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer may have caused Indymac Bancorp to go under by publicly disclosing his (highly speculative) thoughts. Schumer publicly stated that he is "concerned that IndyMac's financial deterioration poses significant risks to both taxpayers and borrowers." and "could face a failure if prescriptive measures are not taken quickly."

Schumer's comments caused a run on the bank by depositors over the next couple of days, causing panic where there was none before. John D. Hawke, the U.S. comptroller of the currency (regulator of national banks) from 1998 to 2004, had harsh words for Schumer:

"If Schumer continues to go public with letters raising questions about the condition of individual institutions, he will cause havoc in the banking system," Hawke said.

"Leaking his IndyMac letter to the press was reckless and grossly irresponsible. I don't see how he can be trusted with confidential information in the future. What this incredibly stupid conduct does is put at risk the willingness of regulators to share any information with the [congressional] oversight committees. After this, you'd be crazy to share information with Schumer."

There you have it - your Democrat leaders hard at work trying to create chaos in an effort to look like they're doing something.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Conyers Wife Under Investigation

It appears that Dmeocrat Councilwoman Monica Conyers, wife of Democrat House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, is under FBI investigation for possible corruption. Oh the irony.

US Commander: Iran Not Allowed to Close Strait of Hormuz

In response to a threat from an Iranian official, U.S. Commander of the Fifth Fleet Kevin Cosgriff said that Iran "will not be allowed" to close the Strait of Hormuz and that any attempt to do so would be an act of war.

What Iraqi Expats are Saying

In a bar in downtown Cairo where many Iraqi expats hang out, people discuss their opinions on Iraq. From today's WSJ (sub req'd).

A former colleague of mine at the University of Baghdad, who now lives with her family in Abu Dhabi, told me that she was stunned by the optimism of her fellow Iraqis when she went to support the Iraqi soccer team in a World Cup qualifier match against Australia in Dubai. "They were of every color in the Iraqi rainbow, but you can speak of two common things among them: telling you about their plans to go home within months and considering the Americans to be partners in that home they are returning to."

Another Chaldean Christian female friend of mine is now living in Jordan with her family after being forced to leave their house in Al-Ameriyya, Baghdad, by al Qaeda militants. She told me "it seems that the Americans know what they are doing. They have been so patient with us, but it seems that we have learned our lesson now."

Even those who were heralding the victory of "the resistance" are now lowering their voices before the simple but compelling logic of young men and women that have never been a part of any political process. I asked the gang at Le Grillion what they thought about the proposed long-term treaty with the Americans. The answer came immediately: "We have nothing to give the Americans; we are the ones who should be thankful!"

Everyone nodded to the remark, except a couple of Egyptian communists sitting nearby. They dared not object, however.

Yet somehow the MSM would lead Americans to believe that there are still many Iraqis who believe Americans are invaders and occupiers.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Jim Webb: McCain Should "Calm Down" on Military Service Talk

VA Democrat Sen. Jim Webb plays his part in a clever attack on McCain after Wesley Clark impugned McCain's military service.

"And John McCain's my long-time friend, if that is one area that I would ask him to calm down on, it`s that, don't be standing up and uttering your political views and implying that all the people in the military support them because they don't, any more than when the Democrats have political issues during the Vietnam War. Let's get the politics out of the military, take care of our military people, or have our political arguments in other areas."

So Wes Clark attacks McCain. Obama pretends to be above the fray by saying he doesn't approve of attacks on anyone's patriotism (especially his own). Then Webb says McCain should shut up and quit reminding people of his military service.

Unbelievable. Apparently Webb doesn't remember John Kerry's campaign. Or his own campaign for that matter, who reminded voters of his military service in every political ad he ran. But McCain shouldn't be allowed to do so.

The Left: Why We Should Not Celebrate July 4th

Chris Satullo gives an all-too typical Leftist perspective about why we are not worthy of celebrating Independence Day this year.

This year, America doesn't deserve to celebrate its birthday. This Fourth of July should be a day of quiet and atonement. For we have sinned. We have failed to pay attention. We've settled for lame excuses. We've spit on the memory of those who did that brave, brave thing in Philadelphia 232 years ago. The America those men founded should never torture a prisoner. The America they founded should never imprison people for years without charge or hearing. The America they founded should never ship prisoners to foreign lands, knowing their new jailers might torture them. Such abuses once were committed by the arrogant crowns of Europe, spawning rebellion.

Apart from Satullo's silly rant, blatant falsehoods that we love to torture and obvious hatred of the U.S. (although no doubt he will call his dissent the highest form of patriotism, in which case Benedict Arnold and the Rosenbergs are our ultimate patriots), he needs to brush up on his history a bit. I believe he forgot how the Founding Fathers treated traitors in their day (Benedict Arnold knew this all too well). He also forgot how George Washington treated deserting soldiers (he shot them in plain view without trial) or how many of the Yanks treated British loyalists (tarred and feathered) - not to mention how they treated POWs, if any were actually caught alive.

So if Satullo and his Blame America First friends don't want to waive the flag, play patriotic music or in general celebrate the Fourth, they don't have to. I don't think any of the parades will miss them one bit. But he shouldn't attempt to guilt Americans into believing we somehow have lost our moral authority, when in fact, the Founding Fathers would be very proud of how we are defending our freedom.

Conservation Groups Move to Reduce Drilling in Montana

Two conservation groups are trying to restrict oil and gas drilling in the West because of the great sage grouse population. That's right - that grouse is on the decline and we need to do something about it.

Dem Congressman Mahoney Loves (Soviet) Troops

Florida Democrat freshman Congressman Tim Mahoney loves the military - just ask him. He simply doesn't know the difference between a Soviet soldier and an American soldier. From Red State.

Case Study in Corporate Taxes

The WSJ (sub req'd) provides further proof in the 2004 American Jobs Creation Act that cutting corporate tax rates increases U.S. investment and revenue.

This law gave American companies a one-year window in 2005 to repatriate earnings from foreign subsidiaries to the United States at a 5.25% tax rate. Normally companies must pay the 35% U.S. corporate tax rate, minus a credit for whatever foreign taxes they paid on those earnings.

The IRS examined the results from this tax cutting experiment and found that the money came back in a flood. More than 800 U.S. corporations repatriated $362 billion from foreign operations. Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation had predicted closer to $200 billion. These dollars are now being invested in the U.S., rather than remaining in Europe or China. This capital infusion may be one reason that U.S. business investment rose 9.6% in 2005 – the highest rate in more than a decade.

As the Journal points out, 5.25% of $362 billion is far better than 35% of nothing. But Democrats continue to ignore the realities of the correlation between lower tax rates, higher revenue and stronger economic growth - which is why the U.S. now has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. It's hard to believe we still have any jobs left in the country with this type of policy.

Gay Political Correctness Run Amok

We know that the AP likes political correctness. In fact, they seem to automatically replace certain words that they find offensive. But when it comes to people's names, they should probably draw thee line. Take for example the news about poor Tyson Gay at his Olympic trials. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be happy with having his last name replaced with a more desirable AP term.